Pluribus AM: Pick your own … hemp?!?

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, September 13, 2023. In today’s edition, California advances right-to-repair, food chemical ban; Massachusetts considers aid for migrants; Beshear crushing Cameron in fundraising race:

Top Stories

RIGHT TO REPAIR: The California Senate is set to approve what would be the strongest right-to-repair bill in the nation, requiring manufacturers to make available parts, tools and instructions necessary for individuals or third-party repair shops. The legislation won support from Apple and Hewlett-Packard after lawmakers allowed them to withhold source code from their products. (Pluribus News)

PUBLIC HEALTH: The California Assembly is poised to give final approval to legislation that would cap out-of-pocket costs of over-the-counter naloxone products at just $10. California is the first state to cap the cost of anti-overdose medication. Medicaid programs in Missouri, California, Massachusetts, Washington, Rhode Island and Oregon cover all the costs of the drug for their patients. (Pluribus News)

MORE: California will become the first state to ban four chemicals from processed food and drink by 2027, including red dye no. 3, potassium bromate, brominated vegetable oil and propyl paraben. The chemicals are used in products like Peeps. The legislature dropped a proposed ban on a chemical used in Skittles. (Associated Press)

ABORTION: Women denied abortion access in Idaho, Tennessee and Oklahoma have filed suits in state courts challenging bans, alleging denial of care endangered their lives. The lawsuits, similar to one filed in Texas earlier this year, ask courts to clarify the circumstances under which patients would qualify for legal abortions. (Associated Press)

IMMIGRATION: Massachusetts lawmakers heard testimony Tuesday on legislation that would make legal immigrants, including asylum seekers and refugees, eligible for food assistance and cash benefits. Six other states provide benefits to legal migrants. (Boston Globe) Gov. Maura Healey (D) is activating 250 National Guard members to assist at 40 migrant shelters that do not have adequate staffing. (Boston Herald)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: A Florida law that restricts health care for transgender people can be applied to adults while it is being challenged in federal court, a judge ruled Monday. The law, approved by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) in May, requires transgender adults to give consent to treatment with a physician present. Advocates say many transgender adults are prescribed care by nurse practitioners or through telehealth appointments. (Orlando Sentinel)

GUN POLITICS: A federal judge has upheld a Delaware law giving the state the right to hold gun manufacturers and dealers accountable for straw purchases. Gun dealers must report suspicious gun purchases, and the law repeals a gun industry liability shield that would have protected them if they fail to do so. (Delaware Public Radio)

HEALTH CARE: Mississippi House Speaker-designate Jason White (R) said he will consider Medicaid expansion in the next session. Gov. Tate Reeves (R) and outgoing Speaker Philip Gunn (R) have opposed Medicaid expansion in recent years. (Mississippi Today)

TAXES: Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed an executive order Tuesday suspending the state gas tax for the next month in the face of rising gas prices. An earlier gas tax suspension cost the state about $170 million a month in revenue. (Associated Press, Atlanta Journal-Constitution) Wisconsin’s Assembly has approved a $2.9 billion tax cut and a constitutional amendment that would require a two-thirds vote for future tax hikes. Gov. Tony Evers (D) has pledged to veto the tax cut. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

In Politics & Business

KENTUCKY: Gov. Andy Beshear (D) raised about $15 million for his campaign since the mid-May primary, according to new campaign finance reports, including $6 million rolled over from the primary campaign. Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) has pulled in only about $2.8 million in the same time span. Cameron’s campaign said it had just $1.4 million in the bank by Tuesday. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

OHIO: The state Redistricting Commission meets Wednesday for the first time since May 2022 as it tries to redraw legislative district lines that were ruled unconstitutional. Today’s meeting is billed as an organizational gathering, but draft maps are already floating around. (Columbus Dispatch)

WISCONSIN: Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) is floating a plan to adopt an Iowa-style nonpartisan redistricting plan that would allow the Legislative Reference Bureau to draw new map lines. Vos has backed off his threat to impeach Supreme Court Justice Janet Protasiewicz if she does not recuse herself from a coming case challenging state map lines. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

DELAWARE: Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D) launched her campaign for governor Tuesday as she seeks to succeed term-limited Gov. John Carney (D). Carney backed Hall-Long’s bid. She faces New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer (D) in the Democratic primary, and Attorney General Kathy Jennings (D) is said to be considering a bid too. (Pluribus News reporting, Delaware Public Media)

INDIANA: The powerful Club for Growth has endorsed U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R) in his run for governor. Braun faces Lt. Gov. Suzanne Crouch (R), former Secretary of Commerce Brad Chambers (R), businessman Eric Doden (R) and former Attorney General Curtis Hill (R) in the GOP primary. (Indianapolis Star)

MISSOURI: The state Chamber of Commerce is backing Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe’s (R) bid for governor. Kehoe faces Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) and state Sen. Bill Eigel (R) in the Republican primary. (Kansas City Star)

MORE: House Majority Leader Jonathan Patterson (R) will become the next speaker of the state House, after winning a vote among fellow Republicans. Patterson will take over for term-limited Speaker Dean Plocher (R) in the 2025 legislative session. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

NORTH CAROLINA: Former Supreme Court Justice Michael Morgan (D) is set to enter the race to replace term-limited Gov. Roy Cooper (D), joining Attorney General Josh Stein (D) in the Democratic primary. Morgan served 34 years on the bench in different judicial roles. (Raleigh News & Observer)

By The Numbers

21%, 30%: The declines, respectively, in the number of train cars carrying grain and soybeans through Iowa in July. Agriculture Commissioner Ray Gaesser cited an economic slowdown in China and low water levels impacting shipping on the Mississippi River. (Radio Iowa)

4 of 7: The number of justices on the Missouri Supreme Court who are women, after Gov. Mike Parson (R) chose Kelly Broniec to fill a seat left empty by the retirement of Judge George Draper. Missouri will become one of 11 states where women hold a majority of seats on the state Supreme Court. (Kansas City Star)

$159.1 million: The amount in insurance claims filed over damage caused by Hurricane Idalia in Florida, a figure rising by millions of dollars daily. One risk management firm estimates that total losses could swell to $4 billion. (Florida Politics)

Off The Wall

Old and busted: Pick your own apples and pumpkins. New hotness: Pick your own hemp plants. A pot farm in Montrose will allow Colorado residents to pick their own hemp plants at a third annual event to be held this weekend. The plants are low in THC, but high in CBD and CBG, two compounds said to have therapeutic benefits. (Denver Post)

California is set to allow marijuana dispensaries to convert businesses into cafes where they can sell food and cannabis products. A bill allowing such Amsterdam-style cannabis lounges, which would also be able to sell alcohol, passed the legislature on broad bipartisan votes. (Los Angeles Times)

U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) was escorted out of a Denver theater on Sunday after theater officials accused her and a companion of vaping, singing and recording during a performance of the musical “Beetlejuice.” Boebert’s campaign manager denied she was vaping, but he said the second-term congresswoman did snap a photo of the performance, unaware that photos were not allowed. (Denver Post)

Quote of the Day

“We believe that we ought to not hold up what is otherwise a really good, strong budget over one issue on gaming.”

North Carolina House Speaker Tim Moore (R). The House and Senate, both under GOP control, are at odds over the $30 billion annual budget over a Senate-backed provision to authorize new casinos and video gambling machines. (Associated Press)