Pluribus AM: Gold Bullion Edition

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, June 14, 2023. Happy Flag Day. In today’s edition, Nev. Gov signs gender-affirming care protections; DeSantis gives Tesla a break; N.C. lawmaker wants to buy gold bullion:

Top Stories

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) signed legislation requiring health insurers to cover gender-affirming care for transgender minors and adults. Nevada’s representative to the Republican National Committee criticized Lombardo’s decision to sign the bill. (Nevada Independent) The Ohio House on Wednesday will vote on bills barring gender-affirming care for minors and requiring schools to notify parents before classroom conversations on gender identity or sexual orientation. (Columbus Dispatch)

AUTO DEALERS: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signed legislation banning most direct-to-consumer vehicle sales — with an exception that allows manufacturers to hold franchise dealer licenses for direct sales of electric vehicles. The carve-out will allow Tesla to continue operating its showrooms. (Florida Politics)

ENERGY: The North Carolina General Assembly approved legislation prohibiting local governments from adopting ordinances preventing the expansion of some energy services based on fuel types. The bill also prohibits local ordinances banning the sale or installation of appliances like gas stoves. (Associated Press)

HOUSING: Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey’s (D) administration will create a state-run green bank to help fund climate-friendly affordable housing. The Massachusetts Community Climate Bank, seeded with $50 million, will be the nation’s first green bank dedicated to affordable housing. (Boston Globe) A Delaware House committee has approved legislation requiring newly constructed single- and multi-family homes to have electric vehicle charging capabilities. The bill has already passed the Senate. (Delaware Public Media)

EDUCATION: More than 17,500 people have applied for Iowa’s new education savings accounts, far above the 14,068 the state Legislative Services Agency estimated before lawmakers approved the program. Each student is eligible for up to $7,600 in state money to pay for private school costs. (Des Moines Register) Wisconsin lawmakers approved an education budget adding $1 billion to state schools, including $30 million for mental health services. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

DRUGS: The Massachusetts Joint Committee on the Judiciary held hearings on several measures that would legalize natural plants and fungi — like mushrooms — that contain psychedelic compounds. (State House News Service)

WORKFORCE: The Maine Senate gave final approval Tuesday to a bill raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour by January. Gov. Janet Mills (D) supports the current minimum wage of $13.80 an hour, already among the highest in the nation. (Portland Press Herald)

PAYDAY LENDING: A Rhode Island House committee has approved legislation caping payday loans at annualized percentage rates of 260%. Current state law exempts lenders from rate caps on short-term rollover loans. (Providence Journal)

CLIMATE: California wildfires consumed five times more area in the years between 1996 and 2021 than in the previous quarter century, an increase scientists attributed to climate change. Eighteen of the 20 largest fires in California history have happened since 2000. (Los Angeles Times) Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) announced emergency hay and water access for farmers amid a worsening drought. (WPSD)

In Politics & Business

FLORIDA: Trulieve, Florida’s largest medical marijuana company, has dumped another $550,000 into a ballot measure to legalize recreational pot, bringing their total investment up to nearly $29 million. Supporters say they have gathered more than 900,000 signatures to get the proposed amendment on the 2024 ballot. (Florida Politics)

OHIO: The Ohio Ballot Board has approved new ballot language for State Issue 1, the measure increasing the threshold by which future constitutional amendments must pass, on orders from the state Supreme Court. If passed, future amendments would need to win 60% support to be adopted. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

Republicans have made clear that the measure, to be voted on in August, is meant to preempt a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing abortion rights.

MONTANA: State Rep. Tanner Smith (R) will run for governor in 2024. Smith did not say why he decided to run against Gov. Greg Gianforte (R), who has not formally announced his re-election bid. (Missoulian)

MAINE: Republican Abden Simmons won an open seat to represent a coastal district just south of Augusta in the state House of Representatives. Simmons will fill a seat vacated by a Democrat who resigned after facing election fraud charges. (Maine Public Radio)

NEVADA: The state Senate has approved legislation authorizing up to $380 million to fund a new stadium for the Oakland Athletics near the Las Vegas Strip, sending the measure to the Assembly. The bill authorizes $180 million in transferrable tax credits, $120 million in county bonds and up to $120 million in tax credits, to be repaid over 30 years. (Nevada Independent)

NEW HAMPSHIRE: State Rep. Dan Hynes has switched his voter registration from Republican to “undeclared” and quit the Republican caucus. Hynes said he is disappointed by some recent decisions taken by the Republican majority. His switch makes him the second independent in the chamber, leaving Republicans with 199 seats and Democrats with 196. Two more seats are vacant and one Democrat hasn’t been sworn in. (Boston Globe)

ARIZONA: The state House of Representatives censured state Rep Stephanie Stahl Hamilton (D) after the Ethics Committee found she engaged in “disorderly behavior” by hiding Bibles in the House lounge. All Democrats and four Republicans voted against a motion to expel her from office. (Arizona Republic)

MICHIGAN: A Wayne County judge has ordered state Republican Party chair Kristina Karamo and other GOP officials to pay $58,459 in sanctions over a lawsuit claiming, without evidence, that there was wrongdoing in the 2022 elections. (Detroit News)

By The Numbers

5: The number of chiefs of staff who have served and left South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) administration. Current chief Mark Miller will return to Florida after accepting a position with a nonprofit. (South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Associated Press)

100%: The share of Lake Oroville, California’s second-largest reservoir, that is full of water. The lake has risen 240 feet since Dec. 1. (Los Angeles Times) The state’s largest reservoir, Shasta, is 97% full.

14,000: The number of people experiencing homelessness who have been moved off the streets of Los Angeles in the first half of the year, Mayor Karen Bass (D) said Tuesday. About a third of those people have acquired permanent housing. (Los Angeles Times)

Off The Wall

North Carolina’s House Committee on State Government will hear testimony Wednesday on a measure to use up to $500 million in state funds to purchase gold bullion, and to store the gold in a depository in Texas. In an email, the bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Mark Brody (R), said the reserve would protect the state against hyperinflation. (NC Newsline)

Check your pockets: A minting error on a small number of 1999 quarters honoring the state of Georgia is a coveted find for coin collectors, some of whom have paid up to $10,000 for a single coin. Look out for quarters that appear thicker than normal and have a golden or greenish color, similar to the Sacagawea dollar. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Better late than never: An anonymous patron has returned a copy of George Orwell’s novel “1984” to the Multnomah County Library this week, 65 years after it was due back. The patron, 86, said he or she wanted to clear their conscience. (Oregonian)

New research from Aarhus University scientist Marc Hye-Knudsen finds dad jokes help children develop stamina to endure embarrassment. Hearing embarrassing jokes can help kids tolerate uncomfortable situations better as adults, the research found. (Deseret News)

We feel seen.

Quote of the Day

“Odds are I got somewhere around a C.”

Louisiana state Rep. Scott McKnight (R), on his tenth grade English class taught by fellow state Rep. Barbara Reich Freiberg (R). State Rep. Larry Selders (D) also took Frieberg’s class 25 years ago at a high school in Baton Rouge. (Baton Rouge Advocate)