Pluribus AM: Two years after Roe

Good morning, it’s Monday, June 24, 2024. In today’s edition, two years after Roe’s fall; California reaches budget deal; Kansas-Missouri feud heats up over sports teams:

Top Stories

ABORTION: Two years after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade, abortion rights and restrictions debates continue to roil the states. Controversies over reproductive care have expanded to include access to contraception, in vitro fertilization and maternal and infant health care. Read our comprehensive look at the state of the abortion debate at Pluribus News.

BUDGETS: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) and Democratic lawmakers struck a deal Saturday to make $16 billion in cuts and pull from rainy-day reserves to balance the $46.8 billion shortfall. The agreement delays a minimum wage increase for health care workers, cuts $1.1 billion from affordable housing and $750 million from the state prison system. (Los Angeles Times)

MORE: California’s budget deal includes $1 billion in grants to combat homelessness. It also sets aside $12 million to implement a series of reparations-related bills lawmakers still hope to pass before the end of the year. (Sacramento Bee, Sacramento Bee)

ENVIRONMENT: The Massachusetts Senate has approved legislation barring the purchase of single-use plastic bottles by state agencies, banning carryout plastic bags and requiring ten-cent charges for recycled paper bags. The measure would also require straws and plasticware to be available by request only. (Associated Press)

Massachusetts would be the 13th state to ban single-use plastic bags.

ETHICS: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signed legislation limiting the instances in which state and local watchdogs can investigate complaints against public officials. Panels would be allowed to investigate only if a complaint is brought by someone with direct knowledge of wrongdoing who is willing to be identified by name. (Orlando Sentinel)

HEALTH CARE: DeSantis also signed legislation allowing veterinarians to see animal patients through telehealth portals. Vets would be allowed to prescribe a 14-day supply of most drugs, and a month’s worth of flea and tick medications. The bill restricts medication for horses, to curb xylazine abuse. (Florida Politics)

SPORTS: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has signed legislation creating Sales Tax and Revenue Bonds, or STAR Bonds, to raise money for new stadiums for the Kansas City Royals and Chiefs. The bonds would be repaid over 30 years through taxes generated by the new stadiums and surrounding developments. (Kansas City Star)

Key lines from the Star: “[S]tadium projects almost never earn back the amount of public aid that goes into them. Decades of research shows stadiums aren’t major drivers of economic growth.”

In Politics & Business

OHIO: A Franklin County judge has stripped House Speaker Jason Stephens (R) of control over the Republican caucus campaign fund. Judge Mark Serrott said the faction of House Republicans who oppose Stephens, who make up a majority of the caucus, should exercise control over the campaign fund. (Associated Press, Columbus Dispatch)

A reminder: Stephens won the gavel with a majority made up of a small fraction of Republicans and every House Democrat.

MISSOURI: Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe (R) will skip the only planned television debate ahead of the Republican primary, citing a scheduling conflict. Kehoe’s team says he won’t be able to make the July 24 showdown with Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) and state Sen. Bill Eigel (R). (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

We told you Friday about a poll showing Ashcroft and Kehoe running neck and neck for the GOP nomination to replace retiring Gov. Mike Parson (R).

MONTANA: Supporters of a proposed constitutional amendment to guarantee abortion rights submitted 117,000 signatures, almost double the 60,000 they needed to win a spot on November’s ballot. Counties must finish counting and verifying signatures by July 19. (Daily Montanan)

INDIANA: Treasurer Daniel Elliott (R) said Friday he had placed the asset manager BlackRock on a list of firms alleged to have made illegal environmental, social or governance commitments. The state’s public retirement system will decide whether to pull their assets from BlackRock’s management. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

By The Numbers

$908,040: The median price of a single family home in California, up 9% from May 2023 and up 0.4% from April, setting a new record high. (Sacramento Bee)

-$20,122: The balance of the Rhode Island Republican State Central Committee’s federal campaign account, according to the latest filings with the Federal Election Commission. State party chair Joe Powers said the report was a typo, but he didn’t say how much the party had on hand. (Boston Globe)

5: The number of abortions performed in Texas in an average month over the last two years, since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down Roe v. Wade. Before the ruling, Texas was averaging about 4,400 abortions a month. (Texas Tribune)

Off The Wall

The fourth time was a charm for Wild Thang, a Pekingese from North Bend, Ore., who has been named the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest after three consecutive runners-up prizes. Wild Thang and his owner, Ann Lewis, took home a $5,000 prize. (UPI)

Bill Pool, 99, has a long history of military service in his family. The Missouri man served in the Battle of the Bulge during World War II. His father, Charles, served with the Sixth West Virginia Volunteers in the Civil War, which appears to make Bill the only surviving son of a Civil War soldier. (KY3)

Quote of the Day

“This competition does not serve our residents or our communities. Instead of working together to grow all our neighborhoods, we risk hurting the very people we are supposed to serve.”

Jackson County (Mo.) Executive Frank White Jr. (D), on competition between Kansas and Missouri over the Kansas City Chiefs and Royals. Kansas Gov. Kelly and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) signed a deal to limit competition in 2019. Missourians say the Kansas legislation to lure the teams (see above) breaks that deal. (Kansas City Star)