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State Governments

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Texas on Tuesday became the biggest state to lift its mask rule, joining a rapidly growing movement by governors and other leaders across the U.S. to loosen COVID-19 restrictions despite pleas from health officials not to let their guard down yet.

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TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas lawmakers moved Tuesday to extend protections for businesses from lawsuits over COVID-19, while a prominent critic of Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly said the state's vaccine distribution has improved in recent weeks.

PHOENIX (AP) — Republicans in the Arizona Senate voted Tuesday to purge people from the permanent early voting list if they skip two consecutive election cycles, advancing one of several proposed mail-voting changes after Democratic President Joe Biden's narrow victory in the state last year.

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — Top South Dakota lawmakers announced a proposal on Tuesday to delay evaluating whether the state's attorney general should be impeached until the conclusion of the criminal case against him for hitting and killing a man with his car.

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PIERRE, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Senate on Tuesday paved the way for primary election voters to speed into law before the next general election a constitutional amendment requiring a higher voter threshold for future ballot initiatives that pass taxes or spending programs.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Tuesday touted her administration’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, saying expansive lockdowns were necessary to keep COVID-19 at bay and that the state stepped up to provide direct economic relief for businesses and unemployed workers to ease the pain of what has been a “cruel hardship.”

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer faced growing criticism Tuesday after the disclosure of two additional employment-separation deals for former top officials, a day after her administration acknowledged that a key leader in the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic was paid $155,000 following his sudden resignation.

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PHOENIX (AP) — A divided Arizona Senate's Ethics Committee on Tuesday dismissed a complaint against a Republican lawmaker who was accused by her former assistant of berating and cursing him during a tirade, making comments about his weight, asking him to do political work and to work while he was out sick recovering from the coronavirus.

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RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina state senator said on Tuesday he wasn't on the Senate floor for a close veto override vote on legislation mandating the reopening of public schools because he needed to work for his full-time employer.

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