Thursday, June 19, 2014

Summer Reruns edition

It's been a big week for... well, nothing new, really. No primaries, none of the high-profile SCOTUS decisions were released, no one declared s/he's running for president, no budget bill was signed into law in Virginia...
  • Yup, that's totally still a thing. Gov. McAuliffe actually has until Sunday to decide what to do with the dirty budget the Republicans threw his way. (After clamoring for a "clean" budget without any Medicaid expanding add-ons, they decided one little Medicaid add-on was okay, as long is it meant NO HEALTHCARE FOR POORS!!1!@!) 
    • So the budget has been on the Governor's desk since Sunday, starting a seven-day clock for him to sign it, veto it, or line-item veto the added language prohibiting the expansion of Medicaid without express approval of the General Assembly (because that's could totally happen. Seriously. In a pig's eye...). 
      • No one's quite sure if that last option is technically legal in this case, but if he does veto it in any fashion, there's no way it gets overridden by the 2/3 majority needed in the state Senate (19 D/20 R). 
    • Fun fact! Only 11 days remain in Virginia's fiscal year. Drama! Romance! Shutdown!
    • Funner fact! Virginia Democrats' big annual fundraiser, the JJ Dinner, is this Saturday night. Sure would be a fun place for Gov. McAuliffe to announce veto -- line-item or otherwise -- plans, yes? (If you plan to head down to Richmond, you can still wrangle yourself a press credential.) 
  • Meanwhile, back at the alligator ranch...  The judge in the Florida congressional redistricting lawsuit is still expected to issue his ruling by the end of the month. No one seems to have a strong opinion on which way it will go, but if any of those 27 districts end up getting tossed out and re-drawn, well.... I bet lots of folks will suddenly be headed to Disney World. 
    • Except not, because everyone involved will probably be stuck in Tallahassee. 
      • If the ruling goes the other way and the judge finds the congressional maps totally legal and legit, those cool Fair Districts constitutional amendments the good people of Florida passed back in 2010 will pretty much be rendered worthless.
  • Vindicated in reruns: Last Friday, a judge in North Carolina overturned some rather onerous rules the state legislature -- led by one Thom Tillis of NC Senate candidate fame -- put in place to prevent those pesky Moral Monday protesters from doing all that annoying protesting stuff they did last year. Protesters were again allowed to yell, sing, and wave signs on sticks to their hearts' content. 
  • Counterprogramming: Waaaaaaay back in December, a bunch of state legislators had themselves a little party at Mt. Vernon and talked about how super awesome it would be to get enough states to call an Article V "Convention of States" to amend the U.S. Constitution, because balanced budget or Obamacare or whatever. 
    • Well, the "Mt. Vernon Assembly" crew went and had another bash last week. Apparently they've set up some structure among themselves and laid out some potential rules for that fabled Convention.
    • Also, now they're calling themselves the "Assembly of State Legislatures." Which isn't misleading at all. 
  • What a twistSouth Carolina has a Democratic statewide officeholder! For a little while, anyway. After some serious intra-party drama, Gov. Nikki Haley couldn't convince a single Republican to get in line to succeed her lieutenant governor, who's just bailed to become a college president. 
    • So, despite alleged pressure from Haley for a GOP replacement, state Senate Republicans worked out a deal elevating Democratic Sen. Yancey McGill to the state's No. 2 political position. (Technically, anyway. The Senate President has way more power.)
  • Re-airing: Democratic lawmakers in Michigan are introducing legislation to repeal the rape insurance law-by-petition pushed by Right to Life of Michigan and signed off on by state lawmakers late last year -- all without silly complications like "public hearings" or "ballot measures" or "gubernatorial vetoes." The law (which took effect back in March) outlaws abortion coverage except through a separately purchased rider on a woman's health insurance policy. 
    • Thing is, only seven out of the state's 42 insurance providers offer the rider. So, if you're a lady whose employer has insurance through one of the other 35 providers, of if you're self-insured, well, good luck with that!
      • Reality check: Does the repeal have a shot of passing? Nah. Republicans control both chambers of the legislature. Even getting a committee hearing on the bill is a long shot.
  • Don't touch that dial (or I'll shoot)As of July 1, college students in Idaho will be allowed to carry guns on campus. Obviously, the professors are SUPER psyched. 
  • Goodnight, everybody! Hey, you darn kids, what's with the all that crap on the back pockets of your jeans? The caretakers of the Nebraska legislature would like for you to check your sparkly butts before you sit on their historic benches, thankyouverymuch, because you're leaving marks.

For the Week of June 19, 2014 



The Council of State Governments will hold its Leadership Forum June 19-21 in Washington, D.C. 

The State Legislative Leaders Foundation will hold its Conference of State Majority Leaders June 19-21 in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. 

The Republican Attorneys General Association will hold its Edmund Randolph Club Retreat June 19-22 in Coronado, California. 

The United States Conference of Mayors will hold its Annual Conference of Mayors June 20-23 in Dallas, Texas. 

The Republican Attorneys General Association will hold its Summer National Meeting June 21-24 in Coronado, California. 

The National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners will hold its Mid-Atlantic Conference of Regulatory Utilities Commissioners Annual Education Conference June 22-25 in Hershey, Pennsylvania. 


The Assembly Committee on Judiciary met June 17 to discuss S.B. 1348, which allows a person to review and correct personal information held by an online data broker. 

The City of Dover held a special election for the office of Mayor on Tuesday, June 17. 


The General Assembly convened June 17 for a technical session to address the criminal code.


The Elevator Safety Board met June 18 to discuss amendments to rules regarding licensure of mechanics and elevator contractors. 


The Senate Environment and Energy Committee met June 16 to hear S.B. 2172, which establishes liability and remediation for any person who discharges a hazardous substance from a drilling platform into state waters. 


The Legislature is scheduled to recess June 19. 

A joint meeting of the New York City Committees on Economic Development, Environmental Protection, and Consumer affairs was scheduled for Wednesday, June 18, to discuss the economic impact of New York City's failing gas, steam, and water infrastructure. 

The General Assembly reconvened June 17 for a veto session and to address any unfinished conference committee reports. 
The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn sine die June 19. 


The Austin City Council and Capital Metro Board held a joint meeting on Tuesday, June 17, to discuss "Project Connect", a plan for a Central Texas high-capacity transit system.  

The San Antonio City Council is scheduled to consider a Resolution setting forth the process to fill the vacancy in the Office of the Mayor following his confirmation by the U.S. Senate as Secretary of HUD on Thursday, June 19. 


The interim Joint Committee on Health held a meeting June 18 to discuss long-term care planning and will hear from AARP and the Partnership for Elder Living. 

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