Medicaid incentive so far not enough to sway holdout states
Henry McMaster remains firmly opposed to the Medicaid expansion. The bump in federal funding would last two years for the states that join the Medicaid expansion. Laura Kelley this year called for legalizing medical use of marijuana and using the tax revenue to pay for expanding Medicaid. "It’s a nonstarter, and we will continue to oppose the liberal wish list item of Medicaid expansion,” he said. Kay Ivey left open the possibility of expanding Medicaid at some point in the future, but there are no plans to do so.
Marc Basnight, longest serving NC Senate leader, dies at 73
FILE - In a May 2006 file photo, Senate leader Marc Basnight speaks on the Senate floor at the Legislative Building in Raleigh, N.C. Basnight died Monday, Dec. 28, 2020, at age 73. Despite humble beginnings and little formal education, Basnight rose through state politics to serve in the Senate for 26 years. His nine two-year terms as Senate president pro tempore made him the longest-serving head of a legislative body in North Carolina history. While Senate leader, GOP senators complained Basnight had consolidated too much power. Bob Jordan died in February, while Sen. Tony Rand, who was majority leader and rules committee chairman under Basnight, died in May.
Republicans retain power in states despite Democratic push
“This was a status quo election.”Heading into Tuesday, Republicans had full control of 29 state legislatures compared to 19 for Democrats. “The reality is we are still running on very gerrymandered maps,” said Christina Polizzi, national press secretary for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. They were countered by the Republican state leadership committee, which had a target of about $70 million. But Republican redistricting power will be diminished in some states because of changes that occurred in recent years. Instead, Republicans added to their House ranks with more conservatives, increasing the potential to override vetoes by Democratic Gov.
GOP to high court: Halt longer N. Carolina absentee deadline
The state board made the change as part of a legal settlement in state court with a union-affiliated group that had challenged what it saw as restrictive voting rules during the coronavirus pandemic. A federal judge considering the deadline and other absentee ballot procedures, U.S. District Judge William Osteen, ruled last week that absentee ballots that arrive without a witness signature can’t be counted. The court battle had caused absentee ballots with a range of errors to be set aside for about two weeks while the procedures were debated. The appeal filed Thursday by the Trump campaign argues that the Supreme Court should go further than just shortening the ballot deadline. The Trump campaign has also asked the state Supreme Court to overturn the court settlement that included the rule changes.
The Latest: India cases pass 800,000 with record daily jump
(AP Photo/Rafiq Maqbool)NEW DELHI: Indias coronavirus cases have passed 800,000 with the biggest spike of 27,114 cases in the past 24 hours, causing nearly a dozen states to impose a partial lockdown in high-risk areas. The new confirmed cases took the national total to 820,916. With a population of 26 million, Australia has recorded more than 9,000 coronavirus cases, with 107 deaths. About 175 of the newly reported cases arose from a batch of private lab results, according to the state Health Department. Health officials reported another 32 virus-related deaths, raising the statewide toll to 6,880.