Also: Michigan health workers will receive implicit bias training, and House Democrats take steps to increase staff diversity.
This week, Massachusetts made it easier to vote in November, New Mexico required police officers to wear body cameras, and New Yorkers chose a prominent location to paint a Black Lives Matter mural.
Read on to see what else you might have missed this week in the news.
Voting in Massachusetts just became a little bit easier and safer, thanks to a new law signed on Monday by Republican Gov. Charlie Baker.
Under the law, voters no longer need an excuse to vote by mail, CNN reported. In addition, every voter who is registered before July 1 will be mailed an application for an absentee ballot, and the state added several more early voting days in order to reduce crowds for those who want to vote in person.
Voters can also download an application to vote by mail.
Massachusetts joined 34 other states and Washington, D.C., in allowing no-excuse absentee voting, according to a tally kept by the National Conference of State Legislatures.
Every law enforcement officer in New Mexico will be required to wear a body camera under a new law signed on Wednesday by Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
The law will be "a deterrent against unlawful use of force" by police officers, according to a press release from the governor's office.
"Our communities have a right to feel safe in their lives, they deserve to live with respect and dignity," Rep. Micaela Lara Cadena, a Democrat from Mesilla, said in support of the bill as it was being debated, according to the Associated Press.
The law applies to all city police departments, sheriff agencies, and state police.
Democratic House members took a step on Monday to ensure a more diverse staff on Capitol Hill, Roll Call reported.
To help identify and interview diverse applicants for open positions, a new rule will require House Democrats, "to the extent practicable," to work with the House Diversity and Inclusion Office and other groups during the hiring process.
"As Americans continue to educate themselves about systemic injustice and how our nation has failed whole populations of its citizens, it is time the United States Congress and the Democratic Party take an honest look at our own shortcomings," Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA) wrote to his colleagues before the Monday conference call when the rule was adopted.
He added that while members of the Democratic Caucus are more diverse than ever, "we are failing" when it comes to recruiting and hiring diverse staffers.
Health professionals in Michigan will soon be required to undergo implicit bias training as part of their licensing process, according to an executive order signed on Thursday by Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
"COVID-19 has had a disparate impact on people of color due to a variety of factors, and we must do everything we can to address this disparity," Whitmer said in a press release about the order. "The evidence shows that training in implicit bias can make a positive difference, so today we are taking action to help improve racial equity across Michigan's health care system."
The executive order was recommended by Michigan's Coronavirus Task Force on Racial Disparities, a group created by Whitmer to examine the impact of the coronavirus crisis on communities of color.
Renters and homeowners in Pennsylvania will be given additional protections against eviction and foreclosure through the end of August thanks to an executive order signed on Thursday by Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf.
"I am taking this action to help families know they will have a roof over their heads and a place to live while all of us fight the COVID-19 pandemic," Wolf said in a press release about the order. "It takes one more burden off of people who are struggling and ensures that families can remain in their homes so they can protect their health and wellbeing."
Renters and homeowners who are able to must continue making their monthly payments, according to the governor's office, and the order does not apply to issues of property damage and illegal activity.
In a 5-4 decision on Thursday, the Supreme Court ruled that a large portion of eastern Oklahoma is an American Indian reservation.
The ruling affects the ability of federal prosecutors to handle criminal matters dealing with Native Americans on reservation land.
"This case didn't change ownership of any land," Jonodev Chaudhuri, an ambassador of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, told the AP. "All it did was bring clarity to jurisdictional questions regarding the border, and it enhanced the Creek Nation's ability as a sovereign nation to work with other sovereign interests to protect people and to work in common interests."
Justice Neil Gorsuch, a conservative appointed by Donald Trump, authored the opinion, joined by the four liberal members of the court.
New York City Mayor Bill DeBlasio, Rev. Al Sharpton, and dozens of other New Yorkers gathered together on Thursday to paint "Black Lives Matter" in large block letters down Fifth Avenue, directly in front of Trump Tower.
DeBlasio authorized the street mural earlier this month, according to CNN.
New York City's decision to paint the words on Fifth Avenue followed actions in Washington, D.C., last month, where Mayor Muriel Bowser ordered the slogan be painted on a street near the White House. Bowser also renamed the area Black Lives Matter Plaza.
Other cities have painted similar murals, largely in response to marches and protests against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd, a black man killed by a white police officer in Minnesota earlier this year.