The Pew Charitable Trusts

10/21/2021 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/21/2021 09:07

Top State Stories 10/21

Virginia's redistricting commission, continuing to split along partisan lines, appears close to failure on fashioning a map of the state's congressional districts. If they can't agree, the task will be left to the state Supreme Court.

At least 18 cities require municipal employees to be vaccinated, and some are starting to crack down on workers who won't comply. New York City expanded its vaccine mandate to all employees while Chicago began to place police officers who refused to disclose vaccine status on unpaid leave.

The federal government is threatening to take away approval of South Carolina's workplace safety plan because the state hasn't adopted federal COVID-19 safety standards for health care settings. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster is vowing to fight the proposed takeover in court.

New projections of Colorado River water flows confirm dire news about drought draining the West's key reservoirs and increases pressure on Colorado to conserve water immediately to avoid future demands from down-river states.

Coastal officials in Hawaii are taking action against wealthy residents who lined their oceanfront properties with sandbags. When waves slam up against a hardened shoreline, they claw away at the sand, causing beaches to disappear.

Amid a continuing crisis with backed-up California ports, Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom issued an executive order directing state agencies to look for state-owned properties that could temporarily help store goods. About 40% of the nation's incoming shipping containers come through the Los Angeles and Long Beach ports.

At facilities in several states, many workers are still not immunized. Ten states, including Florida, Michigan and Ohio, still report vaccination rates for nursing home staff under 60%.

The agency tasked with enforcing workplace safety rules in Tennessee has rejected a directive from state lawmakers to abandon federal COVID-19 rules. Workplace officials say they're trying to avoid a federal takeover.

Indiana U.S. Sen. Mike Braun, a Republican, said he will help find jobs in Indiana police departments for Chicago police officers looking to defy their city's vaccine mandate.

When Iowa's private Medicaid management companies deny payment for health care services, they are much more likely to have those decisions overturned on appeal than used to happen when state administrators ran the program, a new report from the state auditor's office says.

In Montana, Republicans are pushing to separate the two booming college towns of Bozeman and Missoula. Putting the two Democratic-leaning communities in different districts would make it hard for Democrats to win either seat.

Louisiana's first casinos are close to getting licenses for sports betting by November. Applications were delayed because of Hurricane Ida.

A panel of judges heard arguments over Pennsylvania's mandate that students and staff at all schools and child care facilities must wear faces masks intended to limit spread of COVID-19. It wasn't immediately clear when the judges intend to decide the matter.

Republican Jeff Fortenberry, who has represented Nebraska's 1st District since 2005, is charged with three felonies stemming illegal "conduit" contributions made by a Nigerian billionaire to his 2016 reelection campaign. He pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Republicans who control the Wisconsin legislature would maintain a large advantage in Assembly races under a redistricting plan they made public. GOP lawmakers plan to approve it as soon as next month, but Democratic Gov. Tony Evers is likely to veto it.

Arkansas Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson has decided against calling a special legislative session next week to consider income tax cuts, saying his administration needs more time to finalize the details with legislative leaders.

A New Mexico task force charged with drawing attention to the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women suggested creating an interim state office to help coordinate efforts. The office would organize state efforts and collect much-needed data.

North Carolina lawmakers have begun posting draft versions of new congressional maps online, with the options so far indicating that GOP leaders are considering maps that could give their party a sizable advantage in future elections.

More than 11,000 Ohio state employees, 22% of the state's workforce, will be paid $300 bonuses because at least 65% of their co-workers attested to getting coronavirus vaccinations.