Pluribus AM: Connecticut takes first step toward AI regulation

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, March 14, 2024. In today’s edition, pandemic-era migration patterns return to normal; Connecticut advances AI package; Indiana Gov limits his own power in emergencies:

Top Stories

DEMOGRAPHICS: Pandemic-era migration patterns are returning to normal, as more residents move to or back to Northeastern and Midwestern counties. New data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows Southern and Western counties are still growing faster than the rest of the nation, but those rates of growth have slowed. (Pluribus News)

Dallas and Houston added more new residents than any other metro in the last year. Los Angeles, Chicago and New York City are still bleeding population — but not as much as they were during the pandemic era.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Connecticut’s General Law Committee has approved legislation creating a framework for regulating AI and its industry. The bill criminalizes deep-fake pornography and fake political messaging and creates an online academy for state residents to learn about AI. (New Haven Register)

PUBLIC HEALTH: Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R) signed legislation limiting his own emergency powers. The new law will require approval from the General Assembly if a governor seeks to extend a statewide emergency declaration beyond 60 days. (Indianapolis Star)

In the four years since the pandemic broke out, several other states have moved to limit a governor’s power to declare an emergency. None have expanded a governor’s power.

GUN POLITICS: Maine’s House Judiciary Committee is holding hearings this week on legislation to expand background checks for gun purchases, create a three-day waiting period to purchase a firearm, ban bump stocks and streamline a law police can use to confiscate guns from people who might harm themselves and others. (Maine Public Radio)

INSURANCE: The Illinois House has begun hearing testimony on a pair of bills that would ban prior authorization requirements for people receiving in-patient treatment at a psychiatric facility; require insurance companies to post types of treatments that do not require prior authorization; and ban short-term, limited duration insurance plans that don’t meet Affordable Care Act standards. (Capitol News Illinois)

EDUCATION: Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) signed legislation that would require every public, charter and private school to have at least one armed security staffer on the premises whenever class is in session. The bill establishes minimum safety standards for schools, including panic buttons. (KSL) Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed legislation adding lessons on free market capitalism to high school curriculum. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Iowa’s Senate Judiciary Committee advanced legislation that would allow for a first-degree murder charge against a person who provided fentanyl that results in the death of another person. A first-degree murder conviction in Iowa results in life in prison without the possibility of parole. (Center Square) Michigan lawmakers have introduced bills to allow for stronger sentences against those convicted of producing or distributing heroin and fentanyl. (Center Square)

In Politics & Business

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Democrats won the final special elections of the year to capture vacant state House seats, but Republicans will finish the year with their narrow majority intact. Once new members are sworn in, the House will be divided between 201 Republicans, 195 Democrats and two independents who used to be Democrats. Two more seats will remain vacant. (Boston Globe)

DELAWARE: Former Secretary of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Collin O’Mara (D) formally filed papers to run for governor. He’ll face Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D) and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer (D) in the race. (Delaware Public Media)

KENTUCKY: The state House approved legislation to ask voters whether to add a school choice amendment to the state constitution. The measure now goes to the Senate, where Republicans control a supermajority. (Associated Press)

PEOPLE: Former Washington House Speaker Frank Chopp (D) will not seek re-election this year, after 30 years in the legislature. Chopp served as speaker for 17 years, the longest stretch in Washington history. (Washington State Standard)

By The Numbers

About 1,000: The growth of San Francisco’s population over the last year, the first time in years the city’s numbers have gone up instead of down. San Francisco County lost about 60,000 residents during the pandemic. (Pluribus News)

38,000 megawatts: The expected growth in peak demand on America’s electric grid in the next five years, the equivalent of adding another California to the nation. Researchers say the rise of data centers, battery and solar factories and electric cars are behind the surge. (New York Times)

150 mph: The speed of wind gusts recorded on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington, the most powerful gusts of the year. (Boston Globe)

90%: The share of Americans who say they are concerned that regulations on the tech industry could hand China a lasting tech advantage, according to a poll sponsored by the American Edge Project, a group backed by Facebook parent company Meta. 

Off The Wall

The race for a seat on the Tinton Falls, N.J., school board came down to a single vote, in which Sophia Lent leads Eileen Dowling 14-13. Lent’s win is a landslide by local standards — the two candidates tied in a race last year, with 11 votes each. A whopping 96% of registered voters sat out the election. (New Jersey Globe)

The California Highway Patrol had to call in an expert to deal with a problem that grounded one of their helicopters — a beekeeper. The beekeeper removed a group of about 10,000 bees, almost three full pounds, and relocated them to an empty hive about 15 miles south. The helicopter’s pilots had to give the whirly bird a thorough cleaning to remove any excess pheromones from the queen, to make sure no new bees latched on. (Los Angeles Times)

Quote of the Day

“We’re both huge Jason Kelce fans.”

Pennsylvania Sen. Amanda Cappelletti (D), who plans to introduce a resolution along with Sen. Jimmy Dillon (D) to dub June 2 “Jason Kelce Day,” in honor of the retiring Philadelphia Eagles center. They picked the date, June 2, to reference Kelce’s number 62 jersey. But there are concerns that Senate Republican leaders — who hail from Steelers country — might block the resolution. (Harrisburg Patriot-News)