Catch up quick: 5 things you might have missed

Delaware Gov. John Carney speaks at the Major Joseph R. “Beau” Biden III National Guard/Reserve Center, Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021, in New Castle, Del. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

For the first time in a century, America’s life expectancy has dropped over consecutive years. The pandemic shoulders much of the blame, but the rising number of what sociologists call deaths of despair is certainly a factor.

To combat the nation’s rising mental health challenges, states have turned to a new crisis and suicide prevention hotline, 988. About half the states have appropriated initial funds, and six states have approved telecom surcharges to provide ongoing funding for those lines.

This week, our colleague Stephanie Akin spotlighted the next two that will use small taxes to fund call centers: Legislators in Oregon and Delaware approved bills assessing 40-cent and 60-cent taxes, respectively. Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek (D) and Delaware Gov. John Carney (D) are expected to sign the bills in the coming days.

Legislators we talk to frequently bring up mental health challenges their constituents face. The 988 line, which turns a year old on July 17, is just one remedy — but it’s one people are using. Calls to the crisis line are up 45% over the last year, and that volume is likely to increase further as the number gains prominence.

It’s a sign of hope at a troubled moment.

Here are five other things that happened in the states this week:

ABORTION: The Maine legislature on Thursday approved a bill that will expand abortion access from 24 weeks to any time a doctor deems such a procedure medically necessary. Gov. Janet Mills (D) plans to sign the bill, which would give Maine some of the least restrictive abortion rules in the nation. (Maine Public Radio) Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) has signed a new rule allowing state residents to obtain contraception over the counter without a prescription. (Associated Press)

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) will call legislators back into special session on July 11 to pass new abortion restrictions, after the state Supreme Court deadlocked over a previous abortion ban. State Republicans were hoping the court’s ruling would give them some clarity, but the deadlock means none of the justices’ opinions create a precedent. (Des Moines Register)

The Indiana Supreme Court has upheld a near-total ban on abortions, reversing an injunction that has been in place since September. A lower court judge had ruled that the ban likely violates the state constitution. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

EDUCATION: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) used his partial veto authority to sign a new state budget that increases funding for public schools by $325 per pupil every year until 2425. That’s not a typo — he struck a single hyphen that will expand education spending for the next four centuries. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Ohio lawmakers have reached a $190 billion budget deal that includes universal vouchers for K-12 students and a provision requiring parental consent for minors to create social media accounts. Ohio students whose families make less than 450% of the federal poverty limit would be eligible for full EdChoice scholarships. (Columbus Dispatch)

ENVIRONMENT: The California Air Resources Board has reached an agreement with the Truck and Engine Manufacturers Association that will require 100% of trucks sold by 2036 to be zero-emission vehicles. In exchange, regulators will align California’s rule for nitrogen oxide emissions with federal EPA standards, which are less stringent than existing state rules. (Sacramento Bee)

A new rule proposed by New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) would require 43% of model year 2027 cars and trucks sent to the state meet zero-emission standards. The rule would increase the share of zero-emission cars for sale to 82% by 2032. (Albuquerque Journal)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) has vetoed measures barring gender-affirming care for minors, restricting transgender participation in school sports and limiting classroom lessons on gender identity and sexuality. Republican lawmakers are expected to override all three vetoes when they return next week. (Associated Press)

POLITICS: A new poll from Florida-based Kaplan Strategies finds Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) leading the race to replace term-limited Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) with 30%. Former Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D) takes 22%, while no other candidate cracks double digits. (Baton Rouge Advocate)

The top two finishers in Louisiana’s all-party primary advance to a runoff if no one scores an outright majority.

Former U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R) has filed papers to run for governor of Washington in 2024. He has not formally announced, but he’s hired a campaign manager. (Seattle Times)

Reichert would become the most prominent Republican in the race, but he’s flirted with — and passed on — gubernatorial campaigns before.

In California, Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond is “seriously exploring” a run for governor in 2026. Thurmond’s office is technically nonpartisan, but he won his seat in the Assembly as a Democrat. (Los Angeles Times)

Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to guarantee abortion rights in Ohio turned in more than 700,000 signatures Wednesday, far surpassing the 414,000 required to make the ballot in November. Secretary of State Frank LaRose’s (R) office has until July 25 to certify the signatures. (Pluribus News)

Ohio backers of legal recreational marijuana submitted 222,198 signatures to qualify a new ballot initiative yesterday. They need at least 124,046 of those signatures to be valid to make the 2023 ballot. (Columbus Dispatch)

The last time Ohioans voted on a legal pot measure, they rejected it — after supporters inexplicably decided that using a joint as a mascot was a good idea.