State Politics Cheat Sheet - 6/27/11

Having trouble keeping up with state politics? Have no fear! Here's a short run-down of some of the noteworthy legislation and issues being talked about in each of Progressive Majority's target states.

ARIZONA

Public interest law firms tried to convince the AZ Supreme Court to forbid the proposed cuts to Medicaid... but no joy. And the justices didn't even give any reason for the ruling! The cuts to the program will effect about 150,000 Arizonans.

Along with skimping on Medicaid, legislators want to cut funds for respite care programs. Parents and relatives of severely disabled children say these programs are a saving grace, crucial to their personal health and the well-being of their families.

COLORADO

Near Vail, CO, citizens protest Koch brothers' conference of conservative leaders, angry at the GOP's "war on the middle class".

The ACLU and other civil liberties organizations sue a school district over a voucher plan that blurs the line between church and state.

MICHIGAN

Legislators don't want to contribute as much for public workers' health insurance... so they're making the workers pay more.

In a study of the approval ratings of all Republican governors, Gov. Snyder's ratings have fallen the furthest. Snyder thinks Michigan residents will come around "over time".

MINNESOTA

In November, Minnesota native Michael Swanson (age 18) robbed a convenience store in Iowa and killed two store clerks. Last week, he was sentenced to life in prison. Some residents debate whether the sentence represents justice or vengeance.

The threat of government shutdown hovers over Iowa and Minnesota, but it's looking worst for Minnesota. It's the quintessential Democrat versus Republican debate; Gov. Dayton wants to increase taxes on the rich, while state legislators just want spending cuts. They have until Friday to figure it out.

OHIO

Ohio's Republican Secretary of State continues to speak out against the voter ID requirement bill that should be voted on this week in the State Senate (even though most of his GOP friends disagree with him).

Study shows that cuts to Medicaid would severely impact jobs and state revenue in Ohio; more than 11,000 jobs would be lost and the state could lose over $1 billion in business activity... and those are only the short term consequences.

More restrictions on voting; the State Senate passed a bill that shortens the early-voting period and would move the 2012 Presidential Primary from March to May (apparently the legislature wants more time for redistricting).

PENNSYLVANIA

Yet another example of a state trying to keep Americans from voting; last week the State House passed their version of the popular voter ID requirements bill.

A win for workers' rights! The SEIU and Gov. Corbett reach an agreement on the union's contract with the state.

VIRGINIA

Here's a run-down of some of the state's new laws that will be enacted on Friday. Take note; customers can now bring their own wine to restaurants, and a new license plate reads "Don't Tread On Me".

Fairfax school board chooses to close a beloved elementary school, rather than renovate, and one board member gets nasty hate mail because of her position.

Virginia Uranium sends 12 legislators on a 3-day paid vacation to France to show them examples of "successful" uranium mines, but very few of their claims are true.

WASHINGTON

Rep. Jay Inslee, champion of environmentalism, starts off his campaign for Governor today in Seattle.

Governor Chris Gregoire announced a few weeks ago that she won't run for another term. Here's a quick summary of what she's accomplished in her two terms in office, and her potential plans for life after governorship.

WISCONSIN

One Wisconsin Now and Talking Points Memo sound off on the allegations against Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser. And apparently, this isn't the first time he's been abusive toward colleagues.

And now for an update on the recall elections. Two Republicans want to run against Sen. Dave Hansen, and two more want to run against Sen. Jim Holperin. All four of them are being challenged.

 

Well, there you have it! Now go show off how politically informed you are.