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May 28th, 2016

Texas’ real bathroom crisis, Iowa’s poor bridges, and Oregon’s “baffling” GOP Senate primary: US state blog roundup for 20 – 27 May


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

May 28th, 2016

Texas’ real bathroom crisis, Iowa’s poor bridges, and Oregon’s “baffling” GOP Senate primary: US state blog roundup for 20 – 27 May


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

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


This week, Granite Grok of New Hampshire reports that another State Senate “rat” has jumped ship, this time in the form of Republican Nancy Stiles who has decided not to run for re-election. They criticise Stiles for “carrying water” for the state’s Democratic Party and ignoring the state GOP and its platform. Staying in the Granite State, NH Labor News comments on the vast differences between the minimum wage platforms of the state’s GOP and Democratic gubernatorial candidates. While the Republicans are generally opposed to establishing a state minimum wage, the Democrats are (as one would expect) in favor.

How would you spend $5.6 billion on transportation infrastructure? That’s the question that RIFuture asks its readers, commenting that the state’s draft transport plan budgets for that amount over the next decade.

Moving on to the Green Mountain State, VTDigger writes that data collected over five years has shown that black drivers are stopped and searched by Vermont State police at five times the rate of white drivers.

In New Jersey this week, PolitickerNJ has the news that according to a new poll, State Senate President, Steve Sweeney is in the lead to be the state Democratic Party’s 2017 gubernatorial candidate.


Terry McAuliffe By Miller Center [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Governor Terry McAuliffe By Miller Center [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons
Bearing Drift reports this week that Virginia’s Democratic Governor, Terry McAuliffe is under investigation by the federal Department of Justice over alleged illegal contributions to his past election campaigns.

Georgia Pol has the GOP’s races to watch in the Peach State’s House elections, including that of the state House Speaker, Majority Leader, and a number of committee chairs.

Moving on the Sunshine State, Saint Peters blog has the news that the state will pay at least $213,000 for its lost battle to keep its voter-approved ban on same-sex marriage. Staying in Florida, The Shark Tank reminds us that adultery is still illegal there as per a law dating back to the 1800s.

Arkansas Times says that descriptions of Governor Asa Hutchinson’s new highway plan which speak of the use of the state’s surplus to pay for new infrastructure just aren’t true. The Governor has actually raided the general revenue and other funds to pay for the new roads.

Burnt Orange Report comments on what they call, “the real bathroom crisis” in the Lone Star State. They write that while the state’s GOP leaders are worried about schools allowing the transgendered to access bathrooms of their choosing, the colonias along Texas’ border with Mexico often lack water and basic sanitation services.


Ohio’s Plunderbund writes that GOP Governor John Kasich is not making the state great again. They say that a new report shows that the Buckeye State has been had a poorer rate of new business starts since 2010, and is seeing an increasing concentration of new business and jobs into a smaller number of more populated counties.

Heading west, Progress Illinois says that the approval rating for the state’s Governor, Bruce Rauner, has hit an all-time low, now standing at 33 percent.

Wisconsin’s The Political Environment, citing that factory and farm owners have essentially been relieved of paying state income taxes, writes that for corporates, the state is heaven, but is less so for the less-powerful. 

Blog for Iowa this week reports that a new study has shown that the state has the worst bridges in the country, and notes that the state’s Department of Transportation has been cut by the state legislature by nearly $5 million.

Heading north, Minnesota’s MN Progressive Project argues that as they go on holiday, the state’s residents need to note the GOP’s legislative failure to protect the state’s rivers and infrastructure.

South Dakota War College looks at Paula Hawks’ – who is challenging sitting Congresswoman Kristi Noem for the state’s at-large district – cashflow compared to Noem’s. They say Hawks’ chances aren’t looking great given that she only has about $113,000 in cash on hand, compared to Noem’s $1.6 million.

West and Pacific 

Colorado Peak Politics writes this week that Governor John Hickenlooper’s new book is funny, despite being a “blatant” attempt to step over everyone else to become Hillary Clinton’s Vice President, or to at least gain a cabinet position.

Heading on to New Mexico, Joe Monahan says that the state has recently received visits from both Bernie Sanders and Bill Clinton, with Donald Trump soon to come.

Credit: Curtis Perry CC BY NC SA 2.0
Credit: Curtis Perry CC BY NC SA 2.0

Blue Oregon reports on the state’s Republican Senate primary, commenting that the outcome is “baffling”; with Mark Callahan winning a four way race against candidates that had better resources and endorsements.

Moving south to the Golden State, Flashreport comments that the “autocrats” in the State’s Senate have just passed 11 anti-gun bills, which are likely to be tied up in court for quite some time. Staying in California, The Left Hook wonders why the city of San Jose seems to always be broke.

Out in the Aloha State, Honolulu Civil Beat looks at whether Hawaii is saving millions by using a prison on the mainland rather than one closer to home. 

Featured image credit: Carol VanHook (Flickr, CC-BY-NC-SA)

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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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