Pluribus AM: UAW, Ford reach deal to end strike

Good morning, it’s Thursday, October 26, 2023. In today’s edition, UAW reaches deal with Ford; Texas lawmakers at odds over education vouchers; North Carolina GOP approves new U.S. House maps:

Top Stories

ENVIRONMENT: The Michigan Senate Energy Committee has approved legislation requiring the state to adopt 100% clean energy by 2040. The measure would make Michigan the 12th state to set a mandate to decarbonize its energy sector. (Pluribus News)

LABOR: The United Auto Workers has reached a tentative agreement with Ford to end a 41-day strike. The deal includes an 11% wage hike in the first year and a 25% pay raise over the four-year deal, plus a $5,000 bonus and cost of living adjustments, along with pension and retirement benefits. (Detroit Free Press) Deals with Stellantis and General Motors have yet to be struck.

MORE: The Illinois House voted to allow legislative staff to organize for collective bargaining rights. Illinois would become the fourth state to allow staff to form a union, after Maine, Oregon and California. (WBEZ)

IMMIGRATION: The Texas House has approved legislation making it a Class B misdemeanor for anyone to enter the state over the border with Mexico illegally. The bill would allow law enforcement officers to jail those who enter the state illegally for up to six months. (KXAN)

EDUCATION: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) and the Texas House are at an impasse over school vouchers. A coalition of Democrats and rural Republicans continue to oppose allowing families to use taxpayer money to send children to private schools. Abbott called a House compromise “insufficient.” (Texas Tribune)

PUBLIC HEALTH: The Texas House approved a measure barring private employers from imposing Covid-19 vaccine mandates. The House and Senate will work out differences between their two versions in conference committee before the measure goes to Abbott for a signature. (Texas Tribune)

ABORTION: Tennessee Attorney General Jonathan Skrmetti (R) has filed suit against the federal government for withholding millions of dollars in family planning funds after the state refused to comply with rules requiring clinics to provide abortion referrals. The Department of Health and Human Services ruled Tennessee does not qualify for federal funds through Title X. (Associated Press)

GUN POLITICS: Georgia Lt. Gov. Burt Jones (R) will support legislation to offer public school teachers a $10,000 annual stipend to take voluntary firearms courses and carry firearms in schools. State Senate leaders will ask legislative staff to estimate the costs of the measure. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Associated Press)

WATER: The U.S. Department of the Interior said Wednesday that conditions on the Colorado River have improved enough that a plan for usage cuts by California, Arizona and Nevada should keep the river basin stable for the next several years. Just last year, officials said steep cuts in usage would be necessary to stave off a crisis. (Associated Press)

In Politics & Business

NORTH CAROLINA: The General Assembly gave final approval to new U.S. House district maps that will give Republicans an advantage in 10 of 14 districts next year, and a good shot at winning an 11th district. Republicans and Democrats each hold seven of North Carolina’s U.S. House seats today. (Associated Press) Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker (R) ended his bid for governor and said he would run for one of the newly drawn seats. (Raleigh News & Observer, Associated Press)

Department of Unintended Consequences: North Carolina’s governor gets no say over redistricting legislation, after Democrats who controlled the General Assembly in the 1990s moved to block then-Gov. James Martin’s (R) ability to veto their own U.S. House maps.

OHIO: Backers of redistricting reform in Ohio must restart the process to get their proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot after finding a typo in language summarizing the measure’s effect. The delay will cost supporters about a month of signature-gathering time. They have until July to collect 413,000 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. (Cleveland Plain Dealer, Statehouse News Bureau)

OREGON: A powerful labor union said it would begin collecting signatures for a ballot measure to ban all self-serve gas in Oregon, just months after lawmakers ended the 70-year old law against self-serve. They must collect 112,000 signatures to qualify for the 2024 ballot. (Oregonian)

By The Numbers

4.9%: The annual growth of America’s gross domestic product in the third quarter, up from 2.1% in the second quarter of the year. The growth surprised analysts who expected a 4.7% annualized growth rate. (CNBC)

2,646: The number of Washington State residents who died from a drug overdose in the past year. More than 1,800 of those deaths were linked to synthetic opioids including fentanyl. (Crosscut)

2.3: The number of lawyers per 1,000 residents in Indiana, below the national average of four per capita. Rural areas in particular are struggling to retain lawyers. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Too many good lawyer jokes to choose from.

Off The Wall

Lawmakers in Arizona have asked Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) to temporarily extend last call at bars and restaurants from 2 a.m. to 3 a.m. as the Arizona Diamondbacks play in the World Series. Legislation passed last year allows the governor to temporarily lift a ban on alcohol sales between 2 a.m. and 6 a.m., a bill meant to apply to the Super Bowl. (Arizona Republic)

Pennsylvania state Rep. Mark Rozzi (D), who is running for state Auditor, has endorsed Jacklyn Rusnock to replace him in the legislature. It’s not unusual for an outgoing legislator to endorse a successor. It is unusual for a legislator to endorse their ex-spouse to take over for them. The pair divorced in 2020 after 25 years of marriage. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

A Colorado welding company settled a legal dispute with a subcontractor for $23,500 — a fine they tried to pay off with loose change weighing three tons, so much that it could not be carried up a freight elevator to the subcontractor’s office. A judge ordered the welding company to pay an additional $8,092 in legal fees over what he called malicious intent. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“It’s nice to visit. You can shop there. You can go have a meal. You can gamble. Whatever.”

Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healey (D), on Rhode Island. The Rhode Island Commerce Corporation responded on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter: “People have been leaving Massachusetts for Rhode Island since 1636. #RogerWilliams.” (Providence Journal)