Pluribus AM: Digital privacy protections on tap; right-to-repair targets farm equipment; Wienermobile hit by theft

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023. In today’s edition, legislators consider digital privacy protections; DeSantis takes on College Board; Mont. ends prison gerrymandering:

Top Stories

PRIVACY: Lawmakers in Maryland and New Mexico rolled out proposals to require added digital privacy protections for minors. A similar bill passed California’s legislature in September, and versions are working through committees in New Jersey, New York and Oregon. Legislators in Minnesota and Nevada are preparing their own versions. (Pluribus News)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) signed a bill banning puberty blockers and some types of surgeries on transgender minors. (South Dakota Searchlight) The South Dakota House State Affairs Committee advanced a bill barring drag shows on state property and at public schools. (South Dakota Searchlight)

MORE: An Arkansas Senate committee backed a bill allowing someone who received a “gender transition procedure” as a minor to sue the health professional who performed the surgery. (Arkansas Democrat Gazette) The Tennessee Senate approved a measure banning gender-affirming care for minors. (Associated Press) The Kansas legislature will hear four bills limiting transgender rights and LGBTQ protections this week. (Kansas Reflector)

EDUCATION: Iowa Republicans have introduced a bill backed by Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) to change sex ed curriculum to remove instruction about AIDS and a vaccine for HPV. (Iowa Startling Line) Idaho lawmakers will consider legislation allowing parents to file lawsuits against schools and libraries that give minors access to books or materials deemed “offensive.” (Idaho Statesman)

RIGHT TO REPAIR: Lawmakers in 11 states have introduced bills to require manufacturers to provide tools, software, parts and manuals for farmers to repair their own equipment. Most of the bills — in states like Florida, Missouri, Texas and New Jersey — have won bipartisan support. (Associated Press)

FLORIDA: Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) suggested the state might end AP courses and SAT requirements for college applicants in the midst of an escalating feud with the College Board, which administers both programs. DeSantis said he had spoken with legislative leaders who would “re-evaluate” the curriculum and tests. (Pluribus News)

MORE: DeSantis made his remarks at a Naples event introducing legislation to expand state bans on environmental, social and governance investing strategies. DeSantis’s bill would bar state financial reserves from doing business with firms that use ESG policies to guide investments. (Orlando Sentinel, Crain’s Detroit)

VIRGINIA: The General Assembly gave final approval to a bill banning foreign adversaries including China and Iran from buying farmland, a week after the Senate passed a similar bill. Both votes passed with bipartisan majorities. Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) is expected to sign the bill. (WRIC)

INDIANA: The state Senate unanimously approved a bill creating 988 Crisis Response Centers that would allow mobile crisis teams to deploy to assist in severe mental health crises. The measure is expected to pass the state House, as well. (WIBC)

MISSOURI: The state House voted overwhelmingly to pass a budget bill that increases state worker pay by 8.7%. The bill includes $20 million for school safety grants, and $275 million for the state Emergency Management Agency. (St. Louis Public Radio)

In Politics & Business

WHITE HOUSE: Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) became the second major Republican to launch a campaign for the White House in a video released Tuesday morning. Haley plans a formal announcement tomorrow in Charleston, before she heads to New Hampshire and Iowa. (Fox News)

Our friends at the Center for American Women in Politics point out that Haley is the first woman governor, current or former, to enter a presidential primary.

MONTANA: The state redistricting commission that finished its work over the weekend ended the practice of “prison gerrymandering,” in which incarcerated people are counted at the correctional facility where they are held rather than at their home address. Montana is the 17th state to end prison gerrymandering, according to the Prison Policy Initiative. (Pluribus News)

MICHIGAN: Senate Democrats are threatening to strip state Sen. Joe Bellino (R) of his position as associate president pro tempore, after Bellino gaveled the Senate out of session while Democrats were out of the room. Bellino’s move delayed consideration of Democrats’ proposed tax cuts, heightening tension in the closely-divided chamber. (MLive)

The last time a member of the minority party abruptly gaveled the Senate session to a close was back in 2010, when a state senator named Gretchen Whitmer pulled the move.

MORE MICHIGAN: State economic development officials have approved an estimated $1 billion incentive package to land a new Ford electric vehicle battery plant in Marshall that will create an estimated 2,500 jobs. Ford chose the Michigan site after Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) rejected a deal because of a Chinese company’s involvement. (Detroit Free Press)

NEW JERSEY: State Sen. Samuel Thompson, 87, has left the Republican Party to become a Democrat, after local GOP leaders tried to recruit a candidate to challenge him in this year’s primary. Thompson, a supporter of former President Donald Trump, plans to run for re-election this year. (NJ Advance Media, Associated Press)

NEW YORK: A Suffolk County Supreme Court judge will hear arguments Friday in state Sen. Anthony Palumbo’s (R) lawsuit seeking to force a full Senate vote on Judge Hector LaSalle’s nomination to lead the state’s highest court. (State of Politics) Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has not ruled out joining the suit, though she said she hadn’t expected it. (State of Politics)

SOUTH DAKOTA: The Senate State Affairs Committee has passed a measure that would bar a legislator’s spouse from being employed as a lobbyist. The bill was introduced just hours before the Senate censured state Sen. Julie Frye-Mueller (R) for allegedly harassing a legislative staffer; Frye-Mueller is the only legislator married to a registered lobbyist. (South Dakota Searchlight)

By The Numbers

40%: The share of Chicago voters who have cast ballots in the Feb. 28 mayoral primary already, a level of participation unseen in more than a decade — and there are still two weeks to go before Election Day. (Chicago Sun-Times) Mayor Lori Lightfoot faces eight challengers, including Rep. Chuy Garcia (D), state Rep. Kam Buckner (D) and Cook County Commissioner Brandon Johnson (D).

12,000: The number of California residents receiving basic income payments in more than 40 pilot programs across the state. It’s the largest collective experiment in universal basic income in U.S. history. (CalMatters)

$153.2 million: The amount in wagers Las Vegas sports books reported taking on this year’s Super Bowl, far short of the $179.8 million bet on last year’s game. Next year’s Super Bowl is scheduled for Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, setting up a potentially record-breaking year. (Nevada Independent)

Off The Wall

Catalytic converter theft has come for the Wienermobile. Thieves stole the Oscar Mayer vehicle’s converter on Friday at a Las Vegas hotel. It got underway again after a truck repair shop installed a temporary device. (Sacramento Bee)

Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission Director Steve Marks submitted a letter of resignation Monday morning after an internal investigation showed he and top agency managers made a habit of reserving hard-to-get bourbons and whiskeys for their own purchase. Marks said he was resigning at the request of Gov. Tina Kotek (D). (OPB, Oregonian)

Quote of the Day

“We would like to be good neighbors to the folks on the west side while they continue with their social engineering experiments. Go ahead, just leave us out.”

Former Oregon House Speaker Mark Simmons (R), backing the Greater Idaho Movement that would shift conservative rural Oregon counties into Idaho. (Boise State Public Radio)