Pluribus AM: Arizona’s housing preemption

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, May 22, 2024. In today’s edition, Louisiana House approves bill making abortion drugs a controlled substance; South Carolina bans gender-affirming care for minors; Idaho Senate president loses renomination bid:

Top Stories

ABORTION: The Louisiana House has approved legislation that would classify two widely-used abortion inducing medications as controlled substances. Patients would be able to obtain mifepristone and misoprostol with a valid prescription, but possession without authorization would carry penalties of up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. (Pluribus News)

HOUSING: Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) has signed housing legislation that would override local zoning rules to encourage development. One bill would require cities larger than 75,000 to allow duplexes, townhomes and middle housing options. Another requires cities to allow accessory dwelling units. (Pluribus News)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R) has signed legislation banning both pharmaceutical and surgical gender-affirming care for transgender minors. The law also requires school staff to tell parents if a child wants to use a different name or pronouns. (New York Times)

REPARATIONS: The California Senate has advanced bills that would create a state agency to help Black families research their lineage, create a fund for reparations programs and compensate Black families for property seized under eminent domain. The measures, proposed by a state commission studying reparations, now head to the Assembly. (Associated Press)

TRANSPORTATION: The California Senate is advancing a bill that would require new cars to alert drivers when they exceed the speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour. The European Union already requires cars to beep at speeding drivers. (Associated Press)

HEALTH CARE: The Delaware House gave final approval Tuesday to legislation that would establish a state board with the authority to impose budgets on large hospitals. Hospitals would have to submit budgets to the board for approval. Vermont has a similar program on the books. (Associated Press)

JOURNALISM: Illinois lawmakers have given final approval to a measure requiring companies that own local media outlets to provide 120 days’ notice of their intention to sell. Supporters say the bill is meant to stop the sale of local outlets to hedge fund-owned conglomerates with a history of laying off staff. (Center Square)

In Politics & Business

IDAHO: Senate President Pro Tem Chuck Winder (R) has lost his bid for a new term to conservative challenger Josh Keyser (R). Winder’s loss comes a few months after conservatives in the state House forced out then-Majority Leader Megan Blanksma (R). (Idaho Statesman)

OHIO: State House leaders say there will be no legislative solution to get President Biden on the ballot. Biden will be formally nominated at the Democratic National Convention on August 19, two weeks after Ohio’s certification deadline. Minority Leader Allison Russo (D) said a fix is likely either through litigation or if Democrats make a technical change. (Columbus Dispatch)

SOUTH DAKOTA: State voters will decide whether to create a top-two primary system, in which the highest vote-getters advance to a general election regardless of party affiliation. Secretary of State Monae Johnson’s (R) office certified that the proposal gathered enough signatures to qualify for the ballot in November. (South Dakota Searchligth)

FLORIDA: The Florida Department of Transportation has informed cities across the state that if they plan to light up bridges at night, they must use only red, white or blue colors. The order comes a week and a half before Pride Month kicks off. (Washington Post)

PEOPLE: New Hampshire Sen. Lou D’Allesandro (D) will not seek re-election, after 26 years in the Senate. (WMUR) D’Allesandro has been a coveted endorsement for Democratic presidential candidates for decades.

CRIME BLOTTER: Kansas Rep. Carl Maughan (R) has been charged with driving under the influence and possession of a firearm while under the influence. The state Supreme Court is considering suspending his law license in an unrelated matter. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

By The Numbers

12.6 years: The average age of a vehicle on American roads, the highest average ever recorded. The average price of a new vehicle stands at $45,000 — down $2,000 from December 2022, but still higher than in the past. (Associated Press)

75: The number of lawsuits Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) has filed against the Biden administration. Paxton’s latest suit targets new Equal Employment Opportunity Commission rules relating to LGBTQ protections in the workplace. (Texas Tribune)

96 degrees: The high temperature on Sunday in Miami, shattering records for May. Heat indexes from Miami to the Keys have reached triple digits repeatedly this month. (New York Times)

Off The Wall

Three interns in the Missouri House of Representatives helped state school districts claim more than $1 million in federal funding under the American Rescue Plan for services directed at homeless students. Most of the districts receiving the new money didn’t know they were eligible, until the interns called to let them know. (KCUR)

Ohio Reps. Phillip Robinson Jr. (D) and Michele Grim (D) have introduced legislation that would create a new license plate for “Weirdo Cat Lovers of Cleveland.” Money from the new license plates would fund a Cleveland nonprofit that assists pet owners with emergency vet bills. (Ohio House)

Thanks to a regular reader for flagging this one.

Researchers at MIT have found three of the oldest stars in the universe on the outskirts of the Milky Way Galaxy. The stars, 13 billion years old, are known as Small Accreted Stellar System stars, or SASS. (Boston Globe)

Sassy stars. Shout out to one loyal reader, who knows who he is.

Quote of the Day

“If they can’t pass a budget, it won’t be because of us.”

Illinois legislative analyst Brady Burden. Legislative staffers accuse House Speaker Chris Welch (D) of conspiring with Senate President Don Harmon (D) to stall legislation that would allow staffers to form a union. (Capitol News Illinois)