Western states call for massive rent relief — and political wins
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The best hope for swift pandemic aid to struggling California tenants and landlords might come from Georgia.State lawmakers from California and three other Western states this week are urging their congressional delegations to step up with $100 billion for rent relief — an achievable goal, they believe, if Democrats win two seats in U.S. Senate elections in Georgia, seize control of the upper chamber, and push a significant stimulus bill through Congress.Assemblymember David Chiu, D-San Francisco, chair of the housing and community development committee, said the federal aid...
The Mercury News
N.J. attorney general tells prosecutors to stop pressing charges for small amounts of marijuana
As New Jersey lawmakers continue to hash out legislation to legalize marijuana, the attorney general on Wednesday directed all prosecutors to put a hold on cases charging possession of small amounts of the substance.“All New Jersey municipal, county, and state prosecutors are instructed to seek an adjournment, until at least Jan. 25, 2021,” of low-level marijuana crimes, wrote state Attorney General Gurbir Grewal in guidance distributed to the state’s top law enforcement officers.Grewal’s directive does not cover driving under the influence. More crucially, Grewal did not order police to stop ...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Georgia Trump supporters fight on in court
ATLANTA — Supporters of Donald Trump’s effort to overturn the results of the presidential election in Georgia say they have filed a federal lawsuit that accuses top state officials of abetting voter fraud.The lawsuit says Gov. Brian Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger rushed to buy new election software that played a big role in a scheme “illegally and fraudulently manipulating the vote count to make certain the election of Joe Biden as president of the United States.”A separate lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Fulton County Superior Court, also seeks to overturn the presidential electio...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Cuomo calls Supreme Court decision blocking NY restrictions on religious gatherings a political statement
NEW YORK — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said a U.S. Supreme Court decision handed down Wednesday night blocking state officials from enforcing a cap on religious gatherings in coronavirus hot spots in Brooklyn and Queens is “irrelevant from any practical impact” because those areas are no longer designated virus hot spots.He said the decision, among the first that includes newly appointed Justice Amy Coney Barrett, was “really more an opportunity for the court to express its philosophy and politics.”“The Brooklyn zone no longer exists as a red zone. That’s mooted. So that restriction is not in e...
New York Daily News
Pennsylvania nursing homes in line to be shielded from COVID-19 lawsuits
Pennsylvania lawmakers on Friday passed a coronavirus liability shield for nursing homes, hospitals, and a collection of other businesses, providing protection from lawsuits long sought by the chronically underfunded long-term care industry as it struggles to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.The legislation, decried by advocates for the elderly, would eliminate liability for damages or personal injury related to COVID-19 unless gross negligence, recklessness, willful misconduct, or intentional harm can be shown “by clear and convincing evidence.”Rep. John Hershey, a Republican from central...
The Philadelphia Inquirer
Georgia state senators call for special session to address voting issues
ATLANTA — Four Republican state senators are calling for a special session of the General Assembly to address voting concerns before the January runoff — an idea that top Georgia leaders have already rejected.In a statement released late Tuesday, the senators called for the session to “address structural issues with our voting system before the January runoff.” They also want the session to address “any evidence of voter fraud” brought to lawmakers.The senators calling for a special session are Brandon Beach of Alpharetta, Greg Dolezal of Cumming, Burt Jones of Jackson and William Ligon of Bru...
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Election disinformation fears came true for state officials
The disinformation scenario that local election officials feared months ago has come true: President Donald Trump’s false claims of voter fraud have been picked up by many state and local Republican officials across the country, and polls now show that more than two-thirds of GOP voters believe the 2020 election was neither free nor fair.Ten state attorneys general signed an amicus brief two weeks ago supporting the president’s unsuccessful bid to block an extension for mail-in ballots in Pennsylvania. And state lawmakers from South Carolina wrote a letter in support of court challenges that h...
Loren Culp, refusing to concede Washington gubernatorial race, turns on top Republicans
SEATTLE — Loren Culp lost Washington’s gubernatorial race by more than 545,000 votes, but he’s not conceding — and says he’s not going away.Culp, the Republican who took 43% of the statewide vote against Gov. Jay Inslee, has taken a page from President Donald Trump’s playbook by attempting to sow doubts about the election results and lobbing unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud.In recent days, he and his campaign manager, Chris Gergen, also have turned their anger on top Washington Republicans, including Secretary of State Kim Wyman and state House Minority Leader J.T. Wilcox.The post-electio...
The Seattle Times
Trump maintains unproven 'massive' fraud claim as Michigan lawmakers depart his hotel
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump reiterated his unproven claim that there was “massive voter fraud” in Michigan’s election on Saturday, a day after he met with Republican lawmakers from the state at the White House.In Saturday morning tweets, as multiple Michigan lawmakers departed the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C., the president responded to a joint statement put out by House Speaker Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, and Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake. Their Friday statement suggested the lawmakers used the meeting to focus on COVID-19 relief and not the certific...
The Detroit News
How will California Gov. Newsom pick Kamala Harris' replacement? Ethnicity, electability, experience?
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — To say that Gov. Gavin Newsom is under pressure is an understatement.The chance to appoint someone to the U.S. Senate does not come along often. It has happened only a handful of times before in the state, most recently in 1991, and it represents an opportunity to install an official that could serve in one of the most powerful government bodies for, potentially, decades. The governor must name a successor to the only Black woman in the U.S. Senate and the first woman to ever be elected vice president.It’s a historic appointment, and everybody has an idea of who they want ...
The Sacramento Bee