Pluribus AM: SD gov to call for end of grocery tax; CO wants Canadian drugs; AK House headed for (more) gridlock

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2022. In today’s edition, Calif. gov proposes profit caps for oil companies; Colo. wants to import Canadian drugs; and N.J. wants its cut of remote worker taxes:

Top Stories

REAL ID: The Department of Homeland Security has pushed back a deadline to require REAL IDs or passports to fly domestically to May 2025. States have told the federal government their efforts to roll out the REAL ID program, first authorized by Congress way back in 2005, have been hindered by the pandemic. (Washington Post) In Maine, just 14% of residents have REAL ID-compliant documents. (Maine Public Radio) 

CALIFORNIA: Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has released draft legislation that would cap profits for oil companies, and to give the California Energy Commission the authority to levy civil penalties on refiners who exceed the cap. Oil companies who oppose the bill hinted they would sue over a provision in the state constitution that requires tax increases to pass the legislature with two-thirds majorities. (Pluribus News)

SOUTH DAKOTA: Gov. Kristi Noem (R) delivers her annual budget address today, in which she will lay out plans to repeal a 4.5% sales tax on groceries in the coming session. A legislative study committee has proposed cutting property taxes instead. (KELOLAND, Fargo Forum)

COLORADO: State officials have formally submitted an application asking the federal government to approve a program importing 112 different types of prescription drugs from Canada, at average cost savings of 65%. Colorado is the second state, after Florida, to apply to import drugs; Florida has been waiting for two years to hear back from the FDA. (Colorado Sun)

ARIZONA: Republican legislators want Gov. Doug Ducey (R) to call a special session before he leaves office to approve more funding for a universal school voucher program, five months after Ducey signed the voucher program into law. A bipartisan group of lawmakers want a special session to waive a spending cap for schools. (Arizona Republic) Ducey wants legislators to consider border security and changes to election laws if he calls another special session. (Capitol Media Services)

NEW JERSEY: The Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee has approved a measure that would allow the state to collect tax revenue from residents working remotely for companies based in other states. The measure would offer tax credits to out-of-state companies to open new locations in the Garden State. (NJ Spotlight News)

TEXAS: House and Senate lawmakers have asked the Public Utility Commission to delay a planned redesign of the state’s electricity market until after the legislative session. The PUC’s proposal would create financial rewards for power plants that can produce extra electricity on very hot or very cold days, when the grid is most stressed. (Texas Tribune)

ALASKA: Legislators say it will be weeks if not months before the state House is able to form a governing coalition made up of at least 21 lawmakers. The House is evenly divided between factions of conservative Republicans and one moderate Republican who aligns with Democrats and independents. (Anchorage Daily News) The House took months before approving a new Speaker last session.

In Politics

CALIFORNIA: Restaurant industry groups submitted more than a million signatures to force a voter referendum on the FAST Act, a measure Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) signed into law this year establishing a council to oversee — and potentially raise the wages of — fast food workers. The referendum puts the law on hold until voters get their say in 2024. (Pluribus News)

MORE: Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) and Assemblyman Robert Rivas (D) made official their transition agreement in an organizing meeting Monday, when legislators voted to keep Rendon in office until June 30. State Senate Republicans chose Sen. Brian Jones (R) as their new leader. (Sacramento Bee)

OREGON: Supporters of a proposed ballot measure to create an independent redistricting commission will begin collecting the 150,000 signatures they need to get the measure in front of voters in November 2024. Backers have not decided whether to apply the commission to legislative districts only, or to both legislative and congressional district lines. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)

ARIZONA: Gov. Doug Ducey (R), Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D), Attorney General Mark Brnovich (R) and Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Brutinel signed papers certifying the results of November’s elections on Monday. The certification opens a five-day window for formal elections challenges. Former television broadcaster Kari Lake (R) is expected to file suit over her loss to Hobbs in the race to replace Ducey. (Associated Press)

TEXAS: Secretary of State John Scott will step down from office at the end of December, just over a year after he was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott (R). Scott served on an interim basis and leaves before the state Senate would have had to take up confirmation hearings. Abbott’s last appointee, Ruth Ruggero Hughs, was forced from office when the Senate refused to take up her nomination. (Texas Tribune, Dallas Morning News)

KANSAS: State Rep. Dan Hawkins (R) has been elected to replace outgoing House Speaker Ron Ryckman (R), who did not run for re-election this year. Hawkins opposes Medicaid expansion, a key priority for Gov. Laura Kelly (R). Rep. Chris Croft (R) will replace Hawkins as House majority leader. (Kansas City Star)

NORTH DAKOTA: State Rep. Dennis Johnson (R) won election as Speaker of the House, after Speaker Kim Koppelman (R) did not run for re-election. (Bismarck Tribune)

By The Numbers

$3.1 billion: The amount the federal government has dispersed in response to Hurricane Ian, which slammed Florida in late September. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) said Monday the state will add another $25 million to purchase building materials for homes damaged by the storm. (City & State Florida)

$367,500: The amount spent by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf’s (D) Office of General Counsel on outside legal firms, funding that is not disclosed to the public. The office has not had to explain why it is spending the money, arguing that doing so would jeopardize legal strategy. (Spotlight PA)

$86 million: The amount of spending on political advertising that has aired on WSB-TV, Atlanta’s ABC affiliate, the biggest beneficiary of midterm election spending. (Wall Street Journal) The station has added a 3 p.m. newscast and ten extra minutes to their 11 p.m. newscast to capture more of those ad dollars. (Niles Francis)

Off The Wall

The Washington State Patrol issued a $533 ticket to a driver who made it five miles with a windshield almost completely covered in snow. The driver told the trooper the car’s wipers weren’t working. (Associated Press) We can say this because one of us is from there: Western Washingtonians absolutely cannot handle snow.

Quote of the Day

“If it weren’t so serious, it would be an absolute joke.”

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), on the Democratic National Committee’s bid to upend the presidential primary process and force New Hampshire to change its first-in-the-nation primary law. (WMUR)