Pluribus AM: New insurance for abortion providers; states address worker shortages; polls in MN, IA, CT

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Good morning, it’s Monday, Oct. 17, 2022. In today’s edition, new insurance for abortion-providing physicians, states offer incentives to solve worker shortages, and new polls in Conn., Minn. and Iowa:

Top Stories

ABORTION: Health care providers in Washington and Idaho will soon be able to purchase insurance for legal costs if they are criminally charged with providing abortions or other direct patient care. The company that offers the plans, Physicians Insurance, has sought permission to sell them in Alaska, California and Oregon in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs. (Pluribus News)

The Utah Supreme Court has granted an appeal of a lower court ruling blocking the state’s near-total abortion ban. But justices left in place a preliminary injunction against the ban while the appeal is pending. (Fox 13)

WORKFORCE: Maryland will offer workers employed on state contracts a $10,000 bonus to stay on the job amid a staffing crisis. (Washington Post) Virginia will launch a “Become a Teacher” social media and advertising campaign to fill classroom vacancies across the Commonwealth. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) issued an executive order last month lowering teacher licensure requirements. (WRIC) And nurses employed by the state of New York will get pay raises of between 4.5% and 10%, depending on their shifts. (NY State of Politics)

OHIO: Republican lawmakers will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court a July ruling by the state Supreme Court that found new congressional district maps unconstitutional. The state Supreme Court allowed congressional district lines to be used in this year’s elections, but lawmakers would have to redraw them ahead of 2024, unless the high court steps in. (Columbus Dispatch)

MICHIGAN: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) has vetoed eight bills legislators approved last month that would limit the executive’s emergency powers. Among the measures legislators approved that Whitmer nixed is one that would have capped emergency orders to 28 days, unless the legislature itself approves an extension. (Detroit News)

CALIFORNIA: The Chamber of Commerce, the National Restaurant Association and the International Franchise Association have launched a campaign to gather 623,000 signatures by Dec. 5 to block a law that could lead to big raises for fast food workers. The FAST Recovery Act, signed by Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), creates a council that could boost wages as high as $22 an hour. (Pluribus News) Expect blue states to introduce a version of the measure when legislative sessions begin next year.

Lawmakers are calling for a statewide task force to address rampant corruption in the legal cannabis market after a major bribery scandal led to arrests of local government officials across the state. Assemblyman Reggie Jones-Sawyer (D) has asked for an audit of cannabis licensing practices. (Los Angeles Times)

MISSOURI: State government is preparing to launch the Missouri Accountability Portal, publishing details about how city and county governments spend taxpayer dollars. The new project, the result of a 2021 law sponsored by House Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann (R), will allow local governments to voluntarily participate beginning Dec. 31. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

WISCONSIN: State budget officials say they have collected a $4.3 billion surplus, $1.5 billion more than projected in January. The state rainy day fund stands at $1.7 billion. Gov. Tony Evers (D) proposed a $600 million tax cut in August, though GOP legislative leaders have rejected the idea. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

In Politics

CONNECTICUT: Gov. Ned Lamont (D) leads businessman Bob Stefanowski (R) 46%-40%, with Independent Party nominee Rob Hotaling at 5%. Lamont’s approval rating is a healthy 54%, according to a Fabrizio Lee & Associates poll conducted for the CT Examiner. 

MINNESOTA: Gov. Tim Walz (D) leads former state Sen. Scott Jensen (R) 47%-42%, while four minor candidates account for 5% of the vote in a new Embold Research poll conducted for MinnPost. Walz’s approval rating is divided, 50%-50%.

IOWA: Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) maintains a solid lead over marketing consultant Dieter DeJear (D). Reynolds is up 52%-35% in Ann Selzer’s latest survey for the Des Moines Register. Libertarian Rick Stewart sits at 4%. Reynolds’s job approval rating stands at 53%.

PENNSYLVANIA: Attorney General Josh Shapiro (D) had raised $44 million through Sept. 19, according to new campaign finance filings made over the weekend, breaking former Gov. Ed Rendell’s (D) 2002 record of about $42 million raised. Shapiro has outspent his opponent, state Sen. Doug Mastriano (R), by a margin of 16-1. (Associated Press)

OBAMA: Former President Barack Obama is hitting the campaign trail. He’ll appear with former Georgia House Minority Leader Stacey Abrams (D) on Oct. 28, then with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Oct. 29. (Associated Press, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Detroit Free Press)

By The Numbers

More than 1,300: The number of price gouging complaints filed with Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody’s (R) office in the wake of Hurricane Ian. So far, about 100 consumers have received $17,000 in rebates. (Florida Politics)

$495 million: The amount Credit Suisse will pay to settle a nine-year-old lawsuit alleging they engaged in fraud in the sale of mortgage-backed securities. The New Jersey Bureau of Securities filed a $3 billion lawsuit against the Swiss firm in 2013. (New Jersey Globe)

$300 billion: The amount Americans wager through illegal and unregulated websites and slot machines on an annual basis, according to a forthcoming report by the American Gaming Association. AGA chief executive Bill Miller said illegal wagering costs communities $4 billion in estimated tax revenue. (Nevada Independent)

Off The Wall

Idaho state House candidate Nate Roberts (D) will repay $92 in campaign funds he used for hair cuts on three occasions at a Pocatello barbershop. Roberts’s Republican opponent filed a formal complaint over the spending. (Idaho Capital Sun) Anyone else having John Edwards flashbacks?

Quote of the Day

“You gotta do what you gotta do.”

— New York City Resource Management Analyst Mike Zumbluskas (R), challenging Rep. Jerry Nadler (D), on his reaction to independent candidate Mike Itkis’s decision to release a sex tape highlighting his sex-positive campaign platform. (City & State) For some reason, Nadler’s campaign declined to comment.