Pluribus AM: Ill. lawmakers feud over gun bill; Ohio Gov signs elections reform; is Alaska headed for another stalemate?

Good morning, it’s Monday, Jan. 9, 2023. In today’s edition, legislators tackle housing crises; Ill. lawmakers debate gun bill; is Alaska headed for another stalemate?

Top News

HOUSING: Legislators across the country plan measures to tackle the affordable housing crisis that is hitting densely-packed cities and sparsely populated rural areas alike. Lawmakers are considering grants, shortening the permitting process and new bonds to spur development. (Pluribus News)

TRANS RIGHTS: Lawmakers in 11 states have introduced more than two dozen bills seeking to restrict transgender health care access. The bills largely target gender-affirming health care providers and the parents of trans youth for criminal penalties if they help trans children access care. In Texas alone, 35 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced. (Associated Press)

ILLINOIS: State senators proposed a new bill banning high-powered firearms that Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said “falls short” of measures passed by the state House. The Senate version would not require gun owners to disclose serial numbers of firearms designated as assault weapons. (Chicago Tribune)

OHIO: Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has signed a package of voting reforms into law that will require Ohioans to show a photo identification to cast a ballot. The bill also eliminates a day of early voting, permits counties to operate only one drop box for absentee ballots and prohibits curbside voting except for the disabled. (Columbus Dispatch)

PENNSYLVANIA: Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has called legislators into special session Monday to vote on an amendment to the state constitution to provide legal relief for victims of childhood sexual assault. Speaker Mark Rozzi (I) said he would halt all other legislative action until the measure passes. Voters would need to approve it in the May 16 primary. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

KENTUCKY: The state House has approved a bill to cut the state income tax from 5% to 4.5%, and to cut another half a percent in 2024. The bill, a top priority for legislative Republicans, now heads to the state Senate. (Kentucky Fried Politics)

FLORIDA: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is moving ahead with a proposal to strip Disney World of self-governing powers in its Reedy Creek Improvement District. Osceola County has posted a notice on its website that starts the clock ticking in a process that will eventually end the company’s powers, Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R) said. (Orlando Sentinel)

MASSACHUSETTS: Gov. Maura Healey (D) created the Office of Climate Innovation and Resilience and named EPA official Melissa Hoffer as the state’s Climate Chief. Healey’s administration aims to double offshore solar capacity and to commit 1% of the state budget to environmental agencies. (Boston Globe)

TEXAS: The state Senate will ban reporters from the chamber floor this session, continuing a Covid-era policy that keeps reporters away from lawmakers. Reporters will have to cover the Senate from a gallery above the chamber. The state House has ended its Covid-era ban on reporters on the floor. (Texas Tribune)

IMMIGRATION: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’s (D) office said the state will stop busing migrants to New York City and Chicago after Mayors Eric Adams (D) and Lori Lightfoot (D) demanded a halt. Polis told Adams and Lightfoot on Saturday that no further bus trips were planned. (Axios)

In Politics & Business

ALASKA: Both Republicans and a caucus of Democrats and independents in the state House are short of the 21 votes they need to create a majority. Lawmakers will begin meeting in Juneau next week; they hope to avoid a repeat of 2019 and 2021, when the House couldn’t agree on a leader for more than a month. (Alaska Beacon)

NEW MEXICO: The state Supreme Court will hear arguments today in a Republican challenge to state congressional district lines approved by legislative Democrats. The court will decide whether it has the authority to decide claims of partisan gerrymandering. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

CALIFORNIA: SEIU Local 1000 directors voted to remove union president Richard Louis Brown from office after an investigation into alleged misuse of power. Brown won office in 2021 pledging to end political spending and cutting union dues in half. (Sacramento Bee) The SEIU chapter, which represents about 100,000 public employees, is a major player in California politics.

OHIO: State Republicans formally censured 22 Republican lawmakers who joined Democrats to elect Speaker Jason Stephens (R) over state Rep. Derek Merrin (R), who had won a majority among GOP lawmakers. Hamilton County Republican Party chairman Alex Triantafilou won election to head the state GOP. (Columbus Dispatch)

ARIZONA: Former state Supreme Court Chief Justice Ruth McGregor will lead an independent inquiry into printer problems on Election Day in Maricopa County. County supervisors retained McGregor, who started work on Friday at the elections center in Phoenix. (Arizona Republic) Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) created a bipartisan panel to study proposed elections reforms. (Arizona Capitol Times)

SOCIAL MEDIA: Seattle Public Schools has filed a federal lawsuit against TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Snapchat alleging the social media giants have created a public nuisance by targeting products at children. (Associated Press) Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said they would issue executive orders banning TikTok from state-issued devices. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Anchorage Daily News)

By The Numbers

$7.37: The average retail price for a dozen large eggs in California, up from $2.35 a year ago, according to USDA data. The price spike comes from an unprecedented bird flu outbreak that has killed tens of millions of chickens nationwide. (Los Angeles Times)

17%: The pay increase Illinois state legislators approved for themselves for new terms that begin this week. Under the bill headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D), rank-and-file lawmakers would earn $85,000 a year, up from $72,906. The pay hike passed on party-line votes. (Chicago Tribune)

94%: The increase in sales of recreational pot in Maine in 2022 over 2021. Adult-use retailers sold $158.9 million in pot products last year. (Portland Press Herald)

Off The Wall

Wisconsin state Reps. Ryan Clancy (D) and Darrin Madison (D) have revived the Socialist Caucus for the first time in 90 years. The freshman Democrats both hail from Milwaukee, the city that sent the first Socialist to Congress in 1910. (Associated Press)

Two handguns belonging to Colorado state Rep.-elect Ron Weinberg (R) were stolen overnight last week from a pickup truck he left parked at the state capitol building in Denver. Weinberg said the guns were unloaded and secured with trigger locks. (Colorado Sun)

Quote of the Day

“You get a lot more done in life, and certainly in government, if you’re amenable to other people’s positions, their viewpoints. And I don’t think there’s anything wrong with having a laugh while you’re working.”

Georgia state Rep. Jon Burns (R), who is set to become House Speaker in an organizing session today. (Associated Press)