Pluribus AM: ‘Maryland won’t be outshucked’

Good morning, it’s Friday, July 21, 2023. In today’s edition, Wash. Gov wants to cap energy company profits; Ariz. transgender sports ban blocked; parties set out expectations for Va. elections:

Top Stories

ENERGY: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) said Thursday he will push lawmakers next year to create a commission to cap oil and gas profits, similar to new legislation California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed in March. Gas prices in Washington State stand at an average of $4.93 a gallon, the highest in the nation. (Pluribus News)

Oil and gas companies say prices are higher in Washington because of a new cap and trade system put in place in 2021. But watch for more blue states considering caps on oil and gas company profits.

ABORTION: The Iowa Board of Medicine will create rules to enforce the state’s six-week abortion ban, even though the law has been blocked by a district court judge. The board will begin its rule-making process at its next meeting on Sept. 14. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: A federal judge has temporarily blocked Arizona from enforcing a law banning transgender girls from school sports teams that conform to their gender identity. The lawsuit mirrors successful challenges in other states, where laws have been blocked over Title IX and equal protection claims. (Associated Press)

EDUCATION: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed a $24.3 billion school aid budget Thursday that includes free breakfast and lunch to all K-12 students, a $91 million increase to the state’s preschool program and $140 million for one-time grants for literary instruction to make up for pandemic-era learning loss. (MLive)

MORE: Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) has signed legislation requiring high school students to take a financial literacy course before graduating. The state Board of Education will develop curriculum to teach banking, investing, saving and the impact of credit cards. (CT Mirror)

ENVIRONMENT: Michigan will become the 27th state to require insurance providers to report climate-related risks and mitigation strategies. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is working on its own climate risk disclosure requirements. (Michigan Advance)

CULTURE WARS: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has formally asked the state Board of Administration to review its holdings in AB InBev, the parent company that owns Bud Light, over the brand’s partnership with a transgender influencer. DeSantis alleged the company breached its duties to shareholders. (The Hill)

In Politics & Business

VIRGINIA: Elections for seats in the General Assembly will revolve around inflation, crime and parents’ rights in education, Republicans argued in a memo released Thursday. Democrats said in their own recent state-of-the-race overview that the contest would come down to abortion rights and battling Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) agenda. (Pluribus News)

ALABAMA: Legislators have until today to meet a federal court deadline to approve final U.S. House district lines, but Republicans are divided over plans passed by the House and Senate. Senate President Pro Tem Greg Reed (R) said he expects the two chambers to agree on a version by the end of the day. (

ARKANSAS: No Labels has submitted a sufficient number of signatures to qualify for the 2024 ballot, Secretary of State John Thurston’s (R) office said Thursday. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

FLORIDA: Gov. DeSantis has scheduled a special election in a Democratic district in Orange and Osceola counties for Jan. 16, the day after the Iowa caucuses. DeSantis scheduled a special election in a Republican-leaning district in Miami-Dade County for a December election. (Orlando Sentinel)

TEXAS: The Secretary of State’s office has submitted notice that it will exit the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC, a program more than half the states use to check duplicate voter registrations to maintain clean rolls. Texas is the ninth red state to quit the program since 2022. (Texas Tribune)

By The Numbers

$0: The amount of tax revenue California will collect on the billion-dollar Powerball ticket purchased at a Los Angeles-area store. California is one of 13 states that do not levy taxes on lottery winnings. (Pluribus News)

10%: The share of Ohio kindergarteners who are missing at least one required dose of standard vaccines, thanks in large part to the pandemic. (Statehouse News Bureau)

155,181: The number of early votes cast in Ohio’s August election in which voters will decide whether to raise the threshold by which future constitutional amendments are adopted from a simple majority to 60%. The surge in early voting surprised elections officials, who expected lower turnout. (Columbus Dispatch)

Off The Wall

The sea otter who has become famous for snatching surfboards off the coast of Santa Cruz continues to elude scientists trying to capture her. Jessica Fujii, who manages the sea otter program at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, said the otter is getting used to evading nets — though the otter has gotten on a baited surfboard a few times in the last few days. (Associated Press)

NOAA scientists have discovered a massive horde of tubeworms thriving on the seafloor off the Alaska Peninsula. The colony stretches two football fields in length and is thick enough to cover the seafloor like a shag carpet. Some of the tubeworms may be a few centuries old. (Anchorage Daily News)

Quote of the Day

“Maryland won’t be out shucked by anybody.”

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D), announcing new environmental initiatives to boost the oyster industry in the Chesapeake Bay. (Maryland Matters)