Pluribus AM: Alabama governor signs IVF protection law

Good morning, it’s Thursday, March 7, 2024. In today’s edition, Florida finalizes social media restrictions; Alabama Gov signs IVF protections into law; North Carolina’s top education official loses GOP primary:

Top Stories

SOCIAL MEDIA: Florida lawmakers gave final passage to revised legislation barring minors under 14 from having social media accounts, and allowing 14- and 15-year olds to maintain accounts only with parental permission. The bill targets social media platforms based on their business and design practices, rather than imposing a blanket ban. (Pluribus News)

Does it feel like we’ve written about this bill about 17 times? Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) is likely to sign it in short order.

MORE: The Iowa House approved legislation requiring those under 18 to obtain parental permission to open and use social media accounts. The bill would allow the state Attorney General to bring civil lawsuits against companies that violate parental permission requirements. (Des Moines Register)

IVF: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has signed legislation giving legal protections to in-vitro fertilization clinics and doctors after last month’s state Supreme Court ruling that caused some clinics to pause services. The new law will provide immunity from civil liability laws, though it does not directly address whether embryos in storage have the status of children under state law. (

ABORTION: The Kansas House will take a final vote today on a bill that would require abortion providers to ask patients why they are terminating pregnancies, and to report those answers to the state. Providers would be required to ask a list of 11 questions to patients. (Associated Press)

Democrats attempted to amend the bill to require providers to ask questions of those seeking medical care for erectile dysfunction. (Kansas Reflector)

HEALTH CARE: New Hampshire’s House Judiciary Committee approved legislation that would allow medical aid in dying for patients with less than six months to live. The bill now heads to the full House. (WMUR) Michigan lawmakers are working on a bill that would bring an insulin manufacturer to the state through a public-private partnership. (WPBN/WGTU)

GUN POLITICS: The Mississippi Senate on Wednesday approved legislation banning most devices used to convert semi-automatic weapons into fully automatic ones. The bill would allow local prosecutors to charge those who possess and manufacture modified machine guns. (Associated Press) The Wyoming Senate has approved legislation repealing gun-free zones. (Casper Star-Tribune)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R), working his way through bills passed in the recent special session, signed measures to treat all 17-year olds who commit crimes as adults, and to increase penalties for carjackings. Landry also signed a measure creating a minimum 25-year sentence for those who distribute fentanyl in a way that appeals to children. (Associated Press)

EDUCATION: Alabama Gov. Ivey signed legislation creating education savings accounts of up to $7,000 for low-income families. Lawmakers will allocate at least $100 million a year to fund the accounts, and no more than $500 million in any one year. (

In Politics & Business

NORTH CAROLINA: Superintendent of Public Instruction Catherine Truitt (R) lost her bid for a second term in Tuesday’s GOP primary to Michele Morrow (R), a home-schooling parent and conservative activist. Morrow will face former Guilford County schools superintendent Mo Green (D) in November. (Associated Press)

An unexpected upset we missed yesterday.

CALIFORNIA: Proposition 1, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) $6.4 billion mental health treatment and housing bond, is leading by just 23,000 votes with 52% of the expected vote counted. That’s down from the margin by which it was leading yesterday, with lots of votes still to count. (CalMatters)

MISSOURI: The state House gave first-round approval to a measure that would ban “synthetic media messages” within 90 days of an election, unless the content is labeled as AI-generated. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

VIRGINIA: Senate Finance and Appropriations Committee chair Louise Lucas (D) is promising to keep language enabling a new Alexandria arena for the NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals out of the state budget. It’s another big blow to Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) bid to bring the teams to the Commonwealth. (Associated Press)

PEOPLE: The Florida Senate honored outgoing President Kathleen Passidomo (R) on Wednesday with an official portrait. Passidomo responded by gifting cookbooks to her colleagues. (Florida Politics) Washington Senate President Pro Tem Karen Keiser (D) will not seek re-election in November, she said this week. Keiser spent 29 years in the legislature, representing a district south of Seattle.

By The Numbers

9: The number of consecutive months the Earth has set high-temperature records, according to the European Union’s climate agency. February’s global temperatures averaged 56.37 degrees Fahrenheit, breaking the old record by an eighth of a degree. (Associated Press)

2 hours: The penalty handed down to Dallas Seavey, a five-time Iditarod champion, for failing to gut a moose he shot to protect his team of sled dogs. The Iditarod has explicit rules about gutting large, edible wildlife during the course of the race. (Alaska Public Media)

Off The Wall

Pity the poor Oregon Senate: Their heat is out. In an email to constituents, Sen. Michael Dembrow (D) said many of his colleagues are wearing coats, scarves, gloves and even blankets in the Senate chamber, after construction knocked out heat in the building. Stay warm, folks.

Headline of the Day: “Wayward 450-pound pig named Kevin Bacon hams it up for home security camera.” (Wisconsin State Journal) Subhead: “In Hollywood, actor Kevin Bacon is a big star.”

Last week, we told you about a loophole in California’s new minimum wage law for fast food workers that exempted Panera Bread, owned by a parent company controlled by a big donor to Gov. Gavin Newsom (D). That donor, Greg Flynn, now says his company will comply with the law and pay workers at least $20 an hour. (Associated Press)

A P.R. nightmare that could have been avoided by a simple press release a week ago.

Quote of the Day

“This is not a problem that is caused by one sector, by one state, by one basin. It is a basin-wide problem, and it requires a basin-wide solution.”

John Entsminger, general manager of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, on the race to reach agreement on the use of Colorado River water. The seven states that pull from the Colorado River have all suggested different allocation formulas. (Associated Press)