Pluribus AM: Tenn. House expels 2 Dems; Ark. passes social media limits; new redistricting suit coming to Wis.

Good morning, it’s Friday, April 7, 2023. In today’s edition, Tenn. House expels two Dems; lawmakers frustrated by lack of progress on homelessness; Ark. passes social media age limits:

Top Stories

TENNESSEE: The House voted Thursday to expel state Reps. Justin Jones (D) and Justin Pearson (D) after the two helped lead protests over gun control last week. All votes came from members of the Republican supermajority. A resolution to expel state Rep. Gloria Johnson (D) fell one vote short. (Pluribus News, Tennessean)

Twist: Members of the Nashville Metro Council are planning to reappoint Jones to the state House seat. Legislators cannot be expelled twice for the same offense. Shelby County Commission chairman Mickell Lowrey said the body would consider reappointing Pearson, too. (Tennessean, Memphis Commercial Appeal)

HOMELESSNESS: Legislators grappling with rising homelessness rates are running out of money, and patience. Democrats and Republicans alike are pushing new accountability measures and, in some cases, more punitive approaches after years of big spending. Don’t miss this deep dive from our colleague Sophie Quinton.

TECHNOLOGY: The Arkansas Senate has given final approval to a measure requiring new users of social media platforms to provide identification to create accounts. The bill requires social media companies to contract with third-party vendors to perform age verification on new users. (Arkansas Times)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Alabama legislators passed, and Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed, a bill requiring mandatory prison time for fentanyl possession. ( The North Dakota House has given final approval to a measure extending the statute of limitations in which victims of sexual assault can file civil claims against their alleged assailants from two years to nine. (Fargo Forum)

Assault victims are winning victories across the country this year. We’ve seen bills like this pop up in Maryland, Pennsylvania and Kansas, too.

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Kansas legislature gave final approval to a bill barring gender-affirming care for minors. Supporters are short of the two-thirds vote they need to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) expected veto. (Associated Press) The ACLU has sued Indiana and Idaho over new gender-affirming care bans signed into law this week by Govs. Eric Holcomb (R) and Brad Little (R). (WTHI, Spokane Spokesman-Review)

EDUCATION: The Kansas House approved parental rights legislation that would allow parents to withdraw children from classes they find objectionable. (Kansas Reflector) The Arkansas House has given final approval to a measure prohibiting schools from deducting union dues from teacher paychecks. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette) The Texas Senate has approved a bill creating education savings accounts for students. The state House backed a budget amendment opposing school vouchers, presaging a tough fight ahead. (Texas Tribune, Dallas Morning News)

MISSOURI: The state Senate has passed legislation exempting firearms, ammunition, diapers and feminine hygiene products from sales taxes. One of the bills also includes a tax credit for setting up a grocery store in a food desert. (St. Louis Public Radio)

OREGON: The state House has given final approval to a $210 million bill boosting funding for the semiconductor industry. The measure is aimed at helping Oregon businesses claim a chunk of the $52 billion in federal funding for semiconductor plants Congress approved last year. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)

In Politics & Business

WEST VIRGINIA: The conservative Club for Growth says they will commit $10 million to aid Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s (R) gubernatorial campaign in the GOP primary. (WV Metro News)

WISCONSIN: The liberal firm Law Forward plans to bring a new challenge to state legislative district lines, now that liberals are poised to claim a majority on the state Supreme Court following this week’s elections. The conservative majority had approved a map locking in Republican control of the legislature for a decade. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

ARIZONA: Two Cochise County supervisors who delayed certification of last year’s midterm elections must pay $36,000 in legal fees in a ruling by a Pima County judge. The money will go to cover attorney’s fees paid by the Secretary of State’s office and the Arizona Alliance for Retired Americans. (AZ Mirror)

By The Numbers

$302.6 billion: The size of the two-year spending plan approved Thursday by the Texas House. The budget includes $17.5 billion in property tax cuts, pay raises for teachers. (Texas Tribune)

13: The number of North Dakota senators who voted to increase meal reimbursements for state employees — including themselves — after voting against legislation to expand free school lunch programs to low-income students. (Fargo Forum)

35: The number of private weddings Colorado taxpayers have helped fund, as part of an incentive program that offers cash rebates to lure event planners to spend money in the state. The program offers rebates of up to 10% for events that generate at least 25 hotel room nights. (Colorado Public Radio)

3 feet: The amount by which the Great Salt Lake has risen over historic lows reached in November. The good news is the rise has come before winter snows melt, meaning the lake is likely to rise even more through the spring. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Off The Wall

Former Michigan House Speaker Rick Johnson (R) has pleaded guilty in a public corruption probe over bribes paid during his service on a state board regulating medical marijuana. Johnson, who left office in 2004, is alleged to have accepted more than $100,000 in cash. (MLive)

Massachusetts gaming regulators have rejected a request from DraftKings to offer wagering on Monday’s Boston Marathon. The Boston Athletic Association, which puts on the marathon, asked the commission to hold off on allowing bets. (MassLive)

A Wasilla, Alaska man convicted for his role in the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol has asked a federal judge to loosen his probation conditions to allow him to own a firearm. The man, Aaron James Mileur, says he needs a weapon to defend himself against moose. (Alaska Public Media)

Quote of the Day

“I’m frankly embarrassed that we are still doing this.”

Nevada Sen. Dallas Harris (D), who has sponsored a bill to ban “sundown sirens,” city-wide alerts that were once used to tell people of color to get out of town. The city of Minden still sounds a siren at 5 p.m., which they say is meant to honor first responders. (Nevada Independent)