Pluribus AM: The demographics shaping America’s political future

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, December 27, 2023. We hope you had a great break. In today’s edition, red states set to gain political power; Wisconsin, Michigan district lines struck down; Ohio governor contemplating gender-affirming care ban:

Top Stories

DEMOGRAPHICS: A shifting American population is  likely to hand more political power to red states after the 2030 Census, according to a new analysis of mid-decade statistics. California is on pace to lose four — and maybe five — seats in the U.S. House of Representatives, while Texas would add four seats to its delegation and Florida would add three. Check out our full report here.

An important caveat: These are mid-decade trends, and lots can change in seven years. But if these trends hold, the next reapportionment process is going to be a political earthquake.

ENVIRONMENT: Attorneys general from 21 red states have filed suit against the Biden administration, challenging new Department of Transportation rules that require states to establish targets for reducing on-road carbon dioxide emissions. The attorneys general say the federal agencies lack authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. (Courthouse News)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: A federal judge in Idaho has blocked the state ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors that was set to take effect Jan. 1. Judge Lynn Winmill said the plaintiffs were likely to prevail on equal protection and due process grounds. (Idaho Statesman) Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has until Friday to act on legislation that would bar gender-affirming health and mental health care for transgender minors. He has not made a decision on the bill, which passed along party lines. (Columbus Dispatch)

We wrote about Ohio’s bill — and its unique elements that apply to mental health professionals — last month.

EDUCATION: Iowa has notified the U.S. Department of Agriculture it will not participate in a summer program delivering extra EBT money to low-income children. States are required to cover half the administrative costs of the federal program, which would give low-income families an extra $40 per month to cover food costs while school is out. (Des Moines Register)

PUBLIC SAFETY: Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee has advanced legislation allowing a person to be charged with manslaughter if they sell or give drugs to someone who subsequently overdoses. The bill, which already passed the House, is headed to the Senate floor for a final vote. (

TAXES: Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall (R) has filed five priority bills aimed at cutting corporate and personal income taxes. The measures would phase out a corporate income tax over five years and cut personal income taxes gradually over the next several years. (McCarville Report)

REPARATIONS: California’s Legislative Black Caucus intends to unveil legislation addressing recommendations issued by the state’s reparations task force next month. The task force issued 115 policy recommendations to address the legacy of slavery, from direct cash payments to collecting data on housing discrimination and removing lead in drinking water. (Sacramento Bee)

As the Bee points out, a conversation about reparations becomes a lot more difficult with a $68 billion budget deficit.

In Politics & Business

WISCONSIN: The state Supreme Court has ruled state legislative maps drawn after the 2020 Census are an unconstitutional gerrymander. The ruling orders the legislature to redraw maps in advance of the 2024 elections, citing the fact that more than half of Assembly and Senate districts contain non-contiguous territory. (Wisconsin Examiner, Associated Press)

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) said the legislature would appeal the ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

MICHIGAN: A panel of federal judges has ordered Michigan’s Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission to redraw 13 Detroit-area legislative districts they said violate the Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause. A group of Black voters had sued over the lines, alleging they diluted Black voting power. (Detroit News, MLive)

Don’t miss this smart CBS News piece laying out the dozen states where redistricting battles are shaping the 2024 election, long before voters head to the polls.

BAD BEHAVIOR: North Dakota Republicans are calling on state Rep. Nico Rios (R) to resign after Rios made homophobic and anti-migrant remarks to police who arrested him on suspicion of driving under the influence earlier this month. (Associated Press) Missouri House Democrats voted to expel state Rep. Sarah Unsicker (D) from their caucus after she posted photos on social media showing her with a prominent Holocaust denier. (KCUR)

By The Numbers

Over $4 billion: The amount states have collected in taxes on sports wagering since 2018. Sports betting will be legal in 38 states after Vermont joins the crowd on Jan. 11. (Associated Press)

9.9 million: The number of Americans who will get a pay raise on New Years Day, when the minimum wage in 22 states increases. The left-leaning Economic Policy Institute estimates that those wage hikes will mean workers earn an additional $6.95 billion in the coming year. (The Hill)

More than 20: The number of states that have approved legislation requiring schools to teach cursive writing in the last decade, according to Connie Slone, founder of California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) signed bills requiring cursive instruction this year. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)

Off The Wall

The neighboring towns of Paulsboro and Gibbstown, N.J., are “joined at the hip,” their mayors say — in part because those mayors are brothers. John Giovannitti, 61, will be sworn in as mayor of Paulsboro on Jan. 2, two days before his brother Vince Giovannitti is sworn in for a second term as mayor of Gibbstown. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Authorities in the Chicago suburbs have recovered a tricked-out promotional vehicle advertising Slim Jims that had been stolen earlier this month in Los Angeles. The Nissan Z, custom wrapped to advertise the jerky product, is known as “Fast Meat.” (WBBM)

Quote of the Day

“If you asked anyone that has said, ‘Would you ever consider this?’ I say, ‘Number one, my wife has asked me for two months.’ I am confident that after two weeks she’ll say, ‘There’s somewhere you have to be, isn’t there?’”

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), entering his final year in office, on his plans — or lack thereof — when he leaves office. (Indianapolis Star)