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Scott Walker emerging on the right as top government reform voice

Scott Walker, the onetime national Republican favorite ousted from the Wisconsin governor's mansion last year, has found another new political platform: He will be the figurehead for a new group that seeks promote government reform from the right.

The 18-month-old Institute for Reforming Government announced Monday that Walker will be its national honorary chairman as the group "seeks to simplify government at every level by offering policy solutions to thought leaders in American government in the areas of tax reform, government inefficiency, and burdensome regulations."

Since losing his bid for a third term last fall, the 52-year-old Walker has put together a portfolio of positions designed to keep him relevant in conservative governing circles. He is finance chairman of the National Republican Redistricting Trust, which will coordinate the party's redistricting strategy after the 2020 census, and national chairman of the Center for State-led National Debt Solutions, which is seeking to convene a constitutional convention with the aim of adding an amendment requiring a balanced federal budget.

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Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a trio of democracy reform bills this week.

California governor signs three political reform bills

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law on Tuesday three democracy reform bills focused on local redistricting, voting access and campaign contributions.

The first piece of legislation prohibits partisan gerrymandering at the local level by establishing criteria for cities and counties to use when adjusting district boundaries. While California is the largest state to use an independent redistricting commission to draw its congressional and state district maps, local districts did not have the same regulations.

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Gov. Ralph Northam used his executive authority to restore voting rights for felons, noting that Virginia is among the states that permanently strips such rights after a felony conviction.

Virginia governor restores voting rights to over 22,000 felons

More than 22,000 Virginians with felony convictions have regained the right to vote thanks to executive actions taken by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam since he took office in January 2018, his office announced this week.

In a statement, Northam's office said he has so far restored the civil rights of 22,205 people who had been convicted of felonies and have since completed their sentences. Those civil rights include the right to vote as well as the right to serve on juries, run for public office and become a notary public.

Northam previously announced in February that nearly 11,000 convicted felons had their voting rights restored under his watch.

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