Pluribus AM: Pennsylvania’s $400 million workforce plan

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, August 1, 2023. Where does the time go? In today’s edition, abortion backers sue state AGs; Penn. Gov kicks off new workforce plan; Mass. Senate to take up gun bill:

Top Stories

ABORTION: Reproductive rights groups have sued Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) in an effort to prevent enforcement of a new law that allows Marshall’s office to prosecute those who help women travel out of state to obtain an abortion. Another group of abortion rights backers sued Idaho Attorney General Raul Labrador (R) over a state law that makes it a felony for an adult to help a minor obtain an abortion. (Pluribus News)

MORE: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said his state will spend $10 million to create a hotline for callers seeking abortion providers, and $8 million in additional training for reproductive health care providers. All five states that border Illinois have passed abortion bans, though bans are on hold in Wisconsin and Iowa. (Capitol News Illinois) Pritzker signed legislation last week subjecting crisis pregnancy centers to penalties if they use misinformation to prevent people from seeking abortions. (Block Club Chicago)

WORKFORCE: Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) signed an executive order directing $400 million in federal funds to a workforce training program to reimburse organizations the provide training to infrastructure workers. The first-of-its-kind program will give organizations up to $40,000 for each new worker in an attempt to create 10,000 new jobs. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

GUN POLITICS: The Massachusetts Senate plans to take up gun safety legislation when they return in the fall, Senate President Karen Spilka (D) said. A House version that would have banned firearms in most public places and clamped down on ghost guns stalled over a procedural dispute. (Boston Herald)

EDUCATION: Illinois parents are now able to open a 529 College Savings account for their children, with a $50 deposit from the state. To qualify, parents must open their accounts and submit a claim before their child turns 10. (Fox 32) Utah Rep. Jeff Stenquist (R) will reintroduce legislation banning discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity in K-3 classrooms. Stenquist pulled a version of the bill this year before it reached a vote. (KSL)

ENVIRONMENT: The Southern Environmental Law Center will sue in Fairfax County Circuit Court in an effort to keep Virginia in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative after Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said he would withdraw from the compact over high energy costs. The center alleges Virginia’s Air Pollution Control Board doesn’t have the authority to withdraw from a compact the legislature voted to join in 2020. (Associated Press)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: A panel of three Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals judges ruled Monday that Kentucky can enforce its recently-passed ban on gender-affirming care for minors while litigation is ongoing. The same panel voted to allow Tennessee to enforce its own ban earlier in July. (Associated Press)

PUBLIC HEALTH: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has signed legislation allowing people to turn in drugs found to be laced with fentanyl without exposing themselves to criminal penalties. The law expands the state’s Good Samaritan Law, which allows people to call 911 for help with drug overdoses without fear of being charged. (Sacramento Bee)

In Politics & Business

REPUBLICANS: The Republican State Leadership Committee and its affiliated State Government Leadership Foundation raised $15.6 million in the first half of the year, a new record for an odd-numbered year, when voters in just four states elect lawmakers. (Pluribus News)

MISSISSIPPI: The Democratic Governors Association said in an email Tuesday morning it would invest $750,000 in Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley’s (D) campaign for governor.

Recall that the state Democratic Party’s chairman was forced out last month in a dispute over a contribution from the Democratic National Committee.

LOUISIANA: Sen. Bill Cassidy (R) has endorsed Attorney General Jeff Landry (R) in the race to succeed term-limited Gov. John Bel Edwards (D). Cassidy briefly considered running for governor himself. (Baton Rouge Advocate)

Intriguing: State party leaders say Cassidy’s endorsement of Landry, who has support from former President Donald Trump, is about Cassidy’s own re-election hopes in 2026. Cassidy was one of the few Republicans who voted to convict Trump during the second impeachment trial.

OHIO: Supporters of recreational marijuana have raised about $3 million to qualify an initiative for the ballot. They have until Friday to gather enough signatures to secure ballot access. (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Supporters of a constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights raised $8.5 million in the first half of the year, while opponents collected $9.7 million. (Columbus Dispatch)

MORE: Wells Fargo has won a $30 million tax credit to build a technology center in Central Ohio that will create an estimated 585 jobs. The Ohio Tax Credit Authority approved the 15-year credit on condition that the company create $73 million in annual payroll. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PEOPLE: Alabama Sen. Tim Melson (R) is improving in a hospital in South Korea after suffering cardiac arrest last week. Melson’s son said in a post on Facebook that the senator’s echocardiogram shows his heart is regaining strength. (

By The Numbers

2: The number of states that allow cities and towns to collect taxes on rent. Arizona lawmakers approved legislation in June to end rental taxes, but they have yet to send the bill to Gov. Katie Hobbs (D). (Arizona Republic)

16.91 inches: The amount of rain that fell on Mount Washington, N.H., in July, a new record. (Boston Globe)

$975,333: The median price of a single-family home in Los Angeles. The median home price in six other California cities, mostly in the Bay Area, is north of $1 million. (Los Angeles Times)

Off The Wall

A new Chik-fil-A slated to open in Atlanta in 2024 will feature the largest drive-thru in the country, with the capacity to serve 75 cars. Food will arrive via chutes from a kitchen one floor above the cars. (NJ Advance Media)

Like those old pneumatic tubes at banks?

An investment company has purchased about $800 million in land around Travis Air Force Base in California’s Solano County, but no one is quite sure why. U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), who has been investigating the company for two years, says he can’t figure out who owns the firm. The company, Flannery Associates, says 97% of its investors are U.S.-based. The Air Force’s Foreign Investment Risk Review office is also looking into the firm. (The Hill)

Quote of the Day

“If we do this again, we’d probably pick the fall.”

Indiana state Rep. Tim O’Brien (R), who took a two-week road trip through the state with Reps. Steve Bartels (R) and Doug Miller (R) in the midst of a blistering heat wave. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)