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September 15th, 2017

State of the States for 15 September: New York’s poor primary turnout, Heitkamp courts Trump, and an Idaho city forgets $5 million levy


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

Blog Admin

September 15th, 2017

State of the States for 15 September: New York’s poor primary turnout, Heitkamp courts Trump, and an Idaho city forgets $5 million levy


Estimated reading time: 5 minutes

USAPP Managing Editor, Chris Gilson, looks at the week in US state blogging.  


On Tuesday, NH Labor News reports that the New Hampshire Superior Court has blocked the penalties contained in a recent state senate bill which targets voter fraud. The Court ruled that the bill’s punishment aspect would have severe restriction on voting rights. Staying in New Hampshire, Granite Grok argues that the state’s Democratic Party has “declining electoral options” after the state’s Democratic Party Chairman labelled rural and unregistered voters as white supremacists.

Heading south, State of Politics has comments from New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo on the relatively low turnout rate in this week’s Democratic Primary elections. Governor Cuomo said that numbers like a 14 percent turnout rate in the New York City mayoral primary were simply “democracy”.

Moving on to the Garden State, Save Jersey says that if the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, Phil Murphy, is elected later this year, he won’t live within the state’s means, citing Murphy’s $1.3 billion proposed tax hike, which they argue could mean businesses and people leave the state. Blue Jersey looks across the Hudson River at the challenges facing New Jersey in managing current and future transport links with Manhattan. Projects in the pipeline could cost tens of billions at a time when the state’s budget is already having difficulty meeting its other obligations.

PoliticsPA has the news that the state House has passed a plan to close the state’s $2.2 billion budget gap, but sans the tax increases that were included in the original state Senate plan and supported by Governor Tom Wolf.


On Monday Appalachian Voices says that West Virginia’s Governor, Jim Justice, is fighting for coal, pushing President Trump to subsidize coal-fired power plants to purchase coal from the region.

Heading east, Blue Virginia writes that EMILY’s list has put Republicans in the state’s House of Delegates “on notice” for what they say is an anti-woman and anti-family agenda, which include measures as a 20-week abortion ban with no exceptions and cutting access to critical health services.

In North Carolina this week, The Progressive Pulse has the news that a national fair courts group has called for the rejection of President Trump’s nominee for the federal District Court seat in the state’s Eastern District. They argue that the nominee, Thomas Farr, has built a career on disenfranchising voters of color and stripping workers’ protections.

Florida was ravaged last week by Hurricane Irma; now, according to Saint Petersblog the state’s surplus money is “gone”.

Alabama’s Yellowhammer has the latest on the state’s GOP Senate primary race between Luther Strange and Roy Moore. They report that Moore has cancelled a previously agreed debate between the two slated for September 21st because of his concerns about the involvement of one of the debate’s hosts with a PAC associated with Strange.

Heading west, Arkansas blog reports that the state’s legislature has rejected a bipartisan effort from two senators to create a temporary subcommittee to study race relations in the state.


On Monday, Capitol Fax ruminates on whether or not Illinois’ Republican Governor, Bruce Rauner, can recover from what some have termed the “worst summer ever” after his battles with state House speaker Mike Madigan.

In Wisconsin this week, The Political Environment says that the state’s GOP-led government is finally producing a budget, albeit “behind closed partisan doors”.

Blog for Iowa writes Thursday that as many as 16,000 Iowans are estimated to lose wages this year following changes made to overtime pay made by state Republicans in the last legislative session. Those that will lose overtime completely include nurses, social workers and public defenders.

Heading on to Minnesota, Bluestem Prairie reports that the state’s Supreme Court has ruled that Governor Mark Dayton’s recent line-item veto of the state’s legislative budget earlier this year was constitutional. The fight between the state’s Democratic Governor and the Republican-led legislature will now go to a mediator.

On Wednesday, Say Anything looks at why North Dakota’s Democratic US Senator, Heidi Heitkamp is “playing patty cake” with Donald Trump. They comment that Heitkamp will be running for a second term next year in a state where President Trump is exceedingly popular.

West and Pacific 

Colorado Peak Politics this week talks on a Democratic Gubernatorial candidate – Cary Kennedy – who has announced a plan to allow anyone to buy into Medicaid. They say that Kennedy’s idea is a terrible one given that “the people on Medicaid don’t actually want to be on Medicaid”.

On Thursday, Montana Cowgirl Blog looks at what they say GOP legislators “don’t want you to know about” the state’s budget and revenue. They argue that the state’s GOP “made up a fake revenue forecast” and then passed a budget that had little chance of raising that amount. They also comment that the state has no money because the GOP’s tax cuts.

Moving on to Idaho, Eye on Boise has the news that the city of Boise has forgotten to collect $5 million in voter-approved property tax revenues that it was supposed to in order to fund environmental protections measures. Why? The city’s budget department didn’t tell the county in question to assess the levy which only covered 2017 and 2018.  A new ballot will be needed for the tax to be levied next year.

Nevada’s Desert Beacon says writes on the “immigration myths and legends” of the state’s Republican gubernatorial candidates, Dan Schwartz and Adam Laxalt; the latter is an associate of former Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

Over in Hawaii, Honolulu Civil Beat discusses the fight over abortion in the Aloha State, after a new state Senate Bill has raised concerns from some pregnancy centres affiliated with religious organizations that they may be forced to promote abortion in violation of their beliefs.


Featured image, US Senator Heidi Heitkamp, “20151202-OC-LSC-0242” by U.S. Department of Agriculture is Public Domain.

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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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