Pluribus AM: Arizona GOP in knots over abortion ban

HAPPENING TODAY: Join us at 1 p.m. for a conversation with Utah Rep. Robert Spendlove (R) and Oregon Rep. Maxine Dexter (D) on new approaches to America’s housing crisis, presented by the National Association of Home Builders. Register right here.

Good morning, it’s Thursday, April 18, 2024. In today’s edition, Arizona Republicans in knots over abortion ban; Michigan considers short-term rental taxes; Florida Dems search for candidates:

Top Stories

ABORTION: The Arizona House deadlocked 30-30 on Thursday on a Democratic proposal to overturn the state’s 1864 near-total ban on abortion. Anti-abortion rights groups protested the bill, and only one Republican sided with Democrats on the procedural motion. (Pluribus News) In a separate procedural vote, the Senate opened the door to repealing the 1864 ban as early as May 1. (Associated Press)

Arizona Republican strategists are pulling their hair out over the conundrum they’re in. Many believe keeping the 1864 ban will doom them with swing voters in November — but that repealing it will hurt their ability to turn out conservative base voters.

GUN POLITICS: Maine lawmakers gave final approval to legislation requiring a 72-hour waiting period before purchasing a gun, and a bill banning the sale of “bump stocks.” The legislature approved a bill requiring background checks on private gun sales and allowing police to take a potentially dangerous person into protective custody. (Maine Public Radio)

PUBLIC SAFETY: The New Mexico legislature will return for a special session in July to address public safety issues, including homeless encampments, panhandling and mental health treatment. Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) wants lawmakers to approve bills to allow judges to order those suffering mental health or substance abuse problems into treatment programs. (Associated Press)

HOUSING: The Michigan legislature is considering a 6% excise tax on short-term rentals offered by platforms like Airbnb and VRBO. The bill would also require a point of contact within 30 miles of the property for rent, and $1 million in liability insurance for each rental unit. (Detroit News)

CHILD WELFARE: Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) has signed legislation banning “reunification treatment,” in which family courts can force minors into no-contact periods with parents. Arizona joins Colorado, Utah, California and Tennessee in banning the practice. (Arizona Republic)

DEATH PENALTY: The Ohio House is beginning hearings on whether to allow nitrogen hypoxia as a method of carrying out the death penalty, following Alabama’s use of the procedure in January. Executions have been on hold in Ohio since 2018 after the state ran out of lethal injection drugs. (Ohio Capital Journal)

BORDER SECURITY: The Missouri Senate voted to approve $2.2 million in funding to send National Guard troops to the southern border in Texas. Gov. Mike Parson (R) wants to send 200 Guard troops and 22 highway patrol officers to the border, a plan that will eventually cost up to $10 million. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

JOURNALISM: Two journalism trade groups have asked California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) and the federal Department of Justice to investigate Google’s decision to pull California news articles from its search platforms. Google’s move came as legislators debate a bill from Assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D) that would require internet platforms to share ad revenue with publishers. (Sacramento Bee)

In Politics & Business

BIDEN: Alabama House and Senate committees advanced bills changing the deadline for political parties to qualify their candidates for the November ballot, after Democrats scheduled their convention for after the original deadline. ( Ohio Republicans have refused to move an August 7 deadline for Democrats to qualify Biden for the ballot. (Columbus Dispatch)

FLORIDA: State Democrats have put up billboards in four counties aimed at recruiting candidates for legislative and congressional races. Democrats have failed to field a candidate in 37 legislative races ahead of the June 14 filing deadline, compared with 20 districts where there is no Republican candidate. (Orlando Sentinel)

NEW YORK: Cyber hackers have attacked New York’s Legislative Bill Drafting Commission, the agency in charge of drafting budget bills, just as the legislature and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) are debating the finishing touches of the annual budget. Hochul said the agency is still functioning, and that an investigation is ongoing. (State of Politics)

CRIME BLOTTER: Pennsylvania Rep. Kevin Boyle (D) has not yet turned himself in on charges he violated a restraining order. His brother, U.S. Rep. Brendan Boyle (D-Pa.), said the state representative suffers from a mental health condition that has “been a nightmare for the family.” (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

By The Numbers

43.5: The number of hours per week that the average American household streams video across all viewing devices, up six hours from 2020. (TV Technology)

144: The number of times the average American checks his or her smart phone on a given day. (CNBC)

Off The Wall

The Michigan House of Representatives was briefly evacuated Wednesday during a tornado warning in the Lansing area. Lawmakers were ushered to a lower floor for safety for about half an hour. The storm passed without incident, and legislators had fun joking about the interruption on social media. (Detroit Free Press)

An Indiana woman is facing narcotics charges after she called 911 to report she had purchased a bad batch of methamphetamine. The woman told police she wanted to turn in her dealer for selling her inferior drugs. (Smoking Gun)

Quote of the Day

“We spent time together.”

Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R), describing how he and Democratic legislative leaders reached a deal on a budget. Sen. Louise Lucas (D), Youngkin’s chief antagonist, chimed in: “A lot of time together.” (Washington Post)