NJ: New Jersey colleges need to perform better to get more state funds, governor says
If New Jersey’s public colleges want more state funding, they will have to prove they’ve earned it, state officials announced. In what could be the first step toward an overhaul of higher education aid, the state will offer million in performance-based funding for four-year colleges as part of wide-ranging new state plan for higher education.
AZ: Arizona bill would purge tens of thousands from early voter list
Some Republican state lawmakers are pushing a bill to make Arizona’s Permanent Early Voting List not so permanent. The bill would remove voters from the mail-in ballot list if they don’t vote in either the primary or general election for two consecutive election cycles for federal, statewide or legislative office.
MD: Maryland OKs bill to create prescription drug price board for government employees
The Maryland House of Delegates approved a bill that would create a state board to set limits on how much state and local governments pay for medicines for their employees and retirees. The bill was approved largely along party lines on a 98-40 vote, moving the measure to the state Senate for consideration.
TX: Texas will tell the feds it can’t promise a special education fix until June 2020
Preparing to ask the federal government for billion in special education grants, Texas education officials have indicated they do not expect to be able to adequately educate kids with disabilities until June 2020.
MA: Massachusetts advances bill to offset family planning rule
The Massachusetts House overwhelmingly approved million to offset the potential loss of federal funding to women’s reproductive health organizations under a new Trump administration rule. Republican Gov. Charlie Baker has also voiced his support for providing state money to close any gap in funding in the family planning program known as Title X.
NV: Bill would raise Nevada minimum wage to by 2024
A bill introduced in the Nevada Assembly would raise the state’s minimum wage to for workers who are not offered health insurance and for those who are. The increase would happen gradually, with 75 cent increases each year starting in 2020 until it reaches the levels outlined by the bill by 2024.
NC: North Carolina may repeal corporal punishment
Corporal punishment would be permanently prohibited in North Carolina’s public schools in legislation advancing a year after the last two school districts gave up that option. The House voted for legislation repealing the process by which local school boards can choose to use spanking.
WI: Some Wisconsin lame-duck laws back in place after appeals court rules
Some of the lame-duck laws limiting the power of Wisconsin Democratic Gov. Tony Evers went back into effect when an appeals court overruled a Dane County judge who invalidated them last week. But the court did not act on a separate ruling in a second case that blocked parts of those laws.
ID: Idaho utility spurns coal, pledges 100 percent ‘clean’ energy by 2045
Idaho Power plans to stop using coal energy and rely instead on hydroelectric, solar and wind resources, the utility says. The public utility vows that 100 percent of energy will come from “clean” sources by 2045. Public utilities have made similar pledges in only a handful of states.
NY: A secretive dinner where K buys access to the New York governor (and filet mignon)
The rooftop fundraiser was meant to be a secretive affair, but word spread quickly among those with pending issues before the state. Lobbyists told their clients that the event would be a good thing to go to. After all, the dinner was being held a little more than two weeks before the New York State budget was due, and what better way to make valuable connections than to pay tribute to the guest of honor, Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo.
GA: Georgia governor signs health care waiver bill into law
Georgia Republican Gov. Brian Kemp signed legislation that allows his administration to pursue two separate waivers with the federal government that could ease health care access for poor and middle-class Georgians and set a path toward limited Medicaid expansion, or they could advance conservative goals of reining in Medicaid’s scope.
TN: Key House committee approves Tennessee governor’s controversial voucher plan
Tennessee Republican Gov. Bill Lee’s controversial school voucher proposal passed a key hurdle when it gained approval from the House Education Committee. After a contentious meeting, the committee voted 14-9 to create an education savings account program in the state.
MS: How a college student exposed racial gerrymandering, prompted a lawsuit and forced Mississippi to redraw a voting district
John Chappell, a senior at the University of Mississippi, performed initial research that set in motion a series of events that could end with the Legislature redrawing a state Senate district to meet the standards of the Voting Rights Act.
IA: ‘Unborn person’ would be defined in Iowa law under a bill passed by the Senate
Iowa Senate Republicans approved a measure to define an “unborn person” in Iowa law as part of a measure increasing penalties for ending a woman’s pregnancy without her consent. The measure defines “unborn person” to mean “an individual organism of the species homo sapiens from fertilization to live birth.”
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