Pluribus AM: California’s budget hole gets bigger

Good morning, it’s Monday, May 13, 2024. In today’s edition, California’s budget hole grows; Arizona lawmakers vote on immigration initiative; why three Bob Fergusons are running for governor:

Top Stories

BUDGETS: California faces a $56 billion budget gap over the next two years, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Friday. Newsom said the state would take about $13 billion out of savings, cut $15 billion from the existing budget and pause or shift another $15 billion in spending into the future. Newsom said he would not propose raising taxes. (Pluribus News)

ABORTION: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has vetoed legislation that would have allowed for child support claims to be made on behalf of a fetus. The bill passed by wide margins, but the legislature has gone home for the year, so there is no chance of a veto override. (Kansas Reflector) Louisiana legislators have moved to list mifepristone and misoprostol, two abortion-inducing drugs, on the state’s list of Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances. It would be the first state to list those drugs as dangerous. (Washington Post)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Alaska House voted to ban transgender girls from competing in girls’ sports leagues. Senate leadership is unlikely to bring the measure up before session ends on Wednesday. (Anchorage Daily News)

IMMIGRATION: The Arizona Senate is set to vote Tuesday on comprehensive immigration legislation that would allow state and local police to arrest anyone who crosses the border illegally. If approved, the measure would go to voters in November. (Arizona Capitol Times)

ELECTIONS: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has signed legislation effectively banning ranked-choice voting in future elections. The state joins Florida, Idaho, Tennessee, Montana, South Dakota, Kentucky and Oklahoma, which previously banned ranked-choice voting. (Yellowhammer News)

AGRICULTURE: Alabama Gov. Ivey has signed legislation banning the sales, manufacturing or distribution of lab-grown meat. Alabama now joins Florida, where Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed similar legislation last month. No Alabama company actually makes or sells the product. (Yellowhammer News)

TRANSPORTATION: Michigan legislators are proposing a $5 million pilot program to test a pay-per-mile usage fee, in lieu of gas taxes. Gas taxes have been falling as cars become more fuel-efficient and as electric vehicles begin making up a larger share of traffic. (MLive)

At least four other states — Oregon, Utah, Ohio and Virginia — are testing out pay-per-mile pilot programs.

LABOR: The Illinois House is considering legislation that would allow workers to skip religious or political work meetings without facing repercussions. The bill is meant to ban “captive audience meetings,” which some employers use to urge workers to vote against union organizing. (Capitol News Illinois)

In Politics & Business

VERMONT: Gov. Phil Scott (R) will seek a fifth term in office, he said Saturday. Only one other governor — Howard Dean — has served longer. Dean is considering running for his old job. (VT Digger)

WASHINGTON: Bob Ferguson is running for governor. So is Bob Ferguson and Bob Ferguson. One is the state attorney general, and the front-runner in the race to succeed retiring Gov. Jay Inslee (D). The other two — a retired state employee and a military veteran — were recruited by a conservative activist who opposes the attorney general. (Seattle Times)

A+ headline from the Times: “Three Bob Night.”

MINNESOTA: The state Supreme Court has demoted the Legal Marijuana Now Party from major party status. That means the party’s candidates will have to circulate nominating petitions to get on the ballot when filing opens on May 21. (MPR News)

SOUTH DAKOTA: The Yankton Sioux Tribe and the Sisseton-Wahpeton Ovate Tribe voted to ban Gov. Kristi Noem (R) from their reservations after Noem suggested tribal leaders were benefitting from drug cartels. They join four other tribes that previously banned Noem, meaning the governor isn’t welcome on nearly 20% of her state’s land. (Associated Press)

By The Numbers

2019: The last year in which Lake Tahoe was actually full. Winter storms are expected to fill the lake to capacity over the summer. (Sacramento Bee)

18: The number of states that have never elected a woman governor. Indiana, one of those 18, has a long history of electing women lieutenant governors, but no woman has held the top job. Democratic nominee Jennifer McCormick faces a long-shot battle against U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R) in this year’s gubernatorial contest. (Associated Press)

1,149.7 per 100,000: The rate of cars stolen in Washington, D.C., in 2023, the highest in the nation. New data from the National Insurance Crime Bureau found the Hyundai Elantra and the Hyundai Sonata were the two most frequently stolen vehicles. (Charlotte Observer)

Off The Wall

Minnesota’s new state flag is finally flying over the Capitol building. The new design will fly at more than 120 locations in the two dozen buildings around the Capitol complex. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

What’s the buzz? A tractor trailer carrying 15 million bees overturned in Clinton, Maine, last week. Commercial beekeepers showed up to load the bees and their hives into a replacement truck. The bees are on their way to pollinate blueberry fields in Washington County. (Maine Public Radio)

Quote of the Day

“The Drury was booked, and La Fonda didn’t have anything for all the nights I wanted because I wanted to come in the day before.”

New Mexico Rep. Randall Pettigrew (R), struggling to find a place to stay during a July special session called by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D). The special session coincides with both tourist season and actor Alec Baldwin’s trial, making hotel rooms in Santa Fe scarce. (Santa Fe New Mexican)