Pluribus AM: ‘No coincidences in Austin’

Good morning, it’s Thursday, September 14, 2023. In today’s edition, California moves landmark data privacy measure; New York considers issuing its own migrant work permits; Ohio education vouchers more popular than lawmakers planned:

Top Stories

PRIVACY: California’s Assembly on Wednesday approved legislation allowing consumers to make a single request to all data brokers to delete personal information. The measure, which must still win Senate approval, requires data brokers to be audited beginning in 2028. Industry groups objected to the bill, which passed on a bipartisan vote. (Pluribus News)

IMMIGRATION: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) says she is considering ways to issue work permits to asylum seekers to circumvent long wait times for federal work permits. New York would be the first state to experiment with authorizing its own work permits, potentially testing federal law. Legislators in Albany have introduced bills to create a state-level work permit. (New York Times, City & State)

ABORTION: Republican-controlled legislatures in 12 states have approved 25 bills providing at least $250 million in taxpayer funds or tax credits for crisis pregnancy centers. Nine states now provide direct taxpayer funding to centers, which advocate against abortions, and four more offer tax credits. Crisis pregnancy centers now outnumber abortion clinics in the United States by a 3-to-1 margin. (Washington Post)

MORE: Michigan legislators will hear testimony Thursday on an 11-bill package that would allow tax dollars to pay for abortions, end a 24-hour waiting period and repeal laws setting physical requirements for abortion clinics. Michigan has banned Medicaid from covering abortion since 1987. (Bridge MI)

EDUCATION: The Ohio Department of Education has received more than 70,000 applications for school vouchers under an expanded universal voucher program. With a month left before the deadline to apply, the state has received applications that top the $400 million budgeted for the program. Education officials say they are receiving 1,000 new applications every day. (Columbus Dispatch)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has signed legislation repealing a seven-year old law banning state employee travel to other states where anti-LGBTQ laws are on the books. The ban caused headaches for state agencies and student athletes. California will pay for a state-funded advertising campaign spreading messages of inclusivity in red states. (Sacramento Bee)

GUN POLITICS: A 9th Circuit Court of Appeals panel ruled Wednesday that a California law banning marketing of firearms to minors is likely unconstitutional. Judge Kenneth Lee, writing for the unanimous panel, said the law violates the First Amendment by banning truthful advertisements. (Los Angeles Times) A federal judge has blocked New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s (D) executive order banning open carry of firearms in Albuquerque. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

FOIA: Arkansas lawmakers meeting in special session have approved a measure limiting Freedom of Information Act access to information about security arrangements involving the governor and the First Family. Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) wanted a broader limit on access to notes about deliberations between state agencies, though that proposal failed. (Talk Business & Politics)

LABOR: California lawmakers approved a measure allowing legislative staff to unionize. Similar legislation failed last year when the Assembly did not bring it up for a vote. (Associated Press)

In Politics & Business

WISCONSIN: The state Senate will vote today on a resolution firing Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, though a recent state Supreme Court ruling appears to allow her to stay in office as a holdover. The bipartisan elections commission deadlocked in June over whether to nominate Wolfe for a second four-year term. (Associated Press)

MORE: Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) has tapped three former state Supreme Court justices to investigate the criteria for judicial impeachment as he considers whether to move against Justice Janet Protasiewicz if she does not recuse herself from a redistricting case. Protasiewicz recused herself from a separate lawsuit asking the state Supreme Court to block the legislature from impeaching her. (Associated Press)

OHIO: The first meeting of the Ohio Redistricting Commission stalled Wednesday when Senate President Matt Huffman (R) and House Speaker Jason Stephens (R) could not agree on a co-chair. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) called off the meeting in the midst of the standoff. (Columbus Dispatch)

The subtext: Huffman, who faces term limits, has his eyes on the Speaker’s gavel. Stephens has no intention to step aside.

MONTANA: Former firearms executive Ryan Busse (D) will challenge Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) in 2024, he will announce today. Busse became a critic of the firearms industry over the marketing of military-style assault rifles. He served as a policy advisor to President Biden’s 2020 campaign. (Associated Press)

LOUISIANA: Former Transportation Secretary Shawn Wilson (D) is up with his first television spot in his run to replace term-limited Gov. John Bel Edwards (D). Wilson is the lone Democrat in the race; polls show he and Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) are the favorites to make a runoff. (Baton Rouge Advocate)

OREGON: Treasurer Tobias Read (D) and state Sen. James Manning (D) will run for Secretary of State in 2024. Incumbent LaVonne Griffin-Valade, appointed to replace a predecessor who resigned in the midst of a scandal, is not seeking a full term. (Oregonian) State Sen. Elizabeth Steiner (D) will run to replace Read in the Treasurer’s office. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)

By The Numbers

15.2%: The share of Americans who worked from home in 2022, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. That’s down from the 18% who reported working from home in 2021. (Associated Press)

324%: The return on investment from a guaranteed basic income pilot project in Delaware, where low-income pregnant women were given $1,000 a month to pay for essential items and services. The Delaware Healthy Mother and Infant Consortium said the program reduced hospital stays and emergency department visits. (Delaware Public Media)

Off The Wall

The Minnesota Supreme Court is hitting the road. Justices will hear arguments in a case at Montevideo High School, west of the Twin Cities, as part of a Traveling Oral Arguments program meant to educate high school students about the judicial system. It’s the 53rd time justices have held a traveling oral arguments event since the program started in 1995. (Fargo Forum)

We civics nerds think this is super cool.

New Mexico game officials captured a 900-lb. bull moose wandering through downtown Santa Fe earlier this week. The moose was safely relocated to a more suitable habitat. (Associated Press)

News in Santa Fe. Not news in Anchorage, Alaska, where moose wander at will.

Quote of the Day

“There are no coincidences in Austin.”

Erin Epley, a lawyer presenting the Texas House’s impeachment case against suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), who paid for home renovations the same day whistleblowers reported him to the FBI. (Texas Tribune)