Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/1

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 6/1

MN: After George Floyd, will a Minnesota task force report get a serious look?

minnpost.com

Led by Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, the task force in February offered an extensive set of recommendations for how to prevent law enforcement from using deadly force on civilians and how best to respond when police do kill people.

NY: New York City officials urge protesters to get tested

nytimes.com

The doctor who is leading New York City’s contact tracing efforts with its public hospitals agency urged anyone who had been involved in the recent demonstrations to get tested for the virus. Dr. Theodore Long said participants should protect themselves and others by wearing a mask, practicing proper hand hygiene and, to the extent possible, socially distancing.

AZ: Arizona governor announces weeklong curfew over protests

azcentral.com

Republican Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency in Arizona and announced a statewide curfew designed to curb protests against police brutality. From May 31 through June 8, the curfew will take effect at 8 p.m. each evening and continue through 5 a.m.

IN: Indiana governor allows local governments to order travel bans

indystar.com

After two days of peaceful protests in Indianapolis turned violent, Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb is allowing communities across Indiana to have more stringent travel restrictions and said the state’s National Guard will stay on standby.

NV: Nevada governor warns instigators to ‘get the hell out of town’

thenevadaindependent.com

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s comments came after chaos and destruction erupted in Nevada cities. Police said they believe some of the destruction was initiated by people from outside the region.

ME: Federal judge upholds Maine’s 14-day quarantine for now

pressherald.com

A federal judge denied a preliminary motion in a lawsuit seeking to strike down Maine’s 14-day quarantine for out-of-state visitors, hours after the U.S. Department of Justice threw its weight behind the plaintiffs and called the rule unconstitutional.

KS: Kansas governor, in dropping state coronavirus rules, blunted GOP criticism and legal risks

kansas.com

Democratic Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly has abruptly abandoned all mandatory statewide restrictions, effectively ending her reopening plan weeks ahead of schedule and sending counties scrambling to set their own policies.

HI: Citizens' group watches for quarantine-breakers in Hawaii

civilbeat.org

A group of Hawaii residents has taken on the role of enforcers of the state’s COVID-19 travel quarantine, scouring social media and fielding tips to track down visitors ignoring the requirement to isolate for 14 days after arrival. Law enforcement officials say the community is playing an important role; in about a dozen cases, the group’s efforts have led to investigations and arrests.

OR: Oregon governor fires Employment Department director over delays in benefits

oregonlive.com

Oregon Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, fired the head of the state's Employment Department, responding to the department’s long delays in delivering jobless benefits and the agency’s inability to communicate the status of workers’ benefits claims. Calling the delays unacceptable, Brown replaced Kay Erickson with her deputy, David Gerstenfeld, who will serve as interim director.

MS: Mississippi emergency leaders: Add masks to hurricane prep

apnews.com

Emergency management officials in Mississippi say that as coastal states face a double threat from hurricane season and the new coronavirus, people need to add masks and other personal protective gear to their severe weather preparation kits.

VT: Governor allows gyms, spas to reopen, and announces pilot project for Vermont's tourism industry

vpr.org

Republican Gov. Phil Scott resisted mounting calls from Vermont’s tourism industry to ease restrictions on out-of-state visitors but said a pilot program for overnight camps this summer may provide a blueprint for more expansive travel allowances.

CT: As Connecticut governor’s tracing effort stumbles, local health officials plan their own

courant.com

As apparent glitches delay full operation of Connecticut’s ambitious plan for a high-tech, statewide contact tracing system, cities and towns are making tracing plans of their own to contain an anticipated increase in infections as businesses and other institutions reopen. 

DE: Federal judge upholds restrictions on religious services in Delaware

wdel.com

A federal judge has denied an emergency attempt to stop limits on religious services in Delaware, saying the coronavirus-related restrictions issued by Gov. John Carney, a Democrat, were not overly burdensome.

UT: Utah is averaging more than 200 coronavirus cases a day

sltrib.com

The Utah Department of Health reported 264 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the state — the fourth consecutive day of more than 200 new cases, and the third-highest single-day total recorded in Utah since the pandemic began.

AL: Alabama’s largest cities pressure lawmakers on no-excuse absentee voting

al.com

Three of Alabama’s largest cities are poised to adopt resolutions arguing in favor of no-excuse absentee voting even as the state marches toward this year’s elections with the excuse provision in place. Under current Alabama law, an excuse is required for someone to vote absentee.

ND: North Dakota prison officials seek $2.5M in virus aid

apnews.com

North Dakota corrections officials are seeking up to $2.5 million in federal COVID-19 aid to give temporary pay increases to employees who are required to be in close contact with prisoners and others during the pandemic.

VA: Virginia courts open slowly

dailyprogress.com

Virginia courts will resume some operations next week, albeit with limits to the number of people allowed in a courtroom. Jury trials have been extended until further notice, with no date given.

RI: Salons, gyms and beaches: Rhode Island continues to reopen

apnews.com

Rhode Island will be opening the door to a wide range of businesses this week, Democratic Gov. Gina Raimondo said. Nearly every segment of the economy is expected to reopen in some fashion, including barbershops, nail salons and gyms.

NH: New Hampshire hotels, churches set to reopen, stay-at-home order extended

apnews.com

Republican Gov. Chris Sununu extended New Hampshire’s stay-at-home order for an additional two weeks, while announcing the limited reopening of hotels, summer camps and houses of worship.

NJ: New Jersey churches sue governor for halting services 

inquirer.com

More than two dozen New Jersey churches, all Christian, sued Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy over his administration’s closure orders that halted in-person services in houses of worship for more than two months.

AK: Alaska sees largest single-day COVID-19 case increase

alaskapublic.org

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced 27 new cases of coronavirus, the most cases in a single day. The new cases come as the state is preparing to loosen restrictions on travel. Visitors will now be tested, for example, instead of required to quarantine for 14 days.

WY: Wyoming sees major drop in child welfare calls since school went online

trib.com

The number of reports filed with Wyoming’s Child Protective Services has fallen precipitously since many school districts stopped in-person classes in late March, state data shows, likely setting up the state for a backlog of cases heading into the summer months.

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