Pluribus AM: AZ AG candidate sues to block election certification; NY bars crypto mining; Utah wants the Olympics, again

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, Nov. 23, 2022. A programming note: We’ll take a breather over the Thanksgiving weekend and see you back here Monday. In today’s edition, Ariz. AG candidate sues to block election certification; N.Y. Gov. Hochul signs crypto mining moratorium; and Salt Lake City wants the Olympics, again:

Top Stories

IMMIGRATION: Attorneys General from 15 red states have filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit over a Trump-era policy that allows asylum seekers to be turned away from the Southern border. Republicans want to uphold Title 42, which is scheduled to end Dec. 21. District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan ruled last week that Title 42 should end for families and single adults. (Associated Press, Arizona Republic)

OPIOIDS: Attorneys General from 45 states have asked the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to extend a pandemic-era policy allowing online access to medication-assisted treatment for those addicted to opioids. The AGs said if the program ends, 2.5 million adults could be cut off from treatment. (Eagle Tribune)

FLORIDA: Legislators will return for a special session the week of Dec. 12 to consider property tax relief for those affected by Hurricane Ian and the state’s growing property insurance crisis. Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R) did not offer any more details on the measures legislators will take up. (WESH)

State House Speaker Paul Renner (R) opened the door to repealing a law that requires officeholders to resign if they decide to run for a different office — say, if Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) seeks the presidency. Florida Republicans repealed it when then-Gov. Charlie Crist (R, at the time) was being considered as Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz.) running mate, but they reinstated it after then-Gov. Rick Scott (R) took office. (Florida Politics)

NEW YORK: Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has signed legislation enacting a two-year moratorium on crypto mining, which uses tremendous amounts of energy. The state will conduct an environmental assessment of crypto mining and its effects on the local ecology and the climate. (State of Politics)

CALIFORNIA: Researchers estimate a massive drought has shrunk Central Valley farmland by 752,000 acres, or nearly 10%, since 2019. The state’s main rice-growing regions are particularly hard-hit. Gross crop revenue has fallen $1.7 billion, or about 5%, while revenues from food processing and manufacturing are down $3.5 billion. (Los Angeles Times)

MASSACHUSETTS: Gov. Charlie Baker (R) has asked legislators for $139 million in supplemental spending to handle an influx of migrants to the Bay State. Baker’s request earmarks $20 million for a temporary central intake center and $73 million to open 1,300 temporary shelters across the Commonwealth. (Boston Globe) 

VERMONT: State regulators are poised to adopt a rule that would bar the sale of new gas-powered vehicles after 2035. The rule would require electric vehicles to make up 35% of all cars delivered to the state by 2026, increasing over time from there. (VTDigger)

WYOMING: Gov. Mark Gordon (R) wants to set aside almost half of a projected $1 billion in extra revenue the state expects to take in over the next two fiscal years for savings. Gordon said he will ask legislators to spend the rest on health and mental health services, raises for state employees and water infrastructure. (WyoFile)

KENTUCKY: Former Gov. John Brown Jr. (D) has died at 88, his family said. Brown bought Kentucky Fried Chicken from Harland Sanders in 1964 and built it into an international chain before selling his stake in 1971. He also owned pieces of the NBA’s Boston Celtics and the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels. (Kentucky Fried Politics)

In Politics

ARIZONA: Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh (R) and the Republican National Committee have filed a legal complaint seeking to prevent certification of midterm election results that show him trailing rival Kris Mayes (D) by 510 votes. Hamadeh alleges errors and inaccurate vote counts, centered on printer problems in Maricopa County. (Arizona Republic)

KENTUCKY: Somerset Mayor Alan Keck (R) is the 12th Republican to enter the race against Gov. Andy Beshear (D) next year. (Kentucky Fried Politics) Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R), who is close with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R).

MICHIGAN: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) will appoint state Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden (D) to a soon-to-be-vacant seat on the state Supreme Court. Bolden, who lost a bid for another term after she was drawn into a new district, would become the first Black woman to serve on the bench. She will replace retiring Justice Bridget Mary McCormack. (MLive, Crain’s Detroit)

MISSOURI: Gov. Mike Parson (R) will announce his choice to be Missouri’s next Attorney General on Wednesday, as incumbent Eric Schmitt (R) prepares to resign to take a seat in the U.S. Senate. Parson’s general counsel, Andrew Bailey, is seen as the front-runner. Parson also interviewed state Sens. Kurt Schaefer (R) and Tony Luetkemeyer (R), former U.S. Attorney Tim Garrison and Circuit Judge Christopher Limbaugh for the post. (Kansas City Star)

PENNSYLVANIA: State lawmakers are set to receive a 7.8% pay increase next week, bringing minimum salaries up to $102,844. Lawmaker salaries are tied to inflation, thanks to a 1995 law. (Harrisburg Patriot News)

PEOPLE: Arkansas Gov.-elect Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) has named Gretchen Conger as her incoming chief of staff. Conger currently serves as deputy chief of staff to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R). (Talk Business & Politics) New Mexico Secretary of Finance and Administration Deborah Romero plans to retire at the end of the year after 48 years in government. Romero has worked under nine different New Mexico governors. (Albuquerque Journal)

By The Numbers

35: The number of Minnesota legislators, out of 201, who are people of color, according to the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library. That’s the most diverse group of lawmakers in Minnesota history. (CBS)

74%: The share of Connecticut K-12 teachers who say they are more likely to retire or leave education earlier than planned, according to a new poll conducted by the Connecticut Education Association. CEA president Kate Dias said teacher burnout has always been high in Connecticut’s big urban areas, but now it’s filtering down to wealthier towns, too. (Hartford Courant)

623: The number of traffic fatalities recorded by New Jersey State Police this year, ten more than at the same point last year and the highest level since 2007. (

Off The Wall

Arizona state Rep.-elect Liz Harris (R) says she will withhold her votes on any legislation unless the state holds another election immediately — which, of course, can’t happen under existing state law. Republicans hold a one-vote majority in the state House, and Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) will have veto power. “If she thinks she’s holding the cards, she’s mistaken,” state Sen. Lupe Contreras (D) said. (Arizona Republic)

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) is hopeful that the International Olympic Committee will choose Salt Lake City over Sapporo, Japan, to host the 2030 Winter Games, after Utah officials presented to the IOC this week. U.S. Olympic officials want to wait for 2034 because the 2028 Summer Games are already set for Los Angeles. (Deseret News) Hot take: The winter games are better than the summer games.

Quote of the Day

“That was five minutes more than the past two years.”

Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu (R), on his recent five-minute conversation with Gov. Tony Evers (D). (Associated Press) Evers and Republican legislative leaders do not get along, to put it mildly.