Pluribus AM: DeSantis restricts police oversight boards

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Good morning, it’s Monday, April 15, 2024. Don’t forget your taxes. In today’s edition, DeSantis limits police oversight boards; Colorado advances assault-style weapons ban; crime dropping fast in American cities:

Top Stories

LAW ENFORCEMENT: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) on Friday signed legislation limiting the authority of civilian boards meant to oversee police. Voters and governments created those boards in cities like Tampa, Miami and St. Petersburg in the wake of the murder of George Floyd. The bill allows county sheriffs to establish and appoint members of oversight boards. (Miami Herald)

GUN POLITICS: The Colorado House on Sunday approved legislation banning the sale and transfer of assault-style weapons. Nine Democrats joined with Republicans to oppose the measure. The bill faces an uncertain future in the Senate, even though Democrats hold a 23-12 majority. (Colorado Sun)

MORE: The Maine Senate gave final approval to legislation expanding background check requirements on gun sales, and imposing a 72-hour waiting period for gun purchases. Lawmakers approved a bill to ban “bump stocks,” but they rejected legislation allowing residents to sue gun manufacturers. (Maine Public Radio) Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed a bill restricting paramilitary training intended to sow public disorder. (Associated Press)

WORKFORCE: Maine lawmakers on Friday voted to join an interstate compact meant to allow social workers to carry licenses across state lines. Seven other states have joined the compact, and legislation is pending in 19 others. (Associated Press)

ABORTION: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has vetoed a bill creating a crime of coercion to obtain an abortion and another bill requiring patients to give a reason for seeking an abortion. Republicans likely have the votes to override both vetoes. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

Kelly also vetoed legislation banning gender-affirming care for minors. The bill, which Republicans will try to push through over her veto, restricts the use of state funds for gender transitioning and authorities a civil cause of action against health care providers who participate in treatment. (KSNT)

HEALTH CARE: Maryland’s Prescription Drug Affordability Board will consider placing price caps on eight drugs in the near future, including the weight-loss and diabetes drug Ozempic, ADHD drug Vyvance and an asthma medication called Dupixent. The drugs on the list cost more than $30,000 a year, meeting the board’s criteria as cost prohibitive. (WYPR)

EDUCATION: Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) has vetoed a bill that would have directed school districts and charter schools to develop and enforce policies limiting the use of cell phones during the school day. Hobbs said the bill, which passed along party lines, would have created an unnecessary mandate. (Arizona Republic)

HOUSING: Arizona Gov. Hobbs signed legislation allowing cities with more than 100,000 residents to transform up to 10% of commercial buildings into housing without requiring discretionary municipal review. The new law will allow cities to bypass conditional use permits and rezoning applications. (Arizona Capitol Times)

In Politics & Business

KENTUCKY: The Republican supermajority overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) veto of a measure that removes the governor’s office from any role in filling a future U.S. Senate vacancy. The legislation would call a special election in the case of a vacancy. (Associated Press)

INDIANA: The Republican gubernatorial primary is already the most expensive in state history, three weeks before the primary. Republican candidates have spent more than $14.9 million on the contest to replace outgoing Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) so far, led by former Commerce Secretary Brad Chambers (R), who loaned his own campaign $10 million. (Ballotpedia)

U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R) remains the overwhelming front-runner, according to two polls released last week.

MARYLAND: The FBI has opened a criminal investigation into the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge focused on the circumstances leading up to the crash. The bureau said it was aboard the ship Dali on Monday, conducting court-authorized law enforcement activity. (Associated Press)

CRIME: Homicides in American cities are dropping at the fastest pace in decades. Homicides in 133 cities are down about 20% over the first quarter of the year compared with 2023. (Wall Street Journal) Crime analyst Jeff Asher wrote about the declining rates earlier this month; read his Substack post here.

By The Numbers

7: The number of states that generate more than 60% of their general fund dollars from income tax revenue. Oregon leads the pack; 84% of its dollars come from personal income tax. (Pluribus News)

$1.9 million: The amount New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and husband Bill reported earning in 2023. Bill Hochul, an executive at a casino company, more than doubled his salary between 2022 and 2023. (Albany Times-Union)

47%: The rise in the number of motorcycle fatalities in Missouri since 2020, when the state repealed its universal helmet law. Last year, the state recorded 174 motorcycle-related deaths, the highest ever figure. (KCUR)

Off The Wall

Just 42% of Americans say they are getting enough sleep, according to a new Gallup survey, while 57% say they would feel better if they got a few more hours. Young women are the least likely to be well-rested; just 27% of women between 18-49 say they’re getting enough sleep. (Gallup)

Bring it on, SFO: The Port of Oakland Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to change the name of Oakland’s airport to San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport despite threats from San Francisco officials to sue. Commissioners must finalize the name change in a second vote next month. (Los Angeles Times)

Quote of the Day

“I went into the Ethics Commission in November of 2015 to file my [campaign finance] paperwork, and they said, ‘Oh, are you here to apply for a scholarship?’”

Oklahoma House Speaker-elect Kyle Hilbert (R), 30, who won election to the state House at age 22. He’ll be the youngest speaker in America when the next legislature convenes in February 2025. (Tulsa World)