Pluribus AM: Maryland’s race to rebuild the bridge

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, March 28, 2024. In today’s edition, Maryland leaders plan emergency bill after bridge collapse; Mississippi’s Medicaid expansion debate; NCAA chief wants states to ban prop bets:

Top Stories

BRIDGE COLLAPSE: Maryland legislative leaders will introduce emergency bills to provide economic relief to small businesses and displaced workers impacted by the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge this week. Senate President Bill Ferguson (D), whose district includes the Port of Baltimore, said legislation would give Gov. Wes Moore (D) access to $2 billion in the state’s rainy day fund. (Baltimore Sun)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Kansas legislature has given final approval to a measure barring gender-affirming care for transgender minors. The House approved the measure by an 82-39 vote, two votes short of the number they would need to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) expected veto. (Kansas Reflector, Kansas City Star)

HEALTH CARE: The Mississippi Senate Medicaid Committee approved legislation expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act for those who make up to 100% of the federal poverty limit. The House approved a version earlier this year that would have covered those making up to 138% of the limit. The Senate version includes work requirements for those seeking coverage. (Supertalk, Jackson Clarion Ledger)

Gov. Tate Reeves (R) is still no fan of expansion.

MORE: The Vermont House has given preliminary approval to legislation expanding access to Medicare and Medicaid to residents up to 21 years old, those who are pregnant and older residents. The bill would increase income limits for Medicare payment subsidies for older residents. (VT Digger)

PUBLIC HEALTH: West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) has vetoed legislation that would have loosened state vaccine policies. The bill would have allowed students who attend private or parochial schools to be exempt from vaccinations. (Associated Press) Nebraska lawmakers gave first-round approval to a bill that would require age verification on adult websites. (Nebraska Examiner)

IMMIGRATION: The Missouri House approved legislation that would require driver’s licenses and nondriver IDs to have a mark indicating that the holder is a U.S. citizen. The bill’s lead sponsor, Rep. Dan Stacy (R), said it would help election authorities. (St. Louis Public Radio)

SPORTS BETTING: NCAA president Charlie Baker, the former governor of Massachusetts, is urging lawmakers in states with legal sports betting to ban prop bets on individual college athletes. Ohio, Vermont and Maryland have already banned prop betting on college athletes. An NCAA survey last year found 58% of 18-to-22 year olds are gambling. (Boston Globe)

TRANSPORTATION: New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority voted to approve tolling rates that will charge passenger cars $15 a day to enter Manhattan below 60th Street. The congestion pricing is expected to lower traffic 17%. (New York Times) New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) pledged to fight the congestion pricing plan. (NJ Advance Media)

In Politics & Business

CALIFORNIA: Former Controller Betty Yee (D) has joined the crowded field running for governor in 2026. Yee joins Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D), Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond (D) and state Sen. Toni Atkins (D) in the race. (Los Angeles Times)

MICHIGAN: A panel of federal judges has approved Michigan’s efforts to redraw state House maps in the Detroit area. The panel had ordered new districts after ruling the previous lines diluted the power of Black voters. (Detroit News)

WASHINGTON, D.C.: The Washington Capitals and Wizards will stay in the District until at least 2050 under a deal reached by owner Ted Leonsis and Mayor Muriel Bowser (D), after a plan to move to Alexandria, Va., ran into Democratic opposition in the Virginia legislature. Washington will spend $515 million over three years to modernize the teams’ arena in D.C.’s Chinatown neighborhood. (Washington Post)

CRIME BLOTTER: A federal grand jury has indicted former New Mexico House Majority Leader Sheryl Williams Stapleton (D) with 35 criminal counts including mail fraud, money laundering, bribery and conspiracy. Stapleton was indicted on 26 state counts in 2021 for her alleged role in routing Albuquerque Public School money to businesses in which she had an interest. (Albuquerque Journal)

PEOPLE: Former U.S. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) died Wednesday in New York due to complications from a fall. Lieberman, Al Gore’s vice presidential nominee in 2000, was very nearly John McCain’s choice for vice president in 2008. (Associated Press)

By The Numbers

$35 million to $40 million: The estimated cost the state of Connecticut expects to pay to cover employees who are on weightless medications like Ozempic and Wegovy this year. That’s about 10% of the overall cost of prescriptions for employees covered under the state’s insurance plan. (Connecticut Inside Investigator)

400 feet: The size of the crane workers constructed over Indiana’s Statehouse this week as they begin a $12.5 million renovation that includes cleaning its copper dome. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Off The Wall

Georgia’s legislature always has a wild sine die, and today marks the last day of this year’s legislative session. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Patricia Murphy is marking the occasion with a Sine Dog of the Day.

South Carolina legislators are debating a bill to roll back a 1940s law that bars minors from playing pinball in the state. Most states repealed laws banning pinball for minors, passed when the games were considered gambling, in the 1970s, but South Carolina never got around to it. (SC Daily Gazette)

Harvard’s Houghton Library has removed the binding of a book held together with human skin in its collection. The book, “Des destinees de l’ame,” or “On the Destiny of the Soul,” was donated to the school in 1934. (Harvard Crimson)

Quote of the Day

“Rebuilding will not be quick, or easy or cheap. But we will get it done.”

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, pledging to rebuild Baltimore’s Key Bridge. (New York Times)