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

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

US: Quitting oil income is hard—even for states that want climate action

nytimes.com

Across the United States, dozens of states and communities rely on fossil fuels to fund aspects of daily life. Disentangling communities from fossil-fuel income poses a major obstacle in the fight against climate change.

TX: Texas urges federal appeals court to end protections for its 101K DACA residents

houstonchronicle.com

Texas, which filed a federal lawsuit challenging the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program in 2018, argues the Obama administration didn’t follow proper procedures to create the program in 2012 and lacked the authority to grant a blanket reprieve from deportation or to offer work authorization for those protected.

NY: New York summer COVID hospitalizations up; highest since 2019

timesunion.com

Emerging subvariants of the omicron strain of COVID-19 continue to spread across New York state and are causing hospitalizations to sit at levels that are more than double the numbers experienced during the last two summers of the pandemic. 

PA: Prominent Pennsylvania Republicans endorse Democrat for governor

post-gazette.com

A group of Republican leaders—including former officials who have been stalwarts of Pennsylvania’s GOP establishment for decades in Harrisburg and Washington, D.C.—is bucking their party to endorse Democrat Josh Shapiro for governor. They contend that the GOP candidate, state Sen. Doug Mastriano, is on the fringe of his own party. 

ME: Governor blocks Maine from aiding conservative states’ abortion probes

bangordailynews.com

Maine Democratic Gov. Janet Mills signed an executive order prohibiting state agencies from cooperating with another state’s investigation into a health care provider for delivering abortion care in Maine.

NJ: New Jersey waiving graduation test for class of 2023 after governor signs law

nj.com

A new statewide standardized test will not be used as a graduation requirement for the crop of New Jersey high schoolers slated to get their diplomas next year under a bill Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law.

CT: Connecticut launches updated $60M unemployment benefits system 

courant.com

Connecticut Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont and state labor officials unveiled an updated unemployment benefits system following a six-year, $60 million makeover of the antiquated computer program that confounded and frustrated unemployed workers during the worst of the pandemic.  

LA: Criminal justice progressives in New Orleans face backlash over violent crime 

themarshallproject.org

Recently elected progressive officials in the criminal legal system in New Orleans face criticism tied to a rise in shootings, murders and carjackings during the pandemic.  

WV: West Virginia judge invalidates school voucher law

apnews.com

A West Virginia judge struck down a law that would have funneled state money into a program that incentivized families to pull their children out of K-12 public schools in favor of private schools. Immediately following the ruling, West Virginia GOP Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said his office plans to appeal. 

NE: Court reinstates Nebraska's petition rule

nebraskaexaminer.com

Petition circulators in Nebraska will need signatures from 5% of registered voters in 38 of the state’s 93 counties. An appeals court temporarily revived the 38-county requirement that had been stopped by a lower court on the grounds it gave too much power to rural counties.

NC: North Carolina governor moves to protect abortion access, including for travelers from out of state

newsobserver.com

North Carolina Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper signed an executive order prohibiting executive branch employees from aiding “any investigation or proceeding” that seeks to punish a person or entity for providing or receiving reproductive health care services in North Carolina. The order also protects against extradition to other states.

AZ: Arizona governor vetoes transportation tax extension, draws criticism

azcentral.com

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey vetoed a ballot measure that would have asked Maricopa County voters to extend a sales tax used to fund transportation projects, saying it wasn't the proper time given soaring inflation. He also cited a lack of a transparency in the bill. 

NM: New Mexico governor withstands lawsuits over pandemic orders

apnews.com

New Mexico residents who say they endured constitutional rights violations, depression and anxiety under aggressive public health restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak have abandoned a lawsuit against Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham after most allegations were dismissed by a judge.

WI: Low-profile race for Wisconsin secretary of state is suddenly in the spotlight 

jsonline.com

The typically under-the-radar race is a cornerstone of conservative midterm ambitions now that some Wisconsin Republican officials and candidates are pushing to abolish the bipartisan Wisconsin Elections Commission and place election oversight duties in the hands of the secretary of state.

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