Pluribus AM: Tennessee’s abortion trafficking bill

Good morning, it’s Thursday, April 11, 2024. In today’s edition, Tennessee advances abortion trafficking bill; Iowa Gov signs immigration ban; North Carolina Gov poll shows Dem leading:

Top Stories

ABORTION: The Tennessee Senate approved legislation Wednesday creating criminal penalties for adults who help minors obtain an abortion. The bill would apply penalties to those who recruit, harbor or transport minors within the state for the purpose of obtaining an abortion or abortion-inducing medication. (Pluribus News)

MORE: Arizona House Republicans voted to recess to cut short a vote on repealing the state’s 1864 abortion ban Wednesday. Rep. Matt Gress (R), who represents a swing district, introduced the bill to repeal the old law, but he was out-voted by fellow Republicans. The House will reconvene April 17. (Arizona Republic)

House and Senate GOP leaders haven’t figured out a path forward after the state Supreme Court’s ruling this week. One complicating factor: The looming July 30 primary, in which House Speaker Ben Toma (R) is running for an open seat in Congress.

IMMIGRATION: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has signed legislation allowing state law enforcement to arrest undocumented immigrants under a new crime of “illegal reentry” into the state. The bill is modeled after a Texas law that is on hold pending litigation. (Des Moines Register)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: An Ohio House committee has advanced legislation banning transgender students from using school bathrooms, locker rooms or overnight accommodations that align with their gender identities. (Columbus Dispatch) The Mississippi House approved legislation restricting transgender people from using bathrooms that conform to their gender identities. (Associated Press)

MORE: The Louisiana House Committee on Education approved legislation restricting teachers from discussing gender identity and sexual orientation in classrooms, similar to Florida’s law. They approved separate legislation requiring teachers to use a student’s name and pronouns that align with the student’s sex at birth. (Associated Press)

EDUCATION: Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) has signed legislation subjecting libraries to lawsuits if minors are allowed to access harmful material. Parents will be allowed to ask libraries or schools to relocate materials deemed harmful within 60 days, subject to a $2,500 fine if the libraries do not comply. (Idaho Reports)

GUN POLITICS: The Iowa Senate voted to approve a bill allowing teachers and school employees to receive permits to carry firearms on school grounds. The bill requires the state’s largest school districts to employ school resource officers for safety. The bill must win approval from the state House, which passed a similar measure in February. (Des Moines Register)

PUBLIC HEALTH: The Alabama Senate approved legislation banning vaping in public buildings. The bill adds vaping and electronic tobacco delivery systems to the state’s Clean Indoor Air Act. (Yellowhammer News)

In Politics & Business

NORTH CAROLINA: Attorney General Josh Stein (D) leads Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) by a 52%-44% margin, according to a new Quinnipiac poll. Stein leads 48%-41% when Libertarian Mike Ross (4%) and Green Party candidate Wayne Turner (2%) are included. (Quinnipiac)

OHIO: House Republicans have voted to strip Speaker Jason Stephens (R) of control of the party’s campaign funds. Republicans gave Rep. Phil Plummer (R) sole control of the campaign account. Stephens said he was unaware of the vote to restrict his authority. (Columbus Dispatch)

MARYLAND: Gov. Wes Moore (D) has signed legislation creating stiffer penalties for threatening an election worker ahead of the May 14 primary. Oral, written or emailed threats will be punishable by up to three years in prison and fines of up to $2,500. (WYPR)

WEST VIRGINIA: Gov. Jim Justice (R) says his family will pay millions in unpaid taxes on his Greenbrier Resort properties, including $3.5 million in state sales taxes and $2.5 million in local taxes. (WVNews)

Justice, West Virginia’s richest man, has a long history of conflicts with tax authorities both in his home state and in Kentucky.

By The Numbers

250: The number of new cherry trees Japan will give Washington, D.C., to replace the 140 trees that are being torn up during a restoration of the Tidal Basin. The first Japanese gift of cherry trees came in 1912. (New York Times)

300 feet: The distance from schools within which Maine businesses would be prohibited from selling tobacco products, under legislation approved by the state House on Tuesday. If the bill becomes law, it would apply to just one store. (Portland Press Herald)

Off The Wall

The Board of Commissioners for the Port of Oakland plan to vote today on a proposal to name their airport the San Francisco Bay Oakland International Airport. San Francisco city officials have threatened to sue over the name change, which they say violates a trademark on San Francisco International Airport. Neither airport is actually in the city of San Francisco. (Associated Press)

We can’t explain why, but we love this story.

DonnaJean Wilde, 59, has set a new world record for the longest-ever plank. Wilde, of Alberta, held the plank position for four hours, 30 minutes and 11 seconds, beating the previous record by about ten minutes. (UPI)

Hard pass.

Quote of the Day

“Let me be very clear: This decision cannot stand.”

Arizona Rep. Matt Gress (R), on the state Supreme Court’s decision upholding an 1864 law banning abortion. It’s a sign of just how bad GOP strategists see the abortion debate for their candidates. (Pluribus News)