Pluribus AM: States turn to nuclear; Mo. voter ID law survives challenge; the most expensive race of the year

Good morning, it’s Friday, Oct. 14, 2022. In today’s edition, Va., W.Va. turn to nuclear; Mo. Gov. vetoes tax rebates; and we spotlight the most expensive campaign in America:

Top Stories

ENERGY: Virginia House Speaker Todd Gilbert (R) and West Virginia House Speaker Roger Hanshaw (R) will push to bring advanced nuclear energy sources, including small modular nuclear reactors, to rural regions of their states. The announcement comes after Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) said he wanted a modular reactor in Southwest Virginia. West Virginia recently repealed a ban on developing nuclear energy sources. (Cardinal News)

FLORIDA: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued an executive order allowing additional early voting days and new “super site” polling locations in Charlotte, Lee and Sarasota counties as they struggle to recover from Hurricane Ian. The order also allows voters to request absentee ballots be sent to locations other than their address on record. The order came after Secretary of State Cord Byrd recommended flexibility. (Florida Politics)

NEW JERSEY: Democrats in the state legislature have introduced a measure that would require gun owners to buy insurance and complete a safety training course in order to carry firearms in public. The bill would bar handguns from public spaces including bars, beaches, stadiums and day care centers. (New York Times)

CALIFORNIA: The state Coastal Commission has given approval to a $140 million desalination plant on Orange County’s Dana Point. The commission had rejected another proposed plant in May, but its decision now suggests regulators “see a place for new seawater desalination plants in California to bolster water supplies.” (CalMatters)

TAX REVENUES: Iowa’s Revenue Estimating Conference projected Iowa will see a 2.7% drop in revenue in the current fiscal year after Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) signed legislation lowering tax rates on individuals and corporations. (Des Moines Register) Nevada collected $5.5 billion in tax revenue over the last fiscal year, $1 billion higher than projections, on the strength of booming gaming revenues. (Nevada Independent)

In Politics

CALIFORNIA: Native American tribes and major gaming companies have spent more than half a billion dollars for and against Propositions 26 and 27, making them the most expensive campaigns in the nation this year. Prop. 26 would allow sports betting at casinos and card rooms; Prop. 27 would allow mobile sports betting. The twist: In spite of the big spending, California voters appear ready to defeat both measures. (Pluribus News)

ARIZONA: Former TV broadcaster Kari Lake (R) leads Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (D) 49%-46%, according to a new InsiderAdvantage survey for Fox 10. The same firm showed a statistically tied race last month, with Hobbs up 44%-43%. 

ILLINOIS: Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) leads state Sen. Darren Bailey (R) 49%-34%, and Libertarian Scott Schluter takes 8% in a new Chicago Sun-Times/WBEZ poll conducted by Public Policy Polling. Pritzker’s favorable ratings among downstate voters are five points higher than Bailey’s.

KENTUCKY: A group opposing an amendment to eliminate the constitutional right to an abortion has raised $3 million, with large donations coming from Planned Parenthood and the ACLU. The campaign in favor of the amendment, Yes for Life, raised just $620,000, most of it from religiously-affiliated groups. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

MISSOURI: A Cole County Circuit Court judge has upheld a new law requiring voters to show a photo identification when they cast their ballots. The ACLU, which brought the case, said they would appeal. A separate case challenges new election reform measures that ban paid solicitation of voter registration applications and bar people from asking a voter to sign up for an absentee ballot. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

OREGON: Voters will decide whether to punish lawmakers who skip out on work in a ballot measure this year. Measure 113 would amend the state constitution to prevent lawmakers who have more than 10 unexcused absences from serving future terms. Republicans have used walkouts in recent years to block cap-and-trade legislation in recent years. (Oregonian)

By The Numbers

$2.7 million: The amount Visit Florida will spend on a tourism campaign highlighting 14 areas around the state that weren’t hit by Hurricane Ian. (Florida Politics)

1,783: The weight, in pounds, of Howie, the largest pumpkin ever grown in Colorado. Howie is on display at a Denver garden store for the next few weeks. (Denverite)

Off The Wall

Ocracoke Island is having a “jellyfish jamboree,” after hundreds of cannonball jellyfish washed ashore this week. Click for the spine-tingling photos. (WRAL)