Pluribus AM: No Labels? No candidate

Good morning, it’s Friday, April 5, 2024. In today’s edition, California Dems strike preliminary budget deal; Alabama GOP targets labor unions; No Labels? No candidate:

Top Stories

BUDGETS: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and legislative leaders on Thursday rolled out a plan to shrink the state budget deficit by about $17 billion, including a $3.8 billion tax hike on health insurance plans. Legislative leaders back Newsom’s plan to pull $12 billion from the state’s rainy day fund to further close the gap. (Pluribus News)

PUBLIC HEALTH: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) has signed legislation banning pill press machines that can make deadly fentanyl-laced tablets look like legitimate prescription medications. Florida, Hawaii, Texas, Utah and Washington have already banned the sale or possession of pill presses. (Pluribus News)

ABORTION: The Tennessee Senate has approved legislation to require public school students to watch a video on fetal development produced by an anti-abortion group. Similar bills have been proposed in Iowa, Kentucky, Missouri and West Virginia this year. North Dakota approved such a law last year. (Associated Press)

LABOR: Alabama’s Senate Fiscal Responsibility and Economic Development Committee approved legislation to withhold economic incentives from companies that voluntarily recognize unions. The measure comes as workers at auto plants in Vance and Montgomery consider joining the UAW. (

We’ve seen similar bills pop up in Georgia and Tennessee this year, as organized labor tries to gain a foothold in the South.

TECHNOLOGY: The Alabama House has approved legislation requiring cellphone and tablet manufacturers to install pornography-blocking filters. The bill would hold manufacturers liable for civil and criminal penalties. (

988: Maryland lawmakers have approved legislation creating a 25-cent-a-month fee on registered mobile phones to fund the state’s 988 crisis line. The taxes are expected to raise $25 million a year to staff and run call centers. (WYPR)

MARIJUANA: An Albany County Superior Court judge has struck down New York regulations for adult-use cannabis, a serious and unexpected blow to the state’s efforts to roll out a legal pot industry. The Office of Cannabis Management is likely to appeal the ruling. (Syracuse Post-Standard)

No state has had a rougher time putting together cannabis rules than New York.

In Politics & Business

NO LABELS: The centrist No Labels organization said Thursday it will not field a presidential candidate in 2024 after failing to attract a high-profile candidate. Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R), former Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and other prominent candidates all turned the group down. (Associated Press)

NORTH DAKOTA: Lt. Gov. Tammy Miller (R) has named Department of Commerce Commissioner Josh Teigen (R) as her running mate ahead of the June 11 gubernatorial primary. Miller faces U.S. Rep. Kelly Armstrong (R) in the race to succeed Gov. Doug Burgum (R), who is retiring. (Fargo Forum)

OHIO: Supporters of a higher minimum wage are trying to qualify a ballot measure that would raise pay to $15 an hour by 2026. They say they have collected 350,000 of the 413,000 signatures they need by the July deadline. (Ohio Capital Journal)

Qualifying a minimum wage hike is tantamount to winning these days. Voters haven’t rejected a proposed minimum wage hike since 1996, when measures in Missouri and Montana failed.

OREGON: Senate Republicans have chosen Sen. Daniel Bonham (R) as their new leader. He replaces Sen. Tim Knopp (R), one of ten senators ruled ineligible to seek re-election after participating in a walkout during the 2023 legislative session. (Oregonian)

2028: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is set to release an autobiography about her time in public service. The book, “True Gretch,” is due out July 9. (Associated Press)

CORRECTION: In yesterday’s issue, we wrote about California’s 16th congressional district, where Assemblyman Evan Low (D) and Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian (D) tied for second, forcing a rare three-way race in November. Low and Simitian each received 30,249 votes. We reported an incorrect vote total. Full results here from the Associated Press.

By The Numbers

More than 400,000: The number of low-income residents who have signed up for Medicaid after North Carolina lawmakers approved an expansion program under the Affordable Care Act. The state has seen an average of more than 1,000 people a day signing up. (ABC 11)

$11.2 billion: The value of vehicles exported from Alabama last year, the first time the state has been the nation’s top auto exporter. South Carolina is in second place at $10.2 billion, and Michigan placed third at $5.9 billion. (

158%: The amount of precipitation, measured against historical averages, that has fallen in Utah during this water year. Nine of the state’s 16 basins have reported record-high snowpack. (Deseret News)

Off The Wall

Pennsylvania Rep. Kevin Boyle (D) must enter the state capitol through security and must be escorted by a member of House Democratic leadership after a public outburst at a Montgomery County bar in February in which he allegedly hit female employees. Democratic leaders are backing a challenger to Boyle in the April 23 primary. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

William Curtis, a longtime treasurer for more than 100 Ohio Republican political campaigns, faces federal wire fraud charges for allegedly stealing almost $1 million from clients. Curtis’s attorney said he had admitted to his crimes, which took place between 2008 and 2023. (Associated Press)

The New York Transit Agency wants to charge the New York City Marathon $750,000 to make up for lost toll revenue when its runners cross the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has other ideas — she ordered the transit agency to drop its bid to make race organizers pay up. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“Get ready to hear my recipes, my movie synopses and on and on.”

Nebraska Sen. Machaela Cavanaugh, threatening to filibuster legislation that would restrict transgender students’ access to bathrooms and sports teams that conform to their gender identity. (Associated Press)