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Good morning, it’s Wednesday, December 13, 2023. In today’s edition, New York to redraw U.S. House lines; Missouri considers extending transgender care ban; Florida investigates over FSU football snub:
LGBTQ RIGHTS: Missouri lawmakers have pre-filed more than 20 bills targeting the rights of LGBTQ people. Bills seek to expand a ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth, enact a ban on discussions of gender identity or sexual orientation through third grade, and ban school employees from using a student’s preferred pronouns without written permission from the student’s parent. (Kansas City Star)
HEALTH CARE: Florida’s Senate Health Policy Committee will introduce a pair of bills pumping $874 million into the state’s health care workforce. The measure includes $571 million for Medicaid rate increases to help home and community-based providers, maternal care and statutory teaching hospitals. One bill would spend $75 million to offer low-interest loans to licensed health care providers. (Florida Politics)
LABOR: Florida lawmakers will consider legislation rolling back child labor protections, ending guidelines on when 16- and 17-year olds can work and allowing those 16- and 17-year olds to work on roofs, scaffolding and construction sites. Drafts of the measures were written by a conservative foundation tied to GOP mega-donor Richard Uihlein. (Tampa Bay Times)
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The California Assembly’s new select committee on retail theft will hold its first hearing next week in an effort to address organized retail theft flash mobs that have ransacked businesses across the state. Sheriffs across the state have pointed to Proposition 47, a 2014 voter-approved measure that made shoplifting a misdemeanor crime, as the root of rising crime rates. (Sacramento Bee)
We took a look at state efforts to crack down on organized retail theft yesterday.
ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Maine’s Board of Environmental Protection will consider new rules that would require up to 82% of new cars sold in the state to be zero emission by 2032. Maine would be the 13th state to adopt electric vehicle standards first set by California. (Boston Globe)
CHINA: The Missouri State Employees Retirement System voted Tuesday to divest about $190 million in investments in businesses with ties to China. Treasurer Vivek Malek (R), who is running for a full four-year term, said the investments had not performed well over the last 15 years. The board had voted as recently as a month ago to reject Malek’s divestment plan. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
COLLEGE FOOTBALL: Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) has launched an antitrust investigation into the College Football Playoff committee’s decision to exclude undefeated Florida State in favor of 12-1 Alabama. (AL.com) Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) included $1 million in his budget request last week to fund litigation Florida State might want to bring against the committee.
WATER: Georgia and Alabama have reached a settlement in the decades-long water wars over water use in the Apalachicola-Chattahoochee-Flint river basin. The agreement resolves a long-running lawsuit, allowing the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maintain minimum water-flow levels in Columbus, Ga., and Columbia, Ala. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
A surprisingly large share of state-versus-state lawsuits over the course of American history have to do with water use.
In Politics & Business
NEW YORK: The state Court of Appeals ordered lawmakers to redraw congressional district lines, overturning what they called a temporary map used in the 2022 midterm elections. The decision gives Democrats, who hold the legislature by wide margins, the chance to redraw lines giving them an edge in as many as six Republican-held districts. (New York Times)
A huge decision with major implications in the battle for control of Congress. Combined with court-ordered remaps in Alabama and Louisiana, this decision gives Democrats a big leg up in their fight for a House majority.
NORTH CAROLINA: Attorney General Josh Stein (D) has formally filed papers to run for governor in 2024, almost a year after he launched his campaign. Stein is the front-runner in the Democratic field. He’s likely to face Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R), the front-runner in the GOP field, in what’s going to be the most closely-fought governor’s race of the 2024 cycle. (NC Newsline)
FLORIDA: The state Republican Party’s executive board plans to meet Sunday to discuss the fate of chairman Christian Ziegler in the face of allegations of sexual assault. Party leaders say they have the votes to oust him if he doesn’t resign ahead of the meeting. DeSantis, Moody, U.S. Sen. Rick Scott (R) and legislative leaders have all called on Ziegler to quit. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
WHITE HOUSE: New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) endorsed former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) for president on Tuesday at a rally in Manchester. (Boston Globe)
By The Numbers
$2 billion: The size of the public-private partnership Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) is announcing this morning to develop the Entertainment District in the City of Alexandria at Potomac Yard. The project, which will break ground in 2025 and open in 2028, will eventually house the Washington Wizards and the Washington Capitals. (Youngkin’s office)
875: The number of films formally included in the National Film Registry, which added 25 classics this year. Among the new entrants: “Home Alone,” “Apollo 13,” “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and “Lady and the Tramp,” which the AP notes features “surely the most famous spaghetti kiss in animated film.” (Associated Press)
Off The Wall
New Hampshire lawmakers are considering legislation to codify the correct pronunciation of the state capitol, Concord. State Rep. Eric Gallager (D), a Concord native, wants to clarify that the city is pronounced like the word “conquered,” rather than like the supersonic plane. (WMUR)
The University of Alabama’s locker room for visiting football teams is called the Fail Room, named for a major donor, James Fail. But now a former assistant attorney general wants to take Fail’s name off the room — Fail, who died in 2010, once faced charges related to an insurance fraud scheme that left 100,000 Alabamians without burial insurance. (Alabama Reflector)
Quote of the Day
“I’ve seen what you to do gavels. You’re not touching mine.”
— South Dakota House Speaker Hugh Bartels (R), to Lt. Gov. Larry Rhoden (R). Rhoden has broken two gavels while calling the Senate to order over the last two years. (South Dakota Searchlight)