Pluribus AM: Colorado’s groundbreaking AI bill becomes law

Good morning, it’s Monday, May 20, 2024. In today’s edition, Colorado adopts nation-leading AI bill; Minnesota sets minimum wage for gig drivers; Ferguson leads Washington Gov field:

Top Stories

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) on Friday signed the nation’s most sweeping AI regulation bill. The law requires disclosure when AI is used to make life-altering decisions about employment, education or health care. (Pluribus News)

Polis said he wants the legislature to “significantly improve” the law before it takes effect in 2026.

GIG ECONOMY: The Minnesota legislature approved a bill late Sunday to set minimum pay standards for Uber and Lyft drivers. The bill, sent to Gov. Tim Walz (D), would set a statewide minimum of $1.28 per mile and 31 cents per minute. That rate supersedes a higher wage Minneapolis wanted to enforce, leading the companies to threaten to pull out of the city. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

CRYPTO: Arkansas Sen. Bryan King (R) will bring up new legislation to crack down on crypto mines when the legislature begins an upcoming special session. King had proposed restrictions that go beyond those recently passed in Arkansas, which give cities and counties the authority to regulate mines. (Arkansas Times)

PUBLIC SAFETY: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) has signed legislation limiting the use of traffic enforcement cameras. The law requires cities that already use cameras to apply for permits, and it limits cities with populations of less than 20,000 from issuing tickets via cameras. (Des Moines Register)

EDUCATION: Colorado lawmakers approved new legislation that would reimburse students whose families make less than $90,000 a year for up to two years of in-state tuition at public universities, community colleges and technical colleges. The reimbursements will come through a refundable income tax credit, meaning students still have to front the cash. (Denver Post)

HEALTH CARE: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has signed legislation prohibiting state medical boards from taking action against a physician who prescribes or recommends off-label medical treatments. (Alabama Reflector)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) said her office will begin pursuing executions in cases early next year, after a two-year pause on capital punishments. Mayes and Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) paused executions last year to review state procedures. (Arizona Republic)

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The Oakland Unified School District is the first in the nation to transition to a fully electric fleet of school buses. The district has 74 electric buses ferrying kids to schools. (Los Angeles Times)

In Politics & Business

WASHINGTON: Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D) leads the field of candidates vying to replace retiring Gov. Jay Inslee (D), according to a new poll conducted for a liberal group. Ferguson takes 35%, followed by former U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert (R) at 28%. Republican Semi Bird (R) takes 11%, and state Sen. Mark Mullet (D) clocks in at 4%. In a head to head matchup, Ferguson leads Reichert 48%-42%. (Northwest Progressive Institute)

MISSOURI: The state House gave final backing to legislation that would ask voters to approve a constitutional amendment banning ranked-choice voting. The amendment carves out St. Louis, where voters approved ranked-choice voting in 2020. (KCUR)

MAINE: Voters will decide in November whether to adopt a new state flag. The proposed updated version would feature a pine tree and a crescent moon, though Secretary of State Shenna Bellows (D) still has to decide which exact design to present to voters. (Maine Public Radio)

By The Numbers

109,098: The number of criminal convictions Colorado will wipe from the public record this year under the state’s Clean Slate Act. The law, passed in 2022, automatically seals records for low-level crimes. (Denver Post)

38.5%: The share of Utah lawmakers who make money from the housing industry, either as developers or landlords. (Salt Lake Tribune)

Off The Wall

Illinois legislators approved a bipartisan fix to the state’s biometric privacy law over the weekend, after the burger chain White Castle inadvertently violated the law by requiring employees to sign into cash registers using their finger prints. White Castle estimated its violations would have totaled $17 billion in fines. They settled for $9.4 million. (Capitol News Illinois)

An Indiana judge has ruled that tacos and burritos are “Mexican-style sandwiches,” in a case in which a restauranteur sought to open a taco shop in Fort Wayne. The development where he wanted to open his shop limits businesses to “a sandwich bar-style restaurant.” The judge said tacos were close enough. (Associated Press)

Pluribus News is a nonpartisan publication, but we admit to a strong pro-taco bias.

Workers at Wisconsin’s state capitol in Madison have removed a bunch of marijuana plants from a flower bed outside the statehouse. A plant expert at UW-Madison said someone knew what they were doing: “I do think they were likely intentionally planted just because there were so many of them.” (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Quote of the Day

“We did get it finished quicker than we would have without [it].”

Texas Rep. Giovanni Capriglione (R), chair of the select committee on artificial intelligence, on turning to AI to help the committee write a 50-page report summarizing their first hearing in April. (Pluribus News)