Pluribus AM: Govs ask feds to end Covid emergency; NJ passes new concealed carry rules; OR, WA, NY move to cut carbon emissions
Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. In today’s edition, Govs ask feds to end Covid emergency; N.J. approves concealed carry bill; N.Y., Ore. move to limit carbon emissions:
COVID EMERGENCY: Twenty-five Republican governors have written to President Biden urging him to allow the federal Covid-19 public health emergency to end in April, to help states save on rising Medicaid costs. The emergency allowed 20 million people to gain Medicaid coverage during the pandemic, a cost that governors now say is a burden. (New Hampshire Union Leader, MassLive, Center Square, Cedar Rapids Gazette)
IMMIGRATION: Chief Justice John Roberts sided with 19 Republican attorneys general, issuing a temporary order preserving Title 42, the Trump-era policy that turned away migrants seeking asylum at the Southern border. Roberts has asked the Biden administration for a response by close of business today. The policy was set to expire Wednesday. (Los Angeles Times)
CLIMATE: The Oregon Environmental Quality Commission and the Washington Department of Econolgy voted Monday to require all new cars sold in the state after 2035 qualify as zero-emission vehicles. (Oregon Capital Chronicle, Seattle Times) Both states follow California, where the Air Resources Board voted to adopt the 2035 limit in August.
AIRLINES: A bipartisan group of 34 attorneys general have asked the U.S. Department of Transportation to provide more relief for travelers whose flights are unexpectedly cancelled or delayed. The Ads laid out six other recommendations for new rules aimed at preventing travel delays or cancellations. (Colorado Politics, Desoto County News)
NEW JERSEY: The state Senate on Monday approved a measure to limit concealed carry, sending it to Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) desk. The measure would require those seeking a concealed carry permit to obtain liability insurance and take training classes. (NJ Advance Media, New Jersey Globe) Murphy will sign the bill, but everyone knows this one is headed to court.
NEW YORK: The state Climate Action Council has approved a blueprint goals that would require New York to get 70% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030, and reach net-zero emissions by 2050. The legislature approved those goals back in 2019. (State of Politics)
MORE: Lawmakers have introduced legislation to raise their pay to $142,000 a year while also placing limits on the types of outside income they can earn while in office. The bill, released Monday, is a sign that lawmakers in the Assembly and Senate have reached an agreement; they must act by Thursday before the session ends. (State of Politics)
KANSAS: Gov. Laura Kelly (D) wants the legislature to end sales taxes on groceries, create a three-day sales tax holiday on school supplies and raise the income tax exemption on Social Security benefits. The legislature has already approved a gradual phase-out of grocery taxes by Jan. 2025, but Kelly wants to move that up to April 2023. (Kansas Reflector)
OHIO: State Democrats are urging Gov. Mike DeWine (R) to veto legislation that would prohibit cities from banning the sale of flavored tobacco products. DeWine has told several media outlets he has concerns about the bill. (Center Square) A measure to raise the threshold that ballot measures must clear to win approval died in the lame duck, but its sponsor, state Rep. Brian Stewart (R), says he’ll try again next year. (Ohio Capital Journal)
WYOMING: Legislators are planning to debate new election reform measures in next year’s legislative session, including a pilot program to test ranked choice voting, a measure requiring federal PACs to file disclosure reports for money spent on state-level candidates, and one cracking down on crossover voting in primary elections. (Casper Star Tribune) The crossover voting legislation was a big deal in the weeks before the primary contest between Rep. Liz Cheney (R) and Rep.-elect Harriet Hageman (R).
HAWAII: Gov. Josh Green (D) wants the legislature to move quickly to cut general excise taxes on food and medicine. Green said the state is poised to end the fiscal year with a $2 billion surplus. He plans to offer a major affordable housing strategy in his State of the State address next month. (Hawaii News Now)
ARIZONA: A Maricopa County Superior Court judge has ordered a two-day trial to be held over failed gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake’s (R) claims of an alleged intentional plot to manipulate election results. Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs (D), currently the Secretary of State, and Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer (R) will be required to testify. The judge said Lake must prove that printer problems in Maricopa County were intentional, and that those problems actually impacted the outcome. (Arizona Republic)
ALASKA: Oath Keepers leader Stewart Rhodes testified from behind bars Monday in the trial of state Rep. David Eastman (R), accused of violating a clause in the state constitution barring people from holding elected office if they belong to a group that advocates the overthrow of the U.S. government. Rhodes said the Oath Keepers weren’t trying to overthrow the government during the Jan. 6 insurrection. Eastman was in D.C. on Jan. 6, but he testified he did not enter the Capitol. (Anchorage Daily News)
IDAHO: The state Republican Party will meet in early January to decide on new restrictions on who can qualify to run in party primaries. The proposed rule would allow county and legislative district Republican parties to determine the affiliation of those who file to run as Republicans. (Idaho Capital Sun) The measure, meant to bar crossover voting, was proposed by a former Democrat who became a Republican to run for statewide office.
IOWA: State Democratic Party chairman Ross Wilburn will not seek another term in January after the party suffered election losses this year. Wilburn will keep his job as a member of the Iowa state House. (Associated Press)
COLORADO: State Republican Party chairwoman Kristi Burton Brown won’t seek another term after big Republican losses in her state. Burton Brown’s term ends in March. (Colorado Sun)
By The Numbers
1 million: The estimated number of abandoned lobster traps sitting at the bottom of Long Island Sound. Scientists say the abandoned traps can still catch fish or lobsters, who slowly die and attract more animals — a process known as “ghost fishing” that can rob the industry of millions of dollars in lost catch. (CT Insider)
$500,000: The amount Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has proposed spending to study ways to encourage the Washington Commanders to build a stadium in the Commonwealth, after lawmakers rebuffed team owner Dan Snyder last year. The money wouldn’t be spent until 2024, an apparent bet by Youngkin that Snyder will have sold the team by then. (Washington Post)
Off The Wall
Massachusetts Gov.-elect Maura Healey (D) and Lt. Gov.-elect Kim Driscoll (D) are holding a basketball-themed inauguration at the TD Garden on Jan. 5, and you too can submit a video on the theme of “moving the ball forward.” (MassLive) Healey played two years of professional ball in Austria, and Driscoll played in college.
Don’t miss the photo in that story, in which Prince William appears to have no earthly idea what a basketball is.
Congress is finalizing language for a massive end-of-year $1.7 trillion spending package, but the final bill was delayed Monday over a dispute between the states — specifically, Maryland and Virginia’s ongoing battle over the location of a new FBI headquarters. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) is trying to include new language that would benefit the two proposed Maryland sites. (Roll Call)
Quote of the Day
“We’re not panicked, but we’re stressed.”
— Kay Sappington, who’s in charge of building the Rose Bowl parade float for the nonprofit Sierra Madre Rose Float Association. Sappington says construction costs are up 20% across the board ahead of this year’s parade. (Los Angeles Times)