Pluribus AM: Solstice Edition

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, June 21, 2023. Welcome to the longest day of the year! In today’s edition, N.Y. approves abortion shield bill; record number of Va. senators lose primaries; former ’Survivor’ contestant wants to be Wash. AG:

Top Stories

ABORTION: The New York legislature has given final approval to a bill providing legal protections for doctors who prescribe and send abortion pills to patients in states where the medication is banned. New York is the fifth state — after Massachusetts, Colorado, Vermont and Washington — to approve a telemedicine abortion shield law. (New York Times)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: A U.S. District Court judge has blocked an Arkansas law banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors. Attorney General Tim Griffin (R) promised to appeal. (Talk Business & Politics, Arkansas Democrat Gazette) The Michigan House has approved legislation adding sexual orientation and gender identity to the state’s hate crime laws. (Bridge MI)

MORE: The Ohio House is expected to approve bills barring transgender students from women’s sports and banning gender-affirming care for minors. (Columbus Dispatch) Maine’s Senate gave final approval to legislation requiring the state Medicaid program to cover gender-affirming care. (Portland Press Herald) North Carolina’s Senate approved a measure barring transgender athletes from women’s sports. (Raleigh News & Observer)

GUN POLITICS: The Maine House gave final approval to a bill increasing penalties on so-called straw purchases of firearms. The bill, which now heads to Gov. Janet Mills (D), would make straw purchases punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $20,000 fine. (Maine Public Radio)

ECONOMY: The Michigan House gave final approval Tuesday to a bill that will eliminate asset tests in determining eligibility for SNAP funding. Currently, families with assets of more than $15,000 are ineligible for SNAP food assistance programs. (MLive) New York lawmakers gave final approval Tuesday to legislation banning non-compete clauses in employment contracts. (State of Politics) The Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved a bill creating a $2,500 income tax credit for new teachers, nurses and law enforcement officers. (Harrisburg Patriot-News)

HEALTH CARE: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) will back legislation asking voters to approve a nearly $5 billion bond to add treatment beds for homeless people suffering mental illness or substance abuse. The funding would help 10,000 people receive treatment each year. (Sacramento Bee)

EDUCATION: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) has signed legislation increasing voucher payments to private schools as part of a deal to boost funding for local governments. The bill angered teacher unions, which say it takes money from public schools. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

ALCOHOL: Wisconsin lawmakers are poised to update laws impacting the production, distribution and sale of alcohol. The bill would create a new division within the Department of Revenue to oversee and enforce alcohol laws. It will also create a statewide bartender license, and extends bar hours during next year’s Republican National Convention in Milwaukee. (Associated Press)

SEMICONDUCTORS: Oregon lawmakers have reached agreement on a new tax credit of up to $4 million annually for companies that manufacture semiconductors. (Oregon Capital Chronicle, Oregonian) States across the country are competing for $52 billion in federal funds aimed at the semiconductor industry.

In Politics & Business

VIRGINIA: State Sens. Joe Morrissey (D), Lionell Spruill (D), George Barker (D), Chap Petersen (D) and Amanda Chase (R) all lost primary elections on Tuesday, setting up historic turnover in November’s elections. (Washington Post)

The five senators who lost their races equals the total number of Virginia senators who lost primary elections between 1999 and 2019, according to the Virginia Public Access Project.

ALABAMA: A panel of three federal judges has ordered Alabama’s legislature to approve new congressional district lines by July 21. Gov. Kay Ivey (R) is expected to call a special session for the week of July 17. Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth (R) and House Speaker Nathaniel Ledbetter (R) named members of a redistricting committee on Tuesday. (Yellowhammer News,

NORTH CAROLINA: The Senate Rules Committee has approved bills ending a three-day grace period for absentee ballots arriving after Election Day and barring counties from accepting outside money to help administer elections. Another bill would split appointments to the state Board of Elections and county boards evenly between both parties. (Carolina Journal)

MICHIGAN: The House and Senate elections committees each approved bills that would allow local clerks to begin counting absentee ballots up to eight days before an election, in hopes of allowing faster results on Election Night. The two chambers still need to work out differences between the bills. (Bridge MI)

OHIO: The state Democratic Party says it has collected more than 100,000 signatures for a proposed constitutional amendment to codify abortion rights. Supporters have until July 5 to collect 413,000 valid signatures to make the ballot. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

WASHINGTON: U.S. Attorney Nick Brown submitted his resignation Tuesday ahead of a likely run for attorney general. Brown would face state Sen. Manka Dhingra (D) in the primary election. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)

Fun fact: Brown competed on an early season of Survivor.

PEOPLE: Former Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey (R) will head Citizens for Free Enterprise, a new PAC funded largely by TD Ameritrade founder Joe Ricketts. (AZ Mirror)

By The Numbers

31: The number of Nebraska students who received perfect scores on their ACT tests. Gov. Jim Pillen (R) made a special point to recognize those who aced the test. (Omaha World-Herald)

28: The number of Florida state agencies, out of 29, where more than 10% of jobs are vacant amid a statewide worker shortage. In the Department of Veterans Affairs, 39% of all jobs are unfilled. (Orlando Sentinel)

$48,000: The fine levied against the Sports Betting Alliance, the consortium of gambling companies that led a push to legalize sports wagering in Maryland. It’s the largest fine ever levied by the Maryland Board of Elections. (Maryland Matters)

Off The Wall

The Bible is back in the Davis, Utah School District after members of the Board of Education voted to end a review after a parent complained. The review was required under a new state law relating to challenged books. (Salt Lake Tribune)

California no longer has the nation’s highest gas prices, for the first time in living memory. Washington State now holds the top spot, after the state implemented a new cap and trade program. (Los Angeles Times)

Quote of the Day

“They told us the last time the House was this close was 1871, so we had absolutely nobody to call up or talk to about how did you do it 130 years ago?”

New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard (R), after Democrats and Republicans agreed to a bipartisan budget despite the slimmest of GOP majorities. (Boston Globe)