I'm starting to think that maybe SCOTUS is never going to issue a ruling in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. I know that's not true, though, so I've spent some time thinking about possible outcomes, which you can check out here, if the mood strikes. Basically, a decision in favor of the Arizona State Legislature will affect at least 62 districts, and it could impact as many as 152 districts. Either way, it's a BFD.
Anyway, that's for tomorrow, or possibly Monday. For now, though, it's time for some fun in the sun.
- Summer Madness: Maine Democrats are about done with Gov. Paul LePage. A handful of House members have announced plans to launch impeachment proceedings against the GOP governor.
- How did we get here? Well, this week Gov. LePage took a quick break from his veto-palooza to screw the Democratic Speaker of the state House of of a job.
- On June 9, the Good Will-Hinckley School hired House Speaker Mark Eves as its president (over the scathing objections of Gov. LePage). Eves was to officially begin his job on July 1.
- On Wednesday, the school withdrew its job offer after Gov. LePage reportedly threatened dire cuts to its funding.
- In a statement released to the press on Thursday, Gov. LePage actually admitted that he would deny over $500,000 of the school's funding (which would trigger a loss of $2 million in private funding) if Eves became president of the Good Will-Hinckley school.
- This isn't the first time LePage has used fiscal tactics to bully educational institutions in the state. Earlier this year, the president of Maine's community college system resigned after LePage demanded his dismissal and threatened to withhold the system's funding unless he complied.
- In other Gov. LePage news, on Wednesday the governor joked about shooting Bangor Daily News political cartoonist George Danby when Danby's son asked LePage a question at a Maine Boys State event.
- Summer Love: Two GOP lawmakers in Michigan aren't going to be caught flat-footed by a SCOTUS decision legalizing same-sex marriage, no siree bob.
- State Rep. Todd Courser is pushing a package of bills that will take all state officials out of the marriage process entirely and will only allow marriages to be performed by members of the clergy.
- Meanwhile, Rep. Gary Glenn wants to protect religious officiants' rights to refuse to marry same-sex couples.
So clever, you guys!
- Cruel Summer: Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker reportedly requested that a bill banning abortions after 20 weeks -- passed by the GOP-controlled state Senate on a party-line vote earlier this month -- exclude exemptions for victims of rape or incest. SB 179 hasn't yet been scheduled for a committee hearing in the state Assembly, but Walker has pledged to sign the legislation when it arrives on his desk.
- This week, the Ohio state Senate also passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks without rape or incest exceptions.
- Summertime Blues: Reverend and South Carolina state Senator Clementa Pinckney and eight other souls were brutally murdered last week by a racist psychopath. Sen. Pinckney's funeral is on Friday, and President Obama will be delivering the eulogy.
- These terrible deaths have spurred a sudden, somewhat frenetic (and long overdue) conversation about the Confederate battle flag that flies at too many state capitols and what that flag actually represents (lol heritage NOPE).
- But as Sen. Pinckney is laid to rest, it's important to think past a flag of bigotry and remember what the man himself stood for as a servant of his community.
- Sen. Pinckney made headlines earlier this year for his passionate fight for the adoption of body cameras by law enforcement in the wake of the police shooting of Walter Scott. He wanted to make it easier for the public to monitor the activities of police officers through citizen video. He also fought for measures to combat racial profiling, and he advocated for raising the state’s minimum wage. He tried to restore the voting rights of ex-felons and establish early voting in the state.
- Sen. Pinckney also supported common-sense gun safety legislation. He sponsored measures to prevent the mentally ill from purchasing handguns and to require more stringent background checks on purchasers. Also, he opposed legislation that would have allowed concealed weapons in day care centers, restaurants, and churches.
- Sen. Pinckney stood for compassion and equality both in the pulpit and on the Senate floor. Supporting measures that uphold these principles in both statehouses and communities is the best way to honor his memory.
- One of Sen. Pinckney's Republican colleagues in the South Carolina House thinks that the shooting victims maybe shouldn't have just sat around letting themselves get shot by "one skinny person."
This was his response to a reporter asking whether the lawmaker thought the Confederate flag should be removed from Capitol grounds.
The following 15 state legislatures are meeting actively this week: CALIFORNIA, DELAWARE, ILLINOIS, MAINE, MASSACHUSETTS, NEW HAMPSHIRE, NEW JERSEY, NEW YORK, NORTH CAROLINA, OHIO, OREGON, PENNSYLVANIA, RHODE ISLAND, WASHINGTON and WISCONSIN.
Also meeting: DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, GUAM, PUERTO RICO and UNITED STATES VIRGIN ISLANDS.
The Western Governors' Association will hold its Annual Meeting June 24-26 in Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
Women in Government will hold its Midwestern Regional Conference June 25-27 in Kansas City, Kansas.
The Senate Committee on Judiciary met June 23 to discuss A.B. 465, which prohibits an employer from requiring an employee, as a condition of employment, to agree to the waiver of any legal right, penalty, forum or procedure for any employment law violations.
The Department of Environmental Protection will hold a public meeting June 26 to discuss a study on the expansion of the use of reclaimed water, storm water and excess surface water.
The City of Kansas City held a general election June 23 for Mayor and ten of the twelve City Council seats.
The deadline for the Legislature to act on all conference committee reports was June 24.
The Department of Liquor Control held a public hearing June 24 to discuss amendments to its rules concerning the sale of alcoholic liquor.