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GovBeat: October, 2013

Posted at 05:30 PM ET, 10/31/2013

Is Poughkeepsie, N.Y., the best place to trick-or-treat tonight?

Yes, if you agree with the methodology of the Halloween Index.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  05:30 PM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 04:25 PM ET, 10/31/2013

Utah takes long view on water policy

By Reid Wilson  |  04:25 PM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 03:02 PM ET, 10/31/2013

The 9 scariest seats of government (and other Halloween facts)

It’s Halloween and we’re celebrating the only way we know how—with statistics!

By Niraj Chokshi  |  03:02 PM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 01:12 PM ET, 10/31/2013

Republicans target minor parties after election losses

Republicans are raising thresholds minor parties must meet to qualify for the ballot.

By Reid Wilson  |  01:12 PM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Arizona, campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, Montana, newsletter, Ohio, States, voting, voting rights, Voting Wars

Posted at 10:57 AM ET, 10/31/2013

Scott Walker’s low ceiling, high floor

The Wisconsin governor has as many detractors as fans. That will complicate his re-election bid.

By Reid Wilson  |  10:57 AM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaign, Campaigns and Elections, election, Ohio, poll, Scott Walker, voting, wisconsin

Posted at 08:56 AM ET, 10/31/2013

Texas election shows impact of voter ID laws

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott got to vote -- thanks to state Sen. Wendy Davis, his likely rival next year.

By Reid Wilson  |  08:56 AM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  States, texas, voting, voting rights, Voting Wars

Posted at 06:03 AM ET, 10/31/2013

New Jersey poised to add a minimum wage hike to its constitution

The measure has a huge margin of support, according to polls.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  06:03 AM ET, 10/31/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  minimum wage, New Jersey

Posted at 04:10 PM ET, 10/30/2013

States slow to spend billions in TARP funds for underwater homeowners

Nineteen states have been slow to spend money aimed at keeping people in their homes, an inspector general report found.

By Reid Wilson  |  04:10 PM ET, 10/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Alabama, Arizona, California, economy, housing, indiana, Nevada, newsletter, Oregon, States, tarp

Posted at 11:36 AM ET, 10/30/2013

GOP convention watch: Adelson vs. Koch brothers?

Las Vegas and Kansas City are two front-runners for the 2016 GOP convention, pitting mega-donors against each other.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:36 AM ET, 10/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  convention, Kansas, Kansas City, Las Vegas, Missouri, Nevada, newsletter, Republican Party, republicans, States

Posted at 10:40 AM ET, 10/30/2013

State spending on prison health care is exploding. Here’s why.

A trio of factors are driving costs, but some states are working to rein them in.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:40 AM ET, 10/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  health care, Healthcare, prisons, spending

Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 10/30/2013

Arizona election law will be put to statewide vote

A controversial election reform law will be put to a vote in 2014.

By Reid Wilson  |  08:59 AM ET, 10/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Arizona, campaigns, elections, States, voting, voting rights, Voting Wars

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 10/30/2013

Anti-‘revenge porn’ group focusing on state bans, for now

The group is working states to criminalize the practice there, with an eye toward federal legislation

By Niraj Chokshi  |  06:02 AM ET, 10/30/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Alabama, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kansas, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, washington, wisconsin

Posted at 03:53 PM ET, 10/29/2013

California city sues over cloud of Sriracha

The city of Irwindale says it’s being assaulted by a cloud of Sriracha.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:53 PM ET, 10/29/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  California, sriracha, States

Posted at 01:52 PM ET, 10/29/2013

Oklahoma’s abortion restrictions kicked back to the Supreme Court

The fate of the 2011 law is in the hands of the nation’s top court.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  01:52 PM ET, 10/29/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  abortion, Oklahoma, supreme court

Posted at 01:27 PM ET, 10/29/2013

Did a murderer and a sex offender just save Oklahoma $20 million?

Inmates at an Oklahoma prison have come up with a program to track prisoners and supplies.

By Reid Wilson  |  01:27 PM ET, 10/29/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  newsletter, Oklahoma, prisons, States

Posted at 12:01 PM ET, 10/29/2013

The West Coast unites on climate change

California, Oregon and Washington agree to coordinate on policy.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  12:01 PM ET, 10/29/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  California, Environment, Oregon, washington

Posted at 10:47 AM ET, 10/29/2013

The three strikes against Ken Cuccinelli

The Virginia attorney general is way behind Democrat Terry McAuliffe. Here’s why.

By Reid Wilson  |  10:47 AM ET, 10/29/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, cuccinelli, elections, mcauliffe, newsletter, polls, virginia

Posted at 08:31 AM ET, 10/29/2013

Washington state voters are about to weigh in on a multi-million dollar food fight

Next week, voters will decide whether to require labeling genetically-modified foods.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  08:31 AM ET, 10/29/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Campaigns and Elections, elections, washington

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 10/29/2013

Awaiting FDA, states pursue their own e-cigarette rules

The FDA hasn’t weighed in, but tobacco companies are pushing states to take action on e-cigarettes.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:02 AM ET, 10/29/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  cigarettes, fda, newsletter, regulation, States

Posted at 03:50 PM ET, 10/28/2013

Texas’s abortion restriction ruled unconstitutional

A judge blocked implementation less than 24 hours before the rules were set to take effect.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  03:50 PM ET, 10/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  abortion, texas

Posted at 01:41 PM ET, 10/28/2013

After Friday, states will lose $5 billion in food aid

Funding provided by the stimulus bill in 2009 runs out on Friday, and poor families will see benefit cuts.

By Reid Wilson  |  01:41 PM ET, 10/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Alabama, California, economy, farm bill, food aid, Food Stamps, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, newsletter, Poverty, snap, States, texas

Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 10/28/2013

Why Terry McAuliffe is beating Ken Cuccinelli, in 5 charts

Terry McAuliffe is vastly outspending Ken Cuccinelli on television. Here’s where, and by how much.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:11 AM ET, 10/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  advertising, campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, newsletter, States, television, virginia

Posted at 09:21 AM ET, 10/28/2013

After Sandy, New York will hold strategic gasoline reserves

A year after Hurricane Sandy, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the state will keep 3 million gallons in reserve.

By Reid Wilson  |  09:21 AM ET, 10/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  disaster relief, hurricane sandy, New Jersey, New York, States, superstorm sandy

Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 10/28/2013

About $1 billion in new taxes are up for a vote next week in Colorado

The first in a daily look at the policy questions facing voters next week.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  06:01 AM ET, 10/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Colorado, Marijuana, taxes

Posted at 12:02 AM ET, 10/28/2013

Report: Outside spending distorts state supreme court rulings

Justices tend to favor the prosecution when outside spending is high.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  12:02 AM ET, 10/28/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Courts

Posted at 09:54 AM ET, 10/26/2013

Gun-rights groups will try to recall California lawmakers

Gun rights advocates say their success against two Colorado Democrats can translate to California.

By Reid Wilson  |  09:54 AM ET, 10/26/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  California, campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, gun control, gun rights, recall, second amendment, States

Posted at 03:09 PM ET, 10/25/2013

Happy Nevada Day, and 15 other holidays unique to just one state

Pulaski Day? Seward’s Day? States find all kinds of reasons to give employees the day off.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:09 PM ET, 10/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  holidays, Nevada, newsletter, States

Posted at 01:37 PM ET, 10/25/2013

North Carolina legislator: Obama not a traitor to Kenya

A North Carolina state legislator made the comments while a Democratic tracker filmed him.

By Reid Wilson  |  01:37 PM ET, 10/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  birther, North Carolina, Obama, States

Posted at 11:14 AM ET, 10/25/2013

Montana legislators debate rolling back term limits

Legislators are frustrated with short term limits, but they have an uphill challenge in overturning them.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:14 AM ET, 10/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Idaho, Montana, newsletter, States, term limits

Posted at 10:33 AM ET, 10/25/2013

Remember how D.C. sold tax debt and residents lost homes? Philadelphia may approve a similar practice.

The City Council wants to be able to sell its claims on homes whose owners owe back taxes.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:33 AM ET, 10/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  taxes

Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 10/25/2013

State insurance boards frustrated with Obamacare technical glitches

Questions go unanswered even as HealthCare.gov slowly improves.

By  |  06:01 AM ET, 10/25/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  affordable care act, health care, obamacare, States

Posted at 03:50 PM ET, 10/24/2013

California to levy massive fine against Koch brothers groups

By Reid Wilson  |  03:50 PM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  California, campaign finance, campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, Koch brothers, newsletter, States

Posted at 03:39 PM ET, 10/24/2013

Things are bad for the 15 communities that explored a desperate housing bailout

By Niraj Chokshi  |  03:39 PM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  economy, housing

Posted at 11:32 AM ET, 10/24/2013

Regional economics drive support, opposition to proposed airline merger

Mayors in hub cities back the merger, but some attorneys general are still skeptical.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:32 AM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  american airlines, Arizona, business, economy, merger, Oklahoma, States, texas, us airways, virginia

Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 10/24/2013

The House overcame its earmark ban to pass a bill. Here’s who gets paid.

Nearly $8 billion will fund water-infrastructure projects in 13 states.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:48 AM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Infrastructure, spending

Posted at 08:01 AM ET, 10/24/2013

29 states want the Supreme Court weighing in on another Obamacare mandate

The spotlight is on the law’s contraception mandate.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  08:01 AM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  supreme court

Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 10/24/2013

Rick Scott wants a half-billion-dollar tax cut

By Reid Wilson  |  06:01 AM ET, 10/24/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, Florida, States, taxes

Posted at 03:27 PM ET, 10/23/2013

USDA will provide some relief to South Dakota farmers after blizzard

The Agriculture Department can provide some emergency relief, but lack of a farm bill is still delaying aid.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:27 PM ET, 10/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  disaster relief, farm bill, South Dakota, States, USDA

Posted at 01:25 PM ET, 10/23/2013

States rethink asset tests for food benefit recipients

States are reconsidering asset caps for recipients of government food aid.

By Reid Wilson  |  01:25 PM ET, 10/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Food Stamps, newsletter, Poverty, Rankings, snap, States, tanf, wealth

Posted at 10:41 AM ET, 10/23/2013

Where ObamaCare enrollees actually live

Bookmark this state-by-state breakdown of applications created and processed.

By Reid Wilson  |  10:41 AM ET, 10/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  affordable care act, health care, obamacare, States

Posted at 08:17 AM ET, 10/23/2013

Some federal workers may get extra money for not working during the shutdown

Oregonians who got jobless benefits and backpay are allowed to keep both.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  08:17 AM ET, 10/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 10/23/2013

Washington state special election could decide party control

The most expensive legislative race in state history could give Republicans long-term control of the state Senate.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:02 AM ET, 10/23/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, newsletter, States, washington

Posted at 03:55 PM ET, 10/22/2013

Three more states could legalize gay marriage by year’s end

Gay-rights activists are kicking off a week-long campaign that could see three states legalize same-sex marriage.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:55 PM ET, 10/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  gay marriage, Hawaii, Illinois, New Mexico, newsletter, same sex marriage, States

Posted at 11:26 AM ET, 10/22/2013

Democrats lead the generic ballot by 8. That’s not enough to win the majority

It would take a political wave to unseat the House GOP majority. The evidence suggests that wave isn’t building.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:26 AM ET, 10/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, Congress, democrats, elections, newsletter, polls, republicans

Posted at 09:28 AM ET, 10/22/2013

Unemployment fell nationally, but it’s still 10 percent or more in 28 metro areas

Ten states still have regions with high unemployment.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  09:28 AM ET, 10/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  jobs, Unemployment

Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 10/22/2013

In Texas, Ted Cruz has allies

He’s made few allies in Washington, but back home, Ted Cruz is among friends.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:01 AM ET, 10/22/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, elections, immigration, newsletter, Republican, senate, States, tea party, Ted Cruz, texas

Posted at 05:25 PM ET, 10/21/2013

Ohio just became the fourth GOP-controlled state to approve Medicaid expansion under Obamacare

The nation is now evenly split between states that are expanding Medicaid and those that aren’t.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  05:25 PM ET, 10/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  health care, Healthcare, Ohio

Posted at 03:50 PM ET, 10/21/2013

Energy sector recovering fast in Western states

A new report shows the energy sector is a major source of jobs and income in Western states.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:50 PM ET, 10/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Colorado, Energy, New Mexico, newsletter, Rankings, States, taxes, wyoming

Posted at 03:46 PM ET, 10/21/2013

Republicans in these three states could face a backlash for not voting to end the shutdown

Their resistance is receiving some pushback at home.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  03:46 PM ET, 10/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 12:54 PM ET, 10/21/2013

The Supreme Court just took a case that could affect state death penalty policies

How do you define whether someone’s sufficiently mentally disabled to avoid the death penalty?

By Niraj Chokshi  |  12:54 PM ET, 10/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  supreme court

Posted at 10:39 AM ET, 10/21/2013

Local newspapers focus on the health-care law rollout

Many local newspapers featured front-page stories on the health-care law’s rocky rollout.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:39 AM ET, 10/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Front pages

Posted at 08:57 AM ET, 10/21/2013

Same-sex marriages begin in New Jersey; Christie drops appeal

Dozens of couples tied the knot just after midnight Sunday after the state Supreme Court declined to intervene.

By Reid Wilson  |  08:57 AM ET, 10/21/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  gay marriage, New Jersey, same sex marriage, States

Posted at 08:02 AM ET, 10/20/2013

The Presidential order of succession

Who’s the highest-ranking official in the presidential line of succession in each state?

By Reid Wilson  |  08:02 AM ET, 10/20/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  president, Rankings, States

Posted at 08:01 AM ET, 10/19/2013

States that ran parks during the shutdown will have to lobby Congress to be repaid

The funds were considered a donation.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  08:01 AM ET, 10/19/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 03:38 PM ET, 10/18/2013

Judge rejects Democratic challenge to Virginia voter purge

A federal judge said there wasn’t enough evidence of disenfranchisement to stop a purge.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:38 PM ET, 10/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  States, virginia, voting rights, Voting Wars

Posted at 03:02 PM ET, 10/18/2013

Oregon will recognize out-of-state same-sex marriages

State agencies will recognize gay marriages performed in other jurisdictions.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:02 PM ET, 10/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  gay marriage, Oregon, same sex marriage, States

Posted at 11:30 AM ET, 10/18/2013

The solution to hyper-partisanship already exists, and it doesn’t involve gerrymandering

How Washington and California moved to empower independents and limit extreme partisans.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:30 AM ET, 10/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  California, campaigns, Congress, elections, gerrymandering, primaries, redistricting, reform, washington

Posted at 10:27 AM ET, 10/18/2013

California’s second-highest state executive says it’s time to legalize pot

“Enough’s enough,” says Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D).

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:27 AM ET, 10/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Marijuana

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 10/18/2013

Wisconsin passes a $100 million tax cut in just four days

Just four days after its introduction, the governor’s tax bill has passed both houses.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  06:02 AM ET, 10/18/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  taxes

Posted at 03:31 PM ET, 10/17/2013

Minnesota feuds over online voter registration

The dispute is less about registering online and more about whether the Secretary of State has to seek legislative approval.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:31 PM ET, 10/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Minnesota, States, voter registration, Voting Wars

Posted at 12:29 PM ET, 10/17/2013

Virginia election officials purging almost 40,000 voters

Virginia officials have scratched more than 38,000 voters from its rolls, despite concerns from local election administrators.

By Reid Wilson  |  12:29 PM ET, 10/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  cuccinelli, governor, States, virginia, voting rights, Voting Wars

Posted at 11:18 AM ET, 10/17/2013

Local papers go big with news the shutdown is over

A roundup of front pages from the regions with the highest share of federal workers.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  11:18 AM ET, 10/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 10:14 AM ET, 10/17/2013

Gov. Walker to Mexico: Don’t you want to open a consulate in Wisconsin?

The Chicago consulate, which serves Wisconsin, is “overwhelmed,” he said.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:14 AM ET, 10/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  demographics

Posted at 09:46 AM ET, 10/17/2013

Poor children now make up a majority of school children in South and West

More than half of students in the American South and West come from low-income homes.

By Reid Wilson  |  09:46 AM ET, 10/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  education, Poverty, Rankings, States

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 10/17/2013

New Hampshire will hold special session on Medicaid expansion

New Hampshire legislators working towards bipartisan Medicaid expansion that would net $2.5 billion in federal funds.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:02 AM ET, 10/17/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  affordable care act, medicaid expansion, New Hampshire, obamacare, States

Posted at 07:30 PM ET, 10/16/2013

Seven other things the Senate compromise bill funds

The compromise measure does more than lift the debt ceiling and fund the government.

By Reid Wilson  |  07:30 PM ET, 10/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Congress, continuing resolution, earmarks, shutdown, States

Posted at 03:03 PM ET, 10/16/2013

Wisconsin could become the last Midwestern state to join the 70 mph club

Wisconsinites could soon join their faster-driving Midwestern neighbors.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  03:03 PM ET, 10/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Infrastructure

Posted at 02:11 PM ET, 10/16/2013

Senate shutdown compromise includes Colorado flood relief

A compromise to reopen the government includes disaster relief after floods damaged roads and bridges.

By Reid Wilson  |  02:11 PM ET, 10/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Colorado, disaster, flooding, relief, shutdown, States

Posted at 12:47 PM ET, 10/16/2013

How much state-owned land is too much?

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) is demanding an inventory of state-owned properties.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  12:47 PM ET, 10/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Natural Resources, Rankings

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 10/16/2013

North Dakota poised to top 1 million barrels of oil per day

The Bakken oil field is the reason North Dakota’s economy thrived during the Great Recession.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:33 AM ET, 10/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  economy, Fracking, North Dakota, recession, States

Posted at 10:01 AM ET, 10/16/2013

The Affordable Care Act won’t help these 5 million people

Millions of Americans living in poverty make too much and aren’t old enough to qualify for Medicaid.

By Reid Wilson  |  10:01 AM ET, 10/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  affordable care act, health care, obamacare, Rankings, States

Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 10/16/2013

In sunny Arizona, a battle over solar power

A debate over a simple rate change has become an all-out battle that could spread to the rest of the nation.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:01 AM ET, 10/16/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Arizona, corporations, Koch brothers, Regulations, renewable energy, solar power, States

Posted at 03:47 PM ET, 10/15/2013

More than half the West is federally owned. Now some states want that land

Two thirds of Utah is federal land and the state wants it back. (And they’re not alone.)

By Niraj Chokshi  |  03:47 PM ET, 10/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Public land, shutdown

Posted at 01:39 PM ET, 10/15/2013

Colorado will vote on personhood amendment

A measure to redefine the words ‘person’ and ‘child’ in the state criminal code will be on the 2014 ballot.

By Reid Wilson  |  01:39 PM ET, 10/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  abortion, abortion rights, Colorado, initiatives, pro-choice, pro-life, States

Posted at 12:43 PM ET, 10/15/2013

Charter schools are hurting urban public schools, Moody’s says

By Niraj Chokshi  |  12:43 PM ET, 10/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  education

Posted at 10:58 AM ET, 10/15/2013

The next, next Citizens United

A conservative attorney wants the Supreme Court to review a ban on corporate contributions.

By Reid Wilson  |  10:58 AM ET, 10/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaign finance, Iowa, States, supreme court

Posted at 08:02 AM ET, 10/15/2013

After 56 years, hemp makes a comeback

The first harvest in more than half a century heralds a turning point in the fight to allow cultivation of the versatile plant.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  08:02 AM ET, 10/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  agriculture

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 10/15/2013

When will Republicans have their Barry Goldwater moment?

Will the shutdown be the party’s impetus for change? It doesn’t look likely.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:02 AM ET, 10/15/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  2016, campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, republicans, shutdown

Posted at 01:13 PM ET, 10/14/2013

Catholic Church wades into Missouri education fight

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has spent $300,000 on a school choice initiative they hope gets on the ballot next year.

By Reid Wilson  |  01:13 PM ET, 10/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Missouri, school choice, States

Posted at 12:30 PM ET, 10/14/2013

Minnesota might reopen parks, if the state could only find some answers first

Officials there were struggling to find federal employees to answer some basic budgetary questions.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  12:30 PM ET, 10/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 10/14/2013

Voting wars coming to Wisconsin

Party-line votes on minor tweaks hint at distrust in a deeply-polarized state.

By Reid Wilson  |  10:50 AM ET, 10/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  States, voting rights, Voting Wars, wisconsin

Posted at 10:14 AM ET, 10/14/2013

Utah will hold special session to keep parks open

Gov. Gary Herbert has called a special session to allocate funding for parks closed by government shutdown.

By Reid Wilson  |  10:14 AM ET, 10/14/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  national parks, shutdown, Utah

Posted at 05:44 PM ET, 10/12/2013

Brown nixes Democrats-friendly initiative reform measure

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed a bill that would have made it harder for conservatives to put initiatives on the ballot.

By Reid Wilson  |  05:44 PM ET, 10/12/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  California, campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, initiatives, States

Posted at 04:31 PM ET, 10/11/2013

Blizzard, lack of Farm Bill threatens South Dakota cattle ranchers

Cattle ranchers can’t get emergency relief until Congress acts to pass a Farm Bill.

By Reid Wilson  |  04:31 PM ET, 10/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  agriculture, disaster relief, farm bill, livestock, South Dakota

Posted at 04:24 PM ET, 10/11/2013

Jerry Brown vetoes gun-control legislation

California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed two measures restricting the sale and possession of some firearms on Friday.

By Reid Wilson  |  04:24 PM ET, 10/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  California, gun control, States

Posted at 02:29 PM ET, 10/11/2013

Cities report improving fiscal health

After years of recession, city revenue streams are rising again -- slowly.

By Reid Wilson  |  02:29 PM ET, 10/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  budgets, cities, States, taxes

Posted at 12:07 PM ET, 10/11/2013

Study: Red states most impacted by shutdown

Red states are being hit harder by the shutdown, thanks to high numbers of federal employees.

By Reid Wilson  |  12:07 PM ET, 10/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Rankings, shutdown, States

Posted at 10:37 AM ET, 10/11/2013

Utah opening national parks; Montana says no

Utah will spend taxpayer money to open some of its state parks.

By Reid Wilson  |  10:37 AM ET, 10/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Montana, shutdown, States, Utah

Posted at 09:58 AM ET, 10/11/2013

Poor women and children in North Carolina will get aid, after all

The state, it turns out, won’t be the first to suspend benefits due to the shutdown.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  09:58 AM ET, 10/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 10/11/2013

In Oregon, ‘Dr. No’ gets to yes

In his third term, Gov. John Kitzhaber (D) changes his image in hopes of getting results.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:02 AM ET, 10/11/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, kitzhaber, Oregon, States, taxes

Posted at 04:26 PM ET, 10/10/2013

Governors to Congress: Get your act together, then pay us back

"States are not in a position to be the bank for the federal government," they argue.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  04:26 PM ET, 10/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown, States

Posted at 03:30 PM ET, 10/10/2013

White House: States can use own funds to reopen national parks

Governors in at least four states have asked to do so.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  03:30 PM ET, 10/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 02:03 PM ET, 10/10/2013

What it’s like to lose Head Start

Four vignettes on what it was like dealing with closed Head Start programs.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  02:03 PM ET, 10/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  education, shutdown

Posted at 12:15 PM ET, 10/10/2013

California expands early abortion access, defying national trend

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed legislation that would expand access to abortions.

By Reid Wilson  |  12:15 PM ET, 10/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  abortion, California, pro-choice, States

Posted at 11:11 AM ET, 10/10/2013

One national park in the U.S. remains open — in New Jersey

A real estate fluke accounts for why.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  11:11 AM ET, 10/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 09:12 AM ET, 10/10/2013

Gun control initiative likely headed to Washington state legislature

Backers of an initiative to expand background checks are likely to send the measure to the legislature in 2014.

By Reid Wilson  |  09:12 AM ET, 10/10/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Campaigns and Elections, gun control, States, washington

Posted at 04:20 PM ET, 10/09/2013

Marijuana has been mentioned in 1,730 pieces of state legislation this year

Eleven states are considering legalizing it for recreational use.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  04:20 PM ET, 10/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Legislation, Marijuana

Posted at 02:01 PM ET, 10/09/2013

States start to feel shutdown pinch

The abstract debate on Capitol Hill is starting to hit home as programs run out of money and benefits slow.

By Reid Wilson  |  02:01 PM ET, 10/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Arkansas, Food Stamps, Nevada, North Carolina, shutdown, States, Utah

Posted at 11:39 AM ET, 10/09/2013

Western U.S. best for business, Tax Foundation says

An oil boom in the western United States is allowing states to lower tax rates. A new report says that makes for a better business climate.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:39 AM ET, 10/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  North Carolina, Rankings, States, taxes, texas, wyoming

Posted at 11:25 AM ET, 10/09/2013

The federal government’s got Federal Reserve staff down, but state and local governments are looking better

The Federal Reserve released the minutes of its mid-September meeting, and they reveal starkly different perspectives on federal vs. state and local governments.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  11:25 AM ET, 10/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  economy

Posted at 10:50 AM ET, 10/09/2013

After legalizing marijuana, Washington and Colorado are starting to regulate it

Much of the state regulations are set, but the regulatory fight rages on at the local level.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:50 AM ET, 10/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Marijuana, Regulations

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 10/09/2013

Arizona law may restrict voting in local elections

Arizona’s attorney general says some voters who registered using a federal form can’t vote in state and local elections.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:02 AM ET, 10/09/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Arizona, campaigns, elections, States, voting, voting rights, Voting Wars

Posted at 02:22 PM ET, 10/08/2013

Drug overdoses kill more people than auto accidents in 29 states

Drug overdoses kill more Americans than motor vehicles in 29 states, despite new laws aimed at curbing abuse.

By Reid Wilson  |  02:22 PM ET, 10/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  drug use, drugs, health, Rankings, States

Posted at 01:49 PM ET, 10/08/2013

At least 26,000 federal workers file for unemployment in DC, Maryland during shutdown

A D.C. spokeswoman says the claims represent a major increase.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  01:49 PM ET, 10/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown, Wages & Employment

Posted at 11:33 AM ET, 10/08/2013

Study: Fact-checkers help prevent misleading statements

A new study finds the threat of being fact-checked makes local elected officials watch their mouths.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:33 AM ET, 10/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, States

Posted at 09:41 AM ET, 10/08/2013

Meet the 12-year-old regular at Dallas City Council meetings (VIDEO)

David Williams has some surprisingly detailed policy questions for a seventh-grader.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  09:41 AM ET, 10/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Precociousness, Video, viral video

Posted at 08:17 AM ET, 10/08/2013

State campaign contribution limits could be on the line today at the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court hears arguments in a case that could have implications for some states.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  08:17 AM ET, 10/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Campaigns and Elections

Posted at 06:02 AM ET, 10/08/2013

Oregon likely to try again on sales tax

Oregon’s budget took a hit when income rates fell during the recession. Now, sales taxes are on the table.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:02 AM ET, 10/08/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  income tax, Oregon, Rankings, sales tax, States, taxes

Posted at 06:32 PM ET, 10/07/2013

States ask Congress to pay them for opening parks during the shutdown

By Niraj Chokshi  |  06:32 PM ET, 10/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 04:35 PM ET, 10/07/2013

Private donors offer $10 million to reopen Head Start programs in six states

The programs will be able to reopen despite the federal government shutdown.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  04:35 PM ET, 10/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 02:05 PM ET, 10/07/2013

Gun rights advocates plan another Colorado recall

After ousting two Democratic state senators, gun rights advocates are aiming to win control of the chamber.

By Reid Wilson  |  02:05 PM ET, 10/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, Colorado, elections, gun control, gun rights, recall

Posted at 12:51 PM ET, 10/07/2013

GOP expands Hispanic outreach in 7 states where that population is set to explode

Five of the states currently rank among the top 10 by Hispanic share of the total population.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  12:51 PM ET, 10/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  demographics

Posted at 09:25 AM ET, 10/07/2013

National park visitors spend more than $35 million a day. When the parks are open

More than $35 million is spent each October day where the nation’s more than 300 national park sites are located.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  09:25 AM ET, 10/07/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 04:25 PM ET, 10/05/2013

Hotels, online sites fight over travel tax burden

Who should pay the government when you book a hotel room on Orbitz? Hotels and the online travel industry are at odds.

By Reid Wilson  |  04:25 PM ET, 10/05/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  States, taxes, travel

Posted at 01:03 PM ET, 10/04/2013

Report: Shutdown costing $150 million daily in lost wages in D.C. area

Some 373,000 federal jobs are in the D.C. metro area.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  01:03 PM ET, 10/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 12:10 PM ET, 10/04/2013

Christie takes on Colorado GOP: ‘They’re hypocrites’

Chris Christie (R) called four Colorado Republicans “hypocrites” for opposing funding for Sandy victims.

By Reid Wilson  |  12:10 PM ET, 10/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Colorado, disaster, disaster relief, funding, New Jersey, shutdown, States

Posted at 09:38 AM ET, 10/04/2013

Federal spending cuts (sequestration) cost $312.4 per person in military counties

A new analysis maps out the pain of sequestration.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  09:38 AM ET, 10/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Counties, Sequestration

Posted at 08:40 AM ET, 10/04/2013

Va. Governor: There’s a ‘dangerous disconnect’ between D.C. and states

Gov. McDonnell lays the blame at the feet of both parties.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  08:40 AM ET, 10/04/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 05:38 PM ET, 10/03/2013

The shutdown isn’t bad politics for GOP governors

Republicans on Capitol Hill see political peril in the shutdown. But for governors, the calculus is more complex.

By Reid Wilson  |  05:38 PM ET, 10/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, republicans, shutdown, States

Posted at 03:02 PM ET, 10/03/2013

GOP’s Senate hopes could hinge on shutdown

Republicans are banking on House members to win Senate seats. That strategy could backfire.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:02 PM ET, 10/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, senate, shutdown

Posted at 11:51 AM ET, 10/03/2013

By Friday, 5,000 children will have lost Head Start since the shutdown began

A Georgia programs will join counterparts in four other states.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  11:51 AM ET, 10/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  education, shutdown

Posted at 10:01 AM ET, 10/03/2013

Nearly two in five workers can’t do their jobs without government approval

There has been explosive growth in occupations that require government licensing or certification over the past 60 years.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:01 AM ET, 10/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Regulations

Posted at 08:59 AM ET, 10/03/2013

Hey look, a grand bargain in Oregon!

Democrats voted to cut pensions, Republicans voted to raise taxes -- the system works!

By Reid Wilson  |  08:59 AM ET, 10/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  budget, gmo, Oregon, pension reform, taxes

Posted at 08:31 AM ET, 10/03/2013

Is this Texas barber regulation unconstitutional?

A hair-braider and her lawyers say it violates her 14th Amendment rights.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  08:31 AM ET, 10/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Regulations

Posted at 06:03 AM ET, 10/03/2013

State watchdogs band together to take on ‘dark money’

Watchdog groups are banding together to fight the growing influence of so-called ‘dark money.’

By Reid Wilson  |  06:03 AM ET, 10/03/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  California, campaign finance, campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, Idaho, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Montana, New York, washington

Posted at 03:51 PM ET, 10/02/2013

Which states are feeling the shutdown’s impact most?

Alaska, South Carolina, Louisiana and Colorado are feeling the effects of the shutdown in different ways.

By Reid Wilson  |  03:51 PM ET, 10/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 02:07 PM ET, 10/02/2013

California considers initiative tweaks that would favor Dems

Calif. Gov. Jerry Brown is contemplating a bill that would make it harder for conservative groups to get initiatives on the ballot.

By Reid Wilson  |  02:07 PM ET, 10/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  California, campaigns, Campaigns and Elections, elections, States

Posted at 10:32 AM ET, 10/02/2013

This map shows how widespread the shutdown’s impact is

From Hawaii to Georgia, workers in regions all over the country rely heavily on the federal government.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:32 AM ET, 10/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown

Posted at 09:35 AM ET, 10/02/2013

The view from the op-ed pages: GOP takes a beating

The nation’s editorial pages overwhelmingly place blame on one side in the shutdown debate.

By Reid Wilson  |  09:35 AM ET, 10/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  shutdown, States

Posted at 09:01 AM ET, 10/02/2013

Should Denver and New York City implement a plastic bag tax?

Do taxes and fees on plastic bags actually accomplish the goals their backers promise?

By Reid Wilson  |  09:01 AM ET, 10/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Colorado, Denver, New York City, spending, States, taxes

Posted at 06:01 AM ET, 10/02/2013

Shutdown highlights business’s waning influence on Republicans

An evolving Republican base puts more power in the hands of conservative activists, to the detriment of business interests.

By Reid Wilson  |  06:01 AM ET, 10/02/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  Jim DeMint, republicans, shutdown, Ted Cruz

Posted at 01:30 PM ET, 10/01/2013

How to get a thousand-dollar parking ticket

Be careful next time you fail to signal while driving through the Hollywood hills, or speed over the Golden Gate bridge.

By Reid Wilson  |  01:30 PM ET, 10/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)

Posted at 11:20 AM ET, 10/01/2013

Where federal workers live

Four states and the District of Columbia are home to more than 100,000 federal workers each.

By Reid Wilson  |  11:20 AM ET, 10/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  federal workers, Rankings, shutdown

Posted at 10:48 AM ET, 10/01/2013

Local governments fighting states over the right to explain Obamacare

The fights in at least two states — Tennessee and Florida — revolve around the law’s so-called navigators.

By Niraj Chokshi  |  10:48 AM ET, 10/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  health care, State v. Local

Posted at 10:42 AM ET, 10/01/2013

How the shutdown is playing in the states

Outrage and frustration plays out in states as parks shutter, employees furloughed, disaster aid delayed.

By Reid Wilson  |  10:42 AM ET, 10/01/2013 |  Permalink  |  Comments ( 0)
Tags:  furlough, shutdown, States

 

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