Pluribus AM: PA House breaks down, again; IL lawmakers reach gun deal; OR Gov declares homelessness emergency
Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023. In today’s edition, Pa. House breaks down, again; Ill. lawmakers reach agreement on gun measure; La. Gov race gets another contender:
988: Fewer than 20 states have approved legislation to permanently fund the 988 mental health crisis line, even as the number of calls skyrockets. The new shorter helpline registered 154,000 more calls during November 2022 than in November 2021, and texts to the number increased by 1,227% over the same period. (Associated Press)
Mental health crises have erupted across the country, exacerbated by the pandemic. Read our look at what states are actually doing to tackle the problems.
PENNSYLVANIA: It took all of a week for the harmony in Harrisburg to break down. State Rep. Jim Gregory (R), who nominated House Speaker Mark Rozzi (D) for the speakership in a bipartisan deal, is now calling on Rozzi to resign for reneging on a pledge to become an independent. (Harrisburg Patriot-News) A special session meant to provide legal relief for adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse stalled Monday as the two parties were too far apart to reach agreement on a proposed constitutional amendment. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)
ILLINOIS: The state Senate approved a measure banning semiautomatic weapons late Monday. Those who own those guns already would have to register them, along with their serial numbers, with police. The state House is expected to approve the bill today. (Chicago Sun-Times, Associated Press) The Senate agreed to restore the serial number provision after the House and Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) objected.
NEW JERSEY: A federal district court judge has blocked New Jersey from enforcing provisions of a law governing the concealed carry of firearms, a month after Gov. Phil Murphy (D) signed the bill. The judge blocked provisions barring firearms from certain locations, which she wrote creates “irreparable harm” to gun owners. (New Jersey Globe)
OREGON: Gov. Tina Kotek (D) used her inaugural address to a joint session of the legislature to declare a state of emergency to address the state’s homelessness crisis. Kotek said the state would spend $130 million to get 1,200 people off the streets per year. She said she would sign an executive order establishing a statewide goal of building 36,000 new homes per year. (KGW)
MINNESOTA: Lawmakers are poised to finish quick work on a bill to create $100 million in new tax filing deductions that Gov. Tim Walz (D) wants completed by Friday. Democrats also hope to pass a bill guaranteeing access to contraception and fertility services in the coming days. (Minnesota Public Radio)
NORTH DAKOTA: Legislators will consider a measure barring foreign governments from purchasing state agricultural land after concerns over a wet corn milling plant proposal coming to Grand Forks. The company that would operate the plant, Fufeng, has ties to the Chinese government, though it is privately owned. (Fargo Forum)
CALIFORNIA: Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will propose his budget today, accounting for a shortfall that is likely to be around $25 billion. State tax revenues have come in $4.6 billion below estimates this fiscal year. California has $37 billion stashed in rainy day funds. (Associated Press)
Check out PluribusNews.com for full coverage of Newsom’s proposed budget later today.
NEW YORK: The state Senate approved new legislation expanding early voting by allowing counties to create portable polling places, allowing drop-box locations and allowing people to provide snacks and water to those waiting in line to vote. The bills are the first major legislative package approved in the new session. (State of Politics)
CONNECTICUT: Recreational marijuana sales begin at seven dispensaries across the state today. Those dispensaries that open today were required to pay $500,000 in fees to receive licenses. (Hartford Courant) Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said he would implement a 2021 law automatically erasing criminal records of those convicted of minor crimes. The process has been hampered by outdated technology. (CTMirror)
RIGHT TO REPAIR: Delaware lawmakers will take up a bill guaranteeing a right-to-repair for digital devices. The measure, introduced by Rep. Ruth Briggs King (R), has bipartisan support, and fierce opposition from manufacturer trade groups. (Delaware Public Media) The American Farm Bureau Federation and Deere & Co. have reached an agreement giving farmers a right to repair their own equipment. (Des Moines Register) Expect lots more right-to-repair action this year.
In Politics & Business
LOUISIANA: State Treasurer John Schroder (R) made official his long-rumored gubernatorial bid on Monday, pitting him against Attorney General Jeff Landry (R). Lt. Gov. Billy Nungesser (R) is expected to announce whether he will run today. No prominent Democrat has stepped up to run to replace term-limited Gov. John Bel Edwards (D). (Associated Press)
NEBRASKA: Gov. Jim Pillen (R) will choose a replacement to fill ex-Sen. Ben Sasse’s (R) seat after Sasse quit to become president of the University of Florida. Among the top names in the running are former Gov. Pete Ricketts (R), ex-state Sen. Brett Lindstrom (R), Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Bryan Slone (I), and longtime Agriculture Department director Greg Ibach (R). (Nebraska Examiner) Put your money on Ricketts, Pillen’s most important backer in his 2022 gubernatorial campaign.
NEW MEXICO: The state Supreme Court argued over whether they have the authority to intervene in a lawsuit challenging the state’s congressional district lines during a Monday hearing. The suit, brought by Republicans, seeks to declare the district lines an unconstitutional Democratic gerrymander. (Albuquerque Journal)
MICHIGAN: Conservative groups backed by former Trump Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have abandoned efforts to qualify measures to require voters to show identification at the polls and to create a scholarship for children to attend private schools. The group withdrew the measures after it became clear they wouldn’t have the signatures on time. (Detroit News)
OHIO: Elias Law Group, the Democratic firm specializing in election law, has sued Ohio over a new bill signed by Gov. Mike DeWine (R) that would make major changes to the state’s election rules. The bill would limit drop boxes, cut a day of early voting and require voters to show an ID when they cast a ballot. (Columbus Dispatch)
ALABAMA: State Republicans have issued a statement of no confidence in Republican National Committee chair Ronna McDaniel. McDaniel, seeking a new term in February, is being challenged by California RNC member and attorney Harmeet Dhillon. (AL.com)
By The Numbers
6: The number of New Mexico Democratic lawmakers who have reported shots fired at their homes or offices in recent weeks. House Speaker-designate Javier Martinez (D) reported bullets fired at his Albuquerque home on Monday. Albuquerque police reported a possible suspect is in custody. (SourceNM)
$1 million: The size of a donation Pfizer gave to the Kentucky Republican Party last month to build a new headquarters. MetLife, Altria, Comcast and AT&T all donated six-figure checks as well. The money will go toward building a new headquarters in Frankfort, to be named for U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). (Lexington Herald-Leader)
28: The number of months in prison former Alabama House Speaker Mike Hubbard (R) served for violating an ethics law he helped pass. Hubbard was released from Limestone Correctional Center on Sunday. (AL.com)
Off The Wall
Tennessee Republicans have proposed a bill cutting in half the size of Nashville’s Metro Council, a move that city leaders see as retaliation for their rejection of a bid to host the 2024 Republican convention. The bill would cap city legislative bodies at 20; Nashville is the only city in Tennessee with a larger council. (Nashville Post)
UNESCO plans to name Hopewell ceremonial earthworks in Ross, Warren and Licking counties as Ohio’s first World Heritage Sites. The sites, built between 1,500 and 2,200 years ago, align with the phases of the sun and moon. Archaeologists have unearthed art at the site made from materials as far away as the Gulf of Mexico and Yellowstone, hinting at the pre-Columbian trade networks that existed. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
You know we love good license plate rejection stories. Among the vanity plates rejected by Colorado’s Department of Motor Vehicles last year: “BACKTFU,” HAULNSS,” and even “BUBBI,” yiddish for grandma, and “EGAD.” (Colorado Sun)
Quote of the Day
“You’re going to have a little bit of gridlock.”
— Arizona Senate President Warren Petersen (R), on life under divided government. (Arizona Republic)