Pluribus AM: Newsom vs. DeSantis Edition

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, June 20, 2023. In today’s edition, 1.5 million dropped from Medicaid rolls; Calif. advances right-to-repair bill; why the Newsom-DeSantis feud works for both of them:

Top Stories

HEALTH CARE: About 1.5 million people have been dropped from state Medicaid rolls in the last few months as states bring an end to pandemic-era expansions. More than two dozen states have started the process of removing people from Medicaid programs. Florida has dropped several hundred thousand people, more than any other state. (Associated Press)

ABORTION: Twenty-six attorneys general have asked the Department of Health and Human Services to add reproductive health information to HIPAA privacy laws. The Biden administration is considering making it illegal to share someone’s reproductive health information if that person is being investigated in connection with having an abortion. (Arizona Republic, Sacramento Bee)

RIGHT TO REPAIR: The California Assembly’s Judiciary Committee and the Committee on Privacy and Consumer Protection will hear testimony on a right-to-repair bill that would allow consumers and independent repair shops access to parts and tools to fix consumer electronics and appliances. The bill passed the Senate unanimously last month. (Capitol Weekly)

Lawmakers in 28 states have considered or are considering right-to-repair bills this year.

PUBLIC SAFETY: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has proposed ending state disclosure of investigations of abusive and corrupt police officers. The proposal would make local governments responsible for reporting those officers, in a bid to save money as the state faces a $31.5 billion budget gap. (Associated Press)

ENVIRONMENT: The railroad industry is suing to block new California environmental rules that will ban the use of locomotives that are more than 23 years old beginning in 2030. The rules require railroad companies to set aside $1 billion a year to purchase zero-emission locomotives. The industry says zero-emission locomotives aren’t ready for use. (Associated Press)

MORE: Attorneys for the state of Montana opened their arguments in a case brought by 16 young people who argue the state is responsible for contributions to climate change. Plaintiffs called their final witnesses on Friday. The trial is expected to conclude today. (Missoulian)

Expect more lawsuits like those brought in Montana to proliferate in coming years, as climate change activists seek to hold states to account.

LABOR: Michigan Democrats are advancing legislation to repeal a 2011 law banning municipalities from entering project labor agreements on publicly funded construction projects. They also want to kill a 2015 law preventing municipalities from setting wage and benefit requirements for local businesses. Both laws were signed by then-Gov. Rick Snyder (R). (MLive)

MARIJUANA: Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D) has signed legislation allowing marijuana dispensaries to advertise their services. Previous law banned local dispensaries from advertising — but Massachusetts dispensaries were free to advertise in Rhode Island. (WPRI)

LEGISLATURES: New York lawmakers return to Albany today and tomorrow to finish work on environmental bills, a gaming compact with the Seneca Nation and a measure to seal past criminal records. (State of Politics) Vermont’s Democratic-controlled legislature returns to Montpelier to try to override Gov. Phil Scott’s (R) veto of the state budget and bills to expand child care and offer free school meals. (Associated Press)

In Politics & Business

VIRGINIA: Voters are voting in primary election contests that will shape November’s battle for control of the General Assembly. The elections are the first held under newly drawn district lines. About two dozen legislators decided to retire rather than run against fellow lawmakers, though several bitter intra-party battles — mostly among Democratic lawmakers — will be decided today. (Washington Post)

TEXAS: The Senate meets this morning to hear from a committee created to draft rules for the coming impeachment trial of Attorney General Ken Paxton (R). (Texas Tribune) Sen. Angela Paxton (R), Ken’s wife, said she will attend the hearings, but she has not ruled out recusing herself from the matter. (Associated Press, Texas Tribune)

IOWA: The Democratic National Committee has rejected Iowa Democrats’ plans to conduct both a mail-in and in-person caucus in 2024, ruling the proposal violates national party rules. Iowa Democrats have 30 days to fix their plan. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

INDIANA: Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) has said for the first time he will not be a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat in 2024. Holcomb also declined to endorse any of the Republican candidates running to replace him next year. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

NORTH DAKOTA: State Republicans have chosen Sandi Sanford as their new chair. Sanford, the wife of former Lt. Gov. Brent Sanford (R), ousted incumbent chair Perrie Schafer by a single vote. (Bismarck Tribune) Gov. Doug Burgum (R) has hired veteran ad maker Fred Davis, and Mike Zolnierowicz as his campaign manager. (Fargo Forum)

By The Numbers

$1,134: The amount in tax revenue that Kansas received the month the Kansas City Chiefs won the Super Bowl — just 0.00058% of the $194 million Kansas residents bet on sports that month. The law allowing sports betting allows wagering companies to deduct costs of promotions meant to lure in new players. (Kansas Reflector)

12: The number of states where it is illegal to own “wolf dogs,” dogs that have a certain share of wolf DNA. At least five such dogs have been discovered in Rhode Island this year, some of which have been re-homed in places like Vermont, where owning a wolf dog is legal. (Providence Journal)

Off The Wall

California legislators preparing for a leadership transition will honor outgoing Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) by renaming a room in the Capitol in his honor. Room 317 will soon be the Speaker Anthony Rendon Press Room. (Sacramento Bee)

New Hampshire state Sen. Keith Murphy (R) has been arrested on assault charges after he got into an argument that turned physical at a restaurant he owns in Manchester. Murphy allegedly spat on and slapped one of his employees during the argument. (Boston Globe, New Hampshire Union Leader)

We can’t get enough of the stories about orca whales attacking boats off the Iberian peninsula. Researchers doubt the orcas are out for revenge. Instead, they might be learning by observing others — like the orcas in the Pacific who, back in the 1980s, taught each other to wear salmon hats. (Los Angeles Times)

Yes, salmon hats. Trust us, click the link.

Quote of the Day

“They both get points off it. There is a hard core of voters on both sides who think this is great.”

California Democratic strategist Andrew Acosta, on the growing feud between California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). (Associated Press)