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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/28

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 7/28

WV: West Virginia House passes sweeping abortion ban bill

apnews.com

West Virginia’s Republican-dominated House of Delegates passed a sweeping abortion ban that makes providing the procedure a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. The measure, which now heads to the Senate for consideration, includes exceptions for victims of rape and incest, as well as for medical emergencies.

OR: New Oregon law established renters’ right to A/C, but some landlords still threaten fines

oregonlive.com

After nearly 100 Oregonians died in last year’s sweltering heat wave, the state legislature passed a bill giving tenants the right to have air conditioning units in their apartments. But as the region faces another heat wave this week, some Oregon renters say their landlords have nonetheless threatened them with fines or eviction for using certain types of cooling units.

ME: Governor says Maine constitutional change to guarantee abortion rights is ‘on the table’

bangordailynews.com

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills may push an amendment to the Maine Constitution to enshrine abortion rights if she wins re-election in November. The governor said she “didn’t have a legislative plan” on enshrining her recent executive order on abortion rights into Maine law, but said her office was looking into whether the constitution already provides a right to abortion.

MT: Judge rules Montana law unfairly hurts young voters

nbcmontana.com

A District Court judge ruled that the law, known as House Bill 506, violates the Montana Constitution. The law restricts ballot access for voters who turn 18 in the month before election day. The judge’s ruling says 18-year-olds must be allowed to access their ballots. Opponents to the law say it made voting more difficult for newly turned 18-year-olds but for no one else.

WI: With budget leaning more heavily on the property tax, Wisconsin towns face new challenges

jsonline.com

Wisconsin town budgets now lean much more heavily on local property taxes as state aid plays a less prominent role. Town debt also has risen to record levels, and first responders are getting harder to find.

MS: Mississippi education officials say school districts might make their own gun rules

apnews.com

Amid a series of mass shootings in the U.S., Mississippi education officials made clear that school districts in the state are on a path to being able to make their own rules for letting armed people with enhanced carry licenses onto school property. The Mississippi Board of Education voted to update a 1990 internal policy that prohibited anyone other than law enforcement from carrying guns on public school campuses.

OH: Governor: Restrictions on contraception, same-sex marriage won't be part of Ohio abortion ban

dispatch.com

GOP Gov. Mike DeWine didn't say much about what he wanted to be included in a Republican effort to ban nearly all abortions in Ohio, but he did say what shouldn't be part of the discussion: contraception and same-sex marriage.

FL: Florida governor plans to fight ‘woke ideology’ of PayPal and other financial services

tampabay.com

Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis plans to make money transfer services such as PayPal — as well as credit cards and banks — the next targets in his campaign against “woke ideology,” announcing a set of measures ahead of the next legislative session.

NY: New York governor extends outside law firm contract for sexual harassment charges

timesunion.com

New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul's administration is extending a contract with an outside law firm for a year to continue allowing executive chamber employees to have access to private legal counsel for any potential complaints involving unlawful workplace discrimination, harassment or retaliation. 

MO: Effort to put legal pot question before Missouri voters goes down to the wire

stltoday.com

Despite pouring nearly $6 million into the effort, supporters of making marijuana legal in Missouri may have fallen short of getting the question on the November ballot. 

LA: Louisiana's unemployment rate hits record low

theadvocate.com

Louisiana's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate of 3.8% is the lowest on record, state officials said.

IA: Tuition rises by 4.25% at Iowa public universities

iowacapitalsun.com

The Iowa Board of Regents unanimously voted in favor of increasing tuition by 4.25% at Iowa State University, University of Northern Iowa and University of Iowa for the coming year. Board members approved the increase quickly, having spent several previous meetings debating the new costs. Students and other speakers had argued that increasing tuition would make college less accessible, but board members maintained it was necessary to keep up with inflation.

AK: In rural Alaska, communities contemplate a double whammy from high fuel costs

alaskabeacon.com

Throughout rural Alaska, the summer’s fuel barges are arriving at docks with loads of diesel, heating fuel and a big bill for cities and boroughs. Consumers are paying at the pump directly, but in small towns across Alaska, there’s the growing potential for a second financial hit as towns, villages, cities and boroughs absorb high fuel costs in their budget.

WA: Washington city to be sanctuary for abortion providers, patients

apnews.com

The Seattle City Council voted to make the city a sanctuary for abortion providers and patients, meaning Seattle police will not cooperate in arrests or investigations related to abortion bans in other states. The bill deems Seattle a “sanctuary city” for those who seek or provide abortion.

MI: Michigan CEOs make more than employees by factors of hundreds

michiganadvance.com

At least nine Michigan companies pay their CEOs more than 100 times what their median worker earns, according to a recent report. Of the 11 Michigan-based companies listed in the report, CEOs received an average of $16.2 million in 2021. Workers in those companies were paid a median of $64,003.

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