Pluribus AM: Calif. advances journalism social media bill; La. revives gender-affirming care ban; Fla. pot legalization closer to 2024 ballot

Good morning, it’s Friday, June 2, 2023. In today’s edition, Calif. moves journalism social media bill; La. revives gender-affirming care ban; Fla. pot legalization gathers enough signatures to make 2024 ballot:

Top Stories

SOCIAL MEDIA: The California Assembly has approved legislation to require big tech companies like Google and Meta to share revenue generated by news stories with local media companies. The bill would require an arbitration process to set revenue-sharing rates. (Sacramento Bee, Associated Press)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Louisiana Senate has revived legislation to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youth, a week after the Senate Health and Welfare Committee killed the bill by a one-vote margin. The full Senate voted Thursday to send the bill to the Judiciary Committee instead. (Baton Rouge Advocate)

GUN POLITICS: Vermont Gov. Phil Scott (R) has allowed legislation requiring safe storage of firearms, a 72-hour waiting period for gun purchases and an expanded red flag law to take effect without his signature. Scott said he was concerned that the waiting period provisions would be unconstitutional. (VTDigger)

ENVIRONMENT: New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez (D) has sued 21 chemical companies over PFAS, known as “forever chemicals,” seeking damages to defray environmental monitoring and cleanup costs. (Associated Press) Torrez joins attorneys general from Oregon and Maryland who filed similar suits this week.

WORKFORCE: Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) has signed legislation raising pay for state workers by the largest margin in decades. Workers stand to see 10% to 13% wage hikes beginning this month, with additional 4% raises next year. (Nevada Independent) Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has signed legislation creating an asset test for those receiving SNAP benefits. The law limits those benefits for families that have more than $15,000 in assets, not including a car or a home. (Des Moines Register)

MORE: The California Senate has approved a bill raising the minimum wage for health care workers to $25 an hour. The bill would apply to all workers at covered facilities, including support staff, who are directly or indirectly involved in patient care. (Sacramento Bee)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) has signed legislation requiring commercial driver’s license holders to undergo training to recognize signs of human trafficking. The bill’s sponsor, state Rep. Wendy McNamara (R), says truckers are uniquely positioned to spot trafficking victims. (WEHT)

ESG: The Alabama House has given final approval to legislation barring state entities from contracting with companies that refuse to do business with fossil fuel producers, firearm manufacturers or companies that refuse abortion or gender-affirming care access. (

TAXES: The Alabama Senate unanimously approved a bill exempting overtime pay from state income taxes. A late amendment capped the tax cut at $25 million annually, meaning workers will likely only see savings of about $100. (, Associated Press) Alabama lawmakers are poised to cut grocery sales taxes by 1 percentage point this year, and another 1 percentage point next year if revenues remain consistent. The bill’s sponsors think the cut will reduce costs for families by up to $250 per year. (Yellowhammer News)

JUDICIARY: Ten states led by Republican attorneys general have sued the federal government over a new system that sets flood insurance rates, triggering big cost increases for homeowners. The suit, filed in federal court in New Orleans, alleges the new rates are set in an arbitrary and capricious manner. (Baton Rouge Advocate)

In Politics & Business

NEBRASKA: Legislators approved a new bill requiring voters to show identification at the polls, in compliance with a voter-approved initiative passed last year. The bill would allow voters to show driver’s licenses, military or tribal IDs, college IDs and even expired identifications. The lone no vote came from a state senator who chaired the ballot initiative campaign, who said the bill didn’t go far enough. (Nebraska Examiner, Associated Press)

FLORIDA: A proposed constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana has gathered enough signatures to make the ballot in 2024, Florida’s Department of State reported. Supporters have turned in 967,528 valid signatures, 70,000 more than required. The state Supreme Court must rule on a challenge from Attorney General Ashley Moody (R) before the measure formally qualifies. (Politico)

NEVADA: The state Republican Party has sued Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar (D) in an effort to maintain a party-run caucus, after the legislature voted in 2021 to create a state-run presidential primary. (Associated Press)

OREGON: Senate President Rob Wagner (D) plans to fine members who boycott floor sessions $325 a day beginning on Monday. Republicans walked out of the Senate chamber on May 3, denying the Senate a quorum and stalling all legislative action. The $325 rate is equal to what senators are compensated for a day’s work. (Oregonian)

IOWA: Gov. Reynolds has signed legislation barring the state Auditor’s office from suing state agencies to force them to turn over documents. The law also restricts the Auditor’s access to certain personal information. (Des Moines Register)

Iowa Auditor Rob Sand (D) is the only Democrat in statewide elected office.

ARIZONA: The Department of Water Resources will stop approving new housing developments that rely solely on groundwater after a new projection shows aquifers are running behind growth needed to survive for 100 years. State law requires the department to certify that new homes will have a secure water supply for a century before they are built. (Arizona Republic)

By The Numbers

27.15%: The share of formerly incarcerated prisoners who are convicted of new felony crimes in Kentucky, a substantial drop from the 44.56% recidivism rate in 2017, according to Gov. Andy Beshear (D). Beshear attributed the stark drop to initiatives that help inmates secure jobs and seek addiction treatment. (Associated Press)

$4,675: The pay raise Illinois lawmakers are giving themselves in a new budget headed to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, the second pay raise for legislators this year. A rank-and-file lawmaker would make $89,675 under the new budget. (WCIA)

$10 million: The amount Wisconsin lawmakers have approved in spending by Milwaukee tourism officials to host a Republican presidential primary debate and the Republican National Convention next year. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) The federal government will spend tens of millions more for security at the convention.

$4.87: The average price of a gallon of gas in California, $1.30 higher than the national average — but well below the record high of $6.43 set last year. (Sacramento Bee)

Off The Wall

Are you missing a 17th-century Bible? It might be the one Missouri Treasurer Vivek Malek (R) found in the unclaimed property vault his office administers. Malek laid out a huge inventory of unclaimed property his office has collected over the years, including gold rings, gold bars, a Japanese marriage certificate from 1946 and a Civil War soldier’s journal. (KRCG)

Speaking of Bibles, you’ll have to be in high school before you can check one out from libraries in the Davis School District in Utah. A parent complained about passages describing sex and violence, temporarily removing the Bible from library shelves until a committee can review the complaint. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Former Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger (R) has asked a court to declare he is a crime victim of his successor, former Speaker Larry Householder (R). Evidence in a corruption trial in which Householder was convicted showed Householder and his allies sought to damage Rosenberger’s political image. If Rosenberger is declared a victim, he will be allowed to speak at Householder’s sentencing. (Columbus Dispatch)

Quote of the Day

“Because the conversations are taking place, we’re a lot closer than we’ve ever been before.”

North Carolina Senate President Phil Berger (R), on legislation that would allow sports betting that could be approved as early as next week. (Associated Press)