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

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

CA: California governor signs nation’s most sweeping law to phase out single-use plastics and packaging waste

latimes.com

Striking a blow against a pernicious form of pollution, California Gov. Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, signed into law the nation’s most far-reaching restrictions on single-use plastics and packaging.

FL: Judge to temporarily stop Florida’s 15-week abortion ban 

tampabay.com 

A circuit court judge said he will temporarily block Florida’s 15-week abortion ban, but not before the law takes effect July 1. Calling the law “unconstitutional in that it violates the privacy provision of the Florida Constitution,” he said he would issue a temporary injunction to stop it, but it might not happen until early next week. 

TX: Texas schools must check all exterior doors before school year starts

dallasnews.com

The Texas Education Agency announced that local officials will be required to ensure that each exterior door at schools closes and locks. Once the school year begins, officials will have to conduct exterior door sweeps at campuses at least once a week, according to the new guidance.

AZ: Arizona prison health care system ruled unconstitutional

azcentral.com

In an emphatic rebuke of Arizona’s privatized prison health care model, U.S. District Judge Roslyn Silver found that Arizona is denying the constitutional rights of people in state prisons by failing to provide minimally adequate health care.

MO: Missouri agency never contacted railroad to review crossing, site of deadly Amtrak crash 

kansascity.com 

Although residents had complained for years about a crossing that was the scene of an Amtrak derailment that killed four and injured 50 in Missouri this week, the railroad that owns the track told The Kansas City Star that the state Department of Transportation had not contacted it to conduct an official review of the site that is required before any repairs are initiated. 

GA: Georgia still falls short when caring for people with disabilities

ajc.com

Despite 12 years of supervision by a federal court, Georgia’s system for caring for people with mental illness and intellectual disabilities remains a dangerous place, according to a new report.

HI: Navy failed to prevent and respond to fuel contamination of Hawaii drinking water

civilbeat.org

A string of extraordinary failures in maintenance, training and leadership at the Navy’s Red Hill fuel facility in Hawaii resulted in fuel spewing from a broken pipeline for 30 hours, leaking petroleum into the military’s drinking water and sickening entire families last year, military officials said.

MA: Massachusetts Senate votes to expand access to HIV prevention, care

bostonglobe.com

The Massachusetts Senate voted to advance a bill that would significantly expand access to preventative HIV care. The legislation, which passed by voice vote would allow pharmacies to dispense a 60-day supply of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP, without a prescription.

NY: Judge strikes down New York’s capital city’s ‘good cause’ eviction law, siding with landlords

timesunion.com

Albany’s “good-cause” eviction law, the first of its kind in the state, was struck down in a decision that may lead to the overturning of similar legislation across New York. New York State Supreme Court Judge Christina Ryba ruled in favor of several landlords who argued the law violated a state law that guided tenant-landlord relationships.

NJ: Bill to legalize ‘magic mushrooms’ in New Jersey rolled out by Senate president

nj.com

A year and a half ago, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed a bill authored by state Sen. Nicholas Scutari, both Democrats, that reduced the penalties for possession of psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms. Now Scutari, who has since become Senate president, wants to legalize the psychedelic drug for adults to treat depression, anxiety and other disorders. 

OH: State constitution does not include abortion rights, Ohio attorney general says

cleveland.com

The Ohio Constitution never mentions abortion, nor can anyone look at other rights it guarantees and assume abortion is protected, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, wrote in a legal filing.

DC: DC ends coronavirus contact tracing effort, laying off 131 workers

washingtonpost.com

The Washington, D.C., Health Department has terminated 131 members of its coronavirus contact tracing program, marking the official end of a city program started more than two years ago to curtail the virus’s spread.

IA: Iowa Supreme Court makes it harder to sue hog confinements

iowacapitaldispatch.com

The Iowa Supreme Court made it harder for landowners to sue for damages caused by large-scale animal confinements, saying it “wrongly decided” a 2004 case on Iowa’s right-to-farm law. The effect of the ruling is that it will likely be more difficult for Iowans to sue confined animal feeding operations, or CAFOs, for the negative impact they have on neighboring landowners.

MT: Montana residents testify against state’s transgender birth certificate rule

montanafreepress.org

Dozens of Montanans testified in opposition to the state health department’s new rule that effectively bars transgender people from updating the sex on their birth certificates. The health department wants to make permanent an emergency rule that says sex “is a biological concept that is encoded in an individual’s DNA and, thus, is genetic and immutable,” meaning it cannot be changed, even with surgery.

IN: Indiana police must adapt to looser handgun laws

apnews.com

The repeal of Indiana’s requirement for a permit to carry a handgun in public has forced police agencies to change how they handle encounters with armed people.

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