Addiction, PTSD treatments could be more accessible for Californians under new law
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Some Californians may have an easier time accessing treatment for mental health conditions like anxiety, PTSD and addiction under a bill Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Friday.The measure, Senate Bill 855, requires insurance companies to cover all mental health and addiction treatment deemed “medically necessary” by a doctor.Federal law already broadly requires insurance plans to provide comparable coverage for mental and physical illnesses, what’s known as mental health parity. California law also has parity requirements, but bill author Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat, a...
The Sacramento Bee
Pa. slashing workers' unemployment checks after paying them double by mistake
PHILADELPHIA — Majid Ali spent months shouldering mounting bills before finally receiving unemployment benefits.The $195 a week was a relief to the behavioral health specialist, who was furloughed when Philadelphia schools shut down. Ali, 57, quickly spent the money to catch up on car payments, cable bills, and other expenses once he got paid in June.Then Ali got more bad news.In July, state officials at the Department of Labor and Industry said that due to their own error, Ali was issued “duplicate payments” of benefits, and they needed to recover the extra money. For the next eight weeks, Al...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Pa. lawmakers promote legislation banning discrimination against natural hairstyles
PHILADELPHIA — Only days after the U.S. House passed legislation to provide federal protection from hair discrimination in schools and employment, a group of Pennsylvania lawmakers held a virtual news conference Thursday to promote their own bills.Known as the CROWN Act, the House bill, passed Monday, would ensure that people cannot be discriminated against for choosing to wear their hair in such styles as Afros, braids, locs, twists or knots. The acronym stands for Create a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair. The legislation still has to be approved by the Senate.The Pennsylvania bill...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Video shows unlawful tactics advised in effort to strip Michigan Gov. Whitmer of emergency powers
LANSING, Mich. — A company collecting signatures to strip Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of her emergency powers coached paid petition circulators on giving voters false information, illegally collecting signatures without witnessing them, trespassing on private property, and even lying under oath, a secretly recorded videotape shows.The video showing Erik Tisinger, a trainer for the California signature company In the Field, Inc., was secretly recorded Sept. 4 by a representative of Keep Michigan Safe — the group opposing the Unlock Michigan effort — and made available to the Detroit Free Press.The pr...
Detroit Free Press
Nation and world news briefs
Florida senators pitch daylight saving time pauseWASHINGTON — Florida Republican Sens. Marco Rubio and Rick Scott want to make sure there is plenty of time for wasting away again in Margaritaville in the sunlight this winter.If they get their way, revelers in Key West, Florida, where Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band conceived of the mythical Margaritaville, will get to nibble on sponge cake and watch the sun bake one more hour — hopefully in a socially distant manner in this age of coronavirus pandemic protocols.The pair introduced a bill that was placed on the Senate calendar Wednesday...
Tribune News Service
Kansas Gov. Kelly seeks to extend emergency order, warns of 'dire consequences' if denied
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly warned Thursday of “dire consequences” if members of the State Finance Council fail to approve an extension of the COVID-19 emergency declaration set to expire next week.Her comments came at an afternoon news conference where she said she’d written to members asking to extend the order, set to expire on Tuesday, to Oct. 15. The council, chaired by Kelly but dominated by Republican leaders, is scheduled to vote on the measure Friday.“If they fail to act they will single handedly prevent Kansas’s ability to leverage critical resources needed to respond ...
The Kansas City Star
Mac Engel: In one of worst years, Texas Rangers on pace for worst season in franchise history
The Texas Rangers have embraced the philosophy that says if you are going to be bad, do it right.A franchise not exactly known for winning baseball games is losing at a pace it never has since it was founded in Washington D.C. in 1961.To have the worst season in the history of the Washington Senators/Texas Rangers takes effort.You gotta want it. It takes 25 guys who buy in. This club stinks 1 through 9, and their strongest link also happens to be their weakest link.With their loss on Sunday in Seattle, the Rangers dropped to 13-27. If the Rangers can “hang on” this season will be their worst.T...
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Florida's COVID-19 deaths top 12,000; new cases continue trending downward
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — Florida’s much-watched coronavirus numbers stayed on a downward trend Sunday, with the state reporting 2,564 new cases and another 38 deaths in advance of the Labor Day holiday.State officials have reported 12,001 deaths since the pandemic began, including 152 non-residents who died in Florida. The state has tallied 646,431 COVID-19 cases so far.The numbers reported Sunday represent a sharp decline from the record coronavirus deaths reported just four weeks ago: 277 on Aug. 11. Another record was set on July 12, when the state reported 15,300 new cases.Data reports rele...
Amid calls to rename monuments, Strom Thurmond's legacy is 'complicated,' biographer says
COLUMBIA, S.C. — There are times when even modern progressives would look to something late South Carolina Gov. and Sen. Strom Thurmond did and actually agree with.While governor, Thurmond appointed the first Black person and the first woman to a Cabinet position in the late 1940s. He pressed for the criminal prosecution of a lynch mob. He lengthened the school year and abolished the poll tax in South Carolina, which kept Black voters from casting a ballot.But in spite all of this, Thurmond was one of America’s most high-profile and ardent segregationists. Despite helping to liberate the Buche...
The State (Columbia, S.C.)
After pressure to clear languishing DNA evidence like rape kits, Illinois reduces backlog by 31%
CHICAGO — After years of pressure to clear a large backlog of DNA evidence awaiting analysis, state officials have reduced it by 31%.According to the most recent data from the Illinois State Police, which runs state laboratories that process evidence from crime scenes, as of July 31, 5,811 assignments were waiting to be processed in the biology section, which includes DNA evidence. At the same time last year, 8,403 such assignments awaited analysis.Still, this is a hefty amount of DNA evidence in a backlog many say should be much smaller. But it shows that improvements taken to streamline anal...