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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/14

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 9/14

WV: West Virginia legislature outlaws abortion

wvpublic.org

The West Virginia legislature has now passed a bill outlawing abortion in the state, with limited exceptions including fetal anomalies, medical emergencies and non-viable fetuses.

MA: Nonbinary athletes will run in new Boston Marathon category

wbur.org

Nonbinary athletes will be able to run in next year's Boston Marathon in Massachusetts without having to register as members of the men's or women's divisions, race organizers announced. Organizers confirmed the change as registration opened Monday for the 127th running of the marathon on April 17, 2023. A field of about 30,000 is expected for next spring's edition of the storied race.

NY: New York AG settles in nurses human trafficking case

timesunion.com

New York Attorney General Letitia James, a Democrat, announced a second settlement with Albany Medical Center over an illegal provision in employment contracts with nurses who were hired from overseas. The contractual language required nurses to pay thousands of dollars and threatened them with deportation if they resigned or were fired within the first three years of employment, which was found to be a violation of human trafficking laws.

GA: Georgia economy and workers entangled in threatened rail strike

ajc.com

A threatened rail strike could affect several thousand rail workers in Georgia and tie up thousands of containers at the Port of Savannah while adding to delays and costs for consumers and companies.

TX: Texas’ abortion law creates new questions about legal personhood

texastribune.org

A pregnant Texas woman said her fetus should count as a person in an HOV lane. That legal question is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the thorny question of “personhood.”

OR: Oregon officials set rent increase cap for 2023

oregonlive.com

Officials said that Oregon landlords can raise rents by as much as 14.6% next year under a statewide rent control policy. That’s a nearly 5 percentage point jump from 9.9% this year. The allowable increase is pegged to inflation and calculated annually by the Office of Economic Analysis.

LA: Louisiana cut its homeless numbers during the pandemic; they’re back up again 

lailluminator.com

Many Louisianans are having trouble finding affordable housing coming out of the pandemic. Housing advocates said one reason is the massive increase in rental rates across the state.

IA: Iowa abortion providers argue there is no legal basis to enact ban

desmoinesregister.com

In court documents, lawyers for Iowa's largest abortion provider argued there's no precedent or legal support for bringing back a law banning most abortions, which a judge had permanently blocked in 2019.

NE: Nebraska's payday lenders disappeared after interest rate cap

omaha.com

Nebraska’s payday lenders have all shut down in the two years since voters capped the interest rate they could charge. The last handful gave up their business licenses in December, according to state records.

VA: Virginia tax rebates on the way

richmond.com

Virginia taxpayers will begin receiving one-time tax rebates next week, either directly to their bank accounts or through the mail.

OK: Oklahoma is prosecuting pregnant women for using medical marijuana

readfrontier.org

At least 26 women have been charged with felony child neglect in Oklahoma since 2019 for using marijuana during their pregnancies. The crime can carry a term of up to life in prison in Oklahoma, though previous defendants pleaded guilty and received probation.

CA: California’s drought regulators lose big case. What it means for state’s power to police water

sacbee.com

California’s drought regulators have lost a major lawsuit that could undermine their legal authority to stop farms and cities from pulling water from rivers and streams.

NV: Nevada Supreme Court rules against ballot initiative to create a voucher-style education program

thenevadaindependent.com

The Nevada Supreme Court has affirmed a lower-court ruling that a statutory ballot initiative that aimed to create a voucher-style education program cannot move forward.

AR: Arkansas secretary of state rejects proposed marijuana ballot measure

arkansasonline.com

The Arkansas secretary of state has officially rejected a proposed ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana because the State Board of Election Commissioners did not certify the ballot title and popular name.

WI: 9 of 10 Wisconsin teachers are White, while student diversity grows

jsonline.com

About one-third of Wisconsin public school students in 2021-22 were students of color, up from one-quarter of all students 10 years earlier and 20% of students in 2005-06. Of the licensed teachers in Wisconsin, 94% are White, just over 2% are Hispanic and 1.8% are Black.

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