Pluribus AM: Minn. passes abortion rights bill; La. lawmakers take up insurance crisis; N.J. reps plan Gov campaigns
Good morning, it’s Monday, Jan. 30, 2023. In today’s edition, Minn. legislature approves abortion rights bill; La. lawmakers address insurance crisis; N.J. reps plan Gov campaigns:
ABORTION: The Minnesota Senate gave final approval to a measure guaranteeing the right to abortion and reproductive health on Saturday. The bill now heads to Gov. Tim Walz’s (D) desk for his signature. (MPR News, Minneapolis Star Tribune) The Nebraska legislature is debating a bill to bar abortions after six weeks. (Omaha World-Herald)
LGBTQ: Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) has signed legislation barring transgender surgeries for minors. (Deseret News) A Wyoming Senate committee on Friday approved a bill that would criminalize those who provide gender-affirming treatment to minors — including both surgery and hormone treatments. (Casper Star Tribune) Montana lawmakers are debating a proposal to ban gender-affirming care for minors. (Montana Free Press)
LOUISIANA: Lawmakers meet today for a special session to consider the property insurance crisis. The legislature will consider a $45 million incentive fund to boost the homeowner insurance market before hurricane season begins June 1. (Baton Rouge Advocate) Eleven insurers have gone out of business in the last few months.
WASHINGTON: The House Civil Rights and Judiciary Committee advanced bills to ban the sale of assault weapons and to require a safety training course for those who seek to buy a firearm. A bill allowing residents to sue gun manufacturers passed a Senate committee last week. (Everett Herald)
ALASKA: Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) has unveiled bills to lure carbon capture companies. One measure would create a leasing structure for companies that can inject carbon dioxide in underground storage areas. Another would allow companies to pay to preserve forest land to offset pollution. (Alaska Beacon, Anchorage Daily News)
IOWA: Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) is backing a major health care reform bill aimed at strengthening rural providers, allowing pharmacists to dispense birth control without a prescription and creating apprenticeships and fellowships to increase the number of providers. (Cedar Rapids Gazette) The House Judiciary Committee unanimously advanced a bill barring the use of a victim’s sexual orientation as a mitigating factor in violent criminal cases, the so-called “gay panic defense.” (Cedar Rapids Gazette)
INDIANA: The state Senate has approved a proposed constitutional amendment to allow judges to deny bail to those who post a substantial risk to the public. The measure must pass the state House, and then it must pass the legislature again in 2025 before going before voters in 2026. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)
NEW YORK: Seven Republicans have signaled support for Gov. Kathy Hochul’s (D) proposal to provide free meals to students at all public schools. Hochul is expected to include the plan in a budget proposal she will outline Wednesday. (State of Politics)
MISSISSIPPI: The Senate Finance Committee has approved legislation barring car companies from operating their own brick-and-mortar locations, after winning approval in the state House. Supporters say the bill levels the playing field between traditional car dealerships that operate franchise models and electric car companies that sell direct to consumers. (Jackson Clarion Ledger)
In Politics & Business
OHIO: Conservative think tank executive Matt Mayer (R) will run for governor in 2026, when Gov. Mike DeWine (R) faces term limits. He’s likely to face Lt. Gov. Jon Husted (R) and Attorney General Dave Yost (R), who are considering their own bids. (Columbus Dispatch)
NEW JERSEY: U.S. Reps. Josh Gottheimer (D) and Mikie Sherrill (D) have both hired prominent Democratic strategists as their chiefs of staff as they consider runs for governor in 2025, when Gov. Phil Murphy (D) faces term limits. (New Jersey Globe) That’ll be a barn-burner of a race.
ARIZONA: Former Trump campaign official and former state Treasurer Jeff DeWit will chair the Arizona Republican Party. (Arizona Republic) The state Democratic Party will be led by union organizer Yolanda Bejarano, who easily topped Maricopa County Supervisor Steve Gallardo on Saturday. (Arizona Republic)
IOWA: State Democrats have elected former congressional candidate Rita Hart as their new chair. (Des Moines Register) A reminder, Hart lost her 2020 congressional campaign by just six votes, the closest race in the nation that year.
WASHINGTON: Shasti Conrad will take over the state Democratic Party after winning election unopposed. At 38, she is the youngest state party chair in Washington history. (Seattle Times)
NEW HAMPSHIRE: State Republicans have elected Chris Ager as their new chairman. (Associated Press)
SUNUNU: New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) is considering a run for president, he told CNN on Sunday. (WMUR) Sununu wasn’t impressed with former President Donald Trump’s stop in the Granite State this weekend: “The response we received was, he read his teleprompter, he stuck to his talking points, he went away,” Sununu said.
By The Numbers
73%: The share of Georgia voters who said they were very or somewhat confident in the accuracy of November’s midterm elections, substantially higher than the 56% who expressed confidence a year ago. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)
25%: The share of Redfin users who used the site to explore new homes in cities other than where they live, a record high. (Sacramento Bee)
4: The number of Denver-area libraries that have closed because of concerns over methamphetamine contamination. (Colorado Sun)
Off The Wall
Nevada state Sen. Jeff Stone (R) is learning his way around Carson City, but he’s not like other freshmen: Stone served in the California state Senate before resigning to take a job in the Trump administration. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
We can’t immediately think of another legislator who served in two different states. Can you? Email us and let us know!
Everybody complains about traffic, but Chicagoans get special bragging rights: A report from the transportation analytics firm Inrix released earlier this month names Chicago as the most congested urban area in America, followed by Boston, New York and Philadelphia. All that congestion costs Chicago residents an extra $2,618 per year, the report found.
Quote of the Day
“I genuinely believe that we are at an impasse, and we’re all headed to a very dark place.”
— Chris Harris, executive director of the Colorado River Board of California, in a July email to the Bureau of Reclamation proposing steep cuts in water usage. (Associated Press)