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Good morning, it’s Monday, April 17, 2023. In today’s edition, TikTok ban passes in Mont.; Ind., Kan. move to ban ESG practices; AG Cameron leads KY GOP primary:
SOCIAL MEDIA: The Montana legislature gave final approval Friday to a bill banning TikTok throughout the state. The bill would ban the Apple and Google app stores from allowing it to be downloaded. Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) has not said whether he will sign the bill, the first of its kind passed this year. (Missoulian)
GUN POLITICS: The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony Monday on bills to ban assault weapons, require safe storage of firearms, prevent outdoor shooting ranges within a mile of schools and allow reciprocal concealed carry permits. (Providence Journal) A new Michigan law that will allow the expungement of non-assault felonies for about 105,000 state residents will allow those residents to purchase and possess firearms. (Detroit News)
ESG: The Indiana Senate has approved a measure requiring the state Treasurer to compile a list of financial investment managers who consider environmental, social and governance factors in investments. The Indiana Public Retirement System would be barred from doing business with those managers. (WFYI) The Kansas legislature has cleared a bill preventing the state and its pension funds from using ESG principles in investing. (The Star)
EDUCATION: The Missouri Senate has approved legislation requiring school districts to hold classes five days a week, with exemptions for some rural districts. About a quarter of Missouri school districts are only open four days a week. (Fox4) The Louisiana Republican Party is asking lawmakers to ban the study of racism at colleges and universities. Their resolution says examining the “inglorious aspects” of U.S. history is too divisive. (Nola.com)
LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Montana Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill banning drag performances and drag story hours in libraries, museums and public facilities that receive at least 10% of their funding from state or local governments. (Montana Free Press) The Washington House has approved a bill that would prevent licensed homeless shelters from contacting the parents of a minor who runs away from home seeking gender-affirming or reproductive care. (Spokane Spokesman-Review)
ABORTION: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) signed bills barring state agencies from cooperating with out-of-state investigations into reproductive health care, outlawing deceptive practices by pregnancy resource centers and requiring large employers to over coverage for the cost of abortions. (CPR)
MORE: A federal judge has ordered that a Catholic anti-abortion clinic be exempted from a Colorado law banning the administration of abortion-reversal drugs. (Colorado Sun) Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) said his state will stockpile mifepristone through the University of Maryland Medical System. (Baltimore Sun)
NEW YORK: Budget negotiations drag on with no resolution in sight. Lawmakers must approve yet another short-term spending plan by Tuesday to avoid a shutdown before Thursday’s payroll. Bail reform remains the key sticking point between Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) and Democratic legislative leaders. (State of Politics, Albany Times Union)
OHIO: A bipartisan pair of senators has introduced legislation to repeal the death penalty. Momentum has built in recent years in conservative circles, though Attorney General Dave Yost (R) is opposed. (Cleveland Scene)
MONTANA: The Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee has endorsed legislation to end dangerous bounty hunting practices. The bill would require bail recovery agents to be trained and licensed, and to notify police of planned apprehensions. A version of the bill passed the House by a wide margin earlier this year. (Missoulian)
In Politics & Business
KENTUCKY: Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) leads the field in the race to challenge Gov. Andy Beshear (D), according to a new Emerson poll released Friday. Cameron has support from 30% of likely Republican primary voters, ahead of the 24% who back former Ambassador Kelly Craft (R) and 15% who support Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles (R). No other candidate cracks double digits.
MISSISSIPPI: Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D) has hired Ron Owens to manage his campaign against Gov. Tate Reeves (R). Owens served as political director for Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) in the 2022 cycle. Presley’s other senior hires come from the Ohio Democratic Party and former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’s 2022 campaign. (Magnolia Tribune)
OHIO: The newly created House Constitutional Resolutions Committee will vote on whether to raise the bar for adoption of constitutional amendments to 60%. Voters would have to approve the measure in an August special election. (Cleveland Plain Dealer) Republicans are racing to adopt the measure ahead of a likely November vote on enshrining abortion rights into the state constitution.
VERMONT: The state Senate on Friday approved a bill to double pay for state lawmakers by 2027. Lawmaker pay would rise from $812 a week, or about $15,000 for the legislative year, to $29,766 annually. The bill would also give lawmakers access to the same health insurance coverage as state employees. (VTDigger)
RHODE ISLAND: State Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin (D) has died at 58, after a long battle with cancer. Goodwin, in the Senate since 1986, helped shepherd the state’s paid sick leave law. (Providence Journal) Our condolences to the Rhode Island capitol family.
By The Numbers
40th: The global ranking the United States scores in life expectancy, which is now at its lowest level since 1996. Life expectancy is highest in Hawaii, Minnesota, Vermont, Washington and New Hampshire. (Tribune News Service)
12%: The decrease in enrollment at Ohio public universities and community colleges over the last decade. There are 462,949 students in higher education programs now, down from 527,190 in the fall of 2012. (Ohio Capital Journal)
7 million: The number of Millennials who purchased their own homes over the last five years, a 64% increase. For the first time, more Millennials own their own homes than rent. Richmond, Va., and Las Vegas saw the largest increases in Millennial home ownership among the nation’s largest metro areas. (Nevada Independent)
$2 million: The amount New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) spent on contracts with Deloitte Consulting, Gotham Ghostwriters and the Boston Consulting Group in helping her craft her State of the State addresses in 2022 and 2023. (New York Times)
Off The Wall
A Texas Capitol staffer has alleged that state Rep. Bryan Slaton (R) had sexual relations with an intern he called to his Austin apartment on March 31. A complaint filed with the House General Investigating Committee says the intern, who is under 21, disclosed the relationship. Slaton has denied the incident, though two fellow Republican state representatives have called for him to resign. (Texas Tribune)
The town of Homer, Alaska, is buzzing about the arrival of a non-native possum that stowed away in a shipping container from Washington State. Residents are using the hashtag #FreeGrubby to support the elusive mammal; they named it Grubby because the possum was last seen near the city’s police department on Grubstake Avenue. (Anchorage Daily News)
Quote of the Day
“The Republican Party has an inability to move off this issue in a way that doesn’t scare the heck out of the average voter, the independent voter, the younger generation of voters.”
— New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R), on the electoral consequences of abortion bans and nationwide limits. (Associated Press)