Pluribus AM: Dems have migrant headaches

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Good morning, it’s Tuesday, January 23, 2024. In today’s edition, Dems pressure Biden on migrants; Ohio Senate set to override veto of gender-affirming care bill; Hawaii, Michigan push housing fixes:

Top Stories

IMMIGRATION: Nine Democratic governors called on Congress and the Biden Administration to negotiate an agreement on a border security bill, to include federal funding for both border states and interior states that have received thousands of new arrivals in recent months. Biden proposed spending $4.4 billion to fund a federal migration strategy, and $1.4 billion in migrant aid to states and cities. (Boston Globe, Chicago Sun-Times)

MORE: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ordered Texas to allow Border Patrol agents access to the border with Mexico and allowing agents to cut concertina wire state law enforcement had erected along the Rio Grande River. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Amy Coney Barrett joined the court’s three liberal justices in the 5-4 ruling. (Texas Tribune)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Ohio Senate on Wednesday is likely to override Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R) veto of legislation that would ban gender-affirming care for transgender minors and bar transgender women and girls from participating in women’s sports. The state House voted to override the veto earlier this month. (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Florida’s House Select Committee on Health Innovation approved a measure requiring state-issued identification cards to reflect a person’s sex assigned at birth. (CBS News)

ABORTION: Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) will ask lawmakers to amend the state constitution to guarantee the right to reproductive health care. The legislature would have to approve a proposed amendment with a two-thirds majority, before voters get a final say. (Associated Press)

ANTISEMITISM: Georgia’s Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously passed legislation defining antisemitism in state law. The measure has already passed the state House, making its final passage in the Senate likely in the coming weeks. Arkansas passed a measure defining antisemitism last year. (Associated Press)

HOUSING: Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D) has proposed a two-year “tax amnesty” to encourage owners of vacation rentals to sell to owner-occupants or long-term rental landlords. Participants would be exempt from capital gains and other taxes associated with home sales. (Associated Press) Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) will ask the legislature to spend $1.4 billion funding new or rehabilitated homes. (MLive)

WORKFORCE: Michigan Gov. Whitmer will use her State of the State address today to propose up to $5,000 in tax relief for caregivers. (Bridge MI) Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced a new program that would give military staff and active-duty service families up to $1,800 a month to pay for child care. Military officials said the money would help recruit and retain soldiers. (MPR News)

MORE: Indiana lawmakers are considering three bills to ease child labor laws, including a measure allowing those over 14 to work in farm labor during school hours. Another bill would add exemptions for child performers, and a third would allow 18-year olds to sell alcohol at restaurants or hotels. (Indianapolis Star)

In Politics & Business

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Voters are voting in the Granite State’s first-in-the-nation primary today. President Biden is not on the ballot, though supporters are organizing a write-in campaign. All six voters in Dixville Notch, the tiny community in the White Mountains that votes at midnight, backed former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) in the GOP primary. (WMUR)

NORTH DAKOTA: Gov. Doug Burgum (R) will not seek a third term in office this year. Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller (R) is considering a run, as is U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R). Attorney General Drew Wrigley (R) said he would seek re-election. (Fargo Forum)

MISSOURI: House Republican lawmakers are moving bills that would require future ballot initiative campaigns to win voter approval in a majority of legislative or congressional districts. Current law only requires initiatives to win a simple majority statewide to be adopted. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

MISSISSIPPI: The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals will hear arguments Tuesday over a Mississippi law that permanently strips voting rights from people convicted of certain felonies, including nonviolent offenses. A three-judge panel ruled last year that the ban was unconstitutional, but the full circuit vacated that ruling a few weeks later. (Associated Press)

Among the judges on Tuesday’s panel: Judge Edith Jones, a name familiar to those of you who remember President George W. Bush’s Supreme Court short lists.

ABORTION: Supporters of abortion rights used the 51st anniversary of the Supreme Court’s decision in Roe v. Wade to formally launch campaigns to get proposed constitutional amendments on the ballot in Colorado and Maryland. (Colorado Public Radio, Baltimore Sun)

TRUMP: The Massachusetts Ballot Law Commission has rejected calls to remove former President Donald Trump from the ballot there, citing a lack of jurisdiction. One advocate said she intended to appeal to the state Supreme Judicial Court. (Boston Globe)

By The Numbers

$1.06 billion: The amount federal officials have awarded to replace the aging John Blatnik Bridge, which connects Duluth, Minn., and Superior, Wis. Minnesota and Wisconsin have committed $400 million each toward rebuilding the bridge. (Associated Press)

One of the first stories we ever published involved the Blatnik Bridge, so we have a soft spot for the project.

180 million: The number of nips, mini liquor bottles, sold in Connecticut in the past two years. Legislators approved a five-cent surcharge on nips in 2021, to be used by cities and municipalities for environmental cleanup. That surcharge has returned $8.9 million so far. (Inside Investigator)

$2.99 per gallon: Florida’s average gas price as of Monday, down 16 cents in the past two weeks. (The Capitolist)

Off The Wall

Flash Gordon for mayor? A local sports legend with the same name as the old-timey comic book hero is running for mayor of Jersey City, N.J. He’s a longtime employee of the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the father of former New York Giants linebacker Jonathan Casillas. (New Jersey Globe)

Kennebunk, Maine resident Don Crisman, 87, is headed to the Super Bowl this year — for the 58th consecutive year. He’s one of three fans to have attended every Super Bowl. And he’s rooting for the Detroit Lions. (Portland Press Herald)

Florida Sen. Ilena Garcia (R) proposed new legislation that would set aside $5 million in public funds to pay the legal fees of Florida residents who are running for president. Garcia made clear her bill was aimed at supporting Trump — but she dropped the measure when Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) took to X, formerly Twitter, to issue a veto threat. (Spectrum News)

Last week, we told you then-presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s nominating petitions in Rhode Island were filled with the signatures of dead people. It turns out the woman who collected those signatures once served prison time in Ohio on forgery charges. The woman claimed she had no idea how the names of so many dead people ended up on the forms she collected. (Boston Globe)

Quote of the Day

“I will remind you that not all balloons go to heaven. They all come back down to earth where they are litter.”

Florida Sen. Jason Brodeur (R), introducing legislation classifying intentionally released balloons as litter. (Florida Politics)