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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/19

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/19

WV: West Virginia judge halts enforcement of pre-Roe abortion ban

wvgazettemail.com

A West Virginia county circuit judge issued a preliminary injunction to stop enforcement of a 19th-century abortion ban that she said is “too vague” to apply as is, clearing the way for abortions to potentially resume in the Mountain State. The law criminalizes abortion as a felony for any woman who receives the care and any physician who administers it.

PA: Pennsylvania teacher shortage now a ‘crisis’

inquirer.com

Pennsylvania will need thousands of new teachers by 2025, according to the state Department of Education, and it’s fighting an uphill battle to get there amid a nationwide teacher shortage. The state laid out a road map for bolstering its number of teachers in the next three years.

IL: Illinois State Police move to expand use of ‘clear and present danger’ reports

chicagotribune.com

In response to the mass shooting in Highland Park, the Illinois State Police issued an emergency rule that will allow the agency to retain and expand the use of reports on people found to pose a “clear and present danger,” even if they don’t have a firearm owner’s identification card or a pending application. 

LA: Previous storm damage leaves Louisiana extra vulnerable during hurricane season

theadvocate.com

About 10,000 trailers and other temporary shelters in Louisiana are still occupied by state residents uprooted by hurricanes Ida and Laura, the director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness said. That means evacuations may be called earlier than in the past if a storm approaches the state.

NV: As Nevada prison staff vacancies soar, officials propose surveillance wristbands, drones

thenevadaindependent.com

Faced with an ever-deepening staffing shortage and a correctional officer vacancy rate that has hit 32%, leaders at the Nevada Department of Corrections said they are trying to rethink their staffing model and explore using surveillance wristbands, sensors and drones.

GA: Georgia ban on giving snacks to voters challenged in federal court

ajc.com

Voting organizations argued in federal court that Georgia’s ban on handing out snacks and water to fatigued voters should be blocked, telling a judge they have a free-speech right to encourage participation in elections.

DC, TX, AZ: DC lawmakers ask mayor to direct resources to aid migrants from Texas, Arizona

washingtonpost.com

Ten D.C. Council members are calling on the city’s government to direct local resources to support migrants who have been arriving in buses from Texas and Arizona for months, taking a toll on city organizations that are relying on donations and one federal grant.

ME: Class status granted to lawsuit over Maine public defender system

apnews.com

A judge has granted class status for an American Civil Liberties Union of Maine lawsuit over the system that provides attorneys to those who can’t afford them. The lawsuit contends there’s a failure to train, supervise and adequately fund a system to ensure the constitutional right to effective counsel.

MO: Federal court rules against Missouri attorney general’s lawsuit over tax cuts

stltoday.com

A federal appeals court has dumped Missouri Republican Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s lawsuit against the Biden administration over the ability of states to use federal pandemic aid to cut taxes.

NY: New York state employee overtime hours continue to rise annually

timesunion.com

Overtime costs at New York state agencies hit record highs in 2021, according to a new report released by the comptroller. The figure reached more than $924 million, an 8.7% increase from 2020, and covered approximately 19.95 million overtime hours.

KS: Kansas county sheriff suggested his staff transport ballots

kansascity.com

Johnson County Sheriff Calvin Hayden, a Kansas Republican who has promoted unsubstantiated suspicions of election fraud, offered to have his staff collect ballots from drop boxes in unmarked vehicles during a meeting with county officials. A member of the sheriff’s staff offered to have deputies present in the room in the election office where votes are counted.

CO: Denver mayor touts guaranteed income test program

denverpost.com

Denver Democratic Mayor Michael Hancock will ask the city council to dedicate $2 million in federal COVID-19 relief money to a universal basic income program that would support women and families living in homeless shelters. The program would give 140 recipients $1,000 a month for a year.

CA: Commander of the scandal-plagued California National Guard steps down

latimes.com

The head of the California National Guard, who has presided over a series of scandals during the last 3½ years, will retire at the end of the month. Maj. Gen. David Baldwin’s departure comes after allegations in the officer ranks of abuse of authority, homophobia, antisemitism and racism.

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