Pluribus AM: Booze in the Big House Edition

Good morning, it’s Thursday, June 15, 2023. In today’s edition, Calif. AG takes on DeSantis; Ohio to consider gender-affirming care ban; Minn. may let residents file taxes for free:

Top Stories

IMMIGRATION: California Attorney General Rob Bonta (D) issued a public records request to Florida authorities over two flights that carried 36 Latin American migrants to Sacramento earlier this month. The requests are part of Bonta’s ongoing investigation into the flights. (Sacramento Bee) Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) sent a busload of 42 migrants to Los Angeles, he said Wednesday. The migrants said they endured a 23-hour ride with no food. (Los Angeles Times)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Michigan House voted to ban conversion therapy. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) issued an order in 2021 blocking state and federal funding for conversion therapy. (Detroit News) An Ohio House committee approved a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors. Speaker Jason Stephens (R) said he would bring the bill to the House floor next week. (Columbus Dispatch)

SOCIAL MEDIA: The Ohio House approved legislation prohibiting TikTok and other Chinese-owned apps from government devices, codifying an earlier executive order issued by Gov. Mike DeWine (R). (Ohio Capital Journal)

EDUCATION: The Ohio Senate is poised to approve an education budget that expands the eligibility of education scholarships to those who want to attend private schools. The budget would also move control of K-12 education to the governor’s office, rather than the elected state Board of Education, and bans DEI programs at colleges and universities. (Columbus Dispatch) Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) has allowed a bill mandating free school meals to become law without his signature. (VT Digger)

MORE: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has signed a new law requiring schools to inform parents of students involved in bullying incidents within 24 hours. (WICS) Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) has threatened to veto any budget that includes a $32 million cut to the University of Wisconsin system that targets campus diversity offices. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) The Wisconsin legislature approved a bill increasing per-pupil payments for private voucher and independent charter schools, from $8,300 to $9,499 per K-8 student. (Wisconsin Examiner)

TAXES: Minnesota lawmakers included $5 million in their $3 billion tax package aimed at developing a free online tool to allow residents to fill out their state income taxes. More than two million Minnesota residents used electronic software like TurboTax to fill out their taxes in 2022. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

HOUSING: Wisconsin’s legislature approved five bills to provide new lending programs to build new homes and to convert existing commercial properties to residential use. Another bill more than doubles the cap for low-income housing credits to $100,000. (Wisconsin Examiner)

WORKFORCE: Rhode Island’s House voted to increase penalties for wage theft and employment fraud. Companies that knowingly commit wage theft of more than $1,500 would be guilty of a felony. (Boston Globe)

GAMBLING: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) signed legislation legalizing sports and horse race betting, set to begin as early as Jan. 8. (Associated Press) Vermont Gov. Scott also signed a sports betting bill into law Wednesday. State fiscal analysts expect up to $10 million in tax revenue per year. (VT Digger)

In Politics & Business

MICHIGAN: The legislature gave final approval to an eight-bill package of election reforms, requiring nine days of early voting, prepaid postage on absentee ballots and the right to submit absentee ballots through drop boxes. Two Republicans joined Democrats to advance the early voting bills. (Detroit News

NEVADA: The state Assembly voted Wednesday to approve a $380 million package of tax credits and bonds to help the Oakland Athletics finance a new stadium on the Las Vegas Strip. The bill, which requires the A’s to contribute 1% of ticket sales to local homelessness programs, now heads to Gov. Joe Lombardo (R). (Nevada Independent)

PEOPLE: Former Massachusetts House Speaker David Bartley (D) has died at 88. Bartley became the youngest speaker to run the state House when he took over in 1969, at age 32. (Boston Globe) Kansas Insurance Commissioner Vicki Schmidt (R) has been diagnosed with breast cancer, but she expects to make a full recovery. (Kansas Reflector) Best wishes for a fast recovery!

By The Numbers

15: The number of insurance companies that have stopped issuing new homeowners coverage in Florida in the last 18 months. Farmers Insurance Group became the latest to implement a pause on new policies, citing efforts to “more effectively manage our risk exposure.” (WESH)

$22 million: The amount Virginia legislative candidates raised in the last two months, ahead of next week’s primary elections. Democratic candidates outraged their Republican counterparts by a $14 million to $8 million margin. (Daily Press)

Off The Wall

Legal marijuana is making some jobs obsolete. Specifically, the jobs of drug-sniffing dogs that are attracted to the smell of marijuana. Missouri’s legal pot law does not allow evidence of marijuana possession to be the basis of a police search, even if that search uncovers other illegal drugs. So some Missouri law enforcement agencies are retiring their pot-sniffing drug dogs. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed legislation earlier this year increasing penalties against fentanyl dealers whose customers die of an overdose. But there’s a hiccup: A software glitch meant Ivey signed the wrong version of the law. Legislative officials are pouring over versions of every other bill Ivey has signed this year to make sure the mistake was an isolated incident. (

How do you solve a problem like a collapsed bridge over a major interstate? With 2,000 tons of glass aggregate to support a temporary roadway until a permanent structure can be built. Pennsylvania officials will begin trucking the glass aggregate to the site of the I-95 bridge collapse on Thursday, after demolition crews finish clearing the area of debris from the June 11 accident. (NJ Advance Media)

Quote of the Day

“They think it increases the fan experience and that actually some people have come to them kinda puzzled that they are not able to do this at Michigan venues.”

Michigan Sen. Sean McCann (D), on universities that back his bill to allow sales of alcoholic beverages at sporting events. The Senate approved the bill on a 36-2 vote. (Detroit News)