This week's state of the week is ... Wisconsin!
Well folks, it's official: Wisconsin's Scott Walker is the third governor in history to face a recall election. It's hardly shocking news. After all, anti-Walker forces turned in more than a million petitions—almost double the number they needed. But given the volume of petitions, the Government Accountability Board, tasked with verifying the signatures, needed additional time to check things out. That gave Walker more time to fundraise; thanks to a loophole in Wisconsin law, once the signature-gathering for a recall begins, the incumbent in jeopardy no longer has to abide by normal campaign donation limits. Walker successfully raised millions from key conservative donors in the last several weeks. Now that the recall is official, campaign donation limits are back in effect.
But it's still unclear who Walker will face. Democrats have yet to coalesce around a single candidate; many are still waiting to see if Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett will run. Others are already backing former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk. The latest poll from Marquette University shows a tight race, with Walker narrowly ahead of Barrett and Falk. Assuming there is a Democratic primary—which seems safe since three candidates have already declared—the primary will be held on May 8, with the general coming a month later on June 5.
- On the last day of their legislative session, Georgia Republicans salvaged a so-called "fetal pain" bill, and passed a measure that severely restricts abortion rights after 20 weeks. The bill, thought dead, does include a provision for congenital defects but no exemptions for rape or incest cases.
- The governor of Tennessee is expected to approve a bill, passed by the Legislature, that protects teachers who offer anti-science theories to counter evolution or climate change.
- At the very end of its session, the Idaho Legislature opted to give the state's wealthiest residents a tax cut.
- After weeks of gridlock, Virginia Democrats are getting much of what they want in the budget passed by the state Senate this week.
- A Senate panel in Oklahoma just approved a measure allowing people to carry guns openly so long as they have proof of training. A firearm license would not be necessary.