Pluribus AM: Tennessee’s doomed session on guns

Good morning, it’s Monday, August 28, 2023. We’re back from our break and ready to dive in! In today’s edition, Tennessee lawmakers at odds over gun safety bill; Youngkin sees 15-week abortion ban as “consensus”; gender-affirming care bans take effect in Missouri, Texas:

Top Stories

GUN POLITICS: Tennessee legislators are continuing a special session Gov. Bill Lee (R) called to address gun safety measures in the wake of the March 27 mass shooting at a Christian school in Nashville. The state Senate has approved $30 million for school safety and mental health efforts, but neither chamber has acted on Lee’s call for legislation allowing extreme risk protection orders. (Nashville Post)

MORE: The Arkansas Legislative Council has authorized a study of firearms and concealed-carry laws with an eye toward additional reforms in the 2025 regular session. Co-chair Jeff Wardlaw (R) said the study was necessary to simplify laws already on the books. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

ABORTION: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) will place a priority on passing a ban on abortion after 15 weeks if Republicans reclaim control of the General Assembly in November’s elections, sources with knowledge of his agenda say. Youngkin’s political team believes a 15 week ban can represent a “consensus” limit that a majority of voters can support. (NBC News)

ENERGY: Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) on Wednesday will ask state lawmakers to reduce permitting times for clean energy projects and to set the state on a path toward 100% clean energy production. (MLive) Michigan Democrats rolled out a six-bill package aimed at increasing access to solar energy by providing rebates to customers who install solar panels and battery storage systems. (Michigan Advance)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: A St. Louis judge on Friday denied an effort to block a new Missouri law that restricts gender-affirming care for minors, allowing the law to take effect today. (KCUR) A Texas ban on gender-affirming care for minors will take effect after the Attorney General’s office appealed a district court’s injunction. (Texas Tribune) A federal judge in Texas will hold an initial hearing today in a lawsuit seeking to block legislation that would ban drag performances. (KXAN)

EDUCATION: Iowa schools are asking parents to sign off on students who want to be called by a different name than those on their school records — including common nicknames. The sponsor of the measure that requires parental consent if a student wants to be called by a new name says the law is meant to apply only in cases where the new name signals a gender transition. (Iowa News Now)

BUDGET: Virginia lawmakers have reached a deal on a budget after months of negotiations, tabling Gov. Youngkin’s call for a $1 billion tax cut in favor of one-time tax rebates of $200 per individual filer. The deal would increase a standard deduction by $500 per filer, or $1,000 for couples filing jointly. Youngkin is expected to call lawmakers back to special session to approve the budget in the coming weeks. (Washington Post)

ETHICS: An Illinois jury convicted Tim Mapes, the former chief of staff to ex-House Speaker Mike Madigan (D), on perjury charges on Thursday. Mapes is the seventh person convicted by a federal jury this year after years of public corruption investigations. Madigan faces a trial next year. (Chicago Sun-Times) Republicans in the legislature called for a special session to consider ethics reform. (Center Square)

MORE: Impeached Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) refuted rumors he might resign before his Senate trial begins next week. (KXAN) Paxton supporters are pressuring six Republican senators, including television advertisements that are running on Fox News. Former Gov. Rick Perry (R) wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal calling on senators to hold a full trial. (Texas Tribune)

In Politics & Business

REPUBLICANS: The Republican National Convention in 2028 will take place in Houston, members of the RNC decided on Friday. Houston beat out Dallas, Nashville, Miami and Jacksonville for the right to host the convention. Republicans made their pick early to make sure they could lock down the convention space. (Politico)

DEMOCRATS: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) says Democrats are on track to raise the $90 million they will need to host next year’s convention in Chicago. Pritzker promised national Democrats that the convention would be debt-free — and Pritzker may use his personal wealth to cover any shortfalls. (Chicago Tribune)

OHIO: Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to protect abortion rights objected to ballot language approved by the Ohio Ballot Board they say misleads voters about the amendment’s impact. The Ballot Board, controlled by Republicans, approved language that says “an unborn child” could be “aborted at any stage of pregnancy, regardless of viability[.]” (Associated Press)

MORE: The Ohio Redistricting Commission will meet Sept. 13 to begin considering new maps for state legislative districts. The state Supreme Court ruled the existing maps unconstitutional five times — but a new conservative majority on the high court could prove a friendlier venue for Republican lawmakers. (Ohio Capital Journal)

OREGON: Five Republican state senators have sued Secretary of State LaVonne Griffin-Valade after her office ruled they are ineligible to seek re-election in 2024, after racking up more than the 10 unexcused absences allowed under a state law approved by voters in 2022. The senators, led by Minority Leader Tim Knopp (R), say the law’s language is vague. (Associated Press)

MISSISSIPPI: Secretary of State nominee Shuwaski Young (D) will withdraw from the race ahead of November’s elections over health concerns. The state Democratic Party will have the chance to appoint a substitute to take on Secretary of State Michael Watson (R) in November. (Jackson Clarion Ledger)

PEOPLE: Former Tennessee Gov. Don Sundquist (R) died Sunday at 87. Sundquist never lost an election and helped usher Tennessee firmly into the red column. (Tennessee Lookout, Associated Press)

Overlooked facts about Sundquist, from a regular reader who used to work for him: Sundquist managed then-Sen. Howard Baker’s (R) 1980 campaign for president. The only election he ever lost was a race to chair the National Republican Congressional Committee in 1992, which put him on the path to run for governor two years later.

By The Numbers

432,000: The number of voter registrations Georgia has canceled through its membership in the Electronic Registration Information Center, or ERIC. Several red states have canceled their membership in the program, which cross-references voter rolls across state lines to cancel duplicate registrations. Georgia officials say the program is working. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

$292.5 million: The amount California is offering to 17 troubled hospitals around the state that might otherwise close. The largest no-interest loan, $52 million, will help Madera Community Hospital reopen in the Central Valley — though it will still need to raise $33 million to cover past debts. (Los Angeles Times)

1 in 4: The number of childcare positions in Michigan that are vacant, according to state statistics. The average childcare worker is paid $13.45 an hour, among the lowest pay rates in the state. (Bridge MI)

Off The Wall

Nineteen Republican senators have authored a letter to the Biden administration objecting to guidance issued earlier this year that prevents federal money from being used to fund archery programs in schools. More than 300 schools around the country participate in the National Archery in Schools Program, which says archery results in far fewer injuries than sports like skateboarding, basketball and football. (Omaha World-Herald)

Vermonters who want to help recovery efforts from this year’s floods will be able to purchase special “Vermont Strong” license plates and socks, with proceeds benefitting the Vermont Community Foundation and an emergency grant program for businesses. The license plates and socks can be yours for only $70. (VT Digger)

Quote of the Day

“I thought that was the right thing to do in the moment so that [Gen.] Hara can do whatever is necessary on the ground.”

Hawaii Gov. Josh Green (D), who released $30 million in funding for the state response to fires in Lahaina that killed at least 115. The response is being overseen by Maj. Gen. Kenneth Hara, the state adjutant general. (Honolulu Star-Advertiser)