USApp Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, and Assistant Editor, Natalie Allen, look at the week in U.S. state blogging. Click here for our weekly roundup of national blogs.
Starting in Maine, Capitol Ticker reports that the Center for Competitive Politics has threatened the Pine Tree State with a lawsuit if they do not stop enforcing a law capping aggregate giving by wealthy donors. This comes in wake of the Supreme Court’s decision to strike down federal aggregate caps in McCutcheon V. Federal Election Commission, it remains to be seen how this decision will affect state level bans.
In New Hampshire, NH Journal argues both sides of the state’s minimum wage debate, writing in favor of the raise that it would increase purchasing power, create more jobs, and boost the economy, while causing no reduction in the availability of minimum wage jobs. The opposition argues that an increase in wages would force small businesses to make cuts, citing a separate study as evidence that such a raise would create job losses.
Blue New Jersey traces newspaper evidence of women’s deaths from illegal abortions from 1840 to Roe V. Wade, arguing that these deaths were the result of a state where legal, safe abortions were impossible to obtain. PolitickerNJ reports that in the Newark Mayoral race, Ras Baraka was endorsed by prominent Latino political and business leaders, helping to strengthen his significant lead over opponent Shavar Jeffries. Meanwhile, The Conscience of a Liberal writes that the real Christie scandal should be his attempts to silence critics of his budget projections, which were recently found to be unrealistic by New Vox.
In Pennsylvania Raging Chicken Press decries the $252 million slot machine tax revenue to be devoted to the Pennsylvania Race Horse Development fund at a time where 500,000 people in the state who qualify for the Medicaid expansion won’t have healthcare. PolliticsPA reports that incumbent Governor Tom Corbett raised more than $500,000 in one night at the Philadelphia Country Club, which puts him in an excellent position for his primary, where the only challenger currently has less than $400 for the campaign.
On Tuesday, Crooks & Liars reports on a group of right wing bloggers in Maryland who have used a legal loophole in the state known as a ‘peace order’ (intended to prevent domestic violence) to harass and silence an activist.
Moving to Tennessee, The Political Carnival writes on Wednesday that in the state it will soon be a crime for a pregnant woman to take medication of any kind whilst pregnant. The law seeks to curb the use of drugs and alcohol by women, but also covers medication for blood pressure, pain, and the flu, amongst many others.
In the Old Dominion State of Virginia, Governor Terry McAuliffe has been pushing for the state’s Medicaid expansion to be included in the state budget, while the Republican controlled legislature has been fighting the move. Daily Kos writes that McAuliffe should issue an executive order to direct the Medicaid agency to come up with a plan to take the money for the expansion, and override state legislators.
Is Wendy Davis’ rising star about to fall? Red State would seem to think so, as they report that the Texas Gubernatorial candidate’s campaign is likely to be over as the Democratic Governors Association has said this week that winning the Lone Star State is no longer a priority.
This week also saw a ‘botched’ execution attempt in Oklahoma. While it has begun a renewed debate about the use of the death penalty in the U.S., Daily Kos reports on Thursday that Oklahoma Senator, Tom Coburn still supports the measure, despite some concerns about its ‘humaneness’.
In Florida, SaintPetersblog writes on Monday that a new measure approved by the state House means that parents, teachers, and public school employees may be able to carry a concealed gun on campus as volunteer ‘safety designees’, in order to avert violent incidents such as on-campus shootings.
This week a District Judge in Milwaukee ruled that Wisconsin’s voter ID law was unconstitutional. Caffeinated Politics writes on Tuesday that the ruling was only a matter of time as there is little evidence of election fraud in the Badger State. They argue that the state’s Republican Party pushed for the voter ID law in order to undermine Democratic voting in the state. Staying in Wisconsin, on Thursday, Crooks & Liars writes that the state’s Republican Party was to vote on whether or not it endorses the right of the state to secede from the rest of the U.S. and to nullify federal law.
Moving to South Dakota, on Wednesday, FreakOutNation writes that Republican candidate for the state’s open Senate seat has recently compared food stamp recipients to animals in a Facebook post.
In Illinois this week, Democratic lawmakers have been pushing to decriminalize marijuana, writes Progress Illinois. They say that state Democrats are hoping to create a task force that would work on regulating and legalizing the drug in the Prairie State. Staying in Illinois, on Friday, Outside the Beltway says that Democratic Governor Pat Quinn is in trouble, as his anti-violence initiative has come under scrutiny from federal and state prosecutors over allegations of mismanagement.
In Michigan, Eclectablog says that the State’s Attorney General, Bill Schuette, has been spending tax dollars this year on issues that most people from the state disagree with. They cite the recent example of his opposition to new regulations from the Environmental Protection Agency that would put tighter controls on plants to prevent pollution having negative impacts on people in other states.
Missouri’s PoliticsMO writes on Wednesday that the state House Judiciary Committee is considering a vote on impeaching Democratic Governor Jay Nixon. State Republicans on the committee allege that Nixon violated the state’s constitution that bans gay marriage with an executive order that allows Missouri’s Department of Revenue to accept tax returns from same-sex couples.
West and Pacific
On Monday, The Lonely Conservative writes that Oregon’s failed Obamacare exchange will cost federal taxpayers millions to fix, on top of the $248 million already spent.
Moving to the Grand Canyon State, Blog for Arizona writes that while the national economy continues to recover, the state is still struggling. They attribute Arizona’s sluggish recovery to ten years of GOP economic policies which put ‘blind faith’ in supply side economic policies such as tax cuts.
Last month saw Nevada pushed onto the national stage as rancher Cliven Bundy having an armed standoff with federal marshals over two decades of unpaid grazing fees. PoliticusUSA writes on Friday that Bundy and his armed militia are still causing distress for Nevada residents, by setting up road checkpoints and other controls, and that state officials are not taking them seriously.
United Liberty says that in Colorado, voters are not happy about new gun control laws. They say that a new high of 56 percent of voters are against a new package of gun control laws adopted in 2013, and that many also support teachers and school officials carrying guns on school grounds.
In Washington this week, Daily Kos reports on a new proposal from the Mayor of Seattle, that would see the city’s minimum wage rise to $15 an hour. They say that the rate will also continue to rise by 2.4 percent each year after it reaches $15.
Moving down to the Golden State of California, Capitol Alert writes on Tuesday that Governor Jerry Brown signed legislation this week that would offer a ten-year property tax break to private space companies, to help make the state a hub for the space industry.
Finally, Daily Kos reports that this week Hawaii has raised its minimum wage to $10.10 by 2018. They note that the rise will also include tipped workers such as waiters and taxi drivers.
Featured image credit: VCU CNS (Creative Commons BY NC)
Note: This article gives the views of the author, and not the position of USApp– American Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics.
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