Pluribus AM: Ark., Okla. move tech policy bills; Ga. budget raises police and teacher pay; Minn. may get a Prince highway

Good morning, it’s Friday, March 10, 2023. In today’s edition, Ark., Okla. move tech privacy bills; Ga. budget raises police, teacher pay; Prince may get a highway:

Top Stories

TECH POLICY: Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) is throwing her support behind a bill to require age verification for social media users and parental consent for those under 18. (Talk Business & Politics, Arkansas Democrat Gazette) The Oklahoma House has approved a measure requiring tech companies to provide consumers with information about data they collect. (McCarville Report)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Kansas Senate gave final approval to a measure barring transgender athletes from girls’ and women’s sports. Republicans have the votes to override Gov. Laura Kelly’s (D) expected veto. (Associated Press) The Arkansas House Education Committee approved a bill requiring transgender youth to show a permission slip signed by parents if they want to be identified by pronouns that do not match their sex at birth. (Arkansas Times) The Idaho Senate passed a bill requiring K-12 students use the bathroom of their biological sex. (Idaho Reports)

GUN POLITICS: A Michigan Senate committee has approved a bill removing liability protections for firearm dealers and manufacturers, part of an 11-bill package reforming gun laws. (Detroit News) A Florida House committee approved a bill barring financial institutions from tracking purchases made at gun shops. (Florida Politics)

GAMBLING: WWE is in talks with state gambling regulators to legalize betting on scripted match results. The wrestling company is citing legal bets on the Oscars, offered in some states, as precedent. WWE is looking to Michigan, Colorado and Indiana to begin legalizing bets. (CNBC)

ARKANSAS: The state House approved a bill cutting compensation for home and business owners who sell solar energy into the grid. The net metering legislation now heads to Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders’s (R) desk. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette)

FLORIDA: A new proposal to ban abortion after six weeks would require rape victims to show proof of the crime if they seek an exception. (Orlando Sentinel) A state House panel endorsed legislation to require middle schools to start after 8 a.m. and high schools to start after 8:30 a.m. Nearly half of Florida high schools start before 7:30 a.m. (News Service of Florida)

GEORGIA: The state House approved a $32.4 billion budget that includes $4,000 raises for law enforcement officers and $2,000 raises for teachers and other state workers. The budget increases state pensions by $500 next year. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

SOUTH DAKOTA: Lawmakers reached a deal to reduce the state sales tax from 4.5% to 4.2% for four years. The deal, struck on the last day of session, means an end to Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) push to eliminate sales taxes on groceries. (South Dakota Searchlight)

DELAWARE: The state House has approved a measure to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol, the second half of an effort to legalize pot for recreational use. The bill requires the state to create an Office of Marijuana Control within the Department of Safety and Homeland Security. (Delaware Public Media)

MISSISSIPPI: Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has signed legislation to pay back student loans for nurses who agree to work in the state. The bill will award nurses up to $6,000 a year for three years toward outstanding student debt. (Supertalk)

In Politics & Business

LOUISIANA: Louisiana Association of Business and Industry head Stephen Waguespack (R) has resigned to mount a campaign for governor, the fifth Republican to enter the race. Waguespack was a top aide to former Gov. Bobby Jindal (R). (Baton Rouge Advocate)

NEW JERSEY: Former Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) won’t run for his old seat, two years after losing in a shocking upset. He is likely to focus instead on a 2025 run for governor. (NJ Advance Media)

MISSOURI: Missourians for Constitutional Freedom introduced a proposed constitutional amendment restoring the right to an abortion they hope to qualify for the 2024 ballot. The proposed amendment would allow some restrictions on abortion, but it would outlaw penalties on patients or medical providers. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch) Petitioners filed 11 versions of the measure with the Secretary of State’s office. (Missouri Independent)

NORTH CAROLINA: The North Carolina Supreme Court has rejected a friend-of-the-court brief from Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and Attorney General Josh Stein (D) in a case rehearing a previous decision throwing out Republican-drawn congressional district maps. (Carolina Journal) The old case was decided by a 4-3 Democratic majority; the court now has a 5-2 Republican majority.

IDAHO: The state Senate has given final approval to a measure banning the use of student identifications as a proper form of ID at polling places. Only 104 people used student IDs to vote in the 2022 midterms. (Idaho Reports)

TENNESSEE: Gov. Bill Lee (R) has signed legislation that will cut the number of Metro Nashville Councilors from 40 to 20. Nashville is expected to sue to block the new law. (Tennessee Journal)

OHIO: Former House Speaker Larry Householder (R) and former state GOP chair Matt Borges were convicted of conspiracy over a $60 million bribery scheme in what prosecutors called the largest corruption case in state history. (Associated Press)

DESANTIS: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) makes his first trip to Iowa today ahead of his likely presidential bid. DeSantis will appear at stops in Davenport and Des Moines. (Associated Press)

By The Numbers

$1.14 billion: The amount of money the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System would have to divest from firms that use ESG investing policies, if the state legislature approves an anti-ESG bill. The system estimates ending ESG investments will cost $3.6 billion in returns over the next decade. (Institutional Investor)

$24.7 billion: The amount of revenue Maryland expects to receive next year, $478 million less than previously projected, according to new estimates, after a “sharp decline” in personal income tax payments. (Baltimore Sun)

Off The Wall

The Minnesota House Transportation Finance and Policy Committee has approved a measure designating a stretch of Highway 5 in Chanhassen as the Prince Rogers Nelson Memorial Highway. (MPR News)

So you can drive your Little Red Corvette while wearing your Raspberry Beret in the Purple Rain while your guitar gently weeps. (Hat tip to our punny colleague Humberto Sanchez)

An Illinois Senate committee has approved a measure to change the state flag. State Sen. Doris Turner (D), the bill’s chief sponsor, pointed to Utah’s new flag as inspiration. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) has challenged Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) to a one-on-one basketball game to win the right to host the new FBI headquarters. Youngkin, who played college hoops at Rice University, accepted. (Virginian-Pilot) The FBI is considering two sites in Maryland and one in Virginia for its new HQ. 

Quote of the Day

“It’s my protest against eating meat and animal products.”

Peter Starostecki, a vegan in Maine who lost an appeal to keep his license plate, which reads “LUVTOFU.” (Associated Press)