Politics & leadership

Recreational Marijuana Movement Heads Into New Territory | 10-19-2018

Recreational use of marijuana has been approved by voters in eight states - Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington - and by state lawmakers in Vermont. Recreational marijuana measures are on the ballot in two...

Banner Year for Voting Rights Ballot Measures | 10-12-2018

In November voters in Arkansas and North Carolina, two states where voter ID laws have been struck down by the courts, will decide whether such requirements will be enshrined into their respective constitutions. And voters in Montana will decide whether...

Redistricting Reform Movement Shifts to State Ballots | 08-03-2018

The nationwide movement to remove politics from the process of drawing political districts suffered a major setback this year when the U.S. Supreme Court rejected three cases dealing with partisan gerrymandering - the drawing of maps in a way that disproportionately...

Voting Rights Effort Shifting to Ballot Box | 07-13-2018

A number of voting-rights measures are bound for states’ ballots this year. In Florida, for example, voters will weigh whether ex-felons should be allowed to vote. In Maryland, voters will decide whether people should be allowed to register to vote...

Detroit Regains Self-Government | 05-04-2018

Less than four years after emerging from the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, Detroit has regained full control over its government operations. Last Monday the nine-member state commission that has had the final say on all of the city’s...

Politics in Brief - April 16 2018 | 04-13-2018

SC GOP PROPOSES CLOSING STATE’S PRIMARIES: The Republican Party of SOUTH CAROLINA announced last week that it will conduct an advisory referendum in the state’s June primaries asking voters if they want the option of affiliating with a...

Opponents of Partisan Redistricting Turning to Ballot Box | 12-01-2017

An effort in Michigan to strip lawmakers of the power to draw the state’s legislative and congressional districts and turn that task over to a nonpartisan commission is on track to collect over 400,000 signatures - 315,000 of which would need to...

Politics In Brief - October 9 2017 | 10-06-2017

MI Senate Leader Backs Private Police Plan MICHIGAN Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof (R) has proposed a bill ( SB 594 ) that would authorize private, possibly for-profit police forces with full arrest powers to supplement public law enforcement...

Politics In Brief - September 11 2017 | 09-08-2017

BACKERS OF NONPARTISAN REDISTRICTING MEASURE HAVE TIES TO DEMS Seven of the 10 board members of a petition committee pushing to create an independent citizen redistricting commission in MICHIGAN have supported Democratic candidates in previous elections...

New Front Opens In GOP Fight Against Unions | 08-18-2017

After Republicans won control of the Iowa Senate last year, giving them control of both the legislative and executive branches of that state’s government, they enacted a package of labor reforms curbing the collective bargaining rights of public...

Democrats Shift Focus To States | 01-20-2017

With Republicans emerging from last year’s election in control of the U.S. House, the U.S. Senate and the White House, and congressional redistricting approaching in 2020, Democrats are planning to mount a major effort in state legislative races...

New GOP Majorities Push Dem-Unfriendly Agenda: | 01-13-2017

Republicans won control of a few more governors’ offices and state legislative chambers in November, giving them command of both branches of the government in states where Democrats had previously maintained footholds, including Iowa, Kentucky,...

MI Blocks Flint’s Power To Sue Over Water Crisis | 09-30-2016

Back on March 24, Flint, Michigan mayor Karen Weaver served notice that the city might file a lawsuit against the state over the lead contamination of the city’s water supply. Weaver and other city officials reportedly had no immediate plans to...

Straight-Ticket Voting Stands In MI - For Now | 09-16-2016

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a last-minute request by the state of Michigan to allow its new ban on straight-party voting to be in effect for the November election. The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature passed that ban ( SB 13 ) in December...

Politics In Brief - August 22 2016 | 08-19-2016

Federal Govt Offers to Help States Guard Against Election Tampering In response to recent allegations from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump that the American voting system is open to fraud, U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson...

‘Gag Order' On Local Govt In MI? | 01-08-2016

The last measure passed by the Michigan Legislature in December began as an uncontroversial 13-page bill that sailed through the Republican-controlled Senate on a unanimous and bi-partisan 38-0 vote. The bill proceeded to be totally revamped in the GOP...

Politics In Brief - December 21 2015 | 12-18-2015

NM Local Governments Spend Millions Lobbying State Cities, counties, colleges and other public entities in NEW MEXICO spent nearly $7.2 million in 2014 and 2015 lobbying the state and federal government. About two-thirds of that sum, or around $4.8...

Politics In Brief - November 16 2015 | 11-13-2015

MI Straight-Ticket Voting Ban Fast-tracked legislation moving through the MICHIGAN Legislature would eliminate voters’ ability to cast straight-ticket ballots for candidates of a single party. Supporters of SB 13, which was approved by committee...