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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/2

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/2

CA: California governor declares a state of emergency over monkeypox outbreak

latimes.com

California Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergencyover the spread of the monkeypox virus to “bolster the state’s vaccination efforts.”

WA: Hospitals in Washington struggle with finances despite ease in COVID patients

spokesman.com

A study from the Washington State Hospital Association found that hospitals are facing an unprecedented financial crisis. The state’s acute care hospitals, those providing inpatient and outpatient care as well as nursing services, posted $929 million in losses during the first three months of this year.

WI: Wisconsin county’s election workers require protection from violence, task force finds

jsonline.com

A report by the Dane County Election Security Task Force concludes election workers and voting machines are not sufficiently protected from threats or acts of political violence in Wisconsin’s second-largest county. Compiled by law enforcement officers, clerks and professors in consultation with federal authorities, the report found increased threats coincided with false claims of widespread voter fraud.

KS: Ahead of abortion amendment vote, Kansans receive misleading text messages

cjonline.com

Registered Democratic voters in Kansas began sharing images of text messages they received, which implied a "yes" vote would support abortion rights, which is inaccurate. Registered Republican voters also said they were hit with misleading texts.

MD: Severe Maryland teacher shortage highlights difficult work conditions at K-12 schools

baltimoresun.com

A presentation at a Maryland State Department of Education board meeting described nearly 2,000 teacher vacancies statewide as of September 2021. Individual school systems such as Baltimore City and Prince George’s County are still reporting high numbers of vacancies as the 2022-23 school year approaches.

IN: Indiana lawmakers consider anti-abortion law

indystar.com

This week, the focus shifts to the Indiana House as the state Senate over the weekend passed a much-debated bill to ban most abortions, with exceptions for rape, incest or the life of the patient. 

CO: Free-fare month begins for some Colorado transit agencies

denverpost.com

More than a dozen transit agencies in Colorado are joining the Regional Transportation District, which serves metro Denver, in suspending their fares for at least a month. Underlining the state-funded initiative’s goal of helping to clear the air, fare-free August began on an ozone health alert day for much of the Front Range corridor.

MA: Massachusetts legislature fails to cut a deal on economic development, tax relief

bostonglobe.com

In an extraordinary turnabout, Massachusetts lawmakers failed to strike a deal on a hulking economic development package that included plans for $1 billion in tax relief, saying they had deep concerns over what the state can afford amid a chaotic end to their legislative session.

MN: Record number of LGBTQ candidates run for Minnesota’s legislature

minnesotareformer.com

Eleven LGBTQ candidates are running for the Minnesota legislature in what is believed to be the largest crop of openly gay candidates in state history. 

SD: South Dakota leaders call for curbs on foreign purchases of farm land, businesses

argusleader.com

A push to stop foreigners from buying up local agriculture land and ag-industry businesses has bipartisan support among South Dakota officials.

NY: New York prison officials remove ban on book but for 2 crucial pages

nytimes.com

New York officials are cutting pages from a book about the state’s most notorious prison riot, hoping to resolve a festering First Amendment dispute. Attica prison officials had banned “Blood in the Water,” a Pulitzer-Prize-winning book about the deadly 1971 uprising at the prison. But officials relented as long as a detailed map of the prison was excised from its pages.

FL: Florida insurance firms, not homeowners, reap benefit of $2B taxpayer-financed fund 

orlandosentinel.com

Nearly five dozen Florida companies have submitted plans to tap into a $2 billion taxpayer-financed plan designed to shore up the struggling property insurance industry that would save homeowners only about 1% to 3% on their annual premiums. 

DE: Delaware masking guidance changes as COVID spikes

delawareonline.com

With rising hospitalizations and positive COVID-19 cases, all three counties in Delaware have reached a high level of community spread, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Delaware Division of Public Health encouraged people to wear masks in indoor public settings to help prevent further spread.

OR: Draft rules to govern police conduct in Oregon leave lots of wiggle room

opb.org

A commission published a proposed set of conduct and discipline standards applicable to all law enforcement agencies in Oregon. In several instances, the commission charged with establishing the new rules left room for officers found to have committed serious, often illegal offenses to keep their jobs.

CT: Connecticut child tax rebate claimed by more than 70% of eligible households 

ctmirror.org

Roughly 70% to 80% of eligible low- and middle-income households claimed Connecticut’s $250-per-child tax rebate before the application period closed, Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont’s office reported. 

TX: Legal questions shroud Texas governor’s move to bus migrants back to the border

texastribune.org

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to arrest migrants and actively bring them back to the border represents a broadening of the state’s role in the immigration enforcement process.

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