Pluribus AM: Nacho average highway closure

Good morning, it’s Thursday, August 3, 2023. In today’s edition, AGs sue over Idaho abortion law; millions lose Medicaid; and the nacho cheese spill that closed a highway in Arkansas:

Top Stories

ABORTION: Attorneys general from 20 states where abortion is legal are asking a federal judge to block a new Idaho law that makes it a crime for adults to help minors travel out of state for an abortion. In an amicus brief filed in U.S. District Court, the attorneys general say Idaho should not be allowed to criminalize conduct that is legal in other states. (Pluribus News)

MEDICAID: At least 3.7 million Americans have lost Medicaid coverage in 41 states and the District of Columbia after the end of the Covid-19 emergency. That includes 82% of Medicaid recipients in Texas. About three-quarters of those who have lost Medicaid have been booted for paperwork reasons, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation. (NPR)

Just before the end of the emergency declaration, the CDC found just 7.7% of Americans lacked health insurance, a record low.

EDUCATION: The Wyoming legislature will consider a bill to create education savings accounts giving eligible students up to $3,000 a year to pay for preschool or non-public education. Similar legislation that would have given students up to $6,000 a year failed in this year’s session. (WyoFile) Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) has asked the Interim Finance Committee to direct $3.2 million in unallocated Covid-19 funds to pay for opportunity scholarships. Democrats claim Lombardo’s administration mismanaged the scholarship budget. (Nevada Current)

WORKFORCE: Illinois will offer $21 million in grants to TCCI, a company building a new electric vehicle innovation hub and workforce training academy in Decatur. The company says it will expand its workforce training to several other state universities and colleges. (Center Square)

IMMIGRATION: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) is sending more than 100 National Guard soldiers to the Texas border with funds from the Biden administration’s Covid-19 relief package. Guardsmen will arrive August 31 for a month-long deployment. (Des Moines Register) Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) has asked the Biden administration to accelerate a work authorization process for immigrants. As of Saturday, 5,356 families were staying in state-funded shelters. (MassLive)

PREEMPTION: Four Georgia district attorneys have filed suit to block a new state law that gives the state powers to punish local prosecutors over enforcement decisions. The district attorneys suing include the Republican who covers Butts, Lamar and Monroe counties; opponents of the law say it will interfere in their prosecutorial discretion. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

ENERGY: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has appointed the first director of the Division of Petroleum Market Oversight, a new agency tasked with monitoring gas prices during price spikes. The office was created earlier this year after high gas prices last summer. Newsom chose Tai Milder, a former antitrust prosecutor at the U.S. Department of Justice, for the post. (Sacramento Bee)

In Politics & Business

DEMOCRATS: The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee and its affiliates raised more than $11 million over the first half of the year, an increase over previous cycles, the group said. (Pluribus News)

Context: The Republican State Leadership Committee, the DLCC’s counterpart, said Monday they had raised $15.6 million over the first six months of the year.

WISCONSIN: A coalition of law firms and nonprofits have filed suit challenging state legislative district lines, a day after liberal Justice Janet Protasiewicz was sworn into office. Liberals now hold a majority on the state Supreme Court. The lawsuit alleges Republican lawmakers executed an extreme gerrymander to keep themselves in office. (Pluribus News)

TENNESSEE: State Reps. Justin Pearson (D) and Justin Jones (D) are seeking to formally win back their seats in special elections held today. They were both expelled from the state House for leading a gun control protest earlier this year, then temporarily reinstated by local county boards. Both are expected to win in a walk. (Associated Press)

NORTH CAROLINA: County boards of elections can now produce free identification cards for registered voters who do not otherwise have an identification under a 2018 voter identification law. Voters must provide their name, date of birth and the last four digits of their Social Security numbers to obtain an ID. (Association Press)

By The Numbers

388,011: The number of voters who have cast ballots ahead of Ohio’s August 8 election on Issue 1, the ballot measure meant to raise the threshold that future constitutional amendments must reach to pass. That’s more than twice as many people who voted ahead of the May 2022 primary election that featured a competitive Senate primary, a sign of high voter turnout. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

605,112: The number of Nevada voters who registered as non-partisan, surpassing the number of registered Democrats (601,882) and Republicans (551,090) for the first time. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

42: The number of proposed ballot questions filed with Massachusetts’s Attorney General’s office ahead of the 2024 presidential election. Not every measure will make the ballot — supporters of a proposal to regulate app-based drivers filed nine versions of their proposed law, while voter ID supporters filed eight versions of their initiative. (MassLive)

Off The Wall

A truck transporting cans of nacho cheese spilled and shut down a stretch of Interstate 30 near Prescott, Ark., on Tuesday. No one was injured, so feel free to chuckle at the hilarious photos — and at the impressive number of puns the Arkansas Times managed to work into their story. “Ricotta get a handle on what actually happened, but details are skim.”

A portrait of former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D) has been removed from the state House in Annapolis because it’s too small. The portrait, unveiled in July, is substantially smaller than portraits honoring former Govs. Bob Ehrlich (R), Larry Hogan (R), Parris Glendening (D) and William Donald Schaefer (D). The artist says he will paint a new one. (Maryland Matters)

Quote of the Day

“I’m game. Let’s get it done. Just tell me when and where.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), accepting California Gov. Newsom’s offer to debate on Sean Hannity’s Fox News show. (New York Times)