Pluribus AM: Dems urge Biden to speed work authorizations

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, August 29, 2023. In today’s edition, Tennessee special session sputters; Dems urge Biden to speed work authorization for immigrants; California Senate gets a new leader:

Top Stories

GUN POLITICS: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) has urged lawmakers to focus on 12 previously tabled bills during the ongoing special session on gun reform, including measures to address stalking, mental health, tracking gun violence and school safety. Senate Republican leaders say they have not heard from Lee, as House and Senate lawmakers remain stalemated. (Nashville Post)

MORE: Tennessee House Republicans on Monday voted to prohibit state Rep. Justin Jones (D), one of two members expelled and then re-elected earlier this year over a previous gun debate, from speaking on the floor for the remainder of the day. Jones had been critical of legislation that would allow more law enforcement officers in schools. House Democrats staged a walkout in protest. (Tennessee Lookout, Associated Press)

Lee called the special session to make changes after the mass shooting at a Christian school in Nashville earlier this year, but the legislature is unlikely to advance any gun-related measures.

IMMIGRATION: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson (D) wrote to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas urging the Biden administration to streamline work authorization rules that would allow the state to sponsor noncitizens to work in industries facing labor shortages. Pritzker and Johnson said more than 13,000 asylum-seekers have come to Chicago from the border this year. (Chicago Tribune)

ABORTION: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is expected to ask lawmakers to eliminate waiting periods for abortions. Pro-abortion rights groups say they are talking with lawmakers about ending a prohibition on Medicaid funding for abortions and regulations that require abortion clinics to meet certain building code criteria. (Detroit News)

HEALTH CARE: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) administration says it cannot begin implementing Medicaid expansion this fall, as planned, because the legislature has yet to approve a state budget. Cooper signed the bipartisan expansion bill into law in March, though that law required a budget be adopted before expansion would take place. (Associated Press)

Medicaid expansion in North Carolina would extend coverage to an estimated 600,000 adults.

CIVIL RIGHTS: California’s Assembly overwhelmingly approved legislation that would strengthen civil rights protections against caste discrimination. The Senate must still approve amendments made in the Assembly before the bill heads to Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) desk. (Sacramento Bee)

WORKFORCE: Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) said Monday the State Police have removed college credit requirements for cadets in an effort to fill vacant jobs. Until now, those applying to become state troopers needed 60 college credits to enter the academy. Applicants will still need a high school diploma to apply. (Harrisburg Patriot-News)

In Politics & Business

CALIFORNIA: Senate Democrats on Monday voted to name Sen. Mike McGuire (D) their next president pro tem, to succeed term-limited Sen. Toni Atkins (D) at some point next year. McGuire, who represents Sonoma in the legislature, wrapped up the necessary support with Atkins’s help. (Los Angeles Times, Sacramento Bee)

For the first time in living memory, the leaders of both chambers of the legislature hail from rural areas, not big urban cores. McGuire joins Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas (D), who represents San Benito County, south of the Bay Area.

OHIO: Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights filed a lawsuit wit the state Supreme Court challenging ballot language written by Republicans they say contains “blatant inaccuracies” about the November measure. Republicans say their language accurately represents the impact the amendment would have. (Columbus Dispatch)

MISSISSIPPI: Voters head to the polls in six legislative districts to decide runoff elections today. State Rep. Nick Bain (R) and Dale Goodin (R) are the only two incumbents who were forced into runoffs in this month’s primary campaign. Goodin finished the primary behind his main challenger, Elliot Burch (R). (Mississippi Today)

By The Numbers

$9.1 billion: The budget deficit New York faces next year, according to early budget projections. The budget deficit is expected to grow to $36 billion over three years as tax receipts decline and federal pandemic money dries up. (State of Politics)

96,000: The size of California’s prison population, down from 160,000 inmates in 2011. About 10% of correctional officer positions statewide are vacant; a proposed contract with the state’s corrections officer union would give workers up to $10,000 in bonuses. (CalMatters)

1.1 million: The number of children who have been dropped from Medicaid rolls in the 15 states that report terminations by age, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. More than half of those disenrolled from Medicaid coverage in Texas, Kansas, Idaho and Missouri are children under 18. (CNN)

Off The Wall

Don’t expect a rush of political books over the next year: Publishers say the tidal wave of newsy tomes about the Trump administration have created “an exhaustion of interest in political titles,” according to Barnes & Noble’s senior director for books Shannon DeVito. Publishers attribute a lack of insider accounts from the Biden administration to the relatively low turnover within the administration’s ranks. (Associated Press)

Since 1955, 13 Atlantic storms with names beginning with “I” have been retired, more than storms beginning with any other letter. Storm names are retired when they are unusually destructive. The latest storm, Idalia, is bearing down on the Gulf Coast. (Associated Press)

Be safe, Florida friends.

Quote of the Day

“Hopefully, at the end of the day, we can get more daggone profit out of it.”

Virginia House Appropriations Committee chairman Barry Knight (R), on efforts to squeeze more money out of the Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control Authority, the state-run liquor monopoly. Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) administration has cut $21 million in expenses at the ABC, doubling the expected profits the state will take in. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)