Pluribus AM: N.C. lawmakers override abortion ban veto; DeSantis sends troops to Texas border; Iowa, Texas, Mont. crack down on fentanyl

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, May 17, 2023. In today’s edition, N.C. lawmakers override abortion ban veto; DeSantis sends troops to Texas border; Iowa, Texas, Mont. crack down on fentanyl:

Top Stories

ABORTION: North Carolina lawmakers successfully overrode Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) veto of legislation banning abortion after 12 weeks. None of the four lawmakers Cooper targeted voted to sustain his veto. (Pluribus News) The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill providing state-funded abortion coverage to state workers and Medicaid recipients. Senate President Dominick Ruggerio (D) cast the deciding vote. (Providence Journal)

MORE: Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) has signed legislation banning abortion after 15 weeks. Planned Parenthood filed a lawsuit seeking a temporary restraining order. (Montana Free Press) Three 5th Circuit Court of Appeals judges will hear arguments today in a case challenging the FDA’s decision to legalize mifepristone 20 years ago, after a Texas federal judge overturned the authorization. The case is likely to wind up before the U.S. Supreme Court. (Associated Press)

IMMIGRATION: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said he will send 1,100 law enforcement and National Guard personnel to Texas to secure the border after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) requested assistance from other states. DeSantis said the state is also sending boats, planes and drones. The Texas legislature is debating a budget that would spend $4.6 billion on border security, a 40-fold increase since the 2008-2009 budget. (Pluribus News)

MARIJUANA: The Minnesota legislature is set to legalize marijuana for recreational use as early as this week after negotiators reached agreement on differences between House- and Senate-passed versions. The compromise limits home possession to two pounds and allows cities to limit the number of cannabis retailers within their borders. (Minneapolis Star Tribune) Oregon’s marijuana industry regulator said it would withhold licenses from dispensaries that cannot prove they have paid state taxes. (Willamette Week)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Nebraska legislators approved an amendment merging bills barring gender-affirming care for minors and banning abortion at 12 weeks. (Omaha World-Herald) The Louisiana House has approved a gender-affirming care ban for minors. (Baton Rouge Advocate) Missouri Attorney General Andrew Bailey (R) has withdrawn a rule prohibiting gender-affirming care for any state resident after legislators approved a bill applying only to minors. (Kansas City Star) 

MORE: Arizona legislators have finalized a package of bills banning transgender youth from bathrooms that conform to their gender identities and banning drag performances in the presence of children. Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) is likely to veto the entire package. (AZ Mirror) The Florida House and Senate have formally sent Gov. DeSantis bills to prevent gender-affirming care for minors. (City & State)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has signed legislation increasing penalties for manufacturing, delivering or possessing fentanyl. (Des Moines Register) The Texas Senate approved a bill allowing someone who provides a fatal dose of fentanyl to face murder charges. The legislation needs a minor fix to match a House-passed version earlier this year. (Texas Tribune) Montana Gov. Gianforte signed a bill creating mandatory minimum sentences for those convicted of trafficking fentanyl. (Missoulian)

MORE: In a one-day special session, Washington State lawmakers approved a bill making drug possession a gross misdemeanor punishable by up to 180 days in jail. (Crosscut)

Lawmakers had failed to reach a deal in the regular session, unintentionally setting the state on a path to decriminalize drugs. We wrote about the snafu a few weeks ago.

DISRUPTION: Uber is lobbying against an Illinois bill that would extend “common carrier” safety standards to ride share companies, the same standards that exist for taxis, trains and airplanes. The standards would hold ride share companies liable for harm that happens to a passenger. (WTTW) Uber is also lobbying against Minnesota legislation that would guarantee drivers minimum pay rates and protections against being “deactivated.” The bill’s sponsor says Gov. Tim Walz (D) has pledged to sign it. (Minnesota Reformer)

EDUCATION: The Rhode Island Senate approved a bill providing free breakfast and lunch to all public school children. The program is expected to cost up to $39 million a year. (Providence Journal)

In Politics & Business

Ready for your Election Day fix? Here we go…

KENTUCKY: Republicans nominated Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) as their pick to take on Gov. Steve Beshear (D) in November. Cameron took 48% of the vote, easily besting Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (R) at 22%. Former Ambassador Kelly Craft (R), who spent millions of her own dollars, finished a distant third. (Pluribus News)

MORE: Secretary of State Michael Adams (R), who has challenged those who spread conspiracy theories about the 2020 election, easily won his primary for a second term, beating out an election denier by a nearly 40-point margin. Former House Majority Leader Jonathan Shell (R), who lost a renomination bid a few years ago in a surprise upset, has won the GOP nomination for Agriculture Commissioner. (Louisville Courier Journal)

PENNSYLVANIA: Democrats and Republicans split victories in two special elections on Tuesday, reaffirming the one-seat Democratic majority in the state House. In a Delaware County seat that Republicans had recently held, and where Democrats spent more than $1 million, state Rep.-elect Heather Boyd (D) beat out Republican Katie Ford by a 21-point margin. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

FLORIDA: Jacksonville voters chose Donna Deegan (D) as the city’s next mayor, beating out Daniel Davis (R) in what had been the largest American city governed by a Republican, term-limited Mayor Lenny Curry. More Republicans than Democrats voted, but Deegan managed to win enough independents to claim a narrow win. (Florida Times-Union)

INDIANA: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) has signed a bill requiring voters to show a form of identification — either the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, a driver’s license number or voter registration number — when submitting applications for absentee ballots. The bill also bans governments and political parties from distributing absentee ballot applications en masse. (WNDU)

MICHIGAN: The House Elections Committee approved measures removing bans on government bodies administering payroll deductions for political committees, a package of legislation aimed at helping labor unions. (Detroit News)

By The Numbers

$6 million: The amount Utah agencies spent combatting cyberattacks between 2016 and 2022. Cities and towns were less likely than statewide agencies to have adopted common industry security standards for their computer networks. (KSL)

2: The number of states — Connecticut and California — that allow prison inmates to make phone calls to family and friends for free. Bills to allow free calls are working their way through legislatures in Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan, Rhode Island and New Jersey. (Colorado Sun)

Off The Wall

Former Pennsylvania state Rep. Cherelle Parker (D) won the Democratic nomination to become Philadelphia’s next mayor, but she missed her own victory celebration after she was hospitalized with a dental emergency. Parker said she had a tooth pulled on Friday. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Suggested Parker campaign slogans: “Getting to the root cause of the problem.” “Filling Philadelphia’s needs.” “Philadelphia’s crowning achievement.” We’ll show ourselves out. And best wishes to Parker for a speedy recovery.

The Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission will adopt a policy prohibiting employees from setting aside bottles of highly-prized liquor for themselves. The new rule comes after six top commission managers got the boot for saving bottles for themselves. (Oregonian)

Federal officials are racing to administer the next set of critical vaccines — this time to California condors. The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service granted emergency approval to inject the birds with a vaccine against the H5N1 bird flu that has killed more than a dozen condors so far. (Los Angeles Times)

Quote of the Day

“Politics is a lot of luck and timing, whether you are running for higher office or get appointed. And given what happened with Dobbs and the timeliness of all that, it’s just really emotional.”

Connecticut House Speaker Matt Ritter (D), on Democratic opposition to state Supreme Court nominee Sandra Slack Glover, who signed a letter in May 2017 backing Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to a federal appeals court. Glover and Barrett served as Supreme Court clerks together in the late 1990s. (CT Mirror)