Pluribus AM: All the non-Trump news fit to print; Calif. Gov. Newsom hits national stage; N.M., N.J. pass election reforms

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Good morning, it’s Friday, March 31, 2023. In today’s edition, all the non-Trump news fit for print; Idaho passes “abortion trafficking” bill; Calif. Gov. Newsom steps on national stage:

Top Stories

ABORTION: The Idaho legislature gave final approval to a measure creating the crime of “abortion trafficking,” outlawing the transport of minors across state lines to access abortion services. (Pluribus News, Boise State Public Radio) Maryland voters will decide whether to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution in 2024 after the House gave the proposal a final approval. (Baltimore Sun)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Florida Senate Rules Committee approved legislation creating a second-degree misdemeanor for a person over the age of 18 who refuses to leave a restroom designated for the opposite sex, punishable by up to 60 days in jail. (Orlando Sentinel)

EDUCATION: The Missouri House approved a budget bill Thursday that blocks diversity, equity and inclusion practices at state agencies and cuts $4.5 million in state library budgets in retaliation for a lawsuit challenging a separate law that bans some materials from school libraries. (Kansas City Star) The Idaho Senate approved a bill holding libraries civilly liable if they lend “obscene”materials to minors. (Boise State Public Radio)

GUN POLITICS: The Florida Senate gave final approval to a bill that will allow residents to carry concealed weapons without a permit. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he would sign the bill. (Orlando Sentinel, Associated Press) DeSantis said he would call a special session to allow for open carry if he can find the votes. (Florida Politics) Hawaii’s Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill that would allow people harmed by firearms to sue gunmakers in state court. (Civil Beat)

TECH: An Iowa House subcommittee has advanced legislation barring anyone under 18 from having a social media account, a measure that goes beyond Utah’s bill requiring parental consent. The bill would assess $1,000 penalties per violation on social media companies. (Des Moines Register)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Ohio’s Senate is advancing a bill to abolish the death penalty. Senate President Matt Huffman (R) says he does not support the bill, but he will let it come to the floor for a vote if senators demonstrate they have the votes. (Statehouse News Bureau) The Florida Senate approved a bill eliminating the requirement that a jury be unanimous in recommending the death penalty. (Orlando Sentinel)

NEW YORK: Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and top state lawmakers acknowledge they will not reach a budget deal by a midnight deadline tonight. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins says disagreements over bail reform and Hochul’s housing compact are holding things up. (City & State, WXXI)

KENTUCKY: State lawmakers approved bills to legalize medical marijuana and sports betting. Both bills cleared the state Senate Thursday with enough votes to meet a rule related to measures that will create revenue for the state. Gov. Andy Beshear (D) is expected to sign both measures. (Kentucky Fried Politics, Lexington Herald-Leader)

In Politics & Business

NEW JERSEY: The legislature passed an overhaul of state campaign finance laws that will increase spending and contribution limits, overhaul pay-to-play laws and limit the amount of time election officials can investigate campaign finance violations from ten years to two years. The bill will allow state parties to accept contributions from public contractors. (Associated Press)

The commissioners of the independent election watchdog agency abruptly resigned after the vote. (NJ Advance Media)

NEW MEXICO: Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed election reform legislation restoring the right to vote for felons once they get out of prison, creating a permanent absentee voter list and instituting automatic voter registration through the Motor Vehicle Division. The bill also creates a Voting Rights Act for Native Americans. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Senate voted unanimously Thursday to enshrine the first-in-the-nation primary in the state constitution. If the state House concurs, voters would decide whether to add the amendment on the 2024 ballot. (WMUR, Associated Press)

ARIZONA: The state Democratic Party has filed a lawsuit challenging the No Labels Party’s qualification for the 2024 presidential ballot. The suit says the No Labels Party didn’t gather enough valid signatures to qualify for ballot access. (Arizona Republic)

NEWSOM: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has dropped $10 million into a new political action committee aimed at boosting Democratic candidates in red states. Newsom will visit Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi next week, after holding a fundraiser for the Democratic Governors Association in Florida. (Los Angeles Times, Associated Press)

By The Numbers

$176,700: The average bonus given to Wall Street executives last year, down from a $240,000 average in 2021, according to New York Comptroller Tom DiNapoli’s (D) office. The decline came amid rising interest rates and fears of a recession. (State of Politics)

Crocodile tears for all those boats and second homes that went unpurchased last year.

$750,000: The amount Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser (D) has included in her budget proposal to transform four under-used tennis courts into pickleball courts. Asked later if she understood the rules of pickleball, Bowser said: “Not at all.” (Washington Post)

Off The Wall

North Carolina beachgoers, be careful this weekend. At least six great white sharks are prowling the waters off the Outer Banks, according to a nonprofit shark-tracking organization — including Breton, a 13-footer who weighs in at 1,437 pounds. (WRAL, Raleigh News & Observer)

Speaking of sea creatures, the Miami Seaquarium said they plan to try to release Tokitae, an orca that has lived in a small tank for more than five decades. The move will be funding by a big donation from Jim Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts. Tokitae is the last orca in captivity. (Seattle Times)

Puja and Raman Kalra, owners of a Dairy Queen franchise in Phoenix, are on the hunt for a 15-foot giant red spoon statue that vanished from their store over the weekend. Security camera footage shows two people manipulating the screws at the base of the statue before taking off on a small motorbike. (Associated Press)

Imagine the size of the Blizzard those thieves are enjoying right now.

Quote of the Day

“We’re like high school, you know. We mess around and then we cram at the end.”

Nebraska Sen. Lou Ann Linehan, on the legislature’s push to pass tax cuts before the end of session on June 9. (Nebraska Public Media)