The following is a round-up of national news from several major states across the country that will be featured on our site on a daily basis:
White House: Trump Travels to NJ Golf Club to ‘Save the Taxpayer Money’: President Trump is working a long weekend from his golf club in Bedminster, N.J., a trip that the White House claims saves taxpayers money, though it is estimated to cost the government and local authorities hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Trump touted his visit to the golf club on Twitter on Friday, claiming that the visit “also saves country money!” compared with the cost of staying at Trump Tower in New York City.
Of course, remaining in Washington would save even more money. The White House is already a secure facility, and Trump would not need to use Air Force One and the federal government would not spend more to house, feed and pay agents for additional security outside of Washington.
Asked why the president does not work from Washington, deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders dodged the question. “Had he stayed in Manhattan, the disruption would have been far greater than being in New Jersey,” Sanders said. “The bottom line is that the president is the president no matter where he goes.” [Washington Post]
N.J. Governor Candidate Wisniewski Jabs Murphy in first TV Ad: State Assemblyman John Wisniewski, a Democratic candidate for New Jersey governor, vows to fight for the middle class and takes a swipe at his top opponent in his first television advertisement of the campaign.
The 30-second clip, unveiled Thursday, is part of a six-figure ad buy that begins airing next week on a mix of cable and broadcast stations in both the New York City and Philadelphia markets, Greg Minchak, a spokesman for the campaign, told NJ Advance Media. The ad shows Wisniewski (D-Middlesex) driving around Middlesex County and speaking with voters.
“What I see in New Jersey is a middle class that’s under siege,” he says. “Leadership that doesn’t care about the working men and women of this state.”
Wisniewski, a 21-year veteran of the Assembly who has often fought his own party on issues, is one of six Democratic candidates running in the June 6 primary for the party’s nomination succeed Gov. Chris Christie, a term-limited Republican in his final year. [NJ Advance]
Rauner’s Latest Not A Campaign Ad Trumpets Small Business Week: In his latest “I’m definitely not campaigning” campaign video, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner touting his alleged workin’ class roots along with his love of small business owners and entrepreneurs.
“For the small business owners, the entrepreneurs, the risk-takers and change-agents, there’s no 9-to-5,” the ad begins. “Work doesn’t stop and they don’t stop.” To the beat of a sweeping, theatrical score, the narrator describes how while Rauner made his name running “one of Illinois’ most respected businesses,” he made his way parkin’ cars and cookin’ burgers, just like a regular person.
The Rauner ad comes days after gubernatorial rival and fellow billionaire JB Pritzker released his first campaign ad, which touts the businessman’s creation of a tech incubator that the ad claims created 6,000 jobs.
As it’s “small business week,” this is another one of those ads that’s definitely not a campaign ad because Rauner is once again touring the state, pushing for ‘real reform.’ “Rauner released a new digital ad highlighting the role small businesses play in Illinois, and how his business background and reform plan is paving the way to deliver change for struggling small businesses,” said the Illinois GOP in a press release.
Still, Illinois Republicans criticized the governor’s Democratic challengers for “shockingly” having nothing to say. “J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, Daniel Biss and Ameya Pawar refused to even acknowledge small business week and the challenges that half of Illinois’ workforce faces,” said the Illinois GOP. [Chicagoist]
Florida Senate Passes Medical Marijuana Implementation Bill: The Florida Legislature is closer to getting medical marijuana legislation passed. The Senate approved a bill (HB 1397) on Thursday by a 31-7 vote. The measure passed the House on Tuesday but must return to that chamber, because of changes made by the Senate, before it can go to Gov. Rick Scott.
The bill could still make another visit to the Senate if the House makes more changes. Friday is the final day that all non-budget legislation must be passed in this year’s session. The legislature and supporters of the state’s medical marijuana amendment agree on two important things — the legislation to get cannabis to Floridians isn’t perfect but it’s best to get something in place because it is an evolving industry.
“Everyone is running around scared of the decisions we are going to make because of the money on the line. This doesn’t end tomorrow,” said Sen. Rob Bradley, a Republican from Orange Park who sponsored the bill. “We will be dealing with this every session as this product and patients evolve.”
The House and Senate agree on most key parts of a bill putting rules in place for Amendment 2. The amendment, approved by 71 percent of voters last November, was enacted on Jan. 3. It must be implemented by October and rules have to be in place by July. [Leafle]