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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/24

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What We're Reading: Top State Stories 8/24

US: 9 women serve as governors right now, tying a record

apnews.com

With New York Democratic Gov. Kathy Hochul officially assuming office, a historic number of women are currently leading U.S. states—a push towards equality and representation that could continue into next year’s midterm elections.

MS: Mississippi threatens isolation scofflaws with jail time

wreg.com

Mississippi issued new COVID-19 guidelines regarding at-home isolation that state a person must immediately isolate at home if infected with COVID-19, with fines or jail time for those who refuse.

TN: Tennessee’s pediatric COVID cases are through the roof

wpln.org

The past few weeks of the pandemic have been hard on Tennessee children. Children’s hospitals are having to make space for COVID-19 patients.

RI: Rhode Island health officials warn of fake mask exemption form

apnews.com

Rhode Island public health officials are warning residents about a fake form circulating that gives a medical or religious exemption from coronavirus face-covering requirements.

MT: Montana asks residents to help draw new congressional districts

montanafreepress.org

The commission tasked with dividing Montana into two U.S. House districts for the first time since the 1980s is seeking public input. Free online tools mean Montanans can draw their own political maps and submit them for consideration.

HI: Hawaii’s vaccine mandate for state lawmakers is unusual

civilbeat.org

The Hawaii legislature will be one of the few in the country to require all its members and staff to be fully vaccinated or submit to weekly COVID-19 tests.

US: Corrections officers drive COVID infection rates in prisons

route-fifty.com

Cases among correctional officers drove the COVID-19 infection rate among incarcerated individuals, according to an analysis of federal prisons data. Prisons and jails have some of the nation’s largest outbreaks.

NJ: New Jersey governor orders vaccinations for state workers

nj.com

All New Jersey state workers, as well as teachers and school employees, will be required to be vaccinated against the coronavirus or undergo regular testing.

LA: Louisiana college students will need COVID vaccine proof

theadvocate.com

Students at Louisiana four-year universities will soon have to show proof of immunization or a physician’s certification that the vaccine is medically contraindicated.

FL: Florida school mask mandate power struggle goes to court

apnews.com

Florida’s power struggle over masks in schools landed before a circuit court judge who is considering a lawsuit that challenges Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis’ executive order that delegates mask decisions to parents.

MO: Missouri will let lottery winners stay anonymous 

stltoday.com

Winners of the Missouri lottery will have an option to remain anonymous under a new law. The legislation is designed to protect winners from harassment, but the move could hurt the lottery’s bottom line.

NC: North Carolina court grants voting rights to thousands on probation

newsobserver.com

Judges have restored voting rights to an estimated 55,000 North Carolinians on parole or probation for a felony. 

KY: Kentucky rescinds school mask mandate after court ruling

wlky.com

The court order could dramatically alter Kentucky’s response to the pandemic at a time when COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have surged because of the highly contagious delta variant. 

GA: Judge blocks Georgia’s election photography ban

apnews.com

A federal judge has found that a part of Georgia’s sweeping new election law that broadly prohibits the photographing of a voted ballot is likely unconstitutional.

NV: Nevada lawmakers pump brakes on DMV fee payback

thenevadaindependent.com

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicle’s plan to pay back millions of collected $1 fees—charges declared unconstitutional by the state Supreme Court—is temporarily on ice.

MD: COVID testing is on the rise again in Maryland

baltimoresun.com

With Maryland at the precipice of yet another wave of COVID-19 infections, testing numbers are rising again. But testing infrastructure is profoundly different.

WI: Wisconsin creates homeowners assistance program

apnews.com

A new program for homeowners in Wisconsin will make nearly $93 million in federal money available to help people keep their homes. 

MN: FDA approval of Pfizer vaccine makes Minnesota employers more likely to push shots

startribune.com

The Food and Drug Administration's full approval for Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine sets the stage for employers across Minnesota to push harder for workers to get immunized.

DE: Delaware students seek refunds for online classes

delawarepublic.org

Suits by several University of Delaware students and parents seek partial tuition refunds for the spring 2020 courses UD taught online instead of in-person because of the pandemic.

ID: Idaho Supreme Court rules voter initiative law unconstitutional

idahostatesman.com

Idaho Supreme Court justices wrote that the voting law aims to “prevent a perceived, yet unsubstantiated fear of the ‘tyranny of the majority.’” Their decision was unanimous.

NH, VT: Work on new bridge linking New Hampshire and Vermont ramps up

apnews.com

Work is gearing up for the construction of a new bridge that will link New Hampshire and Vermont. Two old bridges connecting the states will be converted for pedestrian use.

US: States can keep paying extra unemployment

route-fifty.com

Extra federal benefits end Sept. 6, but Biden administration officials said using some of the federal relief dollars will allow for a more gradual wind down.

 

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