Pluribus AM: Minn. plans climate push; N.D. approves near-total abortion ban; Ariz. Gov sets veto record

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, April 19, 2023. In today’s edition, Minn. plans big climate push; N.D. approves near-total abortion ban; Ariz. Gov sets veto record:

Top Stories

ENVIRONMENT: The Minnesota House has passed a $1 billion climate and energy package that sets the state on a path to hit zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Other provisions place new restrictions on PFAS chemicals and create rebates and grants for electric vehicle and home heat pump purchases. (Pluribus News)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Alabama House approved a bill banning transgender athletes from competing in college sports leagues that conform to their gender identities. ( The Missouri House has approved a bill requiring transgender athletes to play on sports teams that conform to their birth gender beginning in sixth grade. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) The Montana legislature will take final votes today on a bill banning gender-affirming care for minors. (Daily Montanan)

SOCIAL MEDIA: The Florida Senate voted unanimously to ban social media platforms like TikTok, Snapchat and Twitter from public school devices. The bill requires schools to teach students about dangers on the internet. (Florida Politics)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The Louisiana Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill hiking maximum jail terms for those convicted of running fentanyl labs from 15 to 40 years. (Baton Rouge Advocate) North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) has signed legislation providing $3.5 million to local agencies to recruit and retain law enforcement officers. (Valley News Live) 

MORE: Wisconsin lawmakers have sent Gov. Tony Evers (D) a bill increasing criminal penalties for carjacking. (Associated Press) Washington lawmakers have passed a bill easing restrictions on law enforcement vehicle pursuits that were put in place in 2021. Officers will be allowed to pursue a suspect if there is suspicion the suspect has committed a violent offense. (Crosscut)

ABORTION: The North Dakota House has approved legislation that makes performing or aiding an abortion a class C felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. The bill makes exceptions for a mother’s health or in cases of rape or incest. The rape and incest exceptions apply only up to six weeks. (ABC News)

LABOR: The Iowa Senate voted early Tuesday to allow 14-17 year olds to work in some jobs currently banned for minors. The bill would allow 16- and 17-year olds to serve alcohol, and children under 16 to work up to six hours a day. (Des Moines Register, Iowa Public Radio)

GUN POLITICS: The Indiana Senate has given final approval to a measure creating emergency training and handgun training for teachers who want to carry firearms in schools. (Statehouse File) The Nebraska Senate is poised to take a final vote today on a bill allowing residents to carry a concealed handgun without a permit. (KLKN)

NEW YORK: Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie (D) says legislative leaders and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) are “not close” to a budget deal even after compromises on bail reform and housing started to emerge. Assembly Democrats aren’t happy with Hochul’s proposal to override local zoning rules to build 800,000 new housing units. (State of Politics, City & State)

TEXAS: The state House has advanced a bill that would bar cities and counties from passing regulations that go farther than state law in labor, agriculture, natural resources and finance. Another bill would block cities from enacting mandatory paid sick leave and mandatory water breaks for construction workers. (Texas Tribune) 

FLORIDA: State Sen. Blaise Ingoglia (R) has added an amendment to a land use bill that would give the board overseeing Disney’s resort area the power to reject a development agreement the entertainment giant struck with the Reedy Creek Improvement District. The measure is likely to set up a court fight. (Florida Times-Union)

In Politics & Business

OHIO: Final committee votes are scheduled for this week on proposals to increase the threshold proposed constitutional amendments must meet for adoption. Lawmakers must pass the bills by May 10 to hold an August election, meant to preempt a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights in November. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

VIRGINIA: Candidates running for House and Senate seats raised $37 million in the first quarter, up 50% from four years ago. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) raised $2.7 million through his Spirit of Virginia PAC, the most ever raised by a governor in the first quarter of his second year. Democratic candidates running for Senate seats pulled in far more than their Republican counterparts. (Washington Post)

ARIZONA: Republicans in Chandler have nominated three potential replacements for a state House seat formerly held by state Rep. Liz Harris (R), who was expelled last week for disorderly behavior. At the top of the list: Harris herself. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors will choose between Harris, trauma nurse Julie Willoughby and retiree Steven Steele to fill the seat. (Arizona Republic)

By The Numbers

63: The number of vetoes issued by Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D), a single-year record she set on Tuesday. She surpassed former Gov. Janet Napolitano (D), who vetoed 58 bills in 2005. (Arizona Republic)

100%: New Jersey’s winning percentage in U.S. Supreme Court cases against New York, after the high court on Tuesday unanimously ruled to allow New Jersey to exit the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor. The Supreme Court ruled for New Jersey against New York in cases in 1831, 1918, 1931, 1954 and 1988. (New Jersey Globe)

$106,000: The average salary a teacher in the Los Angeles School District will earn under a new contract under negotiation, a 21% increase over the current average. (Los Angeles Times)

Off The Wall

Former Vinton Township, Ohio, fiscal officer Cy Vierstra has been sentenced for 59 months in prison for misusing public money. Vierstra bought himself kayaks, hot tubs, a popcorn cart, a drum set, a snow cone machine, two snow owls — and a wildebeest. (Columbus Dispatch)

The Minnesota House approved a $1.5 billion state government and elections package that includes language allowing a new State Emblems Redesign Commission to consider options for changing the state flag. The commission would make a formal report by Jan. 1, 2024, and adopt a new flag by next May. (Twin Cities Pioneer Press)

During the pandemic, scientists used wastewater samples to monitor for signs of Covid-19 spikes. Now, New Castle County, Del., will use the same system to monitor for fentanyl, cocaine, methamphetamine and their metabolites. The goal, officials say, is to get a better picture of drug use in the county. (Delaware Public Media)

Quote of the Day

“I mean, there’s something cynical about raccoons.”

Iowa Sen. Bill Dotzler (D), relating the story of a raccoon that pooped in his hat as he spoke in favor of a bill to allow Iowans to trap or shoot raccoons. The bill passed by a wide margin. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)