What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/5
FL: Florida governor suspends state attorney who pledged not to prosecute abortions
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended a state attorney who said he wouldn’t prosecute abortions prohibited by the state’s new 15-week ban and pledged to support gender transitioning treatments for minors.
NY: New York may face ‘tip of the iceberg’ with polio, health chief says
New York state health officials intensified their push for people who have not been immunized against polio to get vaccinated “right away,” saying the one confirmed case of the disease found in the state may be “the tip of the iceberg” of a much wider threat. Polio has been detected in wastewater samples taken in several locations and at different times in two counties, suggesting community spread.
WV: West Virginia Medicaid must cover transgender care, judge rules
A federal judge has ruled that West Virginia’s Medicaid program must provide coverage for gender-confirming care for transgender residents. The lawsuit accused the state of violating the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid law by not covering treatments for gender dysphoria.
TN: Staffing shortages plague Tennessee’s HBCUs
Like many K-12 schools across the state, Tennessee’s historically Black colleges and universities are in a staffing crisis. It’s a years-long problem that affects how fast students can get their financial aid and housing applications processed and is contributing to low graduation rates at some colleges.
TX: Volunteer networks that would aid at-home abortions are coming to Texas
Before abortion was legal in parts of Mexico, an extensive “accompaniment” system grew to help women safely terminate pregnancies on their own. Its organizers are now moving abortion-inducing medication across the border to Texas.
MO: Missouri prepping for new rules on campaign donations by businesses
Missouri ethics regulators are preparing for a change in state law designed to allow some businesses to write checks directly to candidates for office. The law is aimed at stopping shell companies from pumping dark money into campaigns.
LA: Louisiana abortion providers file appeal, hope to block ban
Abortion-rights advocates hope Louisiana’s near-total ban of the procedure will soon be blocked again, after plaintiffs in an ongoing legal challenge filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court.
WA: Washington high school students will soon earn credit for after-school jobs
Washington’s top education official is putting a plan in motion for high schoolers to earn elective credits for their after-school jobs. The plan would allow students to earn up to four elective credits during their junior and senior years in high school for work they do outside of school. The goal is to give students recognition for the learning many are already doing in the workplace.
OK: Oklahoma schools wait to learn how to police their bathrooms
Oklahoma administrators and teachers are still waiting for guidance on how best to comply with a new state law requiring trans students to use bathrooms that align with their sex assigned at birth. While the process for ensuring students obey the law remains in flux, the penalties for failing to comply are clear.
IN: Indiana state House GOP tries to remove abortion exceptions
Indiana state House Republicans attempted to remove exceptions for rape and incest from the state's proposed near-total abortion ban, but just like Republicans in the Senate, they were unsuccessful.
KY: Kentucky has $2.7B in savings. How much will legislators use to help flooded areas?
With much of Eastern Kentucky reeling from historic floods that cost dozens of lives and an untold amount of property damage, it begs the question: How much of the $2.7 billion in the state’s Budget Reserve Trust Fund will be spent to help the region recover, and how will it be spent?
DC: DC reports monkeypox cases among homeless, expands vaccine program
Monkeypox has spread to the homeless population in Washington, D.C., with two confirmed cases, as the District of Columbia launches weekly walk-up vaccination clinics to slow the spread of the virus. D.C. has more cases per capita than any state.
OR: Firefighters around Oregon work to contain 5 significant wildfires
Oregon firefighters are making strides against the five significant wildfires burning in the state. The Beech Creek fire, which began Monday and has burned more than 250 acres in the Malheur National Forest, is now at 15% containment. The Windigo fire, burning nearly 1,100 acres along the Douglas and Klamath county divide remains uncontrolled, with firefighters battling it from the ground and air.