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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/9

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/9

LA: Louisiana fall elections postponed because of Hurricane Ida damage

theadvocate.com

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, ordered the postponement of the upcoming elections because of Hurricane Ida. The Oct. 9 ballot featured primaries for three legislative seats, seven city council members in New Orleans and four constitutional amendments.

FL: Court allows Florida school districts to enforce strict mask mandates 

miamiherald.com

A circuit court judge blocked Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ administration from enforcing a ban on strict mask mandates in schools after vacating a stay on a ruling tied to a parent-led lawsuit. A state appeal is expected. 

WV: West Virginia leads nation in acceleration of COVID case, governor says

wvgazettemail.com

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, said the state is leading the nation in the highest rate of COVID-19 case acceleration. The state’s top COVID-19 authority warned it could be two weeks before the current surge of new cases peaks.

OR: Oregon wildfires to keep growing and fouling air

statesmanjournal.com

With historically dry conditions and no significant rain in sight, smoke is expected to affect air quality throughout much of Oregon for the foreseeable future.

KS: More Kansans in state prisons enrolled in college classes this fall with federal help

kansas.com

Classrooms at the Kansas Department of Corrections adult facilities are filled with 325 residents enrolled in college and career courses—an increase of 129 students from last year. The corrections department attributed the increase partly to Second Chance Pell grants, which allow people involved in the criminal justice system to access federal, need-based financial aid.

MO: GOP opposes extra public hearings on redistricting process for Missouri Senate 

stltoday.com

Republicans turned back a Democratic bid to increase the number of hearings where Missourians can weigh in on the state’s once-per-decade political redistricting process. 

NE: New Nebraska map would split ‘blue dot’ district

omaha.com

A Republican redistricting proposal would cleave off Democratic-leaning areas from a Nebraska congressional district that has been won by presidential and congressional Democrats.

TX: Congressional Democrats urge US attorney general to prosecute Texas abortion ‘vigilantes’

texastribune.com

Democrats on the U.S. House Judiciary Committee are calling on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the Department of Justice to prosecute people who file lawsuits against abortion seekers under Texas’ new abortion law.

WI: Bipartisan group raises concerns with Wisconsin election investigations

wpr.org

A bipartisan coalition, including Republican politicians, and advocacy groups raised concerns with two 2020 election investigations in Wisconsin. Former New Jersey Gov. Christine Whitman and former Kentucky Secretary of State Trey Grayson, both Republicans, said efforts spearheaded by GOP Assembly members threaten the health of democracy by undermining public faith in elections.

UT: Utah Senate president says legislature will tackle critical race theory in 2022

sltrib.com

In a newly surfaced video, Republican Senate President Stuart Adams admits that critical race theory is not very common in Utah schools. But he said the legislature is going to tackle the topic in the 2022 session anyway.

AL: Alabama governor urges lawmakers to support plan for new state prisons

al.com

Alabama Republican Gov. Kay Ivey sent a written letter to lawmakers in hopes of gaining their support for a plan to construct two new men’s prisons in the state.

PA: Pennsylvania prisons pledge reform, pay $8.5M after man in custody died from pepper spray

inquirer.com

The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections has agreed to pay $8.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by the family of a 29-year-old man who died after ingesting pepper spray in state prison, and to implement new protocols on using the chemical.

IA: Iowa governor plans to use $100M in federal COVID funds to help with housing

iowacapitaldispatch.com

The $100 million of federal COVID-19 relief money will be divided among several Iowa programs to create incentives for new home construction and to assist homeowners with repairs and down payments, said Gov. Kim Reynolds, a Republican.

GA: Another Georgia district attorney indicted, this one for bribery

ajc.com

District Attorney Mark Jones, a Democrat, who oversees a six-county judicial circuit in west Georgia, was indicted for nine felonies, including allegations he tried to bribe two of his own prosecutors. Jones is the third sitting or former top prosecutor in Georgia to be indicted this year.

AK: COVID hospitalizations in Alaska are at an all-time high

alaskapublic.org

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are at an all-time high in Alaska. Doctors in the state have repeatedly warned that the system is at its limit.

CA: California’s Central Valley overwhelmed by delta surge

latimes.com

Hospitals in California’s Central Valley have been increasingly overwhelmed by the fourth surge of the COVID-19 pandemic, with officials scrambling to transfer some critically ill patients more than 100 miles away because local intensive care units are full.

WY: Wyoming governor allocates $30M to help with health care staffing issues

cowboystatedaily.com

Republican Gov. Mark Gordon is allocating $30 million in federal funds to provide staffing relief and support for current Wyoming health care staff and to secure traveling medical staff. Gordon’s office said this was his way to address staffing challenges at health care facilities amidst a surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.

MD: Maryland OKs nursing home booster shots

baltimoresun.com

Maryland is moving forward with allowing COVID-19 vaccine booster shots for older adults in nursing homes and other group settings, even though the federal government has not yet issued formal rules.

DE: University of Delaware to require vaccination or negative test to attend events

delawarepublic.org

Starting this Friday, officials will require all outside visitors to University of Delaware events to provide proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test for COVID-19. The policy applies to those 12 and older.

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