USAPP Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in US state blogging. Click here for our weekly roundup of national blogs.
On Wednesday this week, NH Labor News writes that a bill which removes accommodations for pregnant and breastfeeding mothers has passed in the state Senate. They argue that the measure will leave women open to discrimination and leaves them open to being fired for request accommodations for breastfeeding and pregnancy.
Heading south to Massachusetts, Blue Mass Group reports that the state’s Republican Governor, Charlie Baker, has backed down and will not veto a bill giving accommodations for the transgendered.
The Empire State held its presidential primary this week – Capitol Confidential has the news that 1.8 million Democrats and 850,000 Republicans cast votes, or about 1/3 of active voters from each party. In the lead up to the primary, many were concerned over what were seen as New York’s very restrictive voter registration law. In light of these concerns, State of Politics wonders if the state government in Albany will consider making changes to the voter registration law to make it easier to register to vote.
Over in the Garden State, Save Jersey argues that a bill put forward by state Assembly Democrats is ‘naked communism’. They write that the bill which would mandate that any New Jersey employer with at least 15 or more employees to engage in good faith negotiations with employees who try to alter their work schedules would be a huge burden on business.
Over in the Keystone State, PoliticsPA reminds us of the April 26 Democratic Primary for the 2016 cycle. They say that it’s impossible for the Democrats to regain the US Senate sans Pennsylvania, and for that they need to nominate a candidate who can beat the incumbent Republican, Pat Toomey.
On Thursday, Virginia’s Bearing Drift wonders if the state’s Democrats are trying to ensure that the Southwest part of the state starves, after Governor Terry McAuliffe’s veto of a Coal Tax Credit was sustained. They say that the Governor’s veto means that a tax credit for coal mine operators will expire at year’s end, which could threaten many jobs and the state’s energy independence.
Heading south, North Carolina’s The Progressive Pulse reports that Governor Pat McCrory has defended the state’s controversial HB2 anti-LGBT law, as NBC has estimated that it has already cost the state nearly $40 million from businesses who have been protesting the measure.
Continuing on to the Peach State, Better Georgia has the news that 5,000 Georgians have lost access to food stamps after the state changed the program’s eligibility criteria in three counties. Adults without children who can work will be made to find a job in order to receive food stamp benefits.
In Florida this week, Saint Petersblog writes that US Representative Gwen Graham will be only the second US House member from the Sunshine State to retire after only term. Graham this week announced that she was considering running for governor in 2018.
This week saw terrible flooding in Houston, Texas. Burnt Orange Report says Wednesday that the city doesn’t have to flood this way – urban sprawl and the use of concrete cover, combined with a lack of climate adaptations due to spending cuts, makes large storms’ effects worse.
The Okie reports Thursday that the state’s Senate has passed a bill which would allow people to open-carry firearms without training or a permit, despite the opposition of 34 organizations including universities, chambers of commerce, and hospitals.
On Wednesday, Ohio’s Plunderbund comments that the state’s US Senator, Rob Portman, is the ‘un-Trump’, in that his image is an unthreatening one. They warn that despite Portman’s image, he still voted to defund Planned Parenthood, repeal Obamacare, and is a climate denier.
Heading west, Progress Illinois reports that the state legislature has approved $600 million in emergency funding for the state’s public higher education institutions. The stopgap measure provides funding for institutions which have gone months without funding due to a state budget impasse. Staying in Illinois, CapitolFax has the news that the state’s Comptroller, Leslie Munger this week announced that compensation for the state’s General Assembly Members and Officers, will be delayed due to the aforementioned $7.8 billion budget bill backlog.
Blog for Iowa wonders, at the end of the state’s legislative session, where all the money has gone. They reckon that it’s mostly been spent on tax breaks for business, and that it means that the state will soon be making budget cuts in areas like education.
Continuing on to Nebraska, Leavenworth St says that the state’s legislature has overridden Governor Peter Ricketts’ veto of a bill which would allow undocumented immigrant children to get professional licenses.
Moving up to North Dakota, Say Anything blog writes that the state law which makes citizen’s 4th Amendment rights illegal by making it illegal to refuse a sobriety test has been challenged in the US Supreme Court.
West and Pacific
Montana Cowgirl Blog this week reports that a gun group in the state has endorsed a candidate for the state legislature who recently stated that a bullet would ‘take care’ of a more moderate House Republican.
Heading south to Colorado, Peak Politics writes that the state’s Senate has voted to get rid of a law which would stop the sale of guns during a state of emergency.
Continuing down to New Mexico, ProgressNow says that we won’t believe what oil and gas companies in the state want to do with $104 million in subsidies from the state’s taxpayers – use them to lobby the federal government to nix the proposed rule to require oil and gas drillers to plug leaks, limit their greenhouse gas emissions, and increase royalty payments to local schools.
Blog for Arizona meanwhile argues that we should ‘read the fine print’ on the state’s Proposition 123, which would increase education funding by $3.5 billion over a decade. They say that the proposition is scam, because it would allow public lands to be sold off faster to fund public education, which would bring down the overall value of land in the state’s trust.
On Monday, Desert Beacon of Nevada, comments on the state’s ‘good news, bad news economy’: the state’s home foreclosure rate is still ‘not a pretty picture’ at nearly twice the national rate, the state’s wage growth was -6.5 percent from 2007 to 2012, but it is now at 2.6 percent.
BlueOregon this week gives six key facts about taxes in the state, including that corporations’ tax contributions have shrunk over the past 40 years, and that the tax system asks more from the poorest Oregonians than the richest.
Featured image credit: Phil Whitehouse (Flickr, CC-BY-2.0)
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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