Pluribus AM: CO considers gun measures; states fight over prez primaries; and the state that produces the most Christmas trees
Good morning, it’s Wednesday, Nov. 30, 2022. In today’s edition, Colo. will consider gun measures; states battle over presidential primaries; and the state that produces the most Christmas trees:
COLORADO: State lawmakers plan new gun safety measures in the wake of the attack on Club Q, the Colorado Springs LGBTQ nightclub. Gov. Jared Polis (D) has called for a stronger red flag law, while Democratic legislators said they are considering a ban on assault weapons, higher age limits for purchasing firearms and closing loopholes. (Denver Post)
PENNSYLVANIA: The state Senate has approved the rules for an impeachment trail against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner, which is set to begin in January. The Senate on Wednesday will formally accept the articles of impeachment passed by the state House earlier this month. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
MICHIGAN: The legislature gave final approval to a bill that will provide property tax breaks for construction of affordable housing units. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is expected to sign the bill. (Crain’s Detroit Business) Business groups are pushing lawmakers to stop a minimum wage hike set to take effect in February. Without action, the minimum wage would rise from $9.87 an hour to $12 an hour. (BridgeMI)
OHIO: Lawmakers have dropped plans to pass a bill barring doctors from performing gender reassignment surgery on minors. Republicans who control the legislature said they would punt the measure, which also governs how doctors prescribe hormone treatments and puberty blockers, to next year. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
ILLINOIS: Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), labor leaders and business groups have reached a deal to pay off more than $1 billion in pandemic-era unemployment insurance debt. The deal will save taxpayers an estimated $20 million in interest costs that would have been incurred next year. (Chicago Sun-Times)
MINNESOTA: Gov. Tim Walz (D) is warning lawmakers against adding recurring spending to the state budget ahead of what he worries is a coming recession. Walz said he wants the legislature to focus instead on one-time spending. (Twin Cities Pioneer-Press) Minnesota lawmakers have a projected $9.3 billion surplus to play with.
SOUTH DAKOTA: Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has issued an executive order prohibiting downloading or using TikTok on state-issued computers or phones. The U.S. military and the Transportation Security Administration already bar TikTok from government devices. (Fargo Forum)
FLORIDA: Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) chief of staff James Uthmeier and public safety czar Larry Keefe have been added to a lawsuit over flights that shipped 49 migrants from Texas to Massachusetts earlier this year. The suit alleges migrants were lured onto the flights with promises of McDonald’s gift cards and other items. (Orlando Sentinel)
OREGON: State Sen. Brian Boquist (R) will pursue a freedom of speech lawsuit against fellow lawmakers who, for the past three years, have required Boquist to provide 12 hours’ notice before coming to the state Capitol. Boquist in 2019 issued threats to Senate President Peter Courtney (D) and state troopers who were sent to collect Republicans in the midst of a legislative walkout. (Associated Press)
PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARIES: The Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meets beginning tomorrow to consider the fate of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses. The committee is considering moving New Hampshire or Nevada into the leadoff slot. (Des Moines Register)
MORE: Michigan and Minnesota are the prime players vying to replace Iowa. The Michigan Senate has voted to move the 2024 presidential primary to the second Tuesday in February, a month earlier than the 2020 primary was held. (Detroit News) Minnesota Gov. Walz sent the DNC committee a letter urging them to pick his state. (MinnPost)
ARIZONA: A Maricopa County Superior Court judge dismissed Attorney General candidate Abe Hamadeh’s (R) lawsuit contesting the results of the midterm elections because those results have not yet been certified. Hamadeh trails Democrat Kris Mayes by 510 votes. He can file his challenge again once results are certified. (Arizona Republic)
WEST VIRGINIA: State Del. Moore Capito (R) will run for governor in 2024, he said Tuesday. Capito is the son of U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R) and the grandson of former Gov. Arch Moore (R). His main rival so far is auto dealer Chris Miller (R), the son of U.S. Rep. Carol Miller (R). (Pluribus News) All in the family.
WISCONSIN: Waukesha County Judge Jennifer Dorow plans to run for a state Supreme Court seat in 2023. Dorow, appointed by former Gov. Scott Walker (R), will run to replace retiring conservative Justice Patience Roggensack. Conservatives hold a 4-3 majority on the court. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Wisconsin Supreme Court races have become multi-million dollar affairs of late.
By The Numbers
45: The number of grants Wisconsin awarded to small businesses that were ineligible to receive Covid-era stimulus money. That’s just 0.2% of the grants issued through 172 programs. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
$209.89: The average nightly rate for a hotel room in Las Vegas last month, the highest ever recorded. The average hotel room on the Strip went for $225.69 a night, while a downtown hotel room would have set you back $117.51. There are 150,867 hotel rooms in Las Vegas, and recent occupancy rates have reached nearly as high as in February 2020, just before the pandemic struck. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
3.8 million: The number of Christmas trees Oregon produced in 2019, the last year for which figures are available. That’s the most in the nation, well ahead of the 2 million produced in North Carolina. (Willamette Week)
Off The Wall
Cochise County supervisors voted to hire an outside attorney to respond to lawsuits seeking to order them to certify results of the midterm elections. The only problem? No one asked the attorney, Bryan Blehm, if he would agree to represent the board. (Arizona Republic)
Heritage Hall, a new 40,000-square foot, $40 million underground history museum added to the Michigan Capitol, is now open to visitors. (MLive) Michigan readers, go check it out and tell us how it looks!
Rhode Island drivers will soon be able to get license plates bearing an image of an endangered shortfin mako shark, with proceeds benefitting the Atlantic Shark Institute in Wakefield. The plate design still needs approval from the state police, but they do look pretty cool. (Providence Journal) Live every week like it’s Shark Week.