Pluribus AM: Unemployment ticks up; NJ advances concealed carry restrictions; the trouble with turkeys

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. In today’s edition, unemployment rates tick up; N.J. advances new concealed carry restrictions; and the trouble with turkeys:

Top Stories

UNEMPLOYMENT: The unemployment rate remains near record lows, but it ticked up in about half the states last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The slight increases may be a sign of slowing economic growth. Oklahoma’s unemployment rate was the only one that increased by a statistically significant margin, 0.5 percentage points, from last year. (Pluribus News) 

GEORGIA: A state Court of Appeals ruled Monday that counties can offer early voting the Saturday after Thanksgiving in a high-stakes U.S. Senate runoff. Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) had told counties not to hold early voting that day, but the court upheld a lower court’s ruling reversing that order. (Georgia Public Broadcasting) Raffensperger has said he will not appeal.

NEW JERSEY: The Democratic-led Assembly has approved a new measure limiting concealed carry of firearms. The bill would require gun owners who want a carry permit to purchase liability insurance and take training courses while barring firearms from schools, parks, courthouses and bars. Gov. Phil Murphy (D) has said he will sign the bill if it makes it through the state Senate. (

CONNECTICUT: Lawmakers will meet for a special session next week to consider extending a gas tax holiday and free bus fares and raising hero-pay bonuses to front-line responders. Gov. Ned Lamont (D) said he will push lawmakers to add $130 million in low-income heating energy assistance after the federal allocation was cut. (WTNH)

NEW MEXICO: State Sen. Linda Lopez (D) will introduce legislation to repeal a 30-year old ordinance prohibiting rent control. Lopez said allowing municipalities to decide whether to impose rent controls could lead to more affordable housing. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

OREGON: Gov. Kate Brown (D) will pardon Oregonians who were convicted of simple possession of marijuana before a state law legalizing the drug took effect in 2016. The order applies to 45,000 people who were convicted of possessing an ounce or less. (Oregonian)

TEXAS: The state Securities Board is investigating celebrities including Steph Curry and Tom Brady as part of a broader look into failed cryptocurrency exchange FTX over potential violations of state securities law. But it’s not clear how existing law, first adopted in 1985, applies to modern crypto companies. (Texas Tribune)

ALABAMA: Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has ordered a full review of the state’s execution process and Attorney General Steve Marshall (R) has withdrawn motions before the state Supreme Court to set two new execution dates after two straight unsuccessful attempts to administer the death penalty. (Yellowhammer News)

In Politics

ARIZONA: After the last votes were counted, Democrat Kris Mayes leads Republican Abe Hamadeh in the race for Attorney General by just 510 votes out of almost 2.6 million cast. The margin triggers an automatic recount under state law. Arizona will also recount the race for Superintendent of Public Instruction, in which Tom Horne (R) leads incumbent Kathy Hoffman (D) by 8,968 votes. (AZ Mirror)

NEW YORK: Despite GOP inroads in New York City and Long Island, Democrats appear to have maintained their supermajorities in both the Assembly and state Senate in Albany. Democrats won 102 of 150 seats in the Assembly, and 41 of the 42 seats they need to keep a supermajority in the Senate. A 42nd Democrat leads in a race in Syracuse that’s headed to a recount. (State of Politics)

MISSOURI: The state Auto Dealers Association is backing Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe’s (R) bid for governor in two years. Kehoe is collecting early endorsements before other Republicans enter the race. Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft (R) is likely to jump in, too. Gov. Mike Parson (R) is term-limited. (Missouri Times)

MICHIGAN: Outgoing House Speaker Jason Wentworth (R) has denied a request by state Rep. Steve Carra (R) to grant subpoena power to a commission that would be charged with investigating fraud in the 2022 elections, in which Democrats captured control of the state. Wentworth called the request “a shameless and half-baked political stunt.” (Detroit News, BridgeMI)

FLORIDA: State Senate President Kathleen Passidomo (R) and state House Speaker Paul Renner (R) formally take over their leadership roles today. Both are close allies of Gov. Ron DeSantis (R). (Orlando Sentinel) House Democrats have named Rep. Fentrice Driskell (D) as minority leader, the first Black woman to lead a party caucus there. (Florida Politics)

PEOPLE: Arizona Gov.-elect Katie Hobbs (D) has named Allie Bones her incoming chief of staff. Bones has served as Hobbs’s Assistant Secretary of State since 2019. (KTAR)

By The Numbers

$6.6 billion: The projected budget surplus Wisconsin will have to play with at the end of the fiscal year, according to projections by Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) administration. Those projections have been revised upward from $5 billion. (WisPolitics)

28: The number of businesses that have been approved to sell recreational marijuana in New York, after regulators approved the first batch of retail licenses. The goal is to begin recreational sales by year’s end. (State of Politics)

45, 44: The number of women and the number of men in the New York Philharmonic, the first time in its history that women have outnumbered men. (New York Times)

Off The Wall

Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) will participate in that annual rite that all governors must undertake, the pardoning of the Thanksgiving turkeys. But, in a twist, Reynolds will pardon Iowa’s birds in a virtual ceremony, after officials decided it wasn’t a good idea to transport the birds in the midst of a bird flu outbreak. (Globe Gazette)

In yet more turkey pardoning news, the lucky bird given a reprieve by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is named … Mitch E. Gander. (MLive) In case you haven’t noticed, Pluribus News takes a bold stand in favor of punny names.

Firefighters in Soldotna, Alaska, rescued a young moose stuck in a local resident’s basement after it slid through a ground-level window. “Luckily,” one firefighter said, “it wasn’t a full-grown moose.” (Anchorage Daily News)

Quote of the Day

“Smile, everybody. We’re running the place.”

Montana Rep.-elect Bob Keenan (R), after Republicans won greater control over the state than at any point in the last century. (Montana Free Press)

Update: Due to an editing error, an earlier version of this story inaccurately described the rise in Oklahoma’s unemployment rate. It rose 0.5 percentage points in the last year, not 0.5%.