Stateline

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/5

What We're Reading: Top State Stories 11/5

RI: Rhode Island voters drop ‘Plantations’ from state name

providencejournal.com

Riding a national wave of awareness about racial injustice, Rhode Island voters on Tuesday approved shortening the state’s official name and lopping off the centuries-old phrase – “and Providence Plantations” – that supporters said held connotations of slavery.

CA: California goes big on criminal justice changes, setting a new, uncertain path

latimes.com

California voters expressed a clear appetite for criminal justice reform on Election Day, supporting a series of ambitious changes after a summer of mass protests sparked a painful reckoning around racial injustice and debate over the role of policing.

NM: Women will hold majority in New Mexico House

santafenewmexican.com

With a net gain of four women in the New Mexico House, women will hold a 37-33 majority for the first time. The women elected were six Democrats, five Republicans and one independent.

OK: Oklahoma elects America’s first nonbinary state legislator

oklahoman.com

An Oklahoma Democrat elected Tuesday, Mauree Turner, will make history as the first Muslim in the Oklahoma legislature and the first nonbinary legislator in America. Turner is nonbinary, meaning a gender identity that is not strictly male or female.

NJ: New Jersey governor signs nation's most stringent bag, Styrofoam ban

northjersey.com

The days of hauling groceries in thin plastic bags or carrying a takeout meal in a polystyrene box are numbered in New Jersey. Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law the nation's most wide-ranging ban on disposable plastic products along with paper bags.

FL: Florida passes minimum wage hike

sarasotamagazine.com

Low-wage workers and labor activists celebrated the passage of an amendment that will gradually over six years raise the state’s minimum wage to $15 an hour from $8.56. A coalition of business owners also worked to pass the amendment.

US: Five candidates become first Muslim lawmakers in their states

huffpost.com

Five Democratic politicians made history last night by becoming the first Muslim legislators in their respective states. Three Muslim women won seats in state legislatures in Colorado, Delaware and Oklahoma. Two men became the first Muslims in their state legislatures in Florida and Wisconsin.

MN: Minnesota legislature on track for a more divided government

startribune.com

Minnesota voters delivered another two years of divided government. Republicans retained a narrow majority in the state Senate and Democrats kept control of the state House.

NC: Early voters lead the charge for Republican victories in North Carolina

newsobserver.com

For the first time since North Carolina began early voting 20 years ago, Republicans won the early vote up and down the ballot. Biden and other Democrats won mail-in absentee voting, which the pandemic pushed to record numbers.

WI: Wisconsin Democrats beat back GOP supermajority push

apnews.com

Wisconsin Democrats narrowly thwarted a Republican attempt to build legislative supermajorities that would have allowed the GOP to bypass Democratic Gov. Tony Evers’ vetoes and advance their agenda at will.  

VT: Republicans pick up 3 seats in Vermont House, weakening Democrats’ hold

vtdigger.org

Vermont’s Republican Party picked up three seats in the House, knocking the Democratic/Progressive “super coalition” down to 99 seats, just short of the 100 needed to override Republican Gov. Phil Scott’s frequent vetoes.

AK: Alaska won’t begin counting its last batch of ballots until next week

alaskapublic.org

As Alaska is the last state in the country to begin to count absentee ballots, the outcome of close races won’t be known for at least a week after Election Day.

WY: Wyoming’s statehouse shifts to the right

wyofile.com

Amid record voter turnout in a presidential year, Republicans in the Wyoming legislature picked up one seat each in the House and Senate. Democrats suffered legislative losses.

IL: Voters defeat Illinois graduated income tax amendment 

chicagotribune.com 

The group backed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker to pitch his proposal to enact a graduated state income tax in Illinois acknowledged the constitutional amendment’s defeat and warned of a financial morass as a result of the rejection.

MO: Missouri governor outlines plan for $1.2B in pandemic spending

stltoday.com

Missouri Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s spending package includes giving his office control over more than $764 million in state and federal funds for pandemic relief. The House and Senate will hold a special session to begin spending negotiations.

AZ: Arizona education ballot measure ahead in early returns

azcentral.com

The Arizona measure would raise revenue primarily for educator salaries by adding a 3.5% tax surcharge on taxable income over $250,000 for individuals and $500,000 for couples. A small fraction of taxpayers would be affected.

OR: Republicans gain in Oregon House

opb.org

Republicans gained ground in the state House for the first time in a decade, but Democrats still hold supermajorities in both chambers.

ID: Idaho legislature gets even redder

idahostatesman.com

The makeup of Idaho’s legislature turned even redder, with Republicans picking up two more seats in the House, extending their majority.

HI: Hawaii GOP loses ground in state House

staradvertiser.com

Hawaii’s Republican Party lost one of its five seats in the state House — already the fewest number of seats it held since statehood in 1959. The party failed to pick up any new Republican representatives.

KS: Kansas elects first transgender legislator

kansas.com

Stephanie Byers made history and became the first transgender legislator elected not only in Kansas but in the entire Midwest. The Democrat and former educator beat her Republican opponent for House District 86.

MD: Coronavirus surge in Maryland might prompt new restrictions

baltimoresun.com

The coronavirus pandemic is surging in Maryland, with daily cases, hospitalizations and the testing positivity rate reaching their highest levels in months. Local officials discussed tightening virus-related restrictions.

 WV: West Virginia Republicans expand statehouse majority

apnews.com

West Virginia Republicans expanded their majorities in the state legislature after taking at least 10 seats from Democrats. Enthusiasm for President Donald Trump helped solidify the Republican takeover of West Virginia politics.

NY: New York Republicans gain legislative seats

timesunion.com

Republican Party leaders in New York celebrated as early results showed their minority caucus picked up at least four seats in the state Senate. The outcome stood as a rebuttal to expectations that Democrats would ride a "blue wave" backlash against President Donald Trump.

FL: Florida House Democrats give up 2018 gains

 

politico.com

Florida House Democrats were a silver lining for their party in 2018, when they picked up five seats in the conservative state chamber. Two years later, those gains have vanished.

MA: Massachusetts voters expand right-to-repair law

boston.com

The measure updates Massachusetts’ 2012 right-to-repair law, which led to a national standard giving independent shops access to vehicle information used to diagnose problems, to include data now automatically transmitted to dealers.

KY: Kentucky governor expects balanced budget without cuts

kentucky.com

Despite earlier warnings about reduced tax collections because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Democratic Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said the state’s fiscal 2021 budget is on track to balance without any cuts.

CO: Colorado hospitalizations could surpass April peak

denverpost.com

Colorado hospitals took new steps to help prevent becoming overwhelmed by a surge in coronavirus patients as current statewide hospitalizations for COVID-19 are expected to surpass the April peak in the next two or three days. Some counties are considering curfews.

Colorado Voters Bring Back Wolves Republicans Retain Statehouses
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