What We're Reading: Top State Stories 1/26
FL: Florida Republicans take aim at school board members’ salaries
As Gov. Ron DeSantis and other Florida Republicans amplify local school board politics in the lead-up to the 2022 midterms, GOP-backed measures that would slash the pay of most elected school board members are gaining traction in the Florida legislature.
GA: Democrats seek repeal of Georgia voting law, including parts they like
Georgia Democratic lawmakers are proposing a complete repeal of the state’s voting law—even provisions that authorize ballot drop boxes and mandate a second Saturday of early voting statewide. The legislation also would roll back parts of the law they oppose, such as new ID requirements for absentee voting and the ability for the state to replace county election boards.
TX: Millions at risk of being dropped from Medicaid because Texas cut staffing
More than 1 million Texans were added to Medicaid coverage during the pandemic, many of them children, due to emergency federal funding. But those gains could soon be erased.
IL: Thousands of women traveled to Illinois to have an abortion in 2020
Nearly 10,000 women traveled from out of state to have an abortion in Illinois in 2020, a roughly 29% increase compared with the previous year.
NC: Robocalls lawsuit could win money for North Carolina victims
North Carolina is seeking hundreds of billions of dollars in a lawsuit Attorney General Josh Stein, a Democrat, filed against a company accused of helping scammers place some of the robocalls that inundate people’s phones.
CA: COVID sick pay in California would return under deal between governor, lawmakers
Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom and California lawmakers reached an agreement to again require employers to provide workers with up to two weeks of supplemental paid sick leave to recover from COVID-19 or care for a family member with the virus.
NY: New York mask mandate continues during court appeal
Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul called on New Yorkers to continue covering their faces as the state appealed a court ruling striking down the state’s COVID-19 mask mandate, sparking confusion among schools and businesses.
MN: Minnesota governor proposes more than $5B aimed at children, families
The family and children-focused portion of Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz’s supplemental budget, which he has been rolling out piecemeal, would amount to $5.1 billion over three years, budget officials said. It includes a 2% increase in the state's general education funding formula, along with paid leave programs for workers.
CO: Doctors withdraw request for emergency protocols as Colorado COVID numbers improve
With the state’s latest COVID-19 trends appearing to improve, Colorado’s emergency physicians withdrew a request to the governor’s office and state health department to implement broad emergency protocols.
MA: Massachusetts prepares to receive twice as many Afghan refugees as expected
Massachusetts is expecting to receive twice as many Afghan refugees as it had anticipated following the Taliban takeover of the country last summer, one of the state’s major refugee resettlement agencies said. The state is likely to get about 2,000 refugees.
MS: Mississippi lawmakers agree on medical marijuana
The Mississippi Senate and the House have reached an agreement on a medical marijuana bill. The measure would allow local government boards to opt out of having such businesses in their cities or counties, but voters can override that with a referendum.
HI: Governor proposes $100 refund for Hawaii taxpayers, their dependents
Democratic Gov. David Ige proposed refund checks of $100 for every Hawaii taxpayer and each of their dependents that would pump $110 million from the state general fund into the economy.
CT: Connecticut to conserve wild trout populations
Connecticut’s first wild trout management plan aims to conserve and expand habitat for brook and brown trout and boost opportunities for anglers.
MO: Money for Missouri entertainment industry could be in budget pipeline
Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson is asking lawmakers to approve a $20 million grant program designed to help entertainment venues such as concert halls, museums and arts centers hit by pandemic-related shutdowns.