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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/25

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/25

KY: Judge rules abortions can continue in Kentucky while lawsuit is considered

wlky.com

A Kentucky judge has granted a request to block the enforcement of abortion bans amid a lawsuit. That means abortions there continue to be legal for now.

DE: Delaware governor signs election bills; both face GOP legal challenge

delawarepublic.org

Delaware Democratic Gov. John Carney signed two election bills, enabling Delawareans to register to vote on Election Day and to vote by mail. Both immediately drew a court challenge on constitutional grounds filed by the state Republican Party chair.

KS: Kansas AG says abortion definition doesn’t include ectopic pregnancy termination

cjonline.com

Ending an ectopic pregnancy doesn't constitute an abortion, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, a Republican, wrote in an advisory opinion. Opponents of a proposed anti-abortion amendment to the state constitution have argued that its passage could implicate such pregnancies.

AK: Alaska will formally recognize Native tribes

alaskapublic.org

Gov. Mike Dunleavy, a Republican, will sign a bill giving state recognition to Alaska’s 229 federally recognized Native tribes, the Alaska Federation of Natives said. State recognition is not expected to affect tribes’ legal relations with the state, but supporters have said it is an important symbolic statement by the state, which has historically fought efforts by tribes to exert their sovereignty.

MS: Conflict over Mississippi law interpretation led to argument in Jackson garbage collection

clarionledger.com

The hotly contested fight over who gets to pick up the trash in Jackson, Mississippi, may come down to an interpretation of state law. The law calls for governments to accept the “lowest and best” bid, but sometimes those two words may be in conflict, according to statute interpretations.

MA: A quirk in the calendar, legislative foot-dragging gives Massachusetts governor heightened end-of-session power

bostonglobe.com

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker may be the most powerful person on Beacon Hill right now. Thanks to a legal quirk, a quickly evaporating calendar, and its logjam of unfinished work, the legislature has ensured the Republican governor will — again — wield extraordinary influence over what becomes law despite both chambers’ Democratic supermajority, this time in the governor’s final session.

SC: South Carolina sending out tax rebates this year

thestate.com

Thousands of South Carolinians will get one-time cash bump this year after lawmakers agreed to send $1 billion back to taxpayers.

ID: Idaho has a record surplus of $1.4B

idahocapitalsun.com

Idaho Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, and the Idaho legislature will decide what to do with the surplus when the 2023 legislative session convenes in January.

WY: Wyoming governor certifies abortion ban

cowboystatedaily.com

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon, a Republican, has certified the state’s abortion ban, one day after the new law was verified by the state’s attorney general. Wyoming was one of 13 states with a bill outlawing abortion post-Roe.

MI: New Michigan bill could help prevent wrongful convictions

freep.com

A new bill seeks to put safeguards in place by creating a statewide system in Michigan to track when jailhouse informants testify and benefits they receive in exchange, helping to ensure that prosecutors and defense attorneys have information relevant to the informant's credibility and defendants get fair trials. Since 2018, at least eight men whose cases involved jailhouse informants have had their convictions overturned in Michigan.

OH: Ohio Supreme Court re-institutes mask mandate as Columbus COVID-19 cases rise

cleveland.com

The Ohio Supreme Court has re-implemented a mask mandate for visitors, hours after health officials in Columbus and Franklin County issued a mask advisory in response to locally rising COVID-19 numbers.

CO: Coloradoans face 10-12 week wait for unemployment pay

coloradosun.com

It’s now taking 10 to 12 weeks for Coloradans to get new unemployment claims processed by the state Department of Labor and Employment. The delay comes as older pandemic claims are “now being adjudicated.” 

LA: Louisiana seeks suspension of block on abortion ban

apnews.com

A day after a state judge blocked enforcement of Louisiana’s abortion ban, state officials asked the same judge to suspend his own ruling while they pursue an appeal. 

MN: Nearly 1.2M Minnesotans apply for 'hero pay'

mprnews.org

Almost twice as many people have applied for pandemic hero bonuses as Minnesota officials once expected would qualify, at nearly 1.2 million applications. The state set aside $500 million in frontline worker pay available to people in more than a dozen job fields – from health care workers to custodians.

Southern Abortion Havens State Budget Outlooks
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