If the idea of pre-empting local governments continues to have currency, it's also prompted a countertrend. Consolidation helps with investment issues, but has drawn limited interest from other states, most notably Illinois and Pennsylvania. Still, there’s enough nervousness about the potential for slipping into recession somewhere down the road that states have already made record deposits into their rainy-day funds. Federal funding for housing assistance has fallen to its lowest level relative to the economy since 1980. Forty-five states have a balanced-budget requirement, which means money needed for mitigating climate-related problems must come from new taxes or at the expense of other programs. He calls it a "policy initiative in search of a problem." Some Schengen countries may decide to allow Americans to travel for non-essential reasons, but with the current infection rates they would face quarantine. But cities and states don’t always agree on how to deal with the housing crisis. The Czech Republic rate is 266.8, Luxembourg 189.4, the Netherlands 170.6. At the same time, according to Pew, the administration has proposed regulations that would deny immigrants entry if they are deemed likely to use Medicaid, food stamps or other forms of public assistance. She certainly doesn't support codifying Roe in state law, but says such actions have been a motivator for her side. Washington Gov. California may lose a seat for the first time in its history, while Texas looks set to pick up three seats and Florida should gain two. This amid spiraling Covid comebacks across Europe and elsewhere. In 2002 — in the wake of the 2000 presidential election that brought terms like "hanging chads" into the national vernacular — the federal government imposed certain standards through the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), which helped to drive out the more obsolescent voting technology. And legislators will have more powerful tools for seeking partisan gain than they did a decade ago. Jay Inslee recently proposed taking $300 million out of reserves to shelter the homeless. The deterioration of this relationship will be devastating to the United States, Europe, and their collective global interests. Vaping by teens is of particular concern. The new law will take effect in June. On Jan. 2, the Trump administration announced a plan to ban most, but not all flavors. The situation is different in states controlled by Democrats. Working for print, digital and radio outlets on four continents, I am also a veteran hotel industry reporter and author of travel guides and cultural histories to Australia, France, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and Borneo. Because the system was backed up by paper ballots, the problem was sorted out. Courts have until June to finish sealing all the cases. The desire to elect favorable legislators may be especially intense in the 17 states that are expected to gain or lose congressional seats, based on Census estimates released at the end of last year. Many more have been charged with a misdemeanor or arrested. A recent study by the University of Michigan found that nearly 1 in 10 eighth-graders and 1 in 4 12th-graders had vaped in the previous 30 days, more than double the number from two years earlier. Asked at a congressional hearing about the potential for Russian meddling with our voting systems in the 2020 elections, Special Counsel Robert Mueller's reply couldn't have been been more eye-opening: "It wasn't a single attempt. Every four years the American Society of Civil Engineers issues an exhaustive infrastructure report card. And state and local policymakers will continue to look for ways to shore up ailing plans without tax hikes or program cuts as they try to deal with the core problem: too much risk and how it's being shared. In addition, Northam’s budget will include $4.6 million for probation services and $2 million to support reintegration of released inmates. The past decade has been an era of conservative governance at the state level, with red states rewriting the rules on taxes, voter ID, union representation and much else. One in six American families spend more than half their income on housing. The Native American population is grappling with poverty and joblessness even with casinos. A Senate committee passed an infrastructure bill last summer, but state officials will have to wait until Congress acts to be sure they won’t have to wait years for a proper bill, as they did the last time the federal infrastructure law was due for reauthorization. Sure there are a lot of if’s in there, and a situation changing in a rather volatile way on both sides of the Atlantic. Yet trust fund revenue, which comes from federal fuel taxes, has remained stagnant at rates set in 1993. The review of the list was due to be made every fortnight, but seems to have come to a standstill. But the biggest problem facing governments may be public indifference. As it stands, the U.S. still is categorically a red country. On the same day in 2017 when President Trump withdrew the United States from the Paris Agreement, three governors announced the formation of the U.S. Uber is the best known example, but others include cleaning and delivery services that rely on independent contractors who are not subject to the same worker protections as employees. I have three decades of experience as a journalist, foreign correspondent and travel writer-photographer. Raising taxes on tobacco products is believed to have had the greatest effect on reducing smoking rates among young people. There had never been a federal standard for how partisan maps could be without violating the constitution, but some lower courts had ruled maps illegal on partisan grounds. But the states are not waiting for Washington to act. But others, convinced there's now a Supreme Court majority ready to overturn the court's 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling, believe that the time is now ripe to pursue outright bans. Admiral Brett Giroir, the U.S. Assistant Secretary For Health, demonstrates using a Covid testing ... [+] swab in Washington on September 28. Under the Commission's proposed threshold of 50 or more coronavirus cases per 100,000 people in a 14 day period, many high-risk Europeans again face quarantine on arrival. On 9 November 2020 the United States surpassed 10 million confirmed cases of COVID-19, making it the country with the most cases worldwide by a large margin. Named for the box on job application forms that asks for a yes or no answer about a prior criminal record, a yes answer makes it difficult for former felons to get a good job after serving time. Those aren't the only options under consideration. The European Union and the United States have the largest bilateral trade and investment relationship and enjoy the most integrated economic relationship in the world. And many expect the Russians to continue what they started. New Jersey Gov. In 2001, cities and states contributed, on average, just over 5 percent of their payroll to meet pension obligations, according to The Economist; today, the figure is more than 15 percent, but still not enough in many cases. But for the most part that approach has run afoul of the courts, which have ruled in favor of the workers. The United States’ relationship with Russia is today the worst that it has been since 1985. With Congress mired in gridlock, domestic policy is something that will be left largely up to the states. It's all part of the process of getting ready this year for what is sure to be legislators' dominant concern in 2021. Utah and Connecticut have since introduced similar bills of their own. “There’s definitely caution in the air,” says Kathryn Vesey White, NASBO’s director of budget process studies. Legislatures in Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Washington state are expected to consider new restrictions, and even outright bans on vaping products. The measure represents a 27 percent increase over current spending levels. NOW, THEREFORE, I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of … Iowa remains the sole state enforcing a lifetime ban on voting rights following any felony conviction. “Everything in health care is going to be dependent on the appellate court’s ruling,” says David Blumenthal, president of the Commonwealth Fund, a health-care research and philanthropy group. They've been given a green light, of sorts, by the U.S. Supreme Court, which found last year that partisan gerrymandering is a question federal courts are unable to address. I cover travel, culture, design and hotels worldwide. Maine blocked local paid-sick-time requirements, and Arkansas and Florida prohibited sanctuary cities. In December, South Carolina received a waiver from the federal government allowing it to become the first state to impose a work requirement on the traditional Medicaid population, not just beneficiaries under the ACA expansion. Given the Supreme Court's ruling in Rucho v. Common Cause, the action has now shifted to state courts. Supporters of similar initiatives are working to put questions on the ballots this year in Arkansas, Nevada, Oklahoma and Oregon. When Nashville attempted to change its zoning policy to require more affordable housing, the state Legislature enacted a law to stop it. Amendments have to be approved in two consecutive years to be placed before voters. The FCC ended up repealing the rule, removing what had been a publicly popular control but one that had been hotly contested by broadband providers. So letting in travelers from countries with a similar or better Covid-19 situation. Booming metro areas, including Seattle, San Francisco and Austin, have lost nearly two-thirds of their low-rent housing stock in the last decade. States have also been active implementing policies for and against providing sanctuary for immigrants. In last November's elections, their proposal got a boost when a Pennsylvania county suffered a massive voting machine failure. Mark Jamison, director of the Public Utility Research Center at the University of Florida and a visiting scholar at the conservative-leaning American Enterprise Institute, is no fan of net neutrality. Joint Statement of the United States-Ecuador Trade and Investment Council. "That's the way 5G is designed, which directly conflicts with the principle of net neutrality, which says everything has to be treated the same." No one is sure exactly how that will play out. Whether or not the political class and the public can stomach the necessary levels of funding remains to be seen. Today its area of responsibility comprises 51 countries stretching from Portugal’s Azores Islands to Iceland and Israel. Every policy action seems to invite an opposite reaction, if not necessarily an equal one. A lot of which is being put down to travelers and holidaymakers bringing the infection home with them. Under the Clean Slate law, Pennsylvania recently became the first state to automatically seal criminal records. An Ohio bill would ban abortion and create a category of crime known as "abortion murder," punishable by life in prison. And vape shops are exempt from the ban, allowing the sale of flavored liquids used in refillable vaping devices to continue. The fight for a broader ban on flavored vapes is likely to continue at the state and local level. "The people who want to ban abortion have been very successful in the past year," Nash says. Tensions in the Middle East and their effect on oil prices are likely to renew those fears. On November 10, the United States and Ecuador held the third meeting of the United States-Ecuador Trade and Investment Council (TIC). Yet each state has its own set of standards to address accessibility, functionality, usability, privacy and security. "Its very technological design violates net neutrality," he says. Cities in Utah, working with the Legislature and housing commission, came up with a law tying transportation funding to moderate income housing needs. Included in that number are Maine and Vermont, which allow people to vote while incarcerated. Nevertheless, don't expect to see much more in the way of benefit cuts in 2020, says Jean-Pierre Aubry, associate director of state and local research at CRR. America's new daily infection rate is now pretty much on a par with the EU average: 94 per 100,000 residents in each case. —David Kidd. —Tod Newcombe. As the feds continue to debate how much support to give workers, expect to see more states stepping in this year to try to balance the equation. But red lights are going up all over the place within Europe too, as the situation again worsens. This dramatic revelation, contained in a Senate Intelligence Committee report issued last July, showed just how far Russian interference extended during that election. The most immediate impact is on budgets, which increasingly must cover infrastructure hardening. Ralph Northam recently announced his plans for decriminalizing marijuana possession, raising the threshold for felony larceny and considering incapacitated or terminally ill prisoners for early release. Though the numbers have risen significantly since August in several. Add Le Blanc To Your List For An Ultimate Experience, How To Work Remotely In The Bahamas For Up To A Year, This Holiday Season, Adopt A Coquí Through Discover Puerto Rico Co-Project, the latest stats from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control, of 50 or more coronavirus cases per 100,000 people. This website uses cookies in order to offer you the most relevant information. Arkansas repealed a 2011 law that blocked municipalities from setting up their own broadband networks. With 2020 a presidential election year, immigration could become one of those key issues that could make or break a candidacy. About 19 million Americans have felony convictions. Looking to avoid periodic fights over future increases, Alabama, Arkansas and Illinois recently raised fuel taxes using a variable-rate formula indexed to inflation. He then called on the Legislature to adopt a constitutional amendment codifying it into law. Colorado and Nevada adopted similar laws last spring, raising to 18 the number of states that allow any adult not currently in prison to vote. Police and other law enforcement will still have access to the records. United States Currency. Ukraine also is an observer to the Organization of American States. California's law requiring all ISPs to treat Web traffic equally is being closely watched as model legislation that protects neutrality without conflicting with the FCC's rules. Biden has promised to ban new oil, gas leases and maybe hydraulic fracking, which would be a big win for environmental groups. Some have argued that the best election security in 2020 is to unplug the technology and return to paper ballots. During the 2016 presidential election, the Russians systematically studied the vulnerabilities of all 50 U.S. states' election systems. © 2020 Forbes Media LLC. Phil Murphy has also used housing money to shore up the state budget, despite a campaign promise to the contrary. At least two dozen states are below the 60 mark, from California (57) to Vermont (4). That list is expected to grow this year, since several states will be voting on measures to decriminalize recreational use. Future of Work: Automation and AI are expected to both displace routine work and create specialized work. A poll conducted last year asked respondents, without prompting, to "name the most important problem facing this country today." In effect, it's helping us build a backlash against what they're trying to do. Behavioral health continues to be at the top of legislators’ minds, particularly when it comes to opioids and other substance abuse. So the average new case rate for the EU and the UK has soared from 16 to 94 says the ECDC. Trump said the ban would start at … According to various polls, a third to nearly half of the public thinks the problem has been greatly exaggerated. Most economists believe that the economic expansion — already the longest in U.S. history — will last at least throughout 2020. America's new daily infection rate is now pretty much on a par with the EU average: 94 per 100,000 residents in each case. Nonetheless, state lawmakers have an awful lot on their plates. Another issue is that despite increases in contributions from states and localities, the amount is still short of what actuaries are demanding. Voice and data are treated one way, video another, he explains. Mayors also have stumped for federal action regarding immigration reform. —Alan Greenblatt. Rudensky and other legal scholars warn that legislators will still be sorely tempted to draw maps that give their party maximum advantage. The World Health Organization has warned of “alarming rates of transmission” of Covid-19 across Europe and cautioned countries against shortening quarantine periods. The growing number of newer, fuel-efficient and electric cars means less taxes collected. Both parties have reinvigorated their campaigning efforts as early voting for the Jan. 5 Senate runoff has begun. "Anyone who says they do is speculating. Asa Hutchinson has signaled a willingness to sign it into law. They’ll be acting on numerous fronts where the feds are unable or unwilling to reach agreement. Pre-emption by a state can limit what a city can do or dictate policy. "Fifteen dollars an hour is essentially the standard by which other minimum wage proposals are now judged," says David Cooper, a senior analyst at the Economic Policy Institute. Last year, Colorado repealed its own pre-emption law regarding local minimum-wage levels. If American rates continue to fall, quicker than those in Europe, the yardstick would theoretically mean EU borders opening to Americans. Last year, the Virginia Legislature approved a constitutional amendment to create an independent redistricting commission. Mileage-based user fee studies and pilot programs are under review in 14 states and five states are looking at tolling as a source of new revenue. As further provided in each proclamation, citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States, certain family members, and other individuals who meet specified exceptions external icon, who have been in one of the countries listed above in the past 14 days will be allowed to enter the United States. With bipartisan support, the First Step Act was signed into law by President Trump a little over a year ago, reforming the federal prison system. As a second wave of Covid grips ... [+] Europe, Spain is the worst hit. Even for those with very low infection rates. Minnesota has since established its own version of the successful program. —David Kidd. —Tod Newcombe. Michigan was the first state to react, with Gov. Arrest records, dropped charges and nonviolent crimes that occurred more than 10 years ago will be expunged. Last year, more than a dozen states created maternal mortality review commissions or task forces. Republican legislators and governors continue to push the idea of requiring Medicaid recipients to perform some sort of work or volunteer activity to receive the health-care benefit, although courts have largely frowned on the idea. Numbers are creeping up everywhere. Meanwhile, the issue has been moving from the regulatory front to the legislative. Virginia Gov. The United States and Europe still need each other, and the world needs a vibrant and energetic West to sustain the global order. This past year, most states came in at or above their revenue projections. The Trump administration has proposed shifting immigration away from family reunification and broadly based employment-based migration to a point-based system that prioritizes immigrants with education and particular employment qualifications. But while dealing with climate change seems overwhelming to many, it is already having an impact that state and local governments cannot ignore. But with Europe’s Covid infection rates now pretty much on a par with the U.S. that may soon change. Given the polarized, highly politicized conditions for this year's elections, expect a lot of attention to be focused on just how well election security works — or doesn't. This page highlights the most recent reports. In Minnesota, a budget formula will transfer nearly $500 million out of the rainy-day fund in 2021. In some cases, they’ll be stepping into a perceived void with, for example, blue states formulating their own responses to climate change in the face of President Donald Trump’s professed skepticism about the issue. The costs of building, owning or renting a home keep rising, but incomes are not keeping pace. In Texas, the opposite has happened, with Austin declaring itself a "freedom city" in a state that is strongly anti-sanctuary. Despite the scientific community's consensus about the danger ahead — and abundant signs of the impact climate change is already having, from receding glaciers to extreme weather events — the public remains skeptical. and other European countries will begin welcoming some nonessential travelers on July 1, but Americans will not be on the list, at least at first. However, federal courts have blocked the Census Bureau from asking the question. See the Comprehensive Index of Legal Reports for our complete list of reports. Nine states have enacted anti-sanctuary laws, requiring local police to assist the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. —David Kidd. On 15 June 2020, the European Commission launched Re-open EUThe platform was initially set up as one of the measures announced by the Commission in its Tourism and Transport package to help travelling and tourism safely resume in the EU while respecting the necessary health precautions. What these geographically diverse states have in common is that they're all run by Democrats. ", Political and legal momentum is clearly with abortion opponents, as even supporters of abortion rights readily concede. Even so, the water is now four inches higher than it was in 1950, causing flooding, potential infiltration of drinking water and disruption of a $17 billion annual coastal tourism industry. Paper Money. The House is expected to take up the measure this spring. In all but 13 states, one party has all the power, holding the governorship as well as legislative majorities. The latest Bomber Task Force (BTF) mission in Europe occurred Thursday over the Barents Sea as a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber aircraft conducted integration operations with NATO Allies. Alan Greenblatt, David Kidd, Tod Newcombe, What Government Gets Wrong About Technology, Legislators Face Tech-Heavy Agenda as They Confront the Future: Digital Issues to Watch, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures, ended up with a median return of 6.79 percent, National Association of State Budget Officers, A Biden Oil Ban Could Improve the Climate, Worsen State Economy, Resolutions Honor Love, Potatoes and Pets: Legislative Watch, With Nov. Both visiting or returning from neighbors. As happens every decade, this creates a fundraising bonanza, as members of Congress line up to help legislative candidates who could hold their political lives or deaths in their hands. A software problem resulted in some Northampton County residents who tried to vote straight-ticket Democratic initially registering as straight-ticket Republican. Meanwhile, the supply of affordable rental units is rapidly shrinking. What happened on the West Coast may happen on the East. In all, nine states took steps in 2019 to protect or expand abortion access. Back in 2018, the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that we had but a decade to hold global warming to even moderate levels, while acknowledging in its report that "there is no historic precedent" for what would need to be done to significantly reduce the world's carbon emissions. Future of Community Design: Thinking through and solving challenges faced in building economically and socially robust communities; overcoming constraints in conceiving, investing in and building their future. Besides having less to spend on life’s necessities like food, transportation and health care, these people can be one paycheck away from losing their homes. "In part, it will be to continue this drumbeat around passing as many abortion bans as possible to move these cases through the courts.". But efforts to deal with the problem are taking form in different parts of the country. 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