Pluribus AM: N.Y. Dems strike housing deal

REGISTER TODAY: Join us Thursday at 1 p.m. ET for a deep dive into new housing omnibus laws passed in New Mexico and Oregon, as lawmakers search for new solutions to America’s housing crisis, sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders. Register here.

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, April 16, 2024. In today’s edition, New York reaches housing deal; Maine gun safety bill a step away from Gov’s desk; Arkansas releases audit on lectern purchase:

Top Stories

HOUSING: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and legislative leaders struck a deal to expand tax breaks for developers and create incentives for communities to build new homes as part of a $237 billion budget agreement. The deal increases eviction protections and limits rent hikes, and it creates incentives for converting vacant office buildings into residential properties in New York City. (Pluribus News)

MORE: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) has signed legislation barring local governments from enacting occupancy limits on homes. The law will allow local governments to enforce occupancy limits based on health and safety standards. Polis also signed legislation legalizing accessory dwelling units in Front Range cities. (Denver Post)

Did we mention we’re hosting an event on big housing bills this Thursday at 1 p.m. ET? Register here.

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The U.S. Supreme Court has allowed an Idaho law criminalizing gender-affirming care for transgender minors to take effect after a lower court blocked it. The court’s order allows the law to apply to all but the two transgender girls who sued to overturn it. Plaintiffs allege the law violates their equal protection and due process rights. (Reuters

MORE: The Tennessee House passed a bill that would require schools to notify parents if their child asks to be called a different pronoun. The Senate, which already approved a version of the bill, must vote on it again before it heads to the governor. (Associated Press) A panel of Ohio lawmakers has approved Gov. Mike DeWine’s (R) new rules barring gender-affirming surgeries for minors. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

GUN POLITICS: The Maine House on Monday approved Gov. Janet Mills’s (D) omnibus gun safety package, including a tougher “yellow flag” law and background checks on private sales. The bill, which must go back to the Senate for final approval, also makes it a crime to recklessly sell a gun to a prohibited person. (Associated Press) The Iowa House gave final approval to a bill that would allow school employees to carry guns on school grounds and give them qualified immunity if they use reasonable force. (Des Moines Register)

CRYPTO: The Arkansas Senate is advancing legislation that would impose fees on crypto mining facilities for excessive energy use. Sen. Bryan King (R) has led the charge to roll back a 2023 law that limits the ability of local communities to regulate bitcoin mining operations, which suck up tremendous amounts of power. (Arkansas Times)

WORKFORCE: The Louisiana House Commerce Committee advanced legislation that will remove licensure requirements for florists. The committee deferred action on another bill that would remove licensure requirements for hair braiders, who must undergo 500 hours of training to receive their license. (Baton Rouge Advocate)

In Politics & Business

MICHIGAN: Voters head to the polls Tuesday to pick new state representatives in two districts where Democrats resigned to become mayors of their respective home towns. Democrats are expected to win both seats in the Metro Detroit area, once again giving them an outright majority in the state House. Democrats and Republicans each hold 54 seats before the vacancies are filled. (Associated Press)

ARKANSAS: Legislative auditors found Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s (R) office potentially violated state purchasing, property and records laws in buying a $19,000 lectern, according to the final report into the incident released Monday. Lawmakers plan to hold a hearing on the audit Tuesday; Sanders’s office called the report “deeply flawed.” (Associated Press)

MAINE: Maine will join a group of states aiming to circumvent the electoral college in favor of the national popular vote, after Gov. Mills allowed a bill to become law without her signature. Maine joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, accounting for 209 of the 270 electoral votes they need for the compact to take effect. (Bangor Daily News)

WEST VIRGINIA: Candidates running to replace term-limited Gov. Jim Justice (R) have raised almost $7.5 million, led by Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R). Morrisey’s campaign raised $222,000 more in the last quarter than the rest of the field combined. (Charleston Gazette-Mail)

By The Numbers

$620,000: The amount President Biden and First Lady Jill Biden earned in 2023, according to tax returns released Monday. They paid $181,000 in state and federal taxes. It’s the 26th time Biden has released his tax returns publicly. (New York Times)

50.1 million: The number of iPhones Apple shipped in the first quarter of the year, down 9.6% over the same period last year and about 2% below analyst expectations. Samsung is now the top smartphone seller in the world, reclaiming its position atop the market. (Bloomberg)

$5.7 million: The amount the Kansas City Chiefs and the Kansas City Royals spent on an unsuccessful campaign to impose a new sales tax to fund new stadiums for the teams. The ballot measure lost by a wide 58%-42% margin. (Kansas City Star)

Off The Wall

Congratulations to David Rush of Idaho for setting a new Guinness World Record for … balancing a running lawn mower on his chin? Rush holds 165 titles in the Guinness Book of World Records, just shy of the current record-record holder, who has 180 records to his name. (UPI)

And you thought American politics were vicious: Lawmakers in Georgia, the former Soviet satellite, brawled Monday during a debate over legislation requiring organizations that receive foreign funds to register as foreign agents. The bill, seen as pro-Russian, has earned opposition from the United States and European allies. Video from Monday’s debate shows the bill’s sponsor getting punched in the face by an opposition member. (CNN)

Quote of the Day

“We have come to the point where I don’t know what else I can do. The House rules are not structured to investigate the speaker.”

Missouri Rep. Hannah Kelly (R), chair of the House Ethics Committee, on the long-running investigation into the culture in Speaker Dean Plocher’s (R) office. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)