State & Local News

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January 16, 2017

South Carolina – Gov. Nikki Haley's (R) nomination to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is scheduled to be heard Wednesday in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Haley is expected to face some of the tough questioning posed to Secy. of State nominee Rex Tillerson last week, but after meeting in private with Democrats on the committee last week, Haley is expected sail through. The committee's membership includes an ally from South Carolina, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC).


January 16, 2017

West Virginia – Democrat Jim Justice took the oath to become West Virginia's 36th governor on Monday. After a public inauguration at the state Capitol Monday afternoon, the festivities shift to The Greenbrier resort, which he owns.  


January 16, 2017

Louisiana – A special session to fix a $308 million shortfall in the current fiscal year budget is expected to be called in mid-to-late February. The regular session does not begin in Louisiana until April, and Gov. John Bel Edwards (D) and Senate President John Alario (R) say the full legislature needs to weigh in on whether to raise revenue, tap the rainy day fund, or make additional spending cuts.


January 12, 2017

Indiana – Eric Holcomb (R) took the oath as the new governor of Indiana on Monday. On Tuesday, Gov. Holcomb unveiled a two-year budget proposal that spends $31.7 billion, an increase of 2 percent the first year over the existing budget and 3 percent in fiscal year 2019. 


January 12, 2017

Missouri – Republican Eric Greitens was sworn in as Governor of Missouri on Monday, and issuing a pair of executive orders by Tuesday to ban the executive branch from accepting gifts from lobbyists and immediately suspending all rulemaking until Feb. 28. Once the freeze ends, the Greiten's orders require all proposed regulations to have at least a 60-day comment period and two hearings, and require gubernatorial approval of all regulations before they can be adopted. 


January 12, 2017

South Carolina – Gov. Nikki Haley (R) unveiled her administration's final proposed budget Wednesday and delivered her State of the State speech, which doubled as a farewell address. The Governor's Senate confirmation hearing for the post of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations is scheduled for Jan. 18.


January 10, 2017

Texas – Seeking to quell rampant speculation about his intentions behind some of his policy objectives, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) on Monday announced that he will not challenge incumbent Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) in the 2018 GOP gubernatorial primary.


January 9, 2017

New York – Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) is taking a different tact to his annual State of the State address this year. The Governor is delivering two speeches per day for three days, in six different regions of the state, beginning in New York City Monday morning. 


January 9, 2017

North Carolina – Gov. Roy Cooper (D) demanded that lawmakers repeal HB2 in his inaugural address Saturday at the Executive Mansion. Inaugural festivities were cancelled on Friday due to an impending snowstorm, forcing Cooper to deliver his remarks to a TV audience rather than a live crowd. In his speech, the Governor also vowed to expand Medicaid and increase education funding. 


January 9, 2017

Illinois – Senate Democratic and Republican leaders worked on a budget agreement late last week that may be unveiled Monday when lawmakers reconvene for two days of lame duck session. Although there is not enough time for the House to take up the Senate's plan, negotiators are hoping to set the stage for a deal next session, which kicks off Wednesday. 


January 6, 2017

Indiana – Republican Eric Holcomb will take over for vice president-elect Mike Pence as governor of Indiana beginning on Monday. Gov.-elect Holcomb released his legislative agenda for 2017 on Thursday, primarily focusing on changes to public education, tackling opioid abuse, and road funding.


January 5, 2017

Vermont – Lawmakers installed new leaders in the House and Senate on Wednesday, the first day of the 2017 legislative session. On Thursday, the complete remake of Vermont state government continues with the swearing in of newly elected Gov. Phil Scott (R) and Lt. Gov. David Zuckerman (D), marking the first time in decades that all four major offices have changed at the same time (1968 was the most recent occurrence).


January 5, 2017

North Dakota – Republican Doug Burgum took the oath of office as governor of North Dakota on Tuesday and delivered his first State of the State address, kicking off the 2017 legislative session in Bismarck. Burgum's speech stressed the need for belt-tightening but contained few details, although the new Governor did emphasize the need to reach out to tribal leaders engaged in a protest of a proposed pipeline project for months.


January 5, 2017

Kentucky – Republicans hit the ground running this week and are poised to make Kentucky the 27th Right-to-Work state as soon as this weekend. Legislation repealing the state's prevailing wage law is also on the fast track in the House and Senate, which just convened on Tuesday. Lawmakers expect to hold a rare Saturday session to send the measures to Gov. Matt Bevin (R) before a month-long recess begins.


January 3, 2017

North Carolina – Democrat Roy Cooper was sworn in as the 75th governor of North Carolina in a private ceremony shortly after 12:00 a.m. on Jan. 1. The new governor's formal inauguration will take place this Saturday, Jan. 7. The General Assembly convenes next week on Jan. 11.  


January 3, 2017

Vermont – Gov.-elect Phil Scott (R) will be sworn in and deliver his inaugural address on Thursday in the State House. The General Assembly convenes a day prior, on Wednesday. 


January 3, 2017

North Dakota – Republican Doug Burgum takes the oath as governor and delivers his first State of the State address this afternoon. Tuesday is also the first day of the new legislative session in Bismarck. 


December 20, 2016

Alabama – Gov. Robert Bentley (R) on Monday reaffirmed his intention to call a special session on prison construction funding next year, and added that he will call the special session during the regular session in order to save money.


December 19, 2016

North Carolina – A special session to repeal the controversial "bathroom bill", HB 2, is expected later this week after the Charlotte City Council voted on Monday to repeal its anti-discrimination rule that included protections for gay and transgender people. 


December 19, 2016

Idaho – Gov. Butch Otter (R) is reported to be under consideration by the Trump administration as the next Secretary of Agriculture. Lt. Gov. Brad Little (R) would become governor if Otter moves to Washington. Little has already announced his intention to run for governor in 2018.


December 19, 2016

Minnesota – After months of discussion, a much-hyped potential special session to deal with rising health insurance premiums was declared dead on Friday by Gov. Mark Dayton (D) and House Speaker Kurt Daudt (R). Republicans in the House had sought to add infrastructure measures as well as tax cuts to the session's agenda, but the talks are now off until the next regular session begins in January.


December 19, 2016

Michigan – Lawmakers wrapped up their work for the year Thursday, passing a major energy law rewrite on the session's final day. The formal sine die is Dec. 28, but only a bare minimum for a quorum is expected to be on hand for the official end of session. 


December 19, 2016

North Carolina – The General Assembly held two special sessions last week -- the first, on disaster relief, was long expected. The second, a surprise special session called immediately after the first adjourned Wednesday, was called by GOP legislative leaders to curtail the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. The unexpected special session adjourned Friday, but not before outgoing Republican Gov. Pat McCrory signed several bills to leave his successor with less authority to make appointments and pulled public schools from the next governor's purview.  


December 15, 2016

Oklahoma – New budget forecasts predict the state will be dealing with a $500 million to $600 million shortfall in the next state budget.


December 15, 2016

North Carolina – Lawmakers wrapped up a brief, two-day special session on disaster relief Wednesday, then immediately convened a new special session with an agenda primarily focused on diminishing the power of incoming Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper. Republican super-majorities are pushing measures to reduce the governor's power to appoint executive branch positions and to subject his cabinet appoints to Senate confirmation. A much-rumored bill to "pack the Court" -- adding GOP members to the now Democratically-controlled state Supreme Court -- has not been unveiled, but GOP bills would instead redirect cases away from the Supreme Court to the Republican-controlled Appeals Court.


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