ICYMI: Top stories of the week


Five states to decide in November on legalizing recreational marijuana

In November, five states will decide on marijuana legalization ballot measures. In the central U.S., voters in Arkansas, Missouri, North Dakota, and South Dakota will consider citizen initiatives to legalize marijuana. These four states are Republican trifectas. In Maryland, which has a divided government, the legislature voted to put the issue before voters.

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28 state legislative chambers we’ll be watching next week

Ballotpedia has identified 28 of the 88 state legislative chambers up for election in November as battlegrounds. The individual elections for these chambers could affect partisan control, create supermajorities, or end them.

Republicans control 19 of the 28 battleground chambers. Democrats control eight. The final chamber, the Alaska House of Representatives, has a numerical Republican majority, but a multiparty coalition runs the chamber.

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What you need to know about this year’s state financial officer elections

In 2022, either directly or indirectly, voters will decide who controls 68 of the 105 state financial officerships nationwide.

Broadly, these officials are responsible for things like auditing other government offices, managing payroll, and overseeing pensions. In some states, certain SFOs are also responsible for investing state retirement and trust funds, meaning they get to decide where that public money goes.

The way in which voters will affect the control of these offices varies by state, with some being directly elected and others being appointed.

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President Joe Biden’s approval rating rises to 44% in October, highest since 2021

Recent approval polling averages show President Joe Biden (D) at 44% approval, the highest rating he’s received since 2021. Fifty-four percent of voters disapprove of his performance.

Biden last had a 44% approval rating on December 22, 2021. The lowest approval rating he’s received is 38% on July 27, 2022. The highest approval rating Biden has received is 55% on May 26, 2021.

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