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Good morning, it’s Monday, November 6, 2023. In today’s edition, our mammoth Election Day preview; 10 million booted from Medicaid; Texas House offers new voucher plan:
ELECTIONS: Tuesday is Election Day in states across the country. Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) lead has diminished as Trump voters move off the fence. Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) faces a tougher-than-expected challenge. The battle for control of Virginia’s legislature — and Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) political future — is anyone’s ballgame. Read our complete guide to what’s on the ballot tomorrow right here.
HEALTH CARE: More than 10 million people have been disenrolled from Medicaid over the last six months after expiration of a pandemic-era requirement that extended coverage. The public health group KFF found 71% of those disenrolled lost coverage for procedural reasons. Federal figures show 18 million people are still on Medicaid. (Stat)
EDUCATION: The Texas House unveiled a new school voucher plan Friday that would increase the amount the state gives school districts for each child they educate from $6,160 to $6,700. The bill would make every student eligible, with priorities for students with disabilities and from low-income families. (Texas Tribune)
Lawmakers aren’t likely to act on vouchers by the end of this special session. Expect Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to call a new special session in short order.
MORE: Tennessee lawmakers will gather today for the first meeting of a special committee to study whether the state should opt out of receiving $1.89 billion in federal education funding over federal mandates. House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) and Lt. Gov. Randy McNally (R) created the study committee, which has set five meetings over the next two weeks. (Tennessee Lookout)
GUN POLITICS: The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld an Illinois ban on high-powered guns, a law passed in the wake of the mass shooting at Highland Park’s 2022 Fourth of July parade. (Chicago Tribune) Illinois lawmakers will consider a proposal this week to extend a 2018 law increasing minimum prison sentences for repeat gun possession offenses. (Chicago Tribune)
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: California’s Assembly will convene a special Select Committee on Retail Theft to consider measures to address the growing problem. Some lawmakers have called for reforms to Proposition 47, a voter-approved measure from 2014 that reclassified some nonviolent crimes — including commercial theft under $950 — as misdemeanors. (Sacramento Bee)
WATER: Colorado legislators will consider a bill next year to prohibit new installations of decorative grasses to conserve water. The bill would ban new installations by state and local governments and homeowners associations beginning in 2025. (Colorado Sun)
FOREIGN POLICY: Florida lawmakers return to special session today to begin considering Gov. Ron DeSantis’s (R) call to add new sanctions against Iran, and a resolution expressing support for Israel’s right to defend itself. The legislature will consider a $35 million grant program to help secure Jewish schools and synagogues. (Associated Press)
In Politics & Business
MICHIGAN: House Democrats are racing to finish their budget and any final legislation before them ahead of Election Day, when they are likely to lose their narrow majority. Two of their members — state Reps. Kevin Coleman (D) and Lori Stone (R) — are running for mayor in Westland and Warren, respectively. If they win, they will quit the legislature, resulting in a tied chamber. (Bridge MI)
OHIO: More than 813,000 voters had already cast their ballots through Saturday, turnout that already tops the entire early voting period ahead of the August special election. Turnout is up most among independent voters. (Statehouse News Bureau)
Ohio had just over 8 million registered voters as of Election Day 2022, and about 4.2 million cast their ballot that year.
WHITE HOUSE: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) will back Florida Gov. DeSantis at a rally in Des Moines on Monday. Reynolds will hold a meet-and-greet with DeSantis in Davenport on Tuesday, then fly to Miami to help him fundraise before the next GOP presidential debate. (Des Moines Register)
Reynolds, then lieutenant governor, didn’t make an endorsement ahead of the 2016 GOP caucuses.
CRIME BLOTTER: California Assemblywoman Wendy Carillo (D) was arrested early Friday on suspicion of driving under the influence. Carillo is the second California lawmaker to be arrested for DUI this year. (Sacramento Bee) Arizona Democrats have filed an ethics complaint against Rep. Leezah Sun (D) over allegations she threatened to throw a lobbyist off a balcony. Sun has denied the allegations. (Arizona Capitol Times)
By The Numbers
75: The number of bills introduced this year to address the semi-annual time change from and to daylight saving time. None of those bills passed. Since 2018, 19 states have enacted legislation or passed resolutions to provide for year-round daylight saving time. (Pluribus News)
1.65 million: The number of cruise passengers who visited Juneau, Alaska, this year, an all-time record and 23% higher than the previous best year, 2019. Juneau recorded just 48 passengers in 2020, in the midst of the worst of the pandemic. (Alaska Beacon)
80%: The share of Power Five conference colleges that sell alcohol at their stadiums on game days. The Southeastern Conference’s decision to allow alcohol at stadiums spurred many other schools to follow suit. (Associated Press)
Off The Wall
America’s latest supply chain shortage: Milk cartons. Not the milk itself, but the cardboard cartons used to package milk for consumption in school cafeterias across the nation. School officials in New York, Pennsylvania, California and Washington say they are preparing for a widespread shortage. (Associated Press)
The best run in Thursday’s college football matchup between Texas Tech and TCU belonged to an opossum that scrambled onto the field at the end of the first quarter. The opossum appeared to make it to the end zone before being nabbed by security. (UPI) Don’t miss the video; the opossum wasn’t happy about being dragged out, presumably before completing his touchdown dance.
Quote of the Day
“If we wish to worship, we may do so whenever we choose. We have absolute autonomy, and we really don’t rely on anyone or any entity for us to do that. The same cannot be said of voting.”
— Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach (R), arguing that voting rights should not receive the same protections as other constitutional rights. (Kansas Reflector)