Pluribus AM: Abortion on deck in Minn., Idaho; Iowa Gov proposes government reform; Wis. GOP plans bail amendment

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023. In today’s edition, abortion on deck in Minn., Idaho; Iowa gov proposes major government reform; states consider property tax cuts:

Top Stories

OHIO: The state Senate Education Committee will begin hearings this week on an education reform measure that will give control of most policy to the governor, rather than the state Board of Education. The bill is a major priority for Senate President Matt Huffman (R). (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

ILLINOIS: Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has signed legislation expanding protections for abortion patients and health care workers. The law shields patients and providers from legal actions taken by other states, and it expands the number of professionals who can provide abortion care in the midst of a surge of patients from other states. (Chicago Tribune)

MINNESOTA: Lawmakers are expected to vote on a measure that would enshrine into law the right to an abortion. The fast-tracked measure won committee approval last week, setting up a vote on the House floor this week. Democrats who back the bill expect to get it to Gov. Tim Walz (D) by Jan. 22, the anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision. (MPR News)

IDAHO: The Senate State Affairs Committee on Monday advanced a measure to change the legal definition of abortion in an effort to address concerns from medical providers about ectopic pregnancies. The bill would define abortion as an “intentional killing of a living human embryo or fetus in utero.” (Idaho Capital Sun)

CALIFORNIA: An analysis from the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office found revenues will likely come in lower than Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) budget anticipates, widening a budget deficit already projected at $22.5 billion. The agency criticized Newsom’s proposal to defer spending, rather than making cuts. (Sacramento Bee)

ARIZONA: Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) has proposed ending a universal school voucher program and dismantling a border strike force in her $17.1 billion budget plan, setting up clashes with Republican legislators. Hobbs proposed spending $150 million to help the homeless and $330 million to improve school facilities. (Arizona Republic, AZ Mirror)

IOWA: Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) is proposing a major overhaul to state government, cutting the number of Cabinet-level agencies from 37 to 16. Reynolds ordered a four-year halt to new state rules and regulations. Iowa’s administrative code runs to more than 20,000 pages. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

OREGON: Legislators are considering bills to allocate up to $300 million to lure semiconductor manufacturers. The bipartisan, bicameral group is considering amendments to tax structures, environmental regulations, land-use policies and education. (Oregonian)

WASHINGTON: State lawmakers are considering a bill to create state-run apprenticeship programs for industries that need more workers. The bill, introduced by Rep. Jacquelin Maycumber (R) and backed by 50 bipartisan co-sponsors, would create two pilot programs to test the system. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)

WYOMING: State Sen. Dan Dockstader (R) has proposed legislation modeled on Florida’s so-called “don’t say gay” law, barring classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity through third grade. The bill would also require schools to report changes in a student’s well-being or use of services. (Casper Star-Tribune)

PROPERTY TAXES: Bipartisan groups of lawmakers are racing to reduce property taxes, as higher market values send tax bills through the roof. Lawmakers in Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Montana and Texas all say they plan to make property tax relief a priority. The average homeowner has seen property tax bills rise by 10% since 2021. (Pluribus News)

In Politics & Business

WISCONSIN: The state Senate will vote Tuesday and the Assembly will vote Thursday on a proposed constitutional amendment to require courts to factor in past charges and public safety risks when setting cash bail for those accused of violent crime. If approved, the amendment would go on the April ballot, at the same time Wisconsin voters weigh in on a high-stakes state Supreme Court race. (Wisconsin State Journal)

SOUTH DAKOTA: State Sen. John Wiik (R) has won election to chair the South Dakota Republican Party. Wiik had support from Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and Sen. John Thune (R). (Dakota News Now)

NEW MEXICO: Albuquerque police have arrested Solomon Pena, 39, in connection with a series of drive-by shootings that targeted Democratic state lawmakers. Pena ran for a state House district this year, losing by a wide margin to an incumbent legislator. (Associated Press)

By The Numbers

3.3 million: The number of Americans who were temporarily displaced from their homes by natural disasters in 2022, according to U.S. Census Bureau estimates. About a third of those who were displaced were in Florida, hit hard by Hurricanes Ian and Nicole. An estimated 410,000 people were displaced in Louisiana. (Pluribus News)

5,045: The number of vacant teaching jobs schools in Florida are trying to fill, according to a tally of job postings conducted by the Florida Education Association. The number of vacant positions has risen by about 1,500 since before the pandemic. (Orlando Sentinel)

$9.2 billion: The surplus Michigan state government has as a cushion against an expected mild recession. Tax revenues were $1.5 billion higher than expected in the last fiscal year. (Crain’s Detroit Business)

33 billion gallons: The amount of storm water Los Angeles County has captured in recent winter storms, water that can be used to supply up to 816,000 people for a year. (Los Angeles Daily News)

Off The Wall

Oregon state Sen. Dennis Linthicum (R) has introduced a bill requiring formal negotiations between Oregon and Idaho over changing the two states’ borders. Voters in 11 counties in eastern Oregon have backed non-binding measures seeking to join Idaho, a push known as the Greater Idaho Movement. (KOIN)

After California regulators passed a ban on sales of new gas-powered cars after 2035, Wyoming is pushing back. State Sen. Jim Anderson (R) has introduced a measure that would outlaw the sales of new electric vehicles by 2035. Co-sponsor Sen. Brian Boner (R) acknowledges the bill is “tongue-in-cheek, but obviously it’s a very serious issue that deserves some public discussion.” (Cowboy State Daily)

Quote of the Day

“I think he has the potential to be the second-best governor of Pennsylvania.”

Ex-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell (D), on Gov.-elect Josh Shapiro (D), who takes office today. (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)