In some states, one political party dominates even without a lift from gerrymandering. The most extreme examples are Hawaii, Massachusetts and Rhode Island, all of which have legislatures controlled by Democrats.
A Dane County judge blocked a series of laws that limited the powers of Wisconsin’s governor and attorney general. Within hours, the two Democrats used the decision to try to get Wisconsin out of a multistate lawsuit challenging the Affordable Care Act that their Republican predecessors joined.
Mayors from 11 large California cities lobbied Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, asking for hundreds of millions in additional funding to combat homelessness in their communities.
An expected debate and vote on repealing the death penalty has been delayed in the Colorado Senate amid questions about whether it has the votes to pass — one of the first cracks to show among the Democrats who control both legislative chambers.
The Texas Department of Criminal Justice has put a hefty $1 billion price tag on the proposed installation of air conditioning in all uncooled prisons. But skeptical lawmakers note thatthe department has a history of greatly overestimating cooling costs.
A voluntary “do-not-sell” gun list in Louisiana would block people who fear they’re suicidal from buying a gun, while making it a crime to knowingly sell them a firearm. The bill is known as “Donna’s Law” after a New Orleans woman who killed herself with a gun last year.
The bill would allow school districts to let teachers voluntarily participate in Florida’s armed guardian program if they pass a rigorous background check and complete required training.
Georgia’s Republican secretary of state is opening a new investigation into allegations by the Democratic party that 4,700 absentee ballot requests went missing before November's election.
Michigan would become the second state to lower its drunken-driving limit to a blood-alcohol concentration of 0.05 percent, down from 0.08 percent – the limit in 48 other states.
The bill would exempt from taxes the first $30,000 in Social Security income for a single person and $60,000 for a couple. Current exemptions were set in 1983 and have not been adjusted for inflation since.
In Vermont, a background check is required to sell a handgun. The state Senate just approved a bill that would also require the seller to wait 24 hours before handing over the handgun.
In Massachusetts, no firm is legally permitted to own — or control — more than three stores that sell recreational pot. But two large firms are threatening the state’s promise to make the marijuana marketplace a fair one in which diversity of ownership is prized and small players have a chance.