Governors

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...

Governors in Brief - December 17 2018 | 12-14-2018

WALKER LIKELY TO SIGN WI GOP POWER GRAB BILLS Outgoing WISCONSIN Gov. Scott Walker (R) signaled his intention to sign a package of bills passed by lawmakers in the lame duck session that are widely interpreted as a move by majority Republicans to limit...

WI Gov-Elect Might Sue Over GOP Power Grab | 12-07-2018

Gov.-elect Tony Evers (D) said he will make a personal appeal to Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) to veto legislation the GOP-controlled legislature passed to transfer key powers from the governor to lawmakers. If that fails, Evers says he will likely...

Herbert Signs Altered UT Cannabis Law | 12-07-2018

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert (R) signed legislation last week to significantly amend a voter-approved measure that legalized medicinal marijuana use in the Beehive State. The Utah Medical Cannabis Act came out of a one-day session last Monday called specifically...

Governors in Brief - December 10 2018 | 12-07-2018

NORTHAM WINS NC GOV BALANCE OF POWER BATTLE A NORTH CAROLINA court ruled last week that the GOP-controlled General Assembly unconstitutionally allowed outgoing Gov. Pat McCrory (R) to pick the leadership of the state Industrial Commission before he...

Hogan Creates ‘Emergency’ MD Redistricting Commission | 11-30-2018

Citing a court ruling that declared the state’s 6 th Congressional District to be illegally gerrymandered, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) created a nine-member commission tasked with taking politics out of drawing the district’s lines. ...

Murphy Not Yet All In on NJ Weed Legalization Bill | 11-30-2018

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) lauded the approval of a closely-watched weed legalization measure last week, but declined to say if he would sign the measure if it reaches his desk. Murphy has long supported legalizing cannabis in the Garden State...

Governors in Brief - December 3 2018 | 11-30-2018

BAKER URGES NEW STEPS FOR REPORTING MA HATE CRIMES Taking a cue from the recommendations of a state task force, MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said the Bay State will create a new website to track hate crimes and urged police chiefs to designate...

Incoming KS Gov Will Renew LGBTQ Protections | 11-16-2018

Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly (D) reiterated her intention to issue an executive order reinstating protections from workplace discrimination for LGBTQ Kansans after she is sworn in next January. “I am planning to actually have an executive...

Hickenlooper Has Advice for IL on Weed | 11-16-2018

With Gov.–Elect J.B. Pritzker (D) expressing interest in working quickly to decriminalize cannabis in the Prairie State, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) took time last week to offer his fellow Dem some advice on how to keep it all from going...

Governors in Brief - November 19 2018 | 11-16-2018

DESANTIS WINS FL RECOUNT A machine recount in FLORIDA has confirmed that Republican Ron DeSantis won the Sunshine State’s highly charged gubernatorial race. The final margin of 34,000 votes was enough to avoid an automatic hand recount. But Democrat...

NC Voters Reject Measure to Weaken Gov’s Authority | 11-09-2018

North Carolina voters gave Gov. Roy Cooper (D) a pair of significant wins last week, soundly defeating one ballot measure that would have given lawmakers vastly more power over his options to nominate judges and another that would have taken the power...

Walker Loss Unlikely to Kill WI Foxconn Deal | 11-09-2018

His controversial deal with Chinese manufacturing company FoxConn might have helped skewer Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker’s (R) bid for a third term, but it seems unlikely that Gov.-elect Tony Evers (D) will be able to stop it from continuing forward...

Governors in Brief - November 12 2018 | 11-09-2018

FL GOV RACE HEADED TO RECALL As of last Thursday, Democrat Andrew Gillum had pulled to within enough votes of Republican Ron DeSantis to send the FLORIDA gubernatorial election to a mandatory recount. Gillum conceded defeat last Tuesday when it appeared...

Cooper Sets Ambitious NC Emissions Reduction Goal | 11-02-2018

Saying more intense storms and other impacts of climate change are forcing governments to act, North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) issued a directive last week that calls for the Tar Heel State to cut its greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent from 2005 levels...

Baker Pitches Coordinated MA Fentanyl Effort | 11-02-2018

Calling the synthetic opioid fentanyl “the most dangerous element in street drugs here in the commonwealth,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) filed legislation last week seeking $5 million to launch a pilot program for a “regional...

Governors in Brief - November 5 2018 | 11-02-2018

MURPHY CALLS FOR TOUGHER NJ GUN LAWS In the wake of the mass shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, NEW JERSEY Gov. Phil Murphy (D) endorsed new restrictions on gun and ammunition sales in New Jersey. Murphy urged lawmakers to introduce new bills to fight...

Court Says Next FL Gov, Not Scott, Will Pick Justices: | 10-19-2018

Age limits are forcing three current members of the Florida Supreme Court to retire in January, but the choice of who will fill their seats will belong to the next governor, not current Gov. Rick Scott (R). In what is widely viewed as a rebuke to Scott...

Murphy Orders Inquiry of NJ Official Accused of Assault | 10-19-2018

Saying he was “sick to [his] stomach,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) ordered an investigation into the hiring of a former senior staffer now accused of sexually assaulting a female staffer after a campaign event last spring. Albert Alvarez...

Governors in Brief - October 19 2018 | 10-19-2018

BAKER WANTS MA TO NEGOTIATE BETTER DRUG PRICES Calling escalating prescription drug prices “the single biggest driver, at this point, to the rising cost of health care in MASSACHUSETTS ,” Gov. Charlie Baker (R) is preparing to introduce...

Baker Remains Most Popular Governor | 10-12-2018

For the seventh quarter in a row, polling by Morning Consult shows that the ten most popular governors in America are all Republicans. Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker topped the list with a 70 percent approval rating, followed closely by Maryland Gov...

Cuomo Vows New NY Abortion Rights Bill | 10-12-2018

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) vowed to reintroduce legislation to codify abortion rights into the Empire State constitution within 30 days of the start of the next legislative session. Cuomo has pushed similar legislation since 2014. The latest version...

Governors in Brief - October 15 2018 | 10-12-2018

Baker Opposes MA Nurse Staffing Mandates MASSACHUSETTS Gov. Charlie Baker (R) said a recent report by the state Health Policy Commission has convinced him to vote no on Question 1 , a ballot measure that would require strict nurse-to-patient ratios...

Brown Signs CA #MeToo, Net Neutrality Bills | 10-05-2018

In the last bill signing session of his long political career, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed a number of so-called #MeToo bills aimed at stopping pervasive sexual harassment in the work world. But to the consternation of many victims’ advocates...

Hutchinson Pitches Major AR Gov Reorg | 10-05-2018

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) has proposed a consolidation of executive branch agencies that if implemented would shrink the number of those agencies from 42 to 15. Hutchinson said the plan would improve “the delivery of services to Arkansas...

Governors in Brief - October 8 2018 | 10-05-2018

INSLEE ISSUES WA HEP C DIRECTIVE : WASHINGTON Gov. Jay Inslee (D) issued a directive that orders state agencies, tribal governments and other local public-health officials to coordinate a strategy to eradicate the hepatitis C virus (HCV) by 2030. State...

Kasich Issues OH Background Check Order | 09-28-2018

Breaking with his GOP colleagues, Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) issued an executive order intended to keep people with mental health issues from obtaining guns in the Buckeye State. “There’s gaps in our system,” Kasich said in signing...

Brown Signs Suite of CA Wildfire Bills: | 09-28-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed dozens of bills that collectively expand fire prevention efforts while also allowing public utilities to offload some of the financial liability for their role in starting those fires onto their customers. ...

Governors in Brief - October 1 2018 | 09-28-2018

WALKER DECLARES NATIVE LANGUAGE EMERGENCY Saying the government must support the “revitalization” of native languages, ALASKA Gov. Bill Walker (I) issued Administrative Order 300 last week calling for indigenous place names to be shown...

Brown Signs CA 100 Percent Renewable Energy Bill | 09-14-2018

Days before hosting a global summit on climate change in San Francisco, California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed SB 100, a measure that requires the Golden State to obtain 100 percent of its retail electricity from carbon-free sources by 2045. Brown...

LePage Remains Defiant on ME Medicaid Expansion | 09-14-2018

Responding to Medicaid expansion advocates who are urging eligible Mainers to sign up for the insurance plan, Maine Gov. Paul LePage (R) said he will reject those applications until lawmakers fund the program to his satisfaction. Expansion supporters...

Governors in Brief - September 17 2018 | 09-14-2018

SNYDER SIGNS ‘BAN THE BOX’ ORDER MICHIGAN Gov. Rick Snyder (R) signed Executive Order 2018-4 , which directs some state agencies to no longer ask job applicants about any criminal history in the initial application process. The so-called...

Hogan Presses MD School Accountability | 09-07-2018

Citing “a persistent and alarming lack of accountability in local school systems across the state,” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued an executive order last week that creates a new post in his administration: director of the Office of...

Brown Facing Decisions on Hundreds of Bills | 09-07-2018

The frenzied last days of the legislative session are over, and now California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) must act on nearly 1,000 bills by the end of September. While some of the more controversial measures died before getting to Brown, he still faces a number...

Governors in Brief - September 10 2018 | 09-07-2018

RAIMONDO ISSUES RI SCHOOL GUN BAN RHODE ISLAND Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) issued an executive order last month barring anyone except police officers from carrying firearms at public schools and grounds in the Ocean State. The order closes a loophole in...

Brown Signs Overhaul of Bail System | 08-31-2018

California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) signed legislation overhauling the Golden State’s pretrial detention system, ending cash bail and instead giving judges more control over who should be jailed ahead of trial. “Today, California reforms...

Newsom Reiterates Support For State-Covered Health Care For Undocumented | 08-31-2018

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), who is the Democratic nominee in the race to succeed California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) and has campaigned in favor of having California pay for the health care of all, reiterated this past week that should include undocumented...

Governors in Brief - September 3 2018 | 08-31-2018

ME, KY, MS GOVS FILE WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION BRIEF MAINE Gov. Paul LePage (R), KENTUCKY Gov. Matt Bevin (R) and MISSISSIPPI Gov. Phil Bryant (R) join the attorneys general of 13 other states in an Aug. 23 brief urging the U.S. Supreme Court to rule...

Baker Signs Major MA Opioid Bill | 08-17-2018

Citing the ongoing opioid and heroin crisis he said “has tragically claimed scores of lives and broken families across the Commonwealth,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker (R) signed off on an expansive measure that imposes a number of new...

Court Says Haslam’s TN Probation Overhaul Unconstitutional | 08-17-2018

A Tennessee appeals court ruled last Wednesday that a key element of Gov. Bill Haslam’s (R) 2016 overhaul of the Volunteer State probation system is unconstitutional. The Tennessee Criminal Court of Appeals said Haslam’s wide-ranging...

Governors in Brief - August 20 2018 | 08-17-2018

SCOTT DECLARES FL ALGAE EMERGENCY FLORIDA Gov. Rick Scott (R) declared a state of emergency last week after a growing “red tide” algae bloom left Sunshine State beaches covered with dead fish and marine animals. His declaration will make...

Abbott Proposes Tougher TX Bail Rules | 08-10-2018

Citing the shooting death last year of a state trooper by a man with a long criminal history, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) last week proposed making access to bail more difficult for defendants charged with certain serious crimes. Abbott’s proposal...

Sandoval Pitches NV Prison Reform | 08-10-2018

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) joined with state Supreme Court Justice Michael Douglas and legislative leaders in announcing a comprehensive review of the Silver State’s criminal justice system. In a statement , the governor’s office said...