By Robert A. Vella
In other news today, North Dakota’s voter id law has been blocked by a federal judge, a gender pay equality bill in Massachusetts advances through the state legislature, and progressive ballot measures are popping-up across the nation.
From Time – Federal Judge Blocks North Dakota Voter ID Law:
(BISMARCK, N.D.) — A federal judge in North Dakota has blocked the state’s voter identification law after it was challenged by a group of American Indians.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland issued a temporary restraining order Monday. Hovland wrote that the state could easily fix the problem by letting voters file affidavits or declarations if they don’t have a valid ID.
From Mother Jones – Massachusetts Just Took a Big Step Toward Closing the Wage Gap:
The Massachusetts Legislature unanimously passed the strongest equal pay law in the country during a rare weekend session on July 23, and it is waiting for Republican Gov. Charlie Baker’s signature.
Sen. Karen Spilka, a co-sponsor of the bill, told the Boston Herald that the measure “finally put a nail in the coffin of the gender pay gap.”
From The Hill – Left turns to ballot measures to enact political change:
Republicans control a record number of state legislative chambers across the country, effectively sidelining any hopes progressives have of advancing an agenda.
In response, liberals are turning to ballot measures to raise the minimum wage, enact gun control, strengthen environmental protections and pursue other progressive goals that would be impossible to advance in GOP-controlled legislatures.
“As more and more states are controlled by Republicans, you see more of these progressive measures getting on the ballot through initiatives,” said Josh Altic, a researcher who tracks ballot measures for the nonpartisan Lucy Burns Institute.