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Pluribus AM: Abortion moves in SC, ID, MN, TN; legal pot takes steps in WI, MN; IL House passes major gun bill

Good morning, it’s Friday, Jan. 6, 2023. In today’s edition, opposite abortion rulings in S.C, Idaho; legal pot on the move in Wis., Minn.; Ill. advances major gun legislation: 

Top Stories

ABORTION: The state Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a ban on abortions more than six weeks after conception, ruling that the measure violates the state constitutional right to privacy. In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade, the South Carolina court is the first to rule that a right to privacy extends to abortion. (The State, Associated Press)

MORE: The Idaho Supreme Court ruled its state constitution does not include a fundamental right to an abortion as it dismissed a series of lawsuits filed by Planned Parenthood. The pro-abortion rights group had sued over laws allowing family members to sue health care professionals who perform abortions and making a crime of performing an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected. (Idaho Statesman, Associated Press)

EVEN MORE: A bill to codify abortion rights in state law has passed the Minnesota House Health Committee along party lines. State Democrats, who won control of the legislature in November, have made protecting abortion rights a priority. (Minneapolis Star Tribune, Fargo Forum) Tennessee Republicans are considering adding exceptions for rape or incest to a “trigger” law barring abortions that took effect after the Dobbs decision. (Tennessee Lookout)

MARIJUANA: Wisconsin Senate Republicans are “close” to supporting medical marijuana, Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R) said Thursday. The Assembly has shown a willingness to back medical pot in the past. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Minnesota legislators have unveiled a bill to legalize recreational pot. A version previously passed the state House, but it died in a Republican-controlled Senate. Democrats now hold the Senate majority. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

ILLINOIS: The state House early Friday approved a ban on some semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines. Late amendments stripped the bill of a provision banning gun sales to those under 21 and raised the limit on high-capacity magazines to 12, from 10. The bill heads to the state Senate, where its fate is uncertain. (Chicago Tribune, WBEZ)

MORE: The state Supreme Court will hear arguments in March over the constitutionality of eliminating cash bail. Attorney General Kwame Raoul (D) has appealed a Kankakee County judge’s ruling that eliminating cash bail violates the state constitution. More than 60 state’s attorneys challenged the SAFE-T Act last year. (Chicago Tribune)

NEW JERSEY: Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed bipartisan legislation Thursday speeding up construction permitting processes to deal with an affordable housing shortage across the Garden State. Murphy also announced $20 million in state and federal funding to build affordable housing. (NJ Advance Media)

OHIO: Gov. Mike DeWine (R) vetoed legislation that would have barred cities from banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. DeWine’s veto will allow a ban on those products to take effect in Columbus. At a press conference announcing his move, DeWine called for a statewide ban. (Columbus Dispatch)

VIRGINIA: Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) administration is pushing to expand school choice through legislation that would allocate part of per-pupil state funding to education savings accounts. Parents could use the accounts to pay for private school tuition or other education expenses. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Democrats, who still control the state Senate, aren’t keen on the idea. (Virginia Mercury)

FLORIDA: Trial begins Monday in a lawsuit filed by Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) over Biden administration policies she says result in undocumented immigrants flowing into the state. Moody’s lawsuit alleges the administration is “systematically violating” federal law by releasing migrants who are required to be detained. (Orlando Sentinel)

In Politics & Business

PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES: New Hampshire Democrats and Republicans wrote to the Democratic National Committee rejecting party plans to move the first-in-the-nation primary. The DNC has given New Hampshire until Feb. 1 to do so. (New Hampshire Bulletin) Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) opposes the DNC’s efforts to move up his state’s presidential primaries. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), who actually has a say in the primary date, likes the idea. (Georgia Public Broadcasting)

KENTUCKY: Rumors are swirling that ex-Gov. Matt Bevin (R) may file to run for his old job by today’s filing deadline. State Rep. Savannah Maddox’s (R) decision to quit the race is sparking talk that the two might team up. (Lexington Herald Leader) Matt Bevin, answer your phone.

OHIO: Summit County Republican Party chairman Bryan Williams is moving to punish Republican members of the legislature who joined with Democrats to elect House Speaker Jason Stephens (R). Williams is among the leading candidates to head the Ohio Republican Party in a vote scheduled for today. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Backstory on the surprise upset in Ohio here. In a separate interview, defeated Speaker candidate Derek Merrin (R) said Stephens made his move while Merrin was caring for his dying father. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

NEW MEXICO: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has named Daniel Schlegel as her new chief of staff. Schlegel has worked for Lujan Grisham since she was in Congress. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

GAMBLING: The Ohio Casino Control Commission will take administrative action against BetMGM Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook for breaking rules about advertising and problem gambling hotlines. The commission has already warned DraftKings and Barstool Sportsbooks about advertising to those under 21. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PEOPLE: Tragic news here, where state Rep. Quentin Williams (D), 39, was killed by a wrong-way driver early Thursday as he returned home from the governor’s inaugural ball. Gov. Ned Lamont (D) ordered flags flown at half-staff. (Hartford Courant, Associated Press) Former Arizona Sen. Russell Pearce (R), architect of the controversial SB 1070 immigration law, has died at 75. (Arizona Republic)

By The Numbers

20,000: The number of students who went remote in Jackson, Miss., on Thursday, the first day of classes after the holiday break, after the Jackson Public School District reported more than half its schools have low or no water pressure. A cold front over the break damaged the city water system. (Mississippi Free Press)

6: The number of elected governors of Massachusetts, out of the last seven, who have either undergraduate or law school degrees from Harvard, after Gov. Maura Healey (D), class of 1992, was sworn in this week. The lone exception: Gov. Paul Celucci (R), a Boston College grad.

Speaking of Healey, she was presented with a ceremonial silver sword supposedly cast by Paul Revere, handed down from governor to governor since at least the early 1900s. (Boston Globe)

Off The Wall

You know that old adage, two things you never want to see made are laws and sausage? Montana legislates this weekend will try their hand at both, in a bipartisan event for freshman lawmakers aimed at fostering civility. State Sen. Jason Small (R), a past attendee, told us it’s a worthwhile event. “It’s a different setting,” he said. “Generally you’re not rolling around, cutting up meat.” (Pluribus News)

Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano is erupting again after a few weeks off. Check out the eerie photo of the glowing summit crater at The Seattle Times.

Quote of the Day

“If they tried to pull this at the NFL stadium in Atlanta, SEC fans would unite to burn the city to the ground while shouting about how maybe Sherman did the right thing.”

Decatur, Ga., attorney Eric Teusink, one of the many University of Georgia fans — including Gov. Brian Kemp (R) — incensed over a ban on tailgating at Los Angeles’s SoFi Stadium, where UGA will play TCU in Monday’s NCAA championship game. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)