USAPP Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in US state blogging. Click here for our weekly roundup of national blogs.
On Tuesday this week, New Hampshire’s miscellany: blue looks at some recent statements made by Granite State lawmakers. They say that Republican State Representatives have said that Democrats support more restrictive gun laws because they ‘in bed with organized crime’, have pushed old ‘evidence’ that President Obama was not born in the US, and made Islamophobic comments.
Moving south to New York, State of Politics writes that the Empire State will have three primaries next year, as state and local primary dates are split into separate contests. The multiple primaries will allow some state lawmakers to run for Congress and then run for state elected office if their federal bid is unsuccessful. Staying in New York, Times Union has the news that Governor Andrew Cuomo has announced that he will be creating new regulations against discrimination based on gender identity, transgender status and gender dysphoria. The new rules are similar to those of an Assembly bill which has remained stuck in the state Senate in 2008.
PolitickerNJ this week looks at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s role in the coming state Assembly election races. They say that some previously safe GOP districts in the state are now looking vulnerable because of voters’ disenchantment with Governor Christie over issues such as the state’s insolvent pension and Transportation Trust Fund, and scandals such as Bridgegate.
Heading over to the Pennsylvania, Keystone Politics reports that Governor Tom Wolf has made his opposition known to a bill which would allow legislative committees to block the Executive branch’s ability to pass new rules indefinitely. The bill passed in the Senate, and Wolf will need 68 state House Democrats to win a veto override vote. Staying in Pennsylvania, PoliticsPA has the news that the state’s embattled Attorney General, Kathleen Kane will release all of the inappropriate and illicit emails received and forwarded by state Supreme Court Justice Michael Eakin.
In the Old Line State this week, Political Maryland looks at Governor Larry Hogan’s ‘unmistakable popularity’. They comment that recent polls put his approval rating at 58 and 61 percent, which they put down to his avoidance of ‘hot-button’ political issues and his seeking to minimize controversy during his first year in office. They also ascribe some of his high ratings as resulting from his openness about having non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Moving south, The Progressive Pulse comments on what they say is North Carolina’s ‘ongoing war’ on teachers. They write that state lawmakers are attempting to end teachers’ tenure rights, and are ‘assaulting’ the state’s teachers’ union, all against a backdrop of teacher shortages across the state.
On Friday, Saint Peters Blog looks at Florida’s ’30 under 30’ rising political stars for 2015. Staying in the Sunshine State, The Shark Tank reports that former Governor, Charlie Crist, is back, this time with an announcement that he will be running for the state’s 13th Congressional District. The seat’s boundaries will soon be redrawn, and will then lean heavily Democratic. The incumbent Republican, David Jolly, will be running for Marco Rubio’s Senate seat in 2016.
Heading up to Alabama, Yellowhammer News says that the state’s House Speaker race is heating up with allegations of bullying by State Representative Phil Williams, who is seeking to oust the current Speaker, Mike Hubbard. Williams also says that some of the bills which Hubbard tried to advance during the legislative session were specifically created to assist his legal defense against the 23 corruption charges that he is facing.
Talk Business and Politics has the news this week that the Arkansas Supreme Court has upheld a stay of execution for eight inmates, despite agreeing with state officials that a lower court was wrong to halt them. The inmates involved have all exhausted their appeals, but had sued the state, claiming that a new law which prevents the state from revealing information which could identify the manufacturers of the drugs it uses for executions was unconstitutional. They argued that the lack of information about the drugs exposed them to the risk of pain and suffering.
In Michigan this week, Eclecta Blog looks at a new report which shows that while over 100 of the state’s charter schools have closed since 2010, 25 never opened, despite funds for the being approved for them to the tune of $3.7 million. They say that the charter schools – which are mostly run by for-profit corporations have received millions in taxpayer dollars with little to no accountability.
Howey Politics Indiana writes this week on Governor Mike Pence’s new ‘policy gauntlet’ that will have a wide impact on his reelection bid. Pence’s policy initiatives include an £1 billion road and bridge maintenance plan, $3.5 million for an anti-abortion group to provide pregnancy and parenting services, and a reinstatement of cut school funds.
On Monday, Progress Illinois reports that the city of Chicago has announced a new gun buyback program, using a $250,000 fund for gun buyback events hosted by churches and neighborhood groups in the city.
Moving up to Wisconsin, The Political Environment says that after years of over-spending and over-building highway as the existing roads in the state crumble, a major interchange expansion will now be shelved for a number of years. They comment that this is not the first time people living in the outskirts of a major city in Wisconsin have put the brakes on highway spending. Staying in the Badger State, Blue Cheddar writes Thursday that according to a recent poll, 60 percent of Wisconsinites disapprove of Governor Scott Walker’s performance, and nearly that number feel that the state is headed in the wrong direction.
On Wednesday, Say Anything blog reports that North Dakota State Auditor, Bob Peterson, will not be seeking a sixth term in that position – an elected position that has been held by Republicans for 120 years.
West and Pacific
In Colorado this week, The Spot says that state Democrats and Republicans are in agreement – federal lands should continue to be managed by the federal government, and not the state, as has been suggested by some lawmakers and candidates in the state.
Heading south, Progressnow NM has the news that the Secretary of State, Dianna Duran, resigned overnight Thursday just before her next criminal hearing. Duran faces criminal charges for misusing campaign contributions, which led to calls for her impeachment or resignation.
Out west in California, Flashreport says that while the Golden State’s unemployment rate has fallen in the last month, there has been no attendant major increase in the number of jobs in the state. They say that the falling unemployment rate is actually due to people dropping out of the workforce, which will eventually mean higher taxes those who are in work. Staying in California, Fox & Hounds comments that people living in Los Angeles have never cared much about local politics, and that each city councilmember now represents 260,000 people, a 650 percent increase since 1925. They argue that the people of Los Angeles need more and better representation by increasing the number of politicians.
Up in Washington, Strange Bedfellows makes the case against a ballot initiative that voters in the state will have to decide this fall. The measure would dictate that the state Legislature should put on the ballot a constitutional amendment requiring a 2/3 vote of both the House and Senate to close tax loopholes or enact a new revenue measure.
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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