Tag: State Legislatures

Pennsylvania State Senator Resigns After Arrest on Child Pornography Charges

A Pennsylvania state senator resigned Wednesday, one day after he was charged with having child pornography on his iPhone. The senator, Michael Folmer, 63, was arrested on Tuesday night after investigators searched his home in Lebanon, Penn., and found two images depicting “indecent contact with a minor” on his phone, according to a criminal complaint […]

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1 in 4 Youths Has Vaped. Will State Bans Do Anything?

After a spate of illnesses linked to vaping, states are rushing to push through bans on e-cigarettes for anyone under 21. Governors are calling for prohibitions on flavors like bubble gum, cotton candy and banana split, which critics say are meant to entice young people into trying vaping. And in some states, lawmakers are contemplating […]

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In North Carolina, New Political Maps Don’t End Old Disputes

When a North Carolina state court struck down the state’s legislative political maps nearly two weeks ago, it said the maps had been drawn “with surgical precision” to keep Republicans in control of both chambers. On Tuesday, state legislators approved new electoral maps — drawn under a court directive to ignore partisan considerations — that appear […]

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California Approves Statewide Rent Control to Ease Housing Crisis

California lawmakers enacted a statewide rent cap on Wednesday covering millions of tenants, the biggest step yet in a surge of initiatives to address an affordable-housing crunch nationwide. The bill limits annual rent increases to 5 percent after inflation and offers new barriers to eviction, providing a bit of housing security in a state with […]

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Uber Says It Is Not Subject to California Gig-Worker Law

SAN FRANCISCO — Uber pushed back on Wednesday against a newly passed California bill that effectively requires companies to reclassify their contract workers as employees, in a sign of the emerging resistance that the measure is prompting across the gig economy. Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, said in a news conference that the ride-hailing […]

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California Rent Control Bill Advances, Fueled by Housing Crisis

California’s escalating housing costs have yielded epic commutes and a rising tide of homelessness. Now they are close to producing a political milestone: a vast expansion of tenant-protection laws that would cap rents statewide. On Tuesday, the State Senate voted to advance a bill to limit rent increases to 5 percent a year plus a […]

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California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees

SACRAMENTO — California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. The bill passed in a 29 […]

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California Passes Landmark Bill to Remake Gig Economy

SACRAMENTO — California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. The bill passed in a 29 […]

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Child Support vs. Deadbeat States

Second of three articles In most states in America, child support doesn’t actually go to children. Particularly when they are being raised in low-income families. Confused? You’re not alone. Many people have no clue how the child support and public assistance systems operate. The first thing to know: If you are a custodial parent (a […]

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California Lawmakers Vote to Undo N.C.A.A. Amateurism

SACRAMENTO — There were two guests of honor at the monthly meeting of the Oakland Rotary club in November 2015: the University of California marching band and a sports economics expert railing about the N.C.A.A.’s rules barring college athletes from collecting compensation for their play. While the band riled up the crowd in the small […]

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Better Government for New York

New York this fall has the best chance in years to adopt a strong system of public financing. Done right, this new policy could increase competition and amplify the voices of small donors in elections. That is, if career politicians don’t kill it first. Candidates who choose to participate in public financing programs receive a […]

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The Battle Over the Files of a Gerrymandering Mastermind

At the heart of a decisive court ruling on Tuesday striking down North Carolina’s state legislative maps was evidence culled from the computer backups of the man who drew them: Thomas B. Hofeller, the Republican strategist and master of gerrymandering, who died last year. Documents from the backups, which surfaced after his death, were also […]

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Three North Carolina Judges Step In Where the Supreme Court Refuses

Three state judges on a North Carolina trial court just did what a majority on the United States Supreme Court said was impossible only a few months ago — apply well-established legal standards to strike down some of the most egregious partisan gerrymanders in the country. The state court judges’ 357-page ruling applies to the […]

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Does America Care About Care? Not Enough

First of three articles. Caretaking occupies a paradoxical place in the American mind. On the one hand, we cast caretaking for babies and children as a sacred duty of the private sphere. We lionize the bonds between parents and their children in movies, songs and storybooks. We romanticize the kinds of wisdom that are passed […]

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North Carolina’s Legislative Maps Are Thrown Out by State Court Panel

In a major blow to Republicans who control the Legislature in one of the nation’s most bitterly divided states, a state court panel threw out North Carolina’s state legislative maps as an unconstitutional partisan gerrymander and ordered lawmakers to draw up new ones in two weeks. The ruling on Tuesday by a three-judge panel in […]

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Texas Is a Leader in Mass Shootings. Why Is the Governor Silent?

Exactly how many dead Texans does it take for Gov. Greg Abbott to actually do something about the epidemic of gun violence sweeping his state? So far, no body count is too big for our governor, who seems determined to do exactly nothing. We Texans love to swagger, brag and boast that we are biggest, […]

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Searching for Hints About 2020, All Eyes Turn to a Reshaped Virginia

RICHMOND, Va. — On a sweltering afternoon, Kirk Cox, the powerful Republican speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates, was chatting to voters and handing out free hot dogs at a campaign event when he was approached by a woman. The two made small talk before the woman, Vanessa Wilkerson, 62, cautioned the conservative lawmaker […]

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‘I Can Still Smell Him’: For 4 Legislators, the Child Victims Act Is Personal

Yuh-Line Niou told no one for years. And then, one day, she told everyone. “I was 13 years old, and it was a teacher, and I can still smell him,” she said, trembling. It was Jan. 28, and lawmakers were about to vote on whether to extend the statute of limitations for child sex abuse […]

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The Debate About Ethnic Studies for California Students

ImageProtests at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1969. Ethnic studies was born of student activism at Berkeley and at San Francisco State University.CreditStephen Shames/Polaris Good morning. (Here’s the sign-up, if you don’t already get California Today by email.) Last week, my colleague Dana Goldstein, who covers education, took a deep dive into the pitched […]

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How Much Damage Have Republicans Done in the States?

The 2018 election marked at least a temporary end to Republicans’ rise to power in many states. With full control of 26 states, Republicans had built a sustained opportunity to transform American subnational government. Liberals certainly feared the worst. Dark portraits of the Koch brothers’ network and the American Legislative Exchange Council (known as ALEC) […]

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