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Good morning, it’s Monday, October 16, 2023. In today’s edition, GOP scores big win in Louisiana Gov race; Newsom signs crypto regulations law; Hawaii finds success in battle against catalytic converter theft:
CRYPTOCURRENCY: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed a bill requiring digital currency companies to obtain state licenses and file annual reports with the state. Newsom also signed legislation limiting crypto ATMs from accepting or dispensing more than $1,000 in digital currency per customer per day. (Pluribus News)
SOCIAL MEDIA: New York Attorney General Letitia James (D) sent letters to major social media companies demanding to know what they are doing to address growing threats of violence against Jewish and Muslim people and institutions following Hamas’s attack on Israel. Meta, the parent of Facebook and Instagram, said it had removed or flagged about 800,000 posts in Hebrew and Arabic that violated community standards. (Pluribus News)
HEALTH CARE: The Michigan Senate’s Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety Committee approved a measure that would allow residents to bring lawsuits against drug manufacturers, overturning a 30-year old prohibition. The bill won unanimous, bipartisan approval. (Michigan Advance)
MORE: California Gov. Newsom signed legislation raising the minimum wage for health care workers to $25 an hour. Newsom signed the bill, which applies to those who provide direct care as well as support employees, hours after Kaiser Permanente reached a contract deal with its 85,000 unionized workers. (Sacramento Bee)
MARIJUANA: Ohio Senate President Matt Huffman (R) told reporters he is concerned about provisions in a legal marijuana ballot measure that direct money raised by pot taxes to financial assistance for cannabis businesses owned by people who have been convicted of marijuana-related crimes. Huffman said the GOP-dominated legislature, which opposes legal pot, won’t try to repeal the measure if it passes. (Statehouse News Bureau)
That Republicans are considering how to amend and implement the law if and when it passes is telling — Ohio voters seem poised to approve the measure.
CHILD WELFARE: Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has signed legislation allowing victims of child sexual abuse while members of the Boy Scouts of America to file claims over incidents that happened more than 12 years ago. The law applies to groups that declare bankruptcy; about 2,000 Ohioans have claimed sexual abuse by Scout leaders. (Fox News)
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Hawaii officials report catalytic converter thefts have fallen dramatically under a new state law that requires anyone who sells a catalytic converter to show identification and sign a form swearing the item wasn’t stolen. Auto shops must keep catalytic converters in stock for 60 days and maintain a paper trail. (KHON)
Ohio is considering a similar bill. Expect other states to jump on board this coming year.
TAXES: Kansas Republicans plan to advance a constitutional amendment limiting property valuation increases to 4% per year. If the measure wins a two-thirds majority in the House, it will go before voters in November 2024. House Speaker Dan Hawkins (R) says it’s the first bill he’ll bring up in next year’s session. (Topeka Capital-Journal)
MORE: Wisconsin Republicans have proposed replacing Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) plan to spend $1 billion on child care services and workforce programs with a $2 billion income tax cut and expanded child care tax credits. Evers’s office dismissed the proposal out of hand. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)
In Politics & Business
LOUISIANA: Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) will be Louisiana’s next governor after he won 52% of the vote in a jungle primary, a majority that means he can avoid a November runoff. Former Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D) finished a distant second with 25%. Landry will succeed Gov. John Bel Edwards (D), who faces term limits. (Pluribus News)
Just 36% of Louisiana voters turned out to vote in Saturday’s election, the lowest participation rate since 2011, when then-Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) cruised to re-election without a serious opponent. (Baton Rouge Advocate)
Assistant Secretary of State Nancy Landry (R), no relation, advanced to a runoff in the race for Secretary of State.
VIRGINIA: The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee says it has invested six figures into the party’s fight to wrest control of the House of Delegates from Republicans, adding to the $3 million national Democrats have already spent. (Richmond Times-Dispatch) Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) Spirit of Virginia PAC has spent $4 million on GOP efforts to keep the House and win the Senate. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)
RAILROADS: A BNSF Railway train carrying coal derailed Sunday afternoon north of Pueblo, Colo., closing a section of Interstate 25, when a bridge over the freeway collapsed. Officials said it wasn’t clear whether the derailment caused the bridge collapse or the bridge collapse caused the derailment. (Colorado Public Radio)
In our inboxes this morning: Five Colorado Democratic senators said they would write legislation to address what they called “ever increasing risk of accidents, with ever increasing severity when they do occur.”
PENNSYLVANIA: Gov. Josh Shapiro’s (D) office entered into a settlement agreement to resolve allegations of sexual harassment against one of Shapiro’s top aides weeks before the advisor quit. Mike Vereb, one of Shapiro’s closest advisors, resigned after a copy of the complaint against him began circulating in Harrisburg. (Spotlight PA)
By The Numbers
890: The number of bills California Gov. Newsom signed this year, down from the 997 he signed last year, according to California lobbyist Chris Micheli. Newsom vetoed 156 bills, or about 14% of the overall number that passed. (Sacramento Bee)
$2.3 million: The amount Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and his wife M.K. Pritzker reported on their 2022 state and federal tax returns, which they released over the weekend. That’s down $16 million from their reported income the previous year. (Chicago Tribune)
Off The Wall
A Vermont electric aviation startup has unveiled the first aircraft charging station at Marshfield Municipal Airport in Massachusetts. The company, Beta, is building 60 charging stations at airports along the East Coast and Gulf Coast as it races to win commercial approval for battery-powered planes. (Boston Globe)
Just Born, the confection company that manufactures Peeps, confirmed it will remove red dye No. 3 after California approved legislation banning the chemical from food products. Only pink and lavender Peeps still use red dye No. 3. (Los Angeles Times)
Kari Kastango has become the first known person to swim the entire 410-mile length of the Connecticut River. The 56-year old Massachusetts native took four years to complete the 83 swims it took to get her from New Hampshire to Long Island Sound. (New Hampshire Union-Leader)
Quote of the Day
“It’s the lowest hanging fruit.”
— California Assemb. Laura Friedman (D), author of legislation Gov. Gavin Newsom signed last week that bans public agencies, industrial parks, restaurants and some other property owners from watering “nonfunctional turf” using potable water. The law is meant to save water in times of drought. (Sacramento Bee)