What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/20
GA: Sham Georgia GOP electors face potential charges in election probe
The scope of a Georgia prosecutor’s grand jury investigation into former President Donald Trump’s attempt to overturn the 2020 election came into clearer focus as court filings indicated that all 16 phony Georgia Republican electors have been informed they could face criminal charges.
AR, NE: Renters in Arkansas, Nebraska face eviction as governors refuse federal assistance
The Republican governors of Arkansas and Nebraska claimed tenants no longer need aid to cover back rent accrued during the pandemic, but requests for funds remain high as residents struggle to stay housed.
OH: Ohio Supreme Court again rejects GOP congressional map, orders redraw for 2024
For the second time this year, the Ohio Supreme Court has rejected state Republicans’ official congressional map plan as illegally gerrymandered, citing the new redistricting language added by voters to the state constitution in 2018. But the ruling will not affect this year’s elections.
TX: Rural Texas districts struggling to attract teachers are switching to 4-day school weeks
The switch to four-day school weeks has recently become popular among smaller and rural school districts across Texas that need an attractive incentive to recruit and retain teachers and that don’t always have the financial resources to dish out dramatic pay increases like in bigger districts.
NJ: New billboards in states that restrict abortion urge businesses to come to New Jersey
A business-funded nonprofit in New Jersey is running a digital billboard campaign prompting people in four states—Georgia, Florida, Missouri and Texas—to move and call the Garden State home now that access to abortion is limited or non-existent post-Roe. The campaign runs through the end of the month.
MA: Massachusetts lawmakers agree to continue free school lunch for all program
Massachusetts lawmakers will continue to fund free school meals for all students, regardless of household income, under a one-year expansion of a free federal school lunch program. The state legislature included $110 million in funding for the program in the new state budget.
MS: Mississippi clinic ends challenge of near-ban on abortion
The Mississippi abortion clinic that was at the center of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that overturned Roe v. Wade ended a lawsuit in which it had sought to block the state from enforcing a law that bans most abortions.
IL: Report: Illinois property law fails to end redlining impact
A nearly 80-year-old Illinois law intended to put distressed and tax-delinquent Chicago-area properties back to productive use has done little to improve or solve racial inequities in the city’s Black and Latino neighborhoods, according to a study released by the Cook County treasurer’s office.
LA: Restraining order blocking Louisiana abortion ban to stay in place, judge decides
A state district judge in Louisiana will keep a temporary restraining order in effect while the court considers whether the state’s abortion ban is legal. The judge’s ruling prevents the state attorney general and the health department from enforcing the state’s abortion prohibition.
NC: North Carolina Supreme Court to decide if child sex abuse survivors can sue decades later
After six months of limbo, the Supreme Court of North Carolina has agreed to take up a case that could determine the future of dozens of the state’s child sex abuse lawsuits.
MD: Election judge shortage complicates Maryland primaries
On an unusual and delayed primary Election Day, shortages of election judges meant many precincts were understaffed and delayed in opening across Maryland.
SC: South Carolina proposal would ban abortion without exceptions for rape or incest
A proposal to ban abortion in South Carolina with no exception for rape or incest has moved ahead among House lawmakers. A panel tasked with drafting a potential ban after the U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe v. Wade voted 9-3 on the measure.
SD: South Dakota adds new standards for testing medical cannabis
Under the rules, South Dakota cannabis testing facilities must record all testing and the results daily. The state Department of Health estimated the product could be available by fall.
ID: Idaho Lottery gives record $73M to state agencies
The Idaho Lottery has transferred a record $73 million to the state of Idaho, the highest dividend in the lottery’s 33-year history. The money will be split between the state Department of Education and the Department of Administration to fund school building maintenance and repairs and support state-operated facilities such as colleges and universities.