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August 30th, 2015

Upstate New York’s secession plans, North Carolina’s budget woes, and North Dakota okays armed drones: US state blog round up for 22 – 28 August


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

August 30th, 2015

Upstate New York’s secession plans, North Carolina’s budget woes, and North Dakota okays armed drones: US state blog round up for 22 – 28 August


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

USApp Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in U.S. state blogging. Click here for our weekly roundup of national blogs.


This week in the Bay State, Blue Mass Group looks at what they call the ‘Massachusetts police state’, citing examples of minorities being harassed with little police action taking place in response.

Moving on to Rhode Island, RI Future writes Thursday on how the smallest state in the US now has the smallest uninsured rate, at 2.7 percent. They write that the state’s health insurance exchange, Healthsource, has made it very easy for people to sign up for coverage, regardless of income.

New York State’s State of Politics this week reports on a coalition of groups who support gun rights and fracking efforts to secede a part of the state. They say that the groups have been angered by Albany’s ban on fracking in the state as well as recent gun control measures pushed through by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA-2.0)
New Jersey Governor Credit: Gage Skidmore (CC-BY-SA-2.0)

Heading south to New Jersey, Save Jersey fact checks Governor Chris Christie’s claim that he stood up to the state’s ‘Democratic machine’. They say that looking at Christie’s record as governor, he has actually co-opted the Democratic machine in the state, mostly by forging tactical alliances with Democratic mayors and bosses in order to help him gain reelection in 2013.

PoliticsPA reports that the Keystone State has launched online voter registration, which will make it much easier to register to vote, be much safer in terms of personal information, and will also be much cheaper. Staying in Pennsylvania, Raging Chicken Press has the news that a GOP representative, Ryan Warner, wants to make English the official state language in order to save some money in the state’s budget. 


In North Carolina, Civitas Review writes that the chances that there will be a budget deal before the state’s August 31st deadline is now very slim. They write that while state House and Senate leaders, along with Governor Pat McCrory have agreed on the budget’s size – $21.7 billion – there is still disagreement on spending targets in areas of the state’s government. Staying in the Old North State, The Progressive Pulse says of the budget deal that it is likely to contain another round of tax cuts for large corporations. They argue that there is no evidence that such tax cuts lead to prosperity through improved wages or higher economic growth.

Moving down to Florida, Saint Peters blog reports that while state lawmakers have been unable to agree on congressional redistricting recently, they have agreed that muzzling the state’s Supreme Court is a good idea. The Florida Supreme Court had previously declared that the current Congressional map amounted to gerrymandering, something that state legislators have since referred to as judicial overreach. Shark Tank also writes on Florida’s redistricting travails, commenting on Tuesday that potential Congressional candidates are ‘locked into a holding pattern’, with many incumbents unsure as to which district they will be representing.

On Sunday, Left in Alabama has the news that Alabama is number four among states whose residents spend the most at Walmart, with the average Alabaman spending nearly $1,500 per year at the chain.

On Thursday, The Arkansas Times writes that GOP Governor Asa Hutchinson is finding it hard to govern the Natural State despite having majorities in both legislative houses. Hutchinson has been fighting an ongoing battle with the far-right of the state’s GOP over how Medicaid funding is apportioned.


Ohio’s Plunderbund this week wonders if the state’s Governor, John Kasich really understands economics. They comment that Ohio ranks 29th in the country in terms of job creation despite Kasich’s belief in the trickle down concept of supply-side economics.

Heading up to Michigan, eclectablog says this week that the state’s Republican Party has shown an abject failure of leadership for its failure to decide how to pay for critical infrastructure repairs to roads and bridges, as well as a blackmailing scandal between two GOP Representatives.

Project Illinois looks this week at the state of women’s equality in the Prairie State. They say that while the state came third in terms of women’s inequality in a recent study, that doesn’t mean things are good for women there; for example, 40 percent of full-time working women in Illinois earn less than $35,000 a year.

Hovering drone Credit: Andrew (Flickr, CC-BY-SA-2.0)
Hovering drone Credit: Andrew (Flickr, CC-BY-SA-2.0)

On Wednesday, Bleeding Heartland says that Iowa’s Medicaid privatization is raising some red flags after it was revealed that all four private companies that are currently negotiating contracts to manage the scheme have previously faced charges of fraud or mismanagement relating to serving Medicaid recipients in other states.

Heading up to North Dakota, Say Anything blog has the news that armed drones are now legal in the Peace Garden State. They say that while drones weapons must be non-deadly, they can still be fitted with an 80,000 volt taser or even rubber bullets.

West and Pacific 

Earlier this month, there was a large waste water spill in the Gold King Mine in Colorado. Colorado Peak Politics has a guide to what they say is the Environmental Protection Agency’s cover-up of the disaster after the agency ‘dumped’ nearly 100 redacted documents relating to the mine last Friday night. Staying in the Centennial State, The Spot reports on the state Republican Party’s decision to cancel its presidential poll at its 2016 caucus. The decision has raised some questions and some are nor claiming that the state party has misinterpreted how the GOP’s new national rules for nominations work.

Moving down to Arizona, Blog for Arizona writes Wednesday that a state Superior Court Judge has surprisingly ruled in favor of Governor Jan Brewer’s plan to expand Medicaid in the state. The case apparently hinged on whether or not a hospital assessment that lawmakers approved to fund the expansion counted as a tax or a fee, with the judge ruling that it was the latter.

In the Golden State this week, Fox & Hounds writes that in order for the state’s Republican Party to be competitive once again, it must change the hearts and minds of suburban and minority voters by becoming the party of reform and good governance. The state’s GOP currently has 28 of 80 seats in the State Assembly and 14 of 40 in the Senate.

On Monday, Strange Bedfellows has the news that three major national gun rights groups, along with local gun dealers have sued Seattle’s City Council to blog a new $25 local tax on firearms enacted earlier this month. The pro-gun lobby has called the levy a ‘poll tax on gun owners and retailers’.

Heading out to the Aloha State, Honolulu Civil Beat writes this week that a new study has shown that Honolulu is the most expensive city in America for singles.

Featured image credit: Taber Andrew Bain (Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)

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