Pluribus AM: The migrant crisis, from Texas to Massachusetts

HAPPENING TOMORROW: Join us for our annual Election Preview event, as we talk through the biggest races of the year — and what it means for the 2024 presidential contest. Register here!

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, October 24, 2023. In today’s edition, North Carolina gives GOP a leg up in battle for Congress; Texas advances border spending; Hochul extends migrant state of emergency:

Top Stories

HEALTH CARE: Ten states have yet to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, leaving more than 2.3 million without coverage, according to a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. South Dakota and North Carolina expanded Medicaid coverage this year. (Pluribus News)

IMMIGRATION: The Texas House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines Monday to spend $1.5 billion to allow Gov. Greg Abbott (R) to build 50 miles of border barriers with Mexico. Texas has spent at least $1.5 billion already building 40 miles of border barrier. (Texas Tribune)

MORE: Massachusetts leaders are begging the Biden administration to send federal aid to help them deal with overwhelmed migrant shelters. About a quarter of Massachusetts cities and towns are hosting more than 7,000 families in emergency shelter systems, and another 3,300 families are in hotels and motels. (MassLive) Senate President Karen Spilka (D) and House Speaker Ron Mariano (D) said gridlock over electing a new U.S. House Speaker is holding up funding. (MassLive)

EVEN MORE: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) extended an executive order declaring a state of emergency in response to the migrant crisis. The extension, which allows the state to deliver resources to local governments, now runs through Nov. 21. (State of Politics)

EDUCATION: Illinois lawmakers returning to Springfield today for the final session of the year will debate continuing a state income tax incentive program that funds an Invest In Kids voucher program. The plan divides Democrats, while Republicans back it. Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) said he would sign a bill if legislators approve one. State teachers unions are lobbying against the bill. (Chicago Tribune)

INFRASTRUCTURE: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) says the legislature will consider a $1 billion infrastructure package to fund public works projects next year, after approving $2.6 billion in infrastructure spending this year. Walz was ambiguous about where the new funding would be spent, whether on roads, bridges, clean water or higher education. (Minnesota Reformer)

ENVIRONMENT: Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) will allocate $402 million to help 106 municipalities build water infrastructure, replace lead pipes and address emerging contaminants like PFAS chemicals. The money comes from the bipartisan infrastructure law signed by President Biden in 2021. (Associated Press)

TAXES: The North Dakota House voted Monday to consider exempting the first $60,000 in income earned by a single filer, and $100,000 earned by a couple, from state income taxes. If the measure passes during the ongoing special session, it would mean $47 million in rebates for taxpayers next year, according to House Majority Leader Mike Lefor (R). (Fargo Forum)

In Politics & Business

PROPERTY TAXES: Conservative activists in four states have proposed ballot measures to place new limits on property taxes after recent hikes. A measure limiting property tax increases to 4% a year has qualified for Colorado’s ballot, and activists in Kansas, Wyoming and Montana are pushing to secure ballot access next year as well. (Pluribus News)

NORTH CAROLINA: The state Senate voted Monday to advance a proposal to redraw the state’s congressional district lines to give Republicans the chance to win three additional seats in next year’s elections. The proposed maps would give GOP candidates an edge in 10 of 14 districts in the state, and an 11th is likely trending toward the GOP. Democrats and Republicans each hold seven seats in the state’s 14-seat delegation. (Associated Press)

FLORIDA: Voting rights groups have asked a federal appeals court to uphold a lower court’s ruling that congressional redistricting plans backed by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) violate the state constitution. Attorneys for Secretary of State Cord Byrd (R) have argued that reestablishing a Black-majority district stretching from Jacksonville to Tallahassee would amount to a racial gerrymander. Arguments are scheduled for next week. (Orlando Sentinel)

MICHIGAN: Lawmakers crafting proposed new transparency legislation are circulating a draft plan that does not require new details about fundraising for nonprofit organizations tied to lawmakers, nor does it require disclosure of trips paid for by anyone who’s not an officially registered lobbyists. Several former House speakers have been ensnared in investigations into nonprofit fundraising. (Detroit News)

By The Numbers

$37 million: The amount legislative candidates in New Jersey raised between June 24 and Oct. 6, according to filings with the state Election Law Enforcement Commission. It’s the highest amount raised over that span since 2007, when adjusted for inflation. The party committees backing Democratic and Republican candidates raised another $9.1 million between them. (NJ Advance Media)

32%: The share of Americans who say they trust the mass media “a great deal” or “a fair amount,” matching the previous record low measured by Gallup in 2016. Nearly four in ten, 39%, say they have no trust at all in the media, the highest level ever recorded. (Gallup)

Off The Wall

Washington Sen. Jeff Wilson (R) was arrested Friday in Hong Kong for possessing an unlicensed firearm. A spokesperson said Wilson inadvertently packed a revolver in his carry-on bag, which was not caught by airport security. Wilson alerted customs authorities about the gun when he landed and was arrested. He posted bail and now awaits an Oct. 30 hearing. (Seattle Times)

Astronomers have detected a blast of radio waves that took 8 billion years to reach Earth. The fast radio burst, or FRB, lasted less than a millisecond. Researchers said it came from a cluster of two or three galaxies that are in the process of merging, suggesting it might have come from magnetars, the result of exploding stars. (CNN)

Quote of the Day

“I really resent the connection to this form of revenue source, to be honest. I don’t like it, but it is what it is.”

Colorado Senate Budget Committee chair Rachel Zenzinger (D), on a voter-approved ballot initiative that uses nicotine and tobacco taxes to fund universal pre-K. (CPR News)