Pluribus AM: Wash. bans assault weapons; Texas takes new approach to ban trans care; Mont. House to vote on expelling Dem

Good morning, it’s Wednesday, April 26, 2023. In today’s edition, Wash. bans assault weapons; Texas takes new approach to ban trans care; Mont. House to vote on expelling Dem:

Top Stories

GUN POLITICS: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has signed bills banning assault-style weapons, requiring a 10-day waiting period for the purchase of firearms and allowing lawsuits against the firearm industry. (Pluribus News, Seattle Times) Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen (R) signed legislation allowing residents to carry handguns without permits or training. (Nebraska Examiner)

WORKFORCE: Wisconsin’s Assembly approved a bill cutting the length of time residents can receive unemployment benefits when the economy is strong. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has signed an executive order requiring the state Bureau of Human Resources to reconsider whether open jobs should require college degrees. (Dakota News Now)

The former Republican governor of Maryland and the current Democratic governor of Pennsylvania both nixed college requirements for thousands of open state jobs.

EDUCATION: The Indiana legislature has given final approval to a measure requiring schools to teach financial literacy. (WTHR) Indiana’s Senate gave final approval to a measure barring teacher’s unions from discussing curriculum during contract negotiations. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Indiana legislature has sent Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) a bill requiring schools to notify parents if their child requests a name or pronoun change. (WTHR) The Florida Senate Fiscal Policy Committee approved a measure requiring people to use bathrooms that conform to their gender at birth. (WUSF) The Texas Senate has passed a bill making doctors and insurers financially liable for medical, mental health and pharmaceutical costs resulting from complications of gender-affirming care. (Dallas Morning News, Texas Tribune)

MARIJUANA: The Minnesota House passed a measure legalizing marijuana for recreational use Tuesday, with a few Republican votes. The state Senate is set to take up the measure Friday. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The Louisiana Senate has approved legislation increasing penalties against those who produce fentanyl. Those convicted of fentanyl-related crimes could face up to life in prison. (Baton Rouge Advocate, Associated Press)

IMMIGRATION: The Florida legislature will consider measures cracking down on hiring undocumented immigrants and requiring hospitals to collect data on a patient’s immigration status when they seek health care. (Florida Politics)

SOCIAL MEDIA: The Texas House has given initial approval to a bill requiring social media platforms to get parental consent before a minor creates an account. The measure is a priority for Speaker Dade Phelan (R). (Texas Tribune)

COLORADO: Gov. Jared Polis (D) has signed legislation requiring manufacturers to provide manuals, tools, parts and software to allow farmers to fix their own tractors and combines. It’s the first state to pass a right-to-repair bill that applies to farm equipment. (Associated Press)

NEW YORK: Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) says budget negotiations are close to a resolution, almost a month after the official due date. Illegal cannabis sales and New York City charter schools remain sticking points, Hochul said, while the governor and the legislature have reached agreement on cashless bail reform. (State of Politics)

In Politics & Business

MONTANA: The state House will vote Wednesday to censure or expel state Rep. Zooey Zephyr (D), the transgender legislator who has been barred from speaking on the House floor since last week. Republicans are angry over Zephyr’s comment that they would have “blood on their hands” if they vote to ban gender-affirming care. (Missoulian, Associated Press)

CALIFORNIA: Former state Controller Betty Yee (D) will run for governor in 2026, making her announcement just hours after Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis (D) announced her own run. (California Globe)

LOUISIANA: Just a week after a recall attempt against New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell (D) failed, Republican lawmakers have introduced bills that would lower the recall threshold from 20% of all active voters to 20% of those who voted in the last election. (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

PENNSYLVANIA: Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) has signed an executive order creating the Commonwealth Office of Digital Experience to improve online access to government services. Shapiro said he would staff the office with digital experts already working for the state. (Harrisburg Patriot-News)

MASSACHUSETTS: State Democrats have chosen former lieutenant governor candidate Steve Kerrigan as their new party chair. Kerrigan, a longtime donor and activist, ran the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in 2012. (MassLive)

WASHINGTON: State House Republicans have chosen Rep. Drew Stokesbary (R) as the new House Minority Leader. Stokesbary replaces Rep. J.T. Wilcox (R), who said he would step down from leadership as the session ended. (Crosscut)

DESANTIS: Florida lawmakers amended a bill in the state Senate to specifically allow officeholders to run for president or vice president. The legislature previously passed measures to allow then-Govs. Rick Scott (R) and Charlie Crist (a Republican at the time) to run for U.S. Senate seats. (Orlando Sentinel)

By The Numbers

6: The number of states that have established Prescription Drug Affordability Boards, following Maryland’s first-in-the-nation concept from 2019. The boards are meant to conduct cost reviews of drugs that seem too expensive to bring down prices. (WYPR)

25: The number of consecutive months in which gaming revenue in Nevada casinos has topped $1 billion. A decline in revenue at casinos on the Las Vegas Strip came from a down month in high-end baccarat play. (Nevada Independent)

7,000: The amount, in pounds, of homemade sausage the town of Shepherd, Mich., will sell during the annual Shepherd Maple Syrup Festival this weekend. (Detroit Free Press)

Brb, booking tickets to Michigan.

Off The Wall

Maine Gov. Janet Mills (D) has signed legislation allowing bars, tasting rooms and distilleries to sell to-go cocktails, making permanent a pandemic-era policy. (Portland Press Herald) Maine is the 19th state to allow to-go sales on a permanent basis.

Quote of the Day

“Stoked for some tasty waves on the Texas Coast this summer after #txlege hits its gnarly Sine Die!”

Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan (R), posting a surfing shot on Twitter after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) dubbed him “California Dade.” Because we’re all adults here. (Twitter)