Category: State Watch

Idaho governor announces executive order to tighten up voter registration rules

Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) announced an executive order Tuesday to tighten up voter registration in the state ahead of the election this fall. The order, called the Only Citizens Will Vote Act, will allow the Idaho secretary of state to “take all necessary steps” to prevent noncitizens from registering to vote. “Idaho already has the most secure elections in the nation, and we’re going…

California must retire gas-guzzling trucks to meet 2045 emissions targets: Study

California must retire existing heavy-duty trucks to meet the state’s 2045 carbon neutrality goals, in addition to promoting the purchase of zero-emissions vehicles (ZEVs), a new study has found. Stricter policies that cover both the rollout of zero-emissions trucks and the early retirement of gas-guzzlers could slash cumulative greenhouse gas emissions by 64 percent, according to the study, published on Monday in Environmental Research: Infrastructure and…

Whitmer says she doesn’t like seeing her name mentioned as possible Biden replacement

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said in a new interview that she doesn’t like seeing her name mentioned as a possible replacement for President Biden if he leaves the presidential campaign. “It’s a distraction more than anything,” she told The Associated Press. “I don’t like seeing my name in articles like that because I’m totally focused on governing and campaigning for the ticket.” The governor…

Pennsylvania capitol evacuated after bomb threat

The Pennsylvania State Capitol building was evacuated Saturday after state lawmakers received an email from an individual claiming they had placed explosives in the complex and were armed with a knife. A House Democratic Caucus spokesperson confirmed to ABC27 News that everyone inside the building was told to evacuate immediately. Capitol Police began searching the Pennsylvania complex with K9 units, but no explosives were found…

Trans state legislators slam White House opposition to gender-affirming surgery for minors

A group of transgender and nonbinary state legislators sent a letter to the Biden administration criticizing its decision to oppose gender-affirming surgery for minors. In the letter, the lawmakers said transgender youth in America have been under relentless legislative assault by right-wing politicians over the last several years. The biggest thing Republicans have done is placing bans on “evidence-based, mentally necessary healthcare” for transgender kids,…

California advances first-in-nation plan to set water budgets for cities statewide

California officials have approved a first-of-its-kind regulation that will set long-term limits on the amounts of water the state’s urban utilities can use on an annual basis. The State Water Resources Control Board granted unanimous support Wednesday to sweeping conservation measures that are expected to generate about 500,000 acre-feet in water savings each year by 2040. The quantity conserved is enough to quench the thirst…

Boil water advisories issued for DC, Arlington due to concerns over ‘unknown quality’

Boil water advisories were issued for Washington, D.C., and Arlington County, Va., late Wednesday. The District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority issued the advisory for every one of its customers in the district, as well the Pentagon, Arlington National Cemetery and Reagan National Airport, it said in a release. It called it a “precautionary notice to all customers to boil water that may be…

Beshear says he supports Biden as long as president remains in race

Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D) said Monday he will support President Biden’s reelection bid as long as he remains the Democratic candidate, despite Biden’s “rough” performance in the first presidential debate Thursday night. “The debate performance was rough. It was a very bad night for the president, but he is still the candidate. Only he can make decisions about his future candidacy. So as long…

Trump golf courses’ liquor licenses not renewed after conviction

The liquor licenses for two of former President Trump’s golf courses in New Jersey have not been renewed as state officials probe whether his conviction in his hush money case affects the holding of those licenses. The New Jersey Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control did not renew the liquor licenses of Trump National Golf Club Colts Neck and Trump National Golf Club Bedminster, a spokesperson…

Utah governor doubts Kinzinger, Cheney ‘changing hearts and minds’ 

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) said that he thinks former Reps. Liz Cheney (Wyo.) and Adam Kinzinger (Ill.), two Republicans who are often critical of former President Trump, aren’t “changing hearts and minds.” “I don’t know that they’re changing anybody’s minds,” Cox said on a Friday episode of Politico’s “Playbook Deep Dive” podcast. “I don’t think they’re changing hearts and minds at all.” The Utah…

Top Texas court upholds gender-affirming care ban for minors

Texas’s Supreme Court on Friday upheld the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors, dealing a blow to a group of medical providers, national LGBTQ organizations and families with transgender children that sued to block it.  The 8-1 ruling leaves in place a law that has upended care for an estimated 30,000 transgender Texans for nearly a year. The state’s highest court in August 2023 denied…

Harvard task forces finds both Jewish and Muslim students were discriminated

Two Harvard University task forces aimed at tackling antisemitism and anti-Muslim and anti-Arab bias released preliminary recommendations Wednesday, finding discrimination faced by both Muslim and Jewish students. The Presidential Task Force on Combating Anti-Muslim and Anti-Arab Bias and the Presidential Task Force on Combating Antisemitism both found Jewish and Muslim members of the Harvard community saying they have gone through “a state of uncertainty, abandonment,…

Biden, Democratic leaders condemn protest violence outside Los Angeles synagogue

President Biden and prominent Democrats condemned protests of an Israeli real estate sale at a Los Angeles synagogue on Sunday, calling the protests antisemitic. Groups protesting the Israel-Hamas war and U.S. policy towards Israel gathered outside the Adas Torah, synagogue where organizers held an event advertising real estate for sale in “housing projects in all the best Anglo neighborhoods in Israel.” “Intimidating Jewish congregants is…

Iowa governor declares disaster amid record flooding in state

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) declared a disaster in Sioux County after the area was slammed with record-breaking flooding. “I have issued a Disaster Proclamation for Sioux County and directed all available state resources to assist Rock Valley and other communities in northwest Iowa in response to catastrophic flooding,” she wrote on social media platform X. She also said she has requested an expedited presidential…

Trump campaign opens Savannah office as it attempts to court Georgia voters

The Trump campaign opened a new field office in Savannah, Ga., on Saturday, according to a campaign staffer. “The rain couldn’t deter the great patriots in Savannah from helping us open our newest office!” Wylie Shaw, a deputy state director for the Trump campaign, said in a post on the social platform X. The new campaign office comes as the former president’s campaign is making…

Trump-aligned nonprofit pays $100k in legal fees for Nevada ‘fake electors’ 

A nonprofit organization aligned with former President Trump paid $100,000 of legal fees for the six so-called “fake electors” in Nevada, according to people familiar with the payment. Personnel Policy Operations, or PPO, shelled out the fees to assist the Trump-supporting electors who faced charges for falsely claiming the former president won the state in the 2020 presidential election. The case was dismissed Friday after a judge ruled…

Michigan lawmakers advance bill banning ‘gay panic’ defense

The state Senate in Michigan passed a bill Thursday that would ban “gay panic” and “trans panic” defenses from being used in court. The legislation, House Bill 4718, prohibits the legal defense that would partially or completely excuse a person’s crimes, like murder and assault, on the grounds that the victim’s sexual orientation or gender were to blame, the Michigan Advance first reported. The bill…

Trump praises Stefanik as ‘SMART, STRONG, and TOUGH’ in endorsement

Former President Trump gave House Elise Stefanik (R-N.Y.) a ringing endorsement Friday, calling her “SMART, STRONG, and TOUGH” ahead of the state’s primary election. “Elise Stefanik is an Incredible representative for the fantastic people of New York’s 21st Congressional District,” Trump posted to his Truth Social site. “An America First Patriot, Elise is Fighting to Protect [our country] against the Marxists, Fascists, and Communitsts on…

Hogan distances himself from Trump endorsement: ‘I have no interest in it’

GOP Maryland Senate candidate and former Gov. Larry Hogan (R-Md.) distanced himself from former President Trump’s endorsement of him. “Well, I just said I didn’t… I didn’t seek it, I didn’t wanna have it and I have no interest in it. It’s not something we’re gonna be promoting, that’s for sure,” Hogan, a common Trump critic, said in an interview with Washington, D.C.-area radio station…

Texas governor issues disaster declaration ahead of Tropical Storm Alberto

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) issued a disaster declaration for the southern parts of the state on Wednesday as it prepares for the first tropical storm of the year, forecast to make landfall in nearby northern Mexico on Thursday. Tropical Storm Alberto is slated to bring heavy winds and rains to South Texas and potential flooding across most of the Gulf Coast in the coming…

New York law now requires paid breaks for breastfeeding employees 

Breastfeeding parents are now required to receive paid breaks in New York, due to a new law that went into effect Wednesday. It requires Empire State employers to provide half-hour paid breaks to working parents who need to pump breast milk for the first three years of their child’s life. “As New York’s first mom Governor, I am fighting every day to give working parents…

911 disruption in Massachusetts was caused by government firewall: State officials

The 911 system outage in Massachusetts earlier this week was caused by a government firewall meant to prevent cyberattacks, state officials said Wednesday The officials explained that a preliminary investigation by the Massachusetts State 911 Department and its 911 vendor Comtech found that Tuesday’s disruption was the result of a firewall that is meant to protect the system from cyberattacks and hacking. The statement said…

Kinzinger on close Virginia race: ‘Would you rather have dysentery or the flu?’

Former Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) took aim at the two candidates in the GOP primary for Virginia’s 5th Congressional District, saying that the choice between them is like choosing between “dysentery or the flu.” “Well, in my mind, it’s like, would you rather have dysentery or the flu? So, you know, you got to pick that out,” Kinziner, a CNN contributor, said Tuesday on “The…

Texas risks losing billions in federal funds over Abbott LGBTQ directive, Democrats say

Texas colleges and universities risk losing billions in federal funding if they comply with Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) directive to ignore a new federal rule bolstering nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ students, Democrats warned a state education board on Monday. In a congressional inquiry letter to Texas’ Higher Education Coordinating Board, the state agency overseeing public post-secondary education, four House Democrats from Texas said public colleges could…

San Francisco leaders declare city sanctuary for transgender people

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors declared the city a sanctuary for transgender and non-binary people on Tuesday, making it the largest city in the country to make the distinction. The declaration comes as conservative states ramp up efforts to limit transgender rights and access to gender-affirming care. It affirms that San Francisco will provide a place of safety for that community and providers of…

Theriault wins GOP primary to take on Rep. Jared Golden in Maine

Maine state Rep. Austin Theriault has won the Republican nomination to challenge Rep. Jared Golden (D-Maine) for the seat representing the state’s 2nd Congressional District, according to Decision Desk HQ. Theriault, a former NASCAR driver who had former President Trump’s endorsement, defeated fellow state Rep. Mike Soboleski for the nomination. The district will be a key battleground in the fall in what will likely be…

North Carolina lawmakers approve reworked mask bill allowing for health exemption after pushback

North Carolina lawmakers on Tuesday approved legislation to increase penalties for people who wear masks in public while committing crimes or while blocking traffic during protests. A previous version of the bill — which amends the state statues on masking — failed to get the necessary support after facing blowback for removing a health exemption added in 2020 to allow people to wear masks in…

Biden campaign highlights Trump’s Arpaio kiss

President Biden’s reelection campaign launched a quick response digital ad Friday that features former President Trump kissing former Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio on stage. The kiss came at a rally Thursday where the former president brought out the 91-year-old Arpaio onstage, hugged him and blew an air kiss in the vicinity of the former law enforcement officer’s right ear. “I don’t kiss men, but I kissed…

Five convicted in $250 million COVID relief scheme

Five Minnesota residents were convicted on Friday in a $250 million COVID relief scheme where they misused funds designated to help feed kids during the pandemic.  The jury acquitted two others over their involvement in a $40 million scheme to defraud the Federal Child Nutrition Program.  After three days of deliberating, the jury found five defendants, Abdiaziz Shafii Farah, 35, Mohamed Jama Ismail, 51, Abdimajid…

Austin DA requests reversal of Daniel Perry pardon

Austin, Texas’s district attorney on Wednesday requested that a state court of appeals overturn Gov. Greg Abbott’s (R) pardon of convicted murderer Daniel Perry, a man made a political pariah by conservatives. Travis County District Attorney José Garza urged a court to overturn Perry’s pardon in order to “restore the sanctity of the rule of law in this great state,” he said in a press…