US: Justice Department deals blow to online gambling now operating in handful of states
The U.S. Justice Department issued a legal opinion that could further restrict online gambling even as some states have been moving to embrace it — a restriction long sought by Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson, who controls one of the world’s largest casino empires. The move could affect interstate compacts.
CO: Federal shutdown accounts for 20 percent of unemployment claims in Colorado
Federal employees in Colorado are filing for unemployment benefits by the hundreds — accounting for about 20 percent of unemployment claims filed statewide since the partial U.S. government shutdown began. As of Monday morning, the state had received 1,834 unemployment claims related to the shutdown.
OK: Oklahoma voter registration topped 2.1M, most ever following gubernatorial election
The Oklahoma State Election Board’s annual Jan. 15 voter registration count topped 2.1 million, the most ever following a gubernatorial election. Republican and independent registrations have continued their upward trends of recent years while Democratic voters dwindled.
MS: Mississippi workers, stuck under stagnant wages, have no guarantee of life without poverty
Many state employees in Mississippi have not seen salary hikes in a decade, but some are cautiously optimistic as policymakers float the possibility of pay raises.
FL: Florida governor warns Airbnb over West Bank policy
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis warned that Airbnb faces sanctions over its decision not to list properties in Israeli settlements in the West Bank, arguing that the policy is discriminatory and may violate a state law that prohibits Florida from doing business with companies that boycott Israel.
WA: Washington House concealed-guns policy keeps lieutenant governor away
Democratic Lt. Gov. Cyrus Habib did not preside at the governor’s address to a joint session of the Legislature because he felt vulnerable in the Washington House chamber, where people can carry concealed weapons in the public galleries.
SC: Faced with shutdown roadblock, South Carolina gives out food stamps early
The South Carolina Department of Social Services says it will be issuing the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits, also known as SNAP, early. About 231,000 households will get February benefits in mid-January.
TX: Texas House proposes massive increase for public school funding
The Texas House has offered a 17 percent increase in K-12 public education funding so long as lawmakers reduce the state’s reliance on property taxes, decrease the need for the unpopular Robin Hood system that requires property-wealthy districts to subsidize poorer ones, and maintain an equitable system of school finance, as required by the state constitution.
VT, NH: Vermont governor pitching joint paid family leave program with New Hampshire
Vermont Gov. Phil Scott will announce a proposal to institute a voluntary paid family leave program with New Hampshire during a press conference with fellow Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.
WI: Wisconsin Republicans tell governor they won’t expand Medicaid
Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said he would plow ahead with plans to expand a health insurance program under the Affordable Care Act despite Republican opposition.
MN: Minnesota governor outlines efforts to minimize impact of shutdown
Minnesota Democratic Gov. Tim Walz said the state will be able to continue on through Feb. 15 without extending funds that have already been appropriated. His plan includes directing state agencies to explore how to cover federal funds unavailable due to the shutdown.
WY: Wyoming House will consider trio of bills aimed at curbing state’s gender wage gap
In the wake of a 2018 study that found women in Wyoming are routinely paid less than men, lawmakers are considering three bills aimed to address what has been the nation’s worst wage gap.
TN: Lawmakers to reexamine Tennessee juvenile sentencing
Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Haslam’s decision to grant clemency to a 30-year-old woman who was sentenced to life in prison when she was 16 has prompted renewed scrutiny of the state’s uncommonly long sentences for juveniles convicted of first-degree murder.
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