Governors

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...

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...