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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/4

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/4

IL: Record number of COVID-19 patients fill Illinois hospital beds

chicagosuntimes.com

Illinois hospital beds are filling up with more COVID-19 patients than at any other point in the pandemic—prompting fears of employee burnout amid staffing shortages. As of Sunday night, there were 6,294 people hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state, topping the previous record of 6,175 set on Nov. 20, 2020, months before a vaccine was widely accessible.

CT: Connecticut state employees can now appeal being required to work at the office more than once weekly

courant.com

Thousands of unionized Connecticut state employees can now appeal being required to work in the office more than one day a week under a ruling by a state arbitrator.

FL: Florida governor’s new climate change plan: $270 million for first wave of statewide projects

orlandosentinel.com

Florida is set to commit hundreds of millions of dollars to adapt to climate change—with the promise of much more money on the way. Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said the 3-year plan includes $270 million in state money for more than 76 projects.

MO: Top Missouri leaders to be deposed in federal lawsuit over lack of Capitol mask mandate

stltoday.com

Top leaders and administrators in the Missouri legislature are poised to be interviewed by attorneys later this month in connection with a federal lawsuit filed by a former employee who alleges he was fired for his concern about the lack of a mask mandate for people working in the state Capitol.

TX: COVID-19 hospitalizations double in Texas as omicron strains staffing

texastribune.org

As of Monday, more than 7,000 Texans were hospitalized with COVID-19, more than double the number two weeks ago but still far below the pandemic peak of 14,218 on Jan. 11, 2021.

NJ: New Jersey governor seeking extension of COVID-19 emergency powers as cases, hospitalizations spike

nj.com

New Jersey Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy asked the state legislature to extend some of his remaining COVID-19 emergency powers, including mask mandates in schools, for 90 days—a request he said is needed to battle skyrocketing case counts and hospitalizations.

MD: Maryland hospitalizations hit pandemic peak

baltimoresun.com

Twenty-two months into the pandemic, more Marylanders are hospitalized for COVID-19 than ever before, and the rate at which people are testing positive for the virus is closing in on the all-time record.

CO: Some Colorado courts suspend jury trials again due to COVID-19

denverpost.com

Jury trials have been suspended in several courts across metro Denver because of the danger posed by the highly contagious omicron variant of COVID-19. Most courts in Colorado suspended jury trials during the start of the pandemic in 2020, but jury trials resumed in 2021.

UT: Utah students can return to class faster now after being exposed to or testing positive for COVID-19

sltrib.com

Utah teachers and students can return to school more quickly after being exposed to the coronavirus or testing positive for it, under new COVID-19 isolation and quarantine guidelines announced by the Utah Department of Health. The state guidance follows advice from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

CA: Los Angeles school district orders mandatory COVID-19 testing before class resumes

latimes.com

Confronted with exploding infection rates, the Los Angeles Unified School District—the largest in California and second largest in the country—ordered students and staff to undergo mandatory coronavirus testing before returning to campus after winter break on Jan. 10.

NY: New York district attorney to drop touching case against former Gov. Cuomo: report

timesunion.com

The Albany County district attorney's office is expected to drop a forcible touching complaint against former New York Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The decision comes just days before Cuomo was scheduled to make his first appearance in Albany City Court to face a misdemeanor charge alleging that he groped a 33-year-old female aide.

LA: Louisiana COVID-19 cases reach new multi-day record in wake of Christmas, New Year's holidays

nola.com

Louisiana health officials reported the largest multi-day increase in COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic, as the omicron variant continued to spread following holiday gatherings and as many of the state's children returned to classrooms.

MS: Mississippi governor says No. 1 legislative priority should be eliminating income tax

clarionledger.com

Mississippi Republican Gov. Tate Reeves said cutting taxes and making the state more appealing to businesses should be lawmakers' top priority for the 2022 legislative session.

OR: Oregon shatters COVID-19 case record

oregonlive.com

Oregon shattered its record for weekly coronavirus cases Monday, identifying more confirmed or suspected infections in the past seven days than at any point of the nearly two-year pandemic. But the omicron variant is not as virulent as previous versions, and the 498 people actively hospitalized with COVID-19 still less than half of the delta peak.

WA: Washington Republican legislators used taxpayer dollars to attend election conspiracy conference

seattletimes.com

Three Washington state Republican legislators billed taxpayers for their attendance at a three-day conference this past summer, convened by MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, that promised to provide “irrefutable evidence” that the 2020 election was stolen. In all, the state paid $4,361 for the lawmakers’ hotels and flights.

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