Pluribus AM: NYC sues Texas bus companies over migrant care

Good morning, it’s Friday, January 5, 2024. In today’s edition, Hochul proposes prenatal leave; Kansas lawmakers plan transgender care ban; N.Y.C. sues Texas bus companies over migrants:

Top Stories

HEALTH CARE: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has proposed expanding paid maternity leave to include prenatal health care visits. The plan, part of Hochul’s effort to cut maternal and infant mortality rates, would expand the state’s paid family leave policy to include 40 hours of paid leave to attend prenatal medical appointments. (Pluribus News)

MORE: Seven blue states have passed laws approving the use of Medicaid money to address gun violence prevention. The money will be used to pay for community-based programs meant to stop shootings. The Biden administration allowed the use of federal dollars to pay for violence prevention programs in 2021. (KFF Health News)

MIGRATION: New York City has filed suit against more than a dozen Texas charter bus companies alleging they broke state law by busing migrants to the city without paying for their care. The lawsuit seeks $708 million in migrant-related costs the city has incurred since 2022. (State of Politics, Texas Tribune)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Kansas legislators are likely to consider restrictions on gender-affirming care for transgender minors when they return to session Monday. The legislature failed to overturn Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto of similar legislation last year. (Kansas City Star) The New Hampshire House voted to ban gender-affirming genital surgeries on minors, a scaled-back bill that does not include hormone therapy or puberty blockers. (Boston Globe)

MORE: Virginia Democrats plan to vote on a constitutional amendment allowing same-sex marriage, nearly a decade after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that such unions were legal. The legislature must pass proposed amendments in two consecutive years before voters get the right to weigh in, meaning a resolution could appear on the 2026 ballot. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

DISABILITY RIGHTS: The Massachusetts Senate has unanimously approved legislation extending warranties on wheelchairs from one year to two. The bill would require wheelchair companies to conduct assessments of broken chairs within three to four days, and to provide temporary replacement chairs while repairs are conducted. (Boston Globe)

EDUCATION: New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has signed legislation requiring schools to teach students about grief, beginning in 8th grade. Sponsors of the bill say it will help some of the 142,000 New Jersey residents under 18 who have lost a parent or sibling cope with loss. (NJ Advance Media)

In Politics & Business

MICHIGAN: The state’s redistricting commission voted to appeal a federal court’s decision requiring it to redraw legislative district lines in and around Detroit to the U.S. Supreme Court. Commission attorneys will appear before a three-judge panel to seek a stay after a federal judge ruled the district lines diluted Black voters’ political power. (Detroit News)

MORE: The Michigan Republican Party has been ordered to pay more than $25,000 after a county judge found the party in contempt of court for failing to acknowledge an April 2023 ruling over control of the Hillsdale County GOP. Different factions have been vying for control of the local party. (MLive)

UTAH: Former state Republican Party chairman Carson Jorgensen will challenge Gov. Spencer Cox (R) next year, joining state Rep. Phil Lyman (R) in the race for the Republican nomination. Jorgensen won election to head the state party in 2021, at the age of just 31. (Deseret News)

NEW HAMPSHIRE: The towns of Hart’s Location and Millsfield will abandon their decades-old tradition of voting in the presidential primary at midnight. Only one town, Dixville Notch, will vote at midnight this year. Dixville Notch has six residents, all of whom are registered to vote. (WMUR)

By The Numbers

1,138,989: The net migration into the United States between July 1, 2022 and July 1, 2023 — more than twice the natural increase (births minus deaths) of the U.S. population. It’s the third year in a row that net migration has outpaced natural growth. (Brookings)

Nearly 200,000: The number of abandoned mines that dot Nevada, the most in the nation. The state Division of Minerals operates an Abandoned Mine Lands program that considers 50,000 of those mines dangerous. (Nevada Independent)

260: The number of pay phones left in Michigan, down from about 60,000 in the mid-1980s. There is only one working pay phone left in a Detroit neighborhood. (Detroit Free Press)

Off The Wall

Missouri lawmakers will debate new legislation to name Provel the official state cheese. Provel is a blend of cheddar, Swiss and provolone, a popular topping on St. Louis-style pizza. Another legislator has filed a bill to name Springfield-style cashew chicken as the official state dish. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Wisconsin state Rep. Shae Sortwell (R) has introduced legislation that would clarify that auto insurance companies do not have to cover those who contract infectious diseases in a vehicle, including sexually transmitted disease. The bill comes after a Missouri woman won $5.2 million in damages for contracting an STD while having sex in a man’s car. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Quote of the Day

“I appreciate the enthusiasm, but they’ve got to prioritize.”

Rhode Island House Speaker Joseph Shekarchi (D), who is asking representatives to introduce no more than 15 bills in an effort to limit late nights in the capitol. The voluntary limit comes after legislators introduced 1,535 bills last year — about twice as many as usual. (Boston Globe)