Pluribus AM: Louisiana restricts abortion drugs

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, May 28, 2024. In today’s edition, Louisiana restricts abortion drugs; states move PFAS bans; Rhode Island set to approve gun storage rules:

Top Stories

ABORTION: Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) has signed legislation including abortion-inducing drugs mifepristone and misoprostol on the state’s list of controlled dangerous substances. Those in possession of the drugs without a prescription could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. (Pluribus News)

Louisiana is the first state in the nation to criminalize the possession of abortion-inducing medication.

MORE: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has signed legislation temporarily allowing Arizona health care providers to cross the border to perform abortion services. The law puts Arizona doctors under the oversight of the California Medical Board and Osteopathic Medical Board through the end of November. (Pluribus News)

ENVIRONMENT: At least six states — Colorado, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey and Virginia — have approved measures barring PFAS chemicals this year, while bills in Alaska, Connecticut and Vermont await the governor’s signature. The Vermont legislation would be the first in the nation to address PFAS in children’s and adult diapers. (Pluribus News)

HEALTH CARE: The Illinois House gave final approval to legislation barring health insurance companies from requiring patients to try treatments other than those prescribed by a physician, known as step therapy. Another bill would ban short-term limited duration health care plans, which can bring exorbitant costs for treatment. (Chicago Tribune)

Both bills were top priorities for Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D).

GUN POLITICS: The Rhode Island House is expected to approve legislation today requiring firearms be secured in a locked container or come equipped with a tamper-resistant lock. The bill, which has already cleared the Senate, provides criminal and civil penalties for violations. (Boston Globe)

MARIJUANA: The Delaware House Economic Committee has approved a bill to allow medical marijuana dispensaries to sell recreational pot. Delaware legalized recreational marijuana last year. Dispensaries applying for a four-year license would pay $100,000. (Delaware Public Radio)

CONSUMER PROTECTION: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) has signed legislation increasing oversight into funeral homes. One bill requires routine inspection of funeral homes, and another requires background checks for funeral directors seeking licenses to practice. (Associated Press)

In Politics & Business

WASHINGTON: A new Elway Poll conducted for Cascade PBS finds Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) and former U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R) leading the gubernatorial field with 22% and 20%, respectively. State Sen. Mark Mullet (D) takes 6%, and former school board member Semi Bird (R) takes 5%. The top two vote-getters advance to November’s general election. (Crosscut)

OHIO: Lawmakers will return to Columbus for a special session today to pass a legislative fix that will allow President Biden to appear on the state’s November ballot. The Senate passed previous legislation that included a ban on foreign money in state elections, but the House failed to take that bill up before adjourning. (Columbus Dispatch)

A reminder of how we got here: Democrats plan to formally nominate Biden on August 19, two weeks after Ohio’s deadline to certify candidates for November’s elections. Several states have made bipartisan fixes to accommodate late conventions in the past.

NEW HAMPSHIRE: The Senate approved legislation Friday to eliminate all exceptions to the state’s voter ID law. Current law allows someone without an ID to vote using an affidavit ballot, which is only counted if they show proof of identification within a few days. (WMUR)

PEOPLE: Vermont Sen. Dick Mazza (D) died Saturday of pancreatic cancer, his family said. Mazza, 84, won his first election to the state House in 1972, and served in the Senate for almost 40 years. (VTDigger) Our condolences to the Vermont legislative family.

By The Numbers

$439 million: The amount Indiana paid in school voucher costs during the 2023-2024 school year, a 40% increase over the year prior. More than 70,000 students are enrolled in the program, up 31% after lawmakers raised the income threshold to qualify. (WFYI)

17: The number of devices in the average home that connect to the internet, according to Mike Waldner, South Dakota’s broadband project manager. About 91% of South Dakota has access to broadband internet, up from about half in 2019. (South Dakota Searchlight)

$2.6 billion: The amount California’s tech industry contributes to state government revenue, according to an industry-funded report. The report comes as state lawmakers consider a host of bills that would add new costs to tech firms. (Sacramento Bee)

Off The Wall

Georgia teenager Madison Crowell set out to win enough scholarships to attend college. She did alright: Crowell won a total of $14.7 million in scholarships, earning admission to more than 230 schools along the way. Crowell, who wants to be a physical therapist, chose High Point University in North Carolina. (Fox 5 Atlanta)

Washington State is the epicenter of the latest shortage of a key consumer good: License plates. The Department of Corrections, which uses prisoner labor to make plates, has struggled to keep up with demand amid an aluminum shortage. (Seattle Times)

Quote of the Day

“I think a proposal of this magnitude deserves sunlight and scrutiny. And very often what has happened in this building is that things get rammed through at the last minute without much public input or transparency.”

Illinois Rep. Kam Buckner (D), on a proposal to build a new domed stadium for the Chicago Bears. The legislature won’t take up the bill this session. (Chicago Tribune)