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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/27

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 10/27

MI: 3 men convicted of supporting plot to kidnap Michigan governor

apnews.com

Three men accused of supporting terrorism in the plot to kidnap Michigan Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer were convicted of all charges on a trial that focused on paramilitary drills and fierce contempt for government ahead of the 2020 election.

MS: Jackson, Mississippi water crisis rooted in poverty, neglect, racism: investigation

clarionledger.com

Jackson, Mississippi, was left without running water this summer, as elected leaders blamed each other for the failure. But a USA TODAY Network investigation reveals that the foundation for these current failures was laid decades ago, and problems compounded as the city evolved due to population decline, poverty, racism, politics, mismanagement and theft.

NM: New frontline of abortion battles emerges in New Mexico

reuters.com

The new frontline of the abortion battle is on the remote plains of New Mexico, where two conservative towns are set to outlaw the medical procedure despite it remaining legal in the state after Roe v. Wade was struck down.

MA: Massachusetts car makers say they can’t obey ‘right-to-repair’ law

bostonglobe.com

The automotive right-to-repair law that won overwhelming approval from Massachusetts voters in a referendum nearly two years ago is still propped up on jacks in Boston federal court. Cybersecurity executives for General Motors and Stellantis, the company that owns Chrysler, told the court that they’ve done nothing to prepare for complying with the law, because they can’t. They say it’s “impossible.”

PA: Pennsylvania Supreme Court weighs whether state rule against Medicaid-funded abortions is constitutional

inquirer.com

Pennsylvania’s high court is weighing whether a state rule prohibiting low-income people from paying for abortions with state-funded health insurance violates their equal rights and discriminates against women. Activists have also asked the justices to recognize a right to an abortion in the state constitution.

US: More kids to ride in ‘clean’ school buses, mostly electric

apnews.com

Nearly 400 school districts spanning all 50 states and Washington, D.C., along with several tribes and U.S. territories, are receiving roughly $1 billion in grants to purchase about 2,500 “clean” school buses under a new federal program.

UT: Utah water districts are swimming in tax revenues

sltrib.com

Property taxes provide a quarter of the revenue reaped by Utah’s biggest water districts, resulting in a cycle of wasteful water use driven by artificially low water rates, according to a report released by the Utah Rivers Council.

AK: Alaska's Iditarod drops COVID vaccination requirement

alaskapublic.org

The Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race in Alaska is dropping its COVID-19 vaccination requirement for mushers, staff and volunteers in the 2023 race. The announcement comes as mushers have been slow to sign up for the 51st running of Iditarod, with only 26 listed.

FL: GOP again deploys task force to challenge ballots in Florida county

orlandosentinel.com

As mail-in ballots start to come in and early voting begins, Republicans in Central Florida are taking advantage of the new election law to challenge mail-in ballots as the number of partisan poll watchers also has increased, according to election officials.

TX: Texas Republicans in tight races open to rape and incest exceptions to abortion ban

texastribune.org

In some competitive Texas state legislative races, Republicans have been making overtures to those who believe the state’s abortion ban as too extreme. They have said they are open to revising the ban to include exceptions for rape and incest — and even voiced confidence that the legislature will do so when it reconvenes in January.

US: USDA announces $759M for high-speed internet in rural areas

apnews.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture is making available $759 million in grants and loans to enable rural communities to access high-speed internet, part of the broader $65 billion push for high-speed connectivity from last year’s infrastructure law.

CA: California AG demands Albertsons delay $4B dividend ahead of possible Kroger merger

latimes.com

California Attorney General Rob Bonta and his peers in several other states demanded that Albertsons Cos. delay paying a $4-billion dividend to investors until after the company’s merger with rival supermarket chain Kroger Co. is reviewed by the Federal Trade Commission.

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