The Pew Charitable Trusts

10/28/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/28/2021 09:04

Top State Stories 10/28

Campaign signs have popped up in clusters and candidates are offering more pointed messaging than voters typically hear in Minnesota suburban school board races: Educate, not indoctrinate, they say. Fervent challenges to racial equity policies have turned what are sometimes sleepy off-year elections into partisan battles.

Across Virginia, the GOP "election integrity" push has largely driven the influx of election observers in this year's gubernatorial race, according to local, state and national Republican officials.

Nine of the 10 Wyoming bills introduced referenced the vaccine mandate proposed by the Biden administration. The bills range from aiming to prohibit its enforcement to specifying that employees who quit or are fired because they are unwilling or unable to get a vaccine are eligible for severance benefits.

A federal judge has cleared the way for a class-action lawsuit against the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice about the use of solitary confinement for minors, including children with disabilities.

Overall, 66% of respondents considered Maryland a Northern state, and 27% dubbed it a Southern one. Maryland is south of the traditional Mason-Dixon line, but in recent years state leaders have appeared eager to cut ties to the Old South.

A federal judge has issued a restraining order against a Colorado county's policy allowing parents to opt their children out of a mask mandate at school, finding that the rule violates the rights of students with disabilities who are vulnerable to COVID-19.

Michigan's redistricting commission was supposed to kick off its first meeting following a statewide public hearing tour to solicit input on its draft maps, but a reported death threat delayed the meeting by more than two hours.

Some North Carolina hospitals are failing to provide sufficient care to the state's low-income residents, according to a report released by the state treasurer.

The Ohio Senate passed a bill that would require doctors to provide life-saving care to fetuses born alive during an abortion-with an amendment that could close two clinics in Southwest Ohio. It now heads to the House.

A Washington, D.C.-based dark money group has donated $250,000 to supporters of a new tribal-recognition ballot measure in Alaska as backers prepare to gather signatures. The measure would require the state of Alaska to recognize the state's 229 federally recognized tribes.

South Dakota Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has signed an executive order that she says will better protect state employees' right to be exempted from any federal government vaccine mandates.

Illinois law has for more than four decades protected those who oppose providing or receiving medical treatment because of their religious beliefs. Now Democrats want an exception to allow repercussions for those who refuse vaccinations in the battle against COVID-19.

Tennessee lawmakers are considering bills that would forbid private entities from requiring proof of vaccination, allow those who quit their jobs due to a COVID-19 vaccine requirement to receive unemployment benefits and shrink the length of a governor-declared state of emergency.

The Montana Department of Health and Human Services has released more information about how much federal money it has distributed to counties across the state for COVID-19 contact tracing and other mitigation measures, saying it has $63 million available for local and tribal governments for public health, not the $143 million listed on a state website.

Troy University in Troy, Alabama, announced it will not require employees be vaccinated because it "does not hold federal government contracts that would have forced it to require the vaccine under orders from the Biden administration."

A Mississippi House Judiciary committee will evaluate the state's voting ban for people who are convicted of certain felonies. Under the state's current system, the legislature can restore a person's voting rights with a two-thirds vote from both chambers, or the governor can issue a pardon.

Supply chain snafus caused by the pandemic have pinched chemical supplies, leaving Hawaii and businesses in the state scrambling for alternatives or ways to get by with less.

Arkansas is suing Virginia-based Med-Care Health Link, LLC for failing to deliver nearly $11 million worth of personal protective equipment and ventilators. Four individuals who brokered the deal and held the money in escrow are also named in the state's lawsuit.

"Make sure you check your child's treats for these illegal cannabis products that look like popular snacks and candy," read the tweet, since deleted, posted by the official Twitter account of Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller, a Democrat. The tweet linked to a news release from the Connecticut attorney general's office, where recreational cannabis is legal. Such products aren't sold legally in Iowa.