Pluribus AM: California’s carbon capture campaign

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, April 23, 2024. In today’s edition, California rolls out carbon capture plans; Colorado advances gun safety bills; HHS Secretary Becerra making moves to run for governor:

Top Stories

ENVIRONMENT: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) rolled out a plan to create 81 targets for nature-based carbon capture solutions. The plan will use the equivalent of more than half the state’s land to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045. Newsom’s office said the state would plant 4.2 million trees and manage more than 45 million acres of forest to mitigate wildfire risk. (Pluribus News)

MORE: Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) rolled out a plan Monday to require half the electricity used by state government agencies to come from solar power by 2027. Pennsylvania would be the first state to reach a 50% threshold. (Harrisburg Patriot-News)

EVEN MORE: Massachusetts Senate President Karen Spilka (D) said her chamber would release a major climate bill before the end of session. Spilka didn’t release details, but she said public transportation and emissions-free travel will be included. (Boston Globe)

GUN POLITICS: The Colorado House approved legislation requiring in-person training and live-fire exercises along with eight hours of coursework to earn a concealed carry permit. The Senate approved legislation requiring firearms left in vehicles to be placed in a locked, hard-sided container. (Denver Post)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has signed legislation increasing the penalty for first-degree human trafficking to a mandatory life sentence when the victim is a minor. (Yellowhammer News)

HEALTH CARE: The Michigan legislature is considering two bills that would allow pharmacists to prescribe hormonal birth control pills and patches. Pharmacists would not conduct typical exams, though they would still advise about proper medications. (CBS News) A Louisiana House committee has approved legislation aimed at protecting IVF services. (Louisiana Illuminator)

EDUCATION: Ohio Rep. Tom Young (R) has introduced legislation banning social media in schools and requiring schools to prohibit students using electronics, like cell phones, during class. Young’s bill would also require education about the negative impacts of social media for 6-12th graders. (Ohio Capital Journal)

TECHNOLOGY: The California Assembly Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee unanimously advanced legislation that would require age verification on adult websites. So far, only red states have approved age verification laws for adult sites. (Sacramento Bee)

In Politics & Business

CALIFORNIA: Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and his allies are approaching political firms about a potential run for governor in 2026. Becerra still has $1.5 million in his state campaign account from his tenure as California’s attorney general. (Politico)

WYOMING: The Wyoming Republican Party voted to censure Gov. Mark Gordon (R) over his decision to veto bills cutting property taxes and ending gun-free zones. (Casper Star-Tribune)

Gordon has faced skepticism from conservative activists since he won the 2018 Republican primary over the late billionaire donor Foster Friess.

ARIZONA: A progressive group that supports abortion rights is launching a campaign to reject state Supreme Court Justices Clint Bolick and Kathryn King, who both voted to reinstate the 1864 near-total abortion ban. Bolick and King face retention votes this fall. (Arizona Republic)

Arizona voters have never voted to remove a state Supreme Court justice before.

CRIME BLOTTER: Minnesota Sen. Nicole Mitchell (D) was arrested early Monday on suspicion of first-degree burglary after she was apprehended in a home in Detroit Lakes. Mitchell was being held in Becker County Jail by late Monday. (Associated Press)

MORE: Last week, we told you Philadelphia police had issued an arrest warrant for state Rep. Kevin Boyle (D). On Monday, Philly police withdrew the arrest warrant for allegedly violating a protective order — because there is no active protective order Boyle could have abused. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

Boyle faces voters in a primary election today.

By The Numbers

25,000: The number of trees in Lahaina, Hawaii, before last August’s devastating fires. Today, only about 1,000 survive. Maui County Council member Gabe Johnson wants to hire a new arborist to help replace the lost trees. (Honolulu Civil Beat)

100 million: The number of trees Wisconsin will plant by the end of 2030, under an executive order signed by Gov. Tony Evers (D) on Earth Day. Wisconsin has planted more than 32 million trees since Evers issued his first executive order in 2021. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Today’s newsletter is a very tree-heavy edition, isn’t it?

Off The Wall

California Assemblyman Vince Fong (R) has introduced legislation that would ban nondisclosure agreements relating to discussions or negotiations about legislation. Fong introduced his bill after a statewide minimum wage hike for fast food workers appeared to carve out employees of Panera Bread, a company whose executives have donated to Gov. Newsom’s campaigns. (Sacramento Bee)

We’ve never heard of NDAs applying to legislative negotiations. Is that a thing in your state? Tell us about it.

Kaffa Roastery, a Helsinki-based coffee company, has introduced its “AI-conic” blend — apparently the first coffee blend developed by artificial intelligence. The AI company that helped the roastery create its new flavor said its chatbot had been tasked with creating a blend that would ideally suit coffee enthusiasts’ tastes. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“Accomplished a lot of things, screwed up a few things. You know, you’ve got to take the bad with the good, and you certainly don’t win them all.”

Vermont Sen. Bobby Starr (D), announcing his retirement at the end of a 46-year legislative career. (VT Digger)