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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/7

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/7

WV: West Virginia requests permission to administer fourth vaccine dose

wvgazettemail.com

West Virginia Republican Gov. Jim Justice announced that the state will request permission from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to administer a fourth COVID-19 vaccine dose to people who are older than age 50, immunocompromised or essential workers. The request is believed to be the first of its kind in the country, Justice said.

CA: Democrats propose California universal health care, funded by new income, business taxes

latimes.com

California would enact a sweeping, first-in-the-nation universal health care plan under a proposal unveiled by a group of state Democratic lawmakers, providing health services to every resident financed by a broad array of new taxes on individuals and businesses.

WA: Washington governor to support bill to make lies about election results a gross misdemeanor

seattletimes.com

Gov. Jay Inslee, a Democrat, called on Washington state lawmakers to pass legislation making it a gross misdemeanor for elected officials and candidates to spread lies about election results. The legislation is still being drafted, and the governor is working to find sponsors for the bill.

SD: South Dakota tightens medical abortion rules

argusleader.com

Pregnant people in South Dakota seeking medical abortions will no longer be able to take the abortion pill at home. Lawmakers approved rule changes ordered by Republican Gov. Kristi Noem requiring the drugs to be issued in person at abortion clinics.

NM: New Mexico Democrats propose election reform bill

abqjournal.com

New Mexico would allow 16-year-olds to vote in local elections, expand absentee voting and create a straight-party ballot option under the proposal. The measure, which has been opposed by Republicans, also would automatically restore the voting rights of people convicted of a felony who aren’t incarcerated and make it easier to register online to vote.

CT: Connecticut asks nursing homes to accept COVID-positive patients from hospitals

ctmirror.org

Connecticut nursing homes are being asked to accept COVID-19-positive admissions from hospitals, according to new guidance from the state Department of Public Health, even as positivity rates within nursing homes are increasing sharply.

FL: Florida providing 1M at-home COVID tests for older adults

apnews.com

One million at-home COVID-19 tests will be available to Florida’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities under a new initiative, Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said. The self-administered tests will be sent to every nursing home and long-term care facility in the state.

MO: Democrats aim to chip away at Missouri’s new, controversial gun law

stltoday.com

The top Democrat in the Missouri Senate has filed legislation that would repeal parts of a new state law forbidding local police from enforcing federal gun laws, saying it has hampered efforts by law enforcement authorities to protect the public.

IL: Chicago schools, teachers union ask Illinois officials to step in amid standoff

chicagotribune.com

Chicago Public Schools and the teachers union have filed unfair labor charges against one another, with each side asking Illinois state officials to end the current dispute over in-person learning in their favor. The latest escalation in the conflict over adequate COVID-19 safety measures, which shut down schools districtwide, comes as schools saw a new record number of coronavirus cases.

AL: Alabama House GOP backs end of handgun permit requirement

apnews.com

Republicans in the Alabama House said abolishing the permit requirement to carry a concealed handgun will be among their top priorities in the upcoming legislative session.

LA: Louisiana suspends visits to adult, juvenile prisons amid COVID surge

apnews.com

Louisiana suspended in-person visits to adult and juvenile prisons and limited contractors and deliveries on campuses as the omicron variant fuels the surge of COVID-19 cases. The Office of Juvenile Justice said virtual family visits would continue.

MS: Mississippi House OKs congressional remap amid objections

apnews.com

The Republican-controlled Mississippi House approved a plan to redraw the state’s four congressional districts. The redrawing would expand the territory of the state’s only majority-Black U.S. House district.

CO: Colorado’s taxable home values could skyrocket in 2023

coloradosun.com

The taxable value of Colorado homes is expected to rise dramatically in 2023—and not just in city and mountain resort real estate markets. As families flee high housing prices in those areas, they’re pushing up prices on Denver’s fringes and in smaller metro areas.

KS: Kansas governor announces new COVID emergency

kansas.com

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly issued a new disaster declaration in Kansas, suspending a series of rules and regulations to help health care facilities respond more rapidly to the rising demand for care.

AZ: Arizona Supreme Court rejects argument that only lawmakers can say if bills are constitutional

azcentral.com

The Arizona Supreme Court said lawmakers violated the constitution by larding up appropriation bills with policy. The court’s decision nullified dozens of would-be laws such as bans on mask mandates in the schools and changes in election procedures.

NC: North Carolina eases school COVID quarantine rules, especially for districts that require masks

newsobserver.com

North Carolina health officials have reduced how long students need to be quarantined for COVID-19 and will provide even more flexibility in school districts that require face masks.

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