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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/8

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/8

IL: Red flags missed: How July 4 suspect slipped through Illinois system 

apnews.com

Illinois’ red flag law could have stopped the suspect in the July 4 parade shooting from buying a gun or at least delayed the purchase of the weapon he’s accused of using to kill seven people and wound dozens. The episode highlights how, even in a state with some of the nation’s most restrictive gun laws, opportunities can be missed to keep weapons from dangerous and disturbed people. 

TX: Texas governor orders state to grab migrants, release them at bridges

dallasnews.com

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott told state police and Texas National Guard soldiers to take the unauthorized immigrants they apprehend to ports of entry, rather than into state custody. The governor’s unprecedented move could set up a Supreme Court test of state powers on immigration.

AZ: Arizona governor signs universal school vouchers into law

azcentral.com

Arizona Republican Gov. Doug Ducey signed a universal school vouchers expansion into law, giving all Arizona families access to the state’s Empowerment Scholarship program, the largest school voucher program in the country. The law allows all students to spend a portion of tax funding initially allocated to public education at private schools. 

GA: Staff shortage puts residents in jeopardy at many Georgia nursing homes

ajc.com

Already an issue before the pandemic, short staffing at Georgia’s nursing homes hit a crisis point after COVID-19 upended these facilities two years ago. But even as vaccines have eased stress on homes and allowed families to visit again, staffing problems persist in many locations, leaving residents vulnerable to neglect and suffering.

MA: Top Massachusetts lawmakers announce tax rebate proposal

bostonglobe.com

Top Massachusetts lawmakers announced a plan that could send millions of taxpayers a one-time $250 rebate by the end of September, but exclude many of the state’s poorest taxpayers. The proposal would need to pass both legislative branches by July 31 and be signed by GOP Gov. Charlie Baker to take effect.

NY: New York conservatives to challenge new gun laws

timesunion.com

The chairs of New York's Republican and Conservative parties pledged to file a lawsuit challenging sweeping new gun laws that were rushed through the legislature and signed into law by Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul last week in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down the state's law governing concealed carry permits.

PA: Legal group hits lawyers who aided Trump in efforts to overturn Pennsylvania election results

inquirer.com

A legal advocacy group formed in hopes of disbarring and disciplining lawyers who aided then-President Donald Trump’s push to overturn the outcome of the 2020 election filed complaints with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court against seven lawyers in the state for their involvement in the former president’s legal efforts.

WV: West Virginia governor proposes 10% cut in personal income tax

apnews.com

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice, a Republican, proposed a permanent 10% reduction in the personal income tax after the state ended the fiscal year with a record $1.3 billion surplus. Justice said he plans to call a special session of the legislature during its interim meetings from July 24 to 26 to address the tax cut, which failed in two previous attempts.

CT: Connecticut’s $34M COVID relief fund for essential workers remains largely unspent 

ctmirror.org

Connecticut’s program to replace lost wages and cover medical expenses for frontline workers who caught COVID-19 has stalled due to a low profile and a complicated application process. 

CA: Study says California employers fail to keep food, farm workers safe from COVID

calmatters.org

Although farm and food production workers were considered essential workers during the pandemic, many of California’s food employers endangered those workers, violating Cal/OSHA’s COVID-19 guidelines more often than most industries, a new report said.

HI: Hawaii governor vetoes $244M in state budget spending

staradvertiser.com

Democratic Gov. David Ige informed the Hawaii legislature that he has vetoed funding in the state budget for two dozen projects costing $244 million, partly because state lawmakers appropriated more federal pandemic recovery aid than the state received.

MT: Montana Medicaid patients to see greater access to substance use treatment

helenair.com

Montana has received a federal waiver approval for substance use disorder treatment providers with 17 or more beds to bill Medicaid, an expansion providers called a “game changer” for combating addiction across the state.

ID: A new Idaho suicide prevention number launches next week

idahostatesman.com

Like 9-1-1 is used for police, fire and medical emergencies, Idahoans experiencing behavioral health crises soon will be able to call 9-8-8 to seek help. In 2020, Congress passed the National Suicide Hotline Designation Act, creating a new nationwide behavioral health crisis and suicide prevention dialing code.

WA: Earthquake would trigger 20-foot tsunami off Washington within 3 minutes, report finds

seattletimes.com

New projections show a tsunami triggered by a large earthquake could hit the Seattle, Washington, region faster and reach farther than previously understood.

DC: DC will offer free career coaching for residents

washingtonpost.com

Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser, a Democrat, said the city will hire dozens of coaches for the next two years, with the goal of offering one-on-one career counseling to about 5,000 D.C. residents per year. The coaching will be free to any adult who does not have a bachelor’s degree, as well as those who do have college degrees and fall below a certain income threshold.

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