Pluribus AM: Md. approves protections for abuse survivors; gender-affirming bans signed in Ind., Idaho; Wis. GOP secures supermajority

Good morning, it’s Thursday, April 6, 2023. In today’s edition, Md. approves protections for abuse survivors; gender-affirming care bans signed in Ind., Idaho; Wis. GOP secures supermajority:

Top Stories

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The Maryland General Assembly gave final approval to a bill that would allow more survivors to sue those who sexually abused them, less than an hour after Attorney General Anthony Brown (D) released the results of a massive investigation into abuse by priests in Baltimore’s archdiocese. Gov. Wes Moore (D) said he was eager to sign the bill. (Baltimore Sun)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed a measure banning gender-affirming care for minors. Those already receiving gender-affirming care must end their therapy by the end of this year. (Indianapolis Star) Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) signed a gender-affirming care ban into law. (UPI, Associated Press) The ACLU sued both states seeking to block the new laws.

MORE: Kansas lawmakers voted to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto of a bill banning transgender athletes from school sports leagues that conform to their gender identity. (KCUR)

ABORTION: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed a bill repealing the state’s 1931 law banning abortion, language that was made obsolete when voters codified abortion rights in the state constitution. (Pluribus News) The North Dakota House gave final approval to a bill requiring school districts to show videos of fetal development. The bill now heads to Gov. Doug Burgum (R) for a signature. (Fargo Forum) New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) has signed legislation that shields patients and providers from out-of-state investigations into abortion or gender-affirming care. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

SOCIAL MEDIA: The Arkansas House has overwhelmingly approved a bill to require social media users to verify they are 18 years old or obtain parental consent. The bill will return to the state Senate, where a previous version passed by a narrower margin. (Arkansas Times)

IDAHO: Gov. Brad Little (R) has vetoed legislation that would have prohibited libraries and schools from distributing materials that are “harmful to minors.” The bill, which passed with veto-proof majorities, would allow parents to sue if their children gained access to books depicting nudity or sexual content. (Idaho Capital Sun)

TEXAS: The state Senate has approved legislation prohibiting prosecutors from adopting policies that refuse to prosecute certain classes or types of criminal offenses. The measure, a priority for Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), is aimed at reining in prosecutors in liberal counties who have said they will not enforce abortion bans. (Texas Tribune) The Senate is expected to vote today on a measure creating education savings accounts of up to $8,000 per student. (Texas Tribune)

NORTH DAKOTA: The state Senate has given final approval to a bill barring foreign governments and businesses from owning or acquiring more than 160 acres of agricultural land. The bill passed both chambers in unanimous votes. (Fargo Forum)

NEW YORK: Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) won’t rule out a second temporary budget measure as budget negotiations drag on. Hochul said negotiations will begin again early next week, just as the first stopgap measure expires. (State of Politics)

In Business & Politics

WISCONSIN: State Rep. Dan Knodl (R) has formally won a state Senate seat in the Milwaukee suburbs, giving Republicans a 22-11 supermajority. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Voters overwhelmingly approved referenda requiring cash bail and requiring welfare recipients to look for work. (Wisconsin State Journal)

TENNESSEE: The state House will vote today on whether to expel three House Democrats over their role in a gun control demonstration at the capitol last week. Republicans are likely to boot Reps. Gloria Johnson (D), Justin Jones (D) and Justin Pearson (D). A preliminary vote passed Monday on a 72-23 party-line vote. (Reuters)

MISSOURI: Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) formally jumped into the race to replace term-limited Gov. Mike Parson (R) next year. He will face Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe (R) in the GOP primary. State Sen. Bill Eigel (R) is also considering a bid. (St. Louis Public Radio)

Politics is a family affair in Missouri, where the Ashcrofts, the Blunts and the Carnahans have all had multi-generation statewide officeholders.

FLORIDA: The Senate Ethics and Elections Committee has approved legislation placing more regulations on voter registration organizations. The bill would require those groups to register with the state every election cycle. It also creates a new crime of threatening, harassing or intimidating poll workers. (WFSU)

By The Numbers

18.2: The number of gun deaths, per 100,000 residents, recorded in Colorado in 2021, the most recent year for which data is available. That’s the highest rate in at least 40 years. About three-quarters of gun deaths are by suicide. (Colorado Sun)

425: The number of bills introduced this year that limit or restrict LGBTQ rights, more than in the past five years combined. About 20 have been signed into law so far. (Bloomberg/Tribune News Service)

Off The Wall

A Defense Department training exercise at a Boston hotel went haywire this week when trainees entered the wrong room and arrested a guest, rather than the trainer they were supposed to detain. Police were called to the scene to help the detained man at 12:20 a.m. on Wednesday. (Boston Globe) No one was injured, and now that guy has a crazy story to tell at parties.

A fundraiser for New York City Mayor Eric Adams (DD) next month will feature Rudy Giuliani — but not that Rudy Giuliani. The former mayor has a cousin of the same name, a retired public school principal. And there’s a third Rudy Giuliani, another cousin, who works in the city’s Department of Environmental Protection. (City & State)

Quote of the Day

“Wouldn’t it be better for a seasoned lawyer to represent these 17-year olds, as opposed to Uncle Bob who thinks he knows everything?”

Oklahoma Rep. Jason Lowe (D), debating against a bill that would eliminate some name, image and licensing requirements for student athletes at the University of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The bill passed and now heads to Gov. Kevin Stitt (R). (Tulsa World)