Governors

Questions Abound with WA Public Option Health Plan | 05-17-2019

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) signed legislation ( SB 5526 ) last Monday that will make the Evergreen State the first to test the so-called “public option” for health care insurance sold through the state health benefits exchange. The...

Little Ponders Chance for Massive ID Regulatory Overhaul | 05-17-2019

In Idaho, Republicans control both legislative chambers and the governor’s office. But while they are all theoretically on the same side, intra-party fighting last month led to lawmakers adjourning without settling a very significant issue –...

Governors in Brief - May 20 2019 | 05-17-2019

SISOLAK SIGNS SWEEPING HEALTH MEASURES NEVADA Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) signed two significant health care measures last week: AB 170 , which codifies into Silver State law a prohibition on health insurers from denying patient coverage due to pre-existing...

Newsom Pitches Plan to Cover CA Immigrant Health Care | 05-10-2019

In a move framed as another step toward universal single-payer health care in the state, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) proposed expanding Medicaid coverage to low-income young adults aged 19 to 25, regardless of immigration status. Newsom made the...

Parson Unveils Plan to Grow MO Auto Industry | 05-10-2019

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) unveiled a proposal last week to bolster and expand the state’s $4 billion automotive industry. The four bills in the package include legislation that would: - Supply financial aid to adult learners pursuing education...

Governors in Brief - May 13 2019 | 05-10-2019

WHITMER VOWS VETO OF MI INSURANCE OVERHAUL Saying the legislation “creates more problems than it solves,” MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said she would veto a bill (SB 1) approved in the Senate that would fundamentally change auto insurance...

Lee Will Let Sports Gambling Become TN Law | 05-03-2019

In spite of his personal opposition, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) said he would allow a measure legalizing sports betting to become law in the Volunteer State without his signature. “The governor has said he does not believe that the expansion...

KS GOP Stymies Kelly Medicaid Expansion Bid | 05-03-2019

After passing the House in March, a bill championed by Gov. Laura Kelly (D) to expand Medicaid in the Sunflower State appears to have died in the GOP-controlled Senate. Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley forced a procedural vote to move HB...

Murphy Signs NJ Foreclosure Package | 05-03-2019

Responding to a drastic increase in foreclosures since 2009, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed a package of bills aimed at helping cash-strapped Garden State residents stay in their homes and overwhelmed cities deal with a rash of vacant foreclosed...

Governors in Brief - May 6 2019 | 05-03-2019

BULLOCK SIGNS MT REINSURANCE BILL MONTANA Gov. Steve Bullock (D), signed legislation last week that will create a reinsurance program to help reimburse insurers for high-cost claims so those costs aren't included in determining individual marketplace...

Newsom Wants More Legal Protections for CA Utilities | 04-19-2019

A report from a special “strike force” to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) says the Golden State should ease its strict liability laws for utilities found to have caused devastating wildfires. The report came in the wake of the bankruptcy...

Pritzker Signs Bans on Local IL Right to Work Laws | 04-19-2019

Following through on one of his primary campaign promises, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation ( SB 1474 ) that bars local governments from implementing their own “right to work” statutes, which bar union shops from requiring...

Evers Wants Do-Over on WI Foxconn Deal, GOP Doesn’t | 04-19-2019

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) decried Gov. Tony Evers’ (D) plans to renegotiate the state’s controversial deal to give Taiwan-based Foxconn Technology Group around $4 billion in tax breaks and other incentives, saying “the only thing...

Governors in Brief - April 22 2019 | 04-19-2019

MI GOV SIGNS STREAMLINED MEDICAL WEED OVERSIGHT BILL MICHIGAN Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed legislation ( SB 203 ) that requires only those with 10 percent or more of an ownership stake in a medical marijuana business to undergo the state’s...

Ducey Signs Historic AZ Occupational Licensing Bill | 04-12-2019

In his January State of the State address, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) called on lawmakers to pass legislation that would make the Grand Canyon State the first to accept out-of-state professional licenses. Lawmakers responded by sending him HB 2569 last...

Baker Signs MA Conversion Therapy Ban | 04-12-2019

Without any comment, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has signed a bill making the Bay State the 16 th (and with Washington D.C.) to ban so-called “conversion therapy,” a controversial practice aimed at changing a minor’s sexual...

Governors in Brief - April 15 2019 | 04-12-2019

NEWSOM TO PARTNER WITH CA CITIES ON HOUSING CALIFORNIA Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced his administration would partner with a handful of Golden State cities to help develop affordable housing on state-owned properties. The announcement came after...

DeSantis Announces FL Opioid Plan | 04-05-2019

Calling it a “critical public health issue that requires immediate attention,” Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced a multi-pronged plan to combat the Sunshine State’s ongoing opioid abuse epidemic. DeSantis issued Executive...

Herbert Signs UT School Safety Measures | 04-05-2019

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) has signed a pair of school safety measures, one aimed at colleges and the other at K-12 institutions. The first one, SB 134 , orders Beehive State colleges and universities to develop a campus safety plan that makes clear...

Governors in Brief - April 8 2019 | 04-05-2019

HOLCOMB SIGNS INDIANA HATE CRIME BILL Saying that his state has “made progress and taken a strong stand against targeted violence,” INDIANA Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a measure last week that for the first time gives the Hoosier State...

Baker Pushes MA School ‘Empowerment Zones’ | 03-22-2019

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) filed legislation last week to create statewide “innovation partnership zones” that give local schools more and better tools to improve poor performing schools. The plan is based on a nine-school...

Murphy Ensures NJ Stays Cash-Friendly | 03-22-2019

Countering a growing trend among retailers toward accepting only credit cards or other forms of electronic payment, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed legislation last week requiring brick-and-mortar retail operations to accept cash and imposing potentially...

Judge Restores WI Gov’s Power | 03-22-2019

A Wisconsin judge ruled on Thursday that laws passed by the GOP-controlled Legislature during last December’s lame duck session to strip some powers away from incoming Gov. Tony Evers (D) are unconstitutional. Dane County Circuit Judge Richard Niess...

Governors in Brief - March 25 2019 | 03-22-2019

LAMONT REVISES CT SCHOOL SERVICES MEASURE CONNECTICUT Gov. Ned Lamont (D) recast a proposal to create a state commission tasked with encouraging Constitution State schools to cut costs by sharing more essential services. Many critics said SB 874 as...

Newsom Pauses CA Death Penalty | 03-15-2019

Calling capital punishment “ineffective, irreversible and immoral,” California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed an executive order on Tuesday all but abolishing the death penalty in the Golden State for the foreseeable future. Newsom joins...

Murphy, NJ Lawmakers Reach Weed Legalization Deal | 03-15-2019

After over a year of negotiation, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and legislative leaders announced an agreement to legalize recreational marijuana use in the Garden State. The deal would establish a flat tax rate of $42 per ounce, which would stay...

Governors in Brief - March 18 2019 | 03-15-2019

EVERS SEEKS ROLLBACK OF WALKER-ERA WI WORK LAWS The budget proposed by WISCONSIN Gov. Tony Evers (D) would roll back several employment laws implemented under former Gov. Scott Walker (R), including a repeal of the state’s so-called “right...

Baker Pushes New MA Housing | 03-08-2019

Saying a lack of affordable housing is becoming a drag on the state economy, Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker filed legislation earlier this month that would relax zoning controls in Bay State cities and towns. Baker said a lack of housing is driving...

Walz Sets MN 100 Percent Clean Energy Goal | 03-08-2019

Calling climate change “an existential threat,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) issued a proposal to bring Minnesota's electric sector to 100 percent carbon-free energy by 2050. Under the proposal, by 2050 all Gopher State electric utilities...

Governors in Brief - March 11 2019 | 03-08-2019

DUCEY VOWS VETO OF ANTI-VAX BILLS Breaking a tradition of not commenting on bills that are still in the legislative process, ARIZONA Gov. Doug Ducey (R) said he is “pro-vaccine” and would veto any bills to weaken the state’s vaccination...

Evers Pitches WI Marijuana Decriminalization | 02-22-2019

Wisconsin Gov. Toney Evers (D) unveiled an expansive plan last week to overhaul the Badger State’s marijuana laws. His proposal would make the drug legal for medicinal use, decriminalize cannabis possession and align the state’s CBD oil laws...

DeSantis Unveils FL Prescription Drug Import Plan | 02-22-2019

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he wants to cut the state’s health care costs by importing prescription drugs from less expensive Canadian pharmacies. It is currently illegal for states to import drugs from foreign pharmacies, but DeSantis...

Governors in Brief - February 25 2019 | 02-22-2019

NEWSOM WANTS TO STEP UP CA POT ENFORCEMENT Citing a lack of cohesive enforcement to stamp out CALIFORNIA’s illegal marijuana market, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced expanded efforts by the state National Guard to work with federal officials to...

Herbert Signs Altered UT Medicaid Expansion | 02-15-2019

Last November, 53 percent of Utah voted endorsed a ballot measure to expand eligibility for the state’s Medicaid program. Last week, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed legislation to do that, but the bills he signed will provide coverage for far fewer...

Newsom Paddles His Own Way In CA | 02-15-2019

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) was famous for his “paddle to the left, paddle to the right” philosophy of governance. But in his State of the State address last Tuesday, new Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) made clear he is paddling his own way...

Governors in Brief - February 18 2019 | 02-15-2019

NORTHAM RESTORES VA FELON VOTING RIGHTS Embattled VIRGINIA Gov, Ralph Northam (D) said in a statement released last week that 10,992 Old Dominion residents with felony convictions have had their voting rights restored since he took office last year...

Chaos in Virginia | 02-08-2019

As of this writing, Democrats Ralph Northam, Justin Fairfax and Mark Herring are, respectively, the governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general for the state of Virginia. Whether any of them are in those positions by this time next week is an open...

Whitmer Launches MI Clean Water Effort: | 02-08-2019

Saying “we need to be laser-focused on cleaning up water in our state,” Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced a reorganization of the Wolverine State’s Department of Environmental Quality, which drew intense criticism over its...

Governors in Brief - February 11 2019 | 02-08-2019

BAKER REFILES MA CYBERBULLYING BILL Responding to a study that showed growth in cyberbullying in Bay State schools, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) refiled a bill that would require schools to teach kids about the dangers of taking and sharing...

Baker Proposal Could Bring E-Scooters Back to MA | 01-25-2019

Electronic scooters could return to Massachusetts if a new proposal from Gov. Charlie Baker (R) eventually becomes law. The rapidly growing e-scooter craze hit a roadblock in Massachusetts last year when several cities ordered scooter-sharing company...

Murphy, NJ Lawmakers Reach Minimum Wage Deal | 01-25-2019

After months of haggling, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) and Garden State lawmakers reached a deal to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2024. Under AB 15 , the wage would climb from the current $8.5 to $10 on July 1 and then to $11 on Jan 1,...

Governors in Brief - January 28 2019 | 01-25-2019

MILLS REJECTS ME MEDICAID WORK REQUIREMENTS MAINE Gov. Janet Mills (D) sent a letter to federal officials rejecting new work requirements for Medicaid recipients that were requested by former Gov. Paul LePage (R) and approved by the Trump administration...

Northeast Govs Now Favor Legal Weed | 01-18-2019

Saying it was “inevitable” that her state would soon be surrounded by states that have legalized recreational cannabis use, Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) joined a growing number of her Democratic colleagues in proposing to follow suit...

Newsom Faces Immediate Crises | 01-18-2019

Barely a week into his governorship, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) is already dealing with two major crises: the bankruptcy of the nation’s largest public utility and a teacher strike in Los Angeles, the country’s second largest school...

Governors in Brief - January 21 2019 | 01-18-2019

DESANTIS WANTS MAJOR CHANGE TO FL MEDICAL WEED LAW Saying he wants to see people “be able to have their suffering relieved,” FLORIDA Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) urged Sunshine State lawmakers to allow medical marijuana patients to smoke their...

Dem Govs Pitch Major Health Care Proposals | 01-11-2019

A pair of Democratic governors launched wide-ranging efforts last week to prop up the Affordable Care Act and to broaden health care coverage in their states. The first came from New California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who issued an executive order...

Govs Issue LGBTQ Anti-Discrimination Protections | 01-11-2019

Four governors – two outgoing, two newly-sworn in – issued executive orders barring discrimination against LGBTQ state employees. Before leaving office in December, then-Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) issued an order barring discrimination...

Governors in Brief - January 14 2019 | 01-11-2019

CUOMO CALLS FOR NY ABORTION AMENDMENT With Democrats now in control of both legislative chambers, NEW YORK Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) called on Empire State lawmakers last week to pass a constitutional amendment codifying a woman’s right to legal...

Inslee Intros WA Mental Health Reform Plan | 12-14-2018

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) unveiled a $675 million proposal to dramatically reshape how patients in the Evergreen State’s mental health system are cared for. Inslee’s plan calls for hundreds of new community mental-health beds and...

Cuomo Readying Legal Weed Proposal for NY | 12-14-2018

A spokesperson for New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said the governor will unveil a proposal early next year to legalize recreational marijuana use in the Empire State. It would presumably come after a new Democratic majority is sworn in to both legislative...