Pluribus AM: Wash. bans PFAS in beauty products; Fla. expands ‘don’t say gay’ law; Nev. nears deal for MLB team

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, April 20, 2023. In today’s edition, Wash. bans PFAS in beauty products; Fla. expands ‘don’t say gay’ law; Nev. nears deal to land MLB team:

Top Stories

HEALTH CARE: Washington’s legislature has passed a first-of-its-kind bill banning PFAS chemicals in beauty products. (Seattle Times) Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has signed legislation to let patients in hospitals designate a specific visitor as an essential caregiver, allowing them to visit for at least two hours a day. (Yellowhammer News) The Alaska Senate has approved a bill expanding Medicaid coverage for new mothers up to 12 months after they give birth. (Alaska Beacon) 

EDUCATION: The Florida Board of Education approved a ban on classroom instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity through high school, expanding what critics call the “don’t say gay” law passed last year. (Associated Press) Iowa House and Senate Republicans say they are nearing a deal on a bill to limit instruction on gender identity and sexual orientation and remove books that include sex acts from school libraries. The deal would exempt religious books like the Bible. (Des Moines Register)

MORE: Missouri’s Senate Appropriations Committee has restored funding for public libraries in the state budget proposal. The budget no longer prohibits spending on diversity, equity and inclusion efforts. (St. Louis Public Radio, St. Louis Post-Dispatch) The North Carolina House will consider legislation expanding school vouchers to every family in the state. The bill is sponsored by state Rep. Tricia Cotham (R), who recently switched parties to give the GOP a supermajority. (WRAL)

EVEN MORE: The Texas Senate approved a bill to create a safety and security department within the Texas Education Agency, giving it the authority to compel schools to create active-shooter protocols. (Texas Tribune) The Texas Senate approved a bill banning public universities from promoting equitable access and diversity among students, faculty and staff. (Texas Tribune)

ESG: The Florida Senate has approved legislation banning state and local governments from using environmental, social and governance criteria when investing public money. The bill now heads to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) for a signature. (Bloomberg)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Ohio House is hearing testimony on legislation to ban transgender athletes from girl’s K-12 sports. (Statehouse News Bureau) The North Carolina Senate could vote as early as today on a bill banning transgender athletes from girl’s sports. A separate bill introduced Tuesday would prohibit drag performances on public property or in the presence of minors. (Associated Press)

GUN POLITICS: The Michigan Senate approved four measures aimed at creating red flag laws to take guns away from those who pose a danger to themselves or others. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is expected to sign the bills. (MLive) The Nebraska legislature gave final approval to a bill allowing residents to carry concealed handguns without a permit or safety training. (Nebraska Examiner) 

MORE: The Washington legislature has given final approval to a bill banning dozens of types of semi-automatic rifles. (Associated Press) A Colorado assault weapons ban proposal went down in the House Judiciary Committee early Thursday. (Colorado Sun)

ABORTION: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) signed legislation increasing tax credits for pregnancy resource centers from $3.5 million to $10 million, creating foster parent rights and increasing a tax credit for families who are adopting to $10,000 for in-state adoptions. (Magnolia Tribune)

In Politics & Business

ALABAMA: The House Elections Committee has advanced a bill making it a Class C felony to distribute, order, request, collect, complete, obtain or deliver an absentee ballot on behalf of another person. The bill creates exceptions for family members, designated election officials and court-appointed guardians. (

OHIO: The state Senate has approved a bill placing a ballot question before voters in August that would raise the threshold for passage of a constitutional amendment from a simple majority to 60%. Future proposed amendments would require supporters to gather signatures in all 88 Ohio counties. (Columbus Dispatch)

CALIFORNIA: Senate President Toni Atkins (D) is eyeing a bid to succeed Lt. Gov. Elena Kounalakis (D) in 2026, and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) is considering a run for state Treasurer. Both Atkins and Rendon are term-limited in 2024. (Sacramento Bee) The Assembly Elections Committee has approved a measure cracking down on paid signature-gathering by requiring firms to register with the California Secretary of State’s office. (Sacramento Bee)

Ballot measures are big business in California. Over the years, we’ve heard of supporters paying as much as $10 or $15 per valid signature.

FLORIDA: Voters will decide whether to make school board races officially partisan in 2024, after the state Senate approved legislation placing the question on the ballot. The proposed constitutional amendment requires 60% support to pass. (Florida Politics)

SOUTH DAKOTA: Activists are collecting signatures for a proposed ballot measure opening primary elections to all voters, regardless of party affiliation. The state Republican Party says it will oppose the initiative. (South Dakota Searchlight)

KENTUCKY: Former Ambassador Kelly Craft (R) gave her campaign almost $6 million, according to new expenditure reports. Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) and Agriculture Commissioner Ryan Quarles, the other top GOP candidates, each raised more than $1 million in the first quarter. (Kentucky Fried Politics)

NEVADA: Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) and top lawmakers are close to an agreement with the Oakland A’s on a deal to construct a $1 billion baseball stadium near the Las Vegas Strip. The team will buy a 49-acre site from Red Rock Resorts. Lawmakers will be asked to allocate transferable tax credits worth about $500 million. (Nevada Independent)

PEOPLE: Former Los Angeles Mayor Richard Riordan (R) has died at 92. He took office in 1993, promising renewal after riots and recovery after the Northridge earthquake. (Los Angeles Times)

By The Numbers

$1.5 million: The amount Kentucky coal magnate Joe Craft has contributed to Commonwealth PAC, a group supporting former Ambassador Kelly Craft’s (R) campaign for governor. Kelly Craft said she did not know her husband had been funding the PAC. (Lexington Herald-Leader)

1931: The year Michigan passed a bill banning unmarried people from living together, on punishment of a year in prison and a $1,000 fine. The law isn’t enforced anymore, but the state Senate voted Wednesday to strip it from the books. (Michigan Advance)

Off The Wall

New England researchers are turning to an odd source to study climate change: Centuries-old whaling logbooks. Researchers are studying reports of weather and wind patterns from the 2,500 logbooks maintained by hundreds of ships that hunted whales in the 1800s, housed at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. (Boston Globe)

The Boston Herald’s Peter Lucas dived deep into the archives to investigate when Massachusetts lawmakers get expelled from office. The first happened in 1855, when the state House voted to oust Rep. Joseph Hiss, chairman of the House Nunnery Committee (what?), propositioned a nun (what?!?) during a visit to the Academy of the Sisters of Notre Dame in Roxbury. (Boston Herald)

The Texas House voted unanimously to increase penalties for giving alcohol to minors. The bill would make it a felony for a “public officer” to give alcohol to a minor. Among the votes in favor: State Rep. Bryan Slaton (R), who is under investigation for an alleged relationship with a legislative intern to whom he allegedly provided booze. (Texas Tribune)

Quote of the Day

“That’s why I’m telling the attorneys when you are making these agreements, let them know that cantankerous, miserable old goat in the treasurer’s office, he’s going to speak on it.”

Maryland Treasurer Dereck Davis (D), annoyed by settlements of lawsuits against the state. Attorneys representing the state have asked Davis not to disclose details of the settlements. (Maryland Matters)