What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/17
CT: With Connecticut safe harbor law passed, clinicians training to perform abortions
Now that Connecticut allows advanced practice clinicians to perform aspiration abortions, some nurses have begun learning the procedure.
FL: Florida governor wants cops, other first responders to help fill teaching vacancies
After giving military veterans easier access to temporary teaching certificates, Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said he wants state legislators to expand that same option for law enforcement officers and other first responders next year.
MO: Missouri halts solar tax break as federal incentives expand
As the U.S. government expands incentives for renewable energy, a decision by the Missouri Supreme Court is moving the state in the opposite direction by halting a solar energy tax break that has been on the books for nearly a decade.
LA: Over a dozen Louisiana nursing homes could evacuate to facilities that failed state inspections
Louisiana officials say they cannot stop nursing home residents in the state’s most storm-prone parishes from being taken to evacuation sites deemed inadequate.
GA: Poll worker shortage looms ahead of Georgia election
Poll workers, the essential employees needed to run elections, are in short supply in Georgia as early voting is set to begin in just over two months.
CO: In Colorado, Denver minimum wage set to rise to $17.29 an hour
Business owners are mixed about next year’s minimum wage hike in Denver, Colorado, which for the first time is based on inflation. It was part of an ordinance passed by Denver City Council in 2019 to get the city’s lowest earners to a better wage and then link annual pay raises to the Consumer Price Index starting in 2023.
KS: Abortion foes tap credit cards to get partial Kansas recount
Kansas plans to do a partial hand recount that won’t change the outcome of this month’s decisive vote in favor of abortion rights after abortion opponents charged almost $120,000 to credit cards to cover the cost.
MI: Michigan issues advisory about E. coli as cases jump
State health leaders are advising the public to practice food safety and wash hands because of a jump in E. coli cases in parts of Michigan. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services staff said they have received reports of 98 cases of E. coli infections so far in August, compared with 20 during the same time frame last year.
AK: Alaskans head to the polls in state’s first ranked choice election
Alaskans headed to the polls for their first chance to rank candidates in the special U.S. House general election, as well as to decide who will be ranked in November.
ID: Some of Idaho’s ‘most deficient’ bridges get money for upgrades
Idaho’s first batch of locally managed bridges is set for repair or replacement after tens of millions of dollars in state surplus funds were approved to begin working through the backlog of critical infrastructure needs.
TN: Tennessee law could limit students from classroom books as teachers scramble to catalog each one
A new state law requires all public schools in Tennessee to post a list of materials available in their libraries. But the rule also applies to classroom libraries, which not all districts initially realized, and many teachers have not yet taken inventory.
MT: Montana voting rights laws go to trial
The first day of a 10-day trial in Yellowstone County District Court examining the constitutionality of three Montana election administration laws passed by Republican lawmakers during the 2021 session. The case, bundling together three separate lawsuits, has produced a flurry of motions and hearings over the past year as the Montana Democratic Party and groups representing youth and Native voters seek to have the new laws declared unconstitutional.