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Politics, Policy, and Elections

Defeat of Equal Rights Ordinance Is of Concern for Advocates

Defeat of Equal Rights Ordinance Is of Concern for Advocates

HOUSTON (AP) — By a 61-to-39-percent margin, voters in America’s fourth largest city on Tuesday rejected a broad equal-rights ordinance — extending protections in employment, housing and public spaces on the basis of race, sexual orientation, gender identity and other categories. Opponents prevailed with a campaign that dubbed the measure “the bathroom ordinance” and raised the […]

Voting Rights and Licenses Offices in Ala. Still at Center of Debate

Voting Rights and Licenses Offices in Ala. Still at Center of Debate

Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley agreed to keep 31 driver’s licenses offices open one day a month, a concession that critics said fell far short of voters’ needs in the state’s rural communities.  In September, Bentley announced plans to close 31 offices that issue driver’s licenses and photo IDs that residents commonly use to comply with […]

Calif. Voter Registration to Occur at Driver’s License Office

Calif. Voter Registration to Occur at Driver’s License Office

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Gov. Jerry Brown has approved legislation to make California the second state in the nation to begin automatically registering eligible voters when they obtain or renew their driver’s licenses.  AB 1461 by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez, D-San Diego, aims to boost California’s voter rolls by registering visitors to the Department of Motor […]

Better Consumer Protection Is Closer With Arbitration Limit Idea

Better Consumer Protection Is Closer With Arbitration Limit Idea

NEW YORK (AP) — Suing your bank or debt collector might be getting a whole lot easier.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is considering new regulations that would severely curtail a contentious practice called mandatory arbitration, which is when consumers are forced to take their disputes to a third-party mediator instead of a court of […]

Proof-of-Citizenship Rule for Voting Is Challenged in Kansas

Proof-of-Citizenship Rule for Voting Is Challenged in Kansas

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Two young northeast Kansas residents filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday seeking to prevent the state from requiring them to document their U.S. citizenship and to keep election officials from removing their names and thousands of others from registration rolls. The lawsuit against Secretary of State Kris Kobach, the architect of the […]

What Happens When Illinois Really Has No Budget?

What Happens When Illinois Really Has No Budget?

CHICAGO — As Illinois enters its second month without a budget, thousands of families find themselves without access to child care and other state services while Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats remain gridlocked over a $6 billion financial gap which threatens to shut down state facilities. On July 1, legislators missed the deadline to pass […]

The Voting Rights Act: Key Things to Know

The Voting Rights Act: Key Things to Know

WASHINGTON (AP) — On Aug. 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act, which has been called the single most effective civil rights law ever passed by Congress. Because of the Voting Rights Act, millions of minorities have exercised their right to vote in states that previously hindered them through […]