What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/25
CA: California set to make history by banning sales of gas-powered cars
California air regulators are set to vote on a historic plan that would effectively require all new cars sold within the state to be zero-emission vehicles by 2035 — a ruling that would put the nation’s most populous state in the forefront of phasing out internal combustion engines and the harmful, planet-warming gases they emit.
ID: Idaho judge blocks abortion ban in case of emergencies
A federal judge has issued a partial pause on Idaho's abortion law when it conflicts with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act. Doctors will not face criminal charges in these instances, as state law must yield to federal law.
TX: Texans who perform abortions now face up to life in prison, $100K fine
Performing an abortion is now a felony punishable by up to life in prison in Texas after the state’s trigger law, which has only narrow exceptions to save the life of a pregnant patient, went into effect.
UT: Utah files suit challenging Biden’s monument restoration
Nearly a year after President Joe Biden restored two large national monuments in Utah, state officials led by Republican Attorney General Sean Reyes filed a lawsuit seeking to shed more than 2 million acres from the Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments.
CT: Connecticut businesses report fraudulent claims with new unemployment benefits system
Connecticut employers say they are receiving erroneous information about workers who are still on the job but are filing for unemployment benefits. The complaints continue for weeks after businesses initially reported fraudulent unemployment insurance claims.
VT: Vermont lawmakers are already looking to next steps to expand abortion access
Vermont lawmakers and advocates for abortion access are campaigning to convince voters to pass a state constitutional amendment in November that would legally protect the right to reproductive health care in the state.
MI: Michigan appeals court stops legislature's legal effort to overturn abortion order
The Michigan Court of Appeals denied a request from the Republican-controlled legislature to consider reviewing and possibly overturning a lower court's order that sought to bar county prosecutors from enforcing a state law criminalizing most abortions.
AK: Alaska election officials sued over lack of process for letting voters fix ballot errors
After thousands of Alaska's by-mail ballots were rejected for the special congressional primary election in June, three civil rights law firms filed a lawsuit, accusing state officials of violating voters’ constitutional rights by failing to implement a process to fix defective ballots.
MD: Maryland announces anti-crime measures
Maryland will use $3.5 million to hire 14 prosecutors and 19 support staff to target violent offenders. The state will also ramp up enforcement of laws against firearms near schools.
IN: Indiana families to get catch-up tutoring grants
Families could get $1,000 grants for after-school tutoring for fourth and fifth graders as Indiana attempts to help the state’s most in-need students make up for COVID-19 learning losses.
IA: State-funded crisis pregnancy services may be a year away in Iowa
Iowa organizations encouraging alternatives to abortion may see increased demand for their services if abortion laws change. But the $500,000 in state funding the legislature allocated to expand these services is not yet available and new abortion restrictions may come first.
WI: Wisconsin class action lawsuit calls out lack of public defenders
A class action lawsuit is the latest step to reform an overwhelmed Wisconsin public defender system where some defendants are waiting months in jail to see an attorney. The lawsuit claims there’s a backlog of about 35,000 pending criminal cases across the state because of a shortage of public defenders.
NJ: Monkeypox disinformation: New Jersey tries to set record straight as vaccination demand continues
Errant claims have become so rampant online that the New Jersey Department of Homeland Security has added monkeypox to its "Disinformation Portal" — a website that seeks to counter "any truth-obscuring, manufactured information" spread via social media and other sources.