Pluribus AM: NJ considers abortion amendment; MS gov pushes income tax elimination; LA’s epic gubernatorial battle

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Good morning, it’s Wednesday, Nov. 16, 2022. In today’s edition, N.J. considers abortion amendment; Miss. gov pushes income tax elimination; and an epic fight to be La.’s next governor:

Top Stories

NEW JERSEY: Legislative leaders want to seek voter approval to enshrine abortion rights in the state constitution next year. Democrats think the measure will help drive voter turnout that will help them in Assembly and state Senate campaigns on the ballot next year. (New Jersey Globe)

MISSISSIPPI: Gov. Tate Reeves (R) rolled out a budget proposal Tuesday that includes eliminating the state income tax after a $500 million tax cut last year. Reeves also plans a Parents’ Bill of Rights, which Reeves tied to children who want to be identified by preferred pronouns, and a “Patriotic Education Fund.” (Jackson Clarion Ledger)

PENNSYLVANIA: The House Judiciary Committee voted along partisan lines to approve articles of impeachment against Philadelphia District Attorney Larry Krasner (D). A full vote in the House is likely as early as today. But it’s not clear when a trial would be held: The GOP-controlled state Senate has already adjourned for the year. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

NEW YORK: A three-judge panel on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals has reinstated enforcement of several provisions of a concealed carry law, overruling a district court judge who placed an injunction on the provisions last week. (State of Politics) Environmental activists are asking Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) to sign a bill imposing a moratorium on crypto mining. (State of Poltiics)

CONNECTICUT: Gov. Ned Lamont (D) says he will call legislators into special session to extend gasoline tax cuts and free bus fairs for the next four or five months. Under Lamont’s proposal, the gas tax holiday would gradually phase out, rather than a sudden end. (Hartford Courant)

CALIFORNIA: The state nursing agency has approved new rules allowing nurse practitioners to treat patients without a physician’s supervision. The vote is the last step in implementing a 2020 bill that gave nurse practitioners more freedom in the midst of a statewide workforce shortage. (CalMatters)

TEXAS: Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has added Philadelphia to the list of Democratic cities where the state will send busloads of undocumented immigrants. Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney (D) said the city had been working with community groups  for months to prepare for buses to arrive. (Texas Tribune) The first buses arrived at the 30th Street Station this morning. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

TENNESSEE: Supreme Court Justice Sharon Lee, the last Democrat on the five-justice court, will retire at the end of the year. Lee was appointed to the bench by then-Gov. Phil Bredesen (D) in 2008. Gov. Bill Lee (R) will appoint Lee’s replacement. (Tennessee Journal)

COLORADO: At least 50 women have won election to the state legislature, and a 51st is leading in her bid for a state Senate seat in Colorado Springs. That would make Colorado the second state — after Nevada — to have elected a majority-female legislature. Women hold the top three leadership positions in the House for the first time ever. (Pluribus News)

In Politics

LOUISIANA: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R) will announce later this week whether he will run to replace term-limited Gov. John Bel Edwards (R). Cassidy criticized the state GOP’s decision to endorse Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) for the job. (New Orleans Advocate) So we’ve got a potential clash between a sitting attorney general, lieutenant governor and treasurer, both U.S. senators and at least one congressman. Epic.

GEORGIA: Democrats have sued Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R), seeking to force the state to allow early voting on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. A 2016 law prohibits Saturday voting if the Saturday in question falls within two days of a holiday. The Saturday after Thanksgiving falls on a state holiday known as State Holiday — formerly a celebration of Robert E. Lee’s birthday. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

NEW HAMPSHIRE: A recount has given Democrats another seat in the state House, cutting the Republican majority to 201 to 199. More than a dozen recounts of close races remain. (InDepthNH)

ARIZONA: House Republicans will nominate Majority Leader Ben Toma (R) to become the next Speaker, over state Rep. Joseph Chaplik (R), a favorite of hard-line conservatives. Sen. Warren Petersen (R), who oversaw the partisan audit of Maricopa County’s 2020 election results, will serve as the next Senate president. (Arizona Republic)

ILLINOIS: House Republicans have formally elected state Rep. Tony McCombie (R) as their new leader. McCombie is the first woman to lead a legislative caucus in Illinois. (Capitol Fax) Ex-Gov. Pat Quinn (D) is expected to announce a campaign for mayor of Chicago on Thursday. (Politico)

KANSAS: House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins (R) has kicked off a campaign to replace retiring Speaker Ron Ryckman (R). (Sunflower State Journal) At least five legislators are trying to round up the votes to become the next Speaker Pro Tem as Rep. Blaine Finch (R) retires. (Sunflower State Journal)

WISCONSIN: Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow (R) will not run for another term as chairman of the state Republican Party. Ben Voelkel, a top aide to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R); executive committee member Brian Schimming; and party third vice chair Jesse Garza are considered likely candidates to replace Farrow. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

PEOPLE: Sara Craig Gongol, former chief of staff to Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R), will serve as the next executive director of the Republican Governors Association, the group announced Tuesday. (RGA) Reynolds named Taryn Frideres, currently her chief operating officer, as Craig Gongol’s replacement. (Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier)

By The Numbers 

1: The margin by which Connecticut state Rep.-elect Chris Poulos (D) won his seat in the General Assembly over Republican opponent Tony Morrison. Poulos had a six-vote lead going into a recount. (Meridian Record-Journal) Don’t ever let anyone tell you your vote doesn’t matter.

$10 million to $18 million: The amount New Mexico is paying for unoccupied office space, according to a report presented to the Legislative Finance Committee. At least some state agencies are moving to reduce their physical office space as more workers do their jobs from home. (Albuquerque Journal)

Off The Wall

A Texas woman who fought a citation after she was pulled over for driving in the HOV lane while pregnant has inspired a new bill filed by Texas state Rep. Briscoe Cain (R). The bill would allow pregnant women to drive in high-occupancy lanes with only their unborn fetuses. (KXAN)

Out of this world: Check out NASA’s successful launch of its Artemis I rocket from Cape Canaveral this morning. Goosebumps.