Pluribus AM: S.C., Neb. reject abortion bans; N.D., Mont. define gender under state law; N.Y. Dems reach budget deal (finally)

Good morning, it’s Friday, April 28, 2023. In today’s edition, S.C., Neb. reject abortion bans; N.D., Mont. define gender under state law; N.Y. Dems reach budget deal:

Top Stories

ABORTION: The South Carolina Senate rejected a bill that would have banned nearly all abortions in the state, as six Republicans joined Democrats in opposition. (Associated Press) A Nebraska measure to ban abortion after six weeks failed by a single vote. (Nebraska Public Media)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Oklahoma Senate has approved a measure banning gender-affirming care for minors. (Tulsa World) Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) signed laws Thursday instituting legal protections for people who travel to their states seeking gender-affirming or reproductive care. (Associated Press) The Kansas legislature has overridden Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) veto of a bill that requires people to use bathroom facilities that conform to their gender at birth. (Associated Press, Kansas Reflector)

MORE: Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) says he will call a special session if lawmakers cannot work out differences between House- and Senate-passed bills that restrict access to gender-affirming care for minors. (KCUR) The North Dakota legislature has approved bills banning trans students from bathrooms that conform to their gender identity and defining “male” and “female” in state law. (Fargo Forum) A bill defining “male” and “female” under state law is headed to Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte’s (R) desk after the Senate gave it final approval. (Montana Free Press)

SOCIAL MEDIA: Montana Gov. Gianforte wants revisions to a proposed ban on TikTok, asking legislators to extend the ban to all social media platforms that provide user data to foreign nations. (Montana Free Press) A bipartisan group of Minnesota senators have introduced legislation to require a minimum age for children to use social media, and parental consent for those between the ages of 13 and 18. (MPR News)

EDUCATION: The Indiana legislature approved a measure requiring schools to publicly post library catalogues and establishing a procedure for parents and community members to challenge books. (WFYI, Associated Press)

MARIJUANA: The Minnesota Senate will vote on a measure legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes. Differences between the Senate version and a version the House has already passed mean the two chambers will have to convene a conference committee. (MPR News)

ENVIRONMENT: California’s Air Resources Board has approved a rule banning the use of locomotive engines that are more than 23 years old after 2030, and a rule banning locomotives from idling longer than 30 minutes. (Associated Press)

TAXES: Alabama Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth (R) says every member of the state Senate has signed onto a proposal to cut grocery taxes in half this year, from 4% to 2%. (Yellowhammer News, The Florida House has approved a $1.4 billion tax cut package, including two two-week sales tax holidays and an exemption for baby and toddler products. (Orlando Sentinel) 

MORE: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) signed a $515 million tax cut package that, among other provisions, chops the state’s five tax brackets down to three. (Fargo Forum) Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) says he will propose a new sales tax, the first in state history. (Alaska Beacon)

AGRICULTURE: The North Carolina House has approved a measure banning governments or government-controlled companies from China, Russia, Iran and North Korea from buying farmland within 25 miles of state military bases. (Carolina Journal)

NEW YORK: Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and legislative leaders have reached a $229 billion budget deal almost a month after the deadline. The deal will raise the minimum wage to $17 an hour by 2027 and change bail laws to allow judges to consider the severity of a crime. Hochul’s proposal to override local zoning laws didn’t make the final budget. (New York Times, State of Politics)

This feels like the final result of a papal election. Habemus Budget!

In Politics & Business

MISSISSIPPI: A new Siena College poll conducted for Mississippi Today shows Gov. Tate Reeves (R) leading Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D) 49%-38%. A January poll from the same firm showed Reeves ahead just 43%-39%. (Mississippi Today)

ARKANSAS: Citizens for Arkansas Public Education and Students has submitted a referendum to repeal the LEARNS Act, Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s (R) key education reform law. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette) We wrote about the measure last month — read our rundown here.

MISSOURI: The Missouri Senate has approved legislation requiring 57% of voters to vote in favor of proposed constitutional amendments, after Democrats relented. Current law requires a simple majority. The House passed a bill upping the threshold to 60% in February. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

By The Numbers

70%: The increase in pedestrian deaths on American roads since 2010. The number of deaths caused by light utility vehicles more than doubled over that period. (Sacramento Bee)

0: The number of hearings the Montana Human Services Committee will hold before the end of session, after remaining hearings were canceled. The committee is one of two on which state Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D) sits; Zephyr was banned from the House floor, but she can still attend committee hearings. Asked why her hearings were canceled, chair Jennifer Carlson (R) said: “I bet you can guess why.” (Montana Free Press)

Off The Wall

Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan (D) is working a side job as a consultant for a cannabis dispensary chain — one that has failed to pay millions in state taxes. It’s unclear what kind of work Fagan is doing for the company. A spokesman told a reporter to ask Fagan herself, but she didn’t answer her phone. (Oregonian)

Oklahoma Senate President Greg Treat (R) doesn’t want those pesky House members — or Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) — on the floor during debates over education bills. Treat temporarily suspended floor privileges for House members and the governor, after what his spokesman called theatrics during last year’s education debate. House Majority Leader Jon Echols (R) called the suspension “the most juvenile move I’ve ever seen.” (McCarville Report)

Quote of the Day

“I don’t think you go from being a legislator to being an aide working remotely. That’s not how this system works.”

Colorado state Rep. Matt Soper (R), on Dave Williams, a former legislator who now serves as a legislative aide — while also chairing the Colorado Republican Party. (Colorado Public Media)