Pluribus AM: Oregon joins the 21st century

Good morning, it’s Thursday, June 22, 2023. In today’s edition, Ohio, N.C. approve gender-affirming care bans; Paxton impeachment trial rules set; Ore. to allow self-serve gas:

Top Stories

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Ohio House has approved legislation banning transgender girls from women’s sports and barring gender-affirming care for minors. (Columbus Dispatch) The North Carolina House has approved a measure barring gender-affirming care for minors. The bill won approval of a Senate committee, too. (Raleigh News & Observer, Carolina Journal)

MORE: A federal judge has struck down Florida rules restricting Medicaid coverage for gender dysphoria treatments. The judge ruled the Florida ban violates federal Medicaid and equal protection laws and the Affordable Care Act’s prohibition on sex discrimination. (Orlando Sentinel)

It’s the second time in as many days a federal judge has ruled against laws targeting the transgender community, after a judge struck down an Arkansas law on Tuesday.

ABORTION: Oregon’s House has given final approval to legislation protecting providers of abortion and gender-affirming care from prosecution or civil liability in other states. The bill was watered down amid a six-week walkout by Senate Republicans to remove provisions allowing minors to obtain an abortion without parental consent. (Oregonian)

GUN POLITICS: Oregon’s legislature has given final approval to a measure banning “ghost guns,” 3D-printed firearms without serial numbers. Gov. Tina Kotek (D) is expected to sign the bill when it reaches her desk. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

HEALTH CARE: The Wisconsin Assembly has approved bipartisan legislation allowing pharmacists to prescribe some forms of birth control. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) The Ohio House approved a bill requiring pharmacies to fill prescriptions for off-label drugs. The bill passed with broad bipartisan support. (Columbus Dispatch)

PUBLIC HEALTH: The Maine Senate voted to ban the sale of flavored tobacco products, including vaping devices. Maine would join Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, California, Maryland and Utah in banning some or all flavored vaping products. (Portland Press Herald) Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) has signed legislation allowing the state Department of Health and Human Services to create a psychedelic medicines working group to study the therapeutic use of magic mushrooms. (Las Vegas Weekly)

WORKFORCE: Maine’s Senate has approved a bill creating a statewide paid family and medical leave program. The bill includes several proposals from Gov. Janet Mills (D) that make it more business-friendly, but Mills has not decided whether she would back the final product. (Portland Press Herald)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The Michigan House passed bipartisan legislation prohibiting sexual contact under the pretext of medical treatment and blocking medical professionals from performing sensitive procedures and exams on minors in most circumstances. The bills come in response to the abuse by sports doctor Larry Nassar. (MLive)

HOUSING: Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D) has proposed a $14 billion capital investment plan to build up to 300 new units of affordable housing per year. The plan would invest millions in housing development and rehabilitation, and billions to fund green transportation and decarbonization projects. (Boston Globe)

TECHNOLOGY: An advocacy group representing the adult film industry is suing over a new Louisiana law that requires adult websites to verify user ages. The law allows fines of up to $5,000 a day for noncompliant sites. The Free Speech Coalition, which filed the suit, has also sued over Utah’s age verification law. (Pluribus News)

In Politics & Business

TEXAS: Suspended Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) will face an impeachment trial beginning Sept. 5, the Texas Senate said Wednesday. Rules drafted by the Senate will allow Sen. Angela Paxton (R), Ken’s wife, to attend the trial but not to vote or participate in deliberations and closed sessions. (Texas Tribune)

ARIZONA: House Democrats chose state Rep. Lupe Contreras (D) to serve as minority leader, after nine hours and 11 rounds of voting. Contreras outlasted Rep. Marcelino Quiñonez (D) to secure the top slot. (Arizona Republic)

MAINE: The legislature has given final approval to a measure prohibiting investor-owned utilities from charging customers for lobbying, trade association dues, public relations expenses and political contributions. Maine is the third state this year, following Connecticut and Colorado, to ban political spending by utilities. (Energy and Policy Institute)

MICHIGAN: Attorney General Dana Nessel (D) is expected to announce charges today against several people who submitted fake nominating petition signatures in the race for governor in 2022. The fake petitions forced five Republican candidates off the ballot. Several of those candidates praised the coming charges. (Detroit Free Press)

PENNSYLVANIA: Four state representatives — two Democrats and two Republicans — have affiliated themselves with the Forward Party, a centrist group led by former presidential candidate Andrew Yang. The representatives will remain members of their respective caucuses. (Harrisburg Patriot-News)

By The Numbers

$2.9 million: The amount North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) has spent advertising his presidential campaign in just the last two weeks. That’s almost three times what Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) has spent, and way higher than what former President Donald Trump and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) have spent. (Fargo Forum)

19: The number of states that allow high school athletes to profit from the use of their name, image and likeness. Twelve states prohibit NIL deals for high schoolers. (Michigan Advance)

$180 million: The amount New Jersey cannabis stores have taken in during the first 18 months of legal recreational marijuana sales, according to the state Cannabis Regulatory Commission. (NJ Advance Media)

Off The Wall

Oregon’s legislature, already racing to catch up with their work after a six-week walkout by Senate Republicans, ran into another delay Wednesday when the internet went out. Lawmakers delayed votes for hours while technicians raced to fix the outage, which Senate President Rob Wagner (D) said was caused by a firewall update. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

Lab-grown meat? The U.S. Agriculture Department will allow two California-based companies to sell cell-cultivated or cultured meat for human consumption. The FDA earlier this year deemed the lab-grown meat safe for human consumption. The cultured meat is grown in steel tanks using cells that come from live animals. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“I have yet to light myself on fire. I have yet to cause any problems whatsoever as it relates to self-serve gas.”

Oregon Senate Minority Leader Tim Knopp (R), on legislation that passed Wednesday that will allow Oregonians to pump their own gas at service stations. (Oregon Public Broadcasting)

As God is our witness, we never thought we’d see the day.