Pluribus AM: Fairwell and adieu to you dear Spanish ladies…

Good morning, it’s Thursday, June 13, 2024. In today’s edition, states move to limit utility lobbying; Southern Baptists oppose IVF; Dem group pledges mega bucks for legislative races:

Top Stories

LOBBYING: Lawmakers in 11 states have introduced bills this year to prohibit public utilities from using customer money for lobbying or political contributions. Colorado, Connecticut and Maine enacted laws barring political spending by big utilities last year, and bills are still pending in Arizona, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. (Pluribus News)

In most states that require significant lobbying disclosure, those reports show local utilities are the biggest spenders. They’re also the source of big scandals in states like Illinois and Ohio.

IVF: Georgia House Speaker Jon Burns (R) said the legislature would try to advance new bills protecting in vitro fertilization. His statement came hours after the Southern Baptist Convention voted Wednesday to oppose the use of IVF. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

CIVIL RIGHTS: The Ohio House has approved legislation known as the CROWN Act, banning discrimination based on natural hair, braids, locks or twists. The bill applies only to public schools, not to private businesses. (Columbus Dispatch)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: The Michigan House has approved legislation banning the creation, publication or distribution of deep fake sexual images without the consent of the person represented in the image. The bills authorize civil and criminal action over violations. (Detroit News)

PUBLIC HEALTH: The North Carolina House voted unanimously to classify the drug tianeptine as a Schedule II controlled substance. The drug, marketed as a way to increase focus and relieve stress, is found in unregulated over-the-counter products at gas stations, where high school students can purchase it. (Carolina Journal)

BUDGET: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed a $116.5 billion budget Wednesday, cutting almost $1 billion in lawmaker-backed projects. Lawmakers complained they didn’t get a list of the cuts, ranging from a $10,500 generator to $80 million in group insurance for the state college system. Among the other cuts: a $6.4 million program to provide free menstrual products to public school students. (Associated Press)

In Politics & Business

DEMOCRATS: The States Project, a dark money group that backs Democrats, said Wednesday it will spend $70 million targeting state legislative races in Arizona, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin this year. The group says it’s raised $45 million so far this year.

That’s a lot of money.

CALIFORNIA: A ballot measure that would impose harsh criminal penalties for drug possession and theft has qualified for the November ballot. The measure would alter Proposition 47, passed in 2014, that reduced prison populations by cutting sentences for some crimes. Under the proposal, felony theft would be punishable by up to three years in prison, and possession of fentanyl would be a felony. (Los Angeles Times)

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington (D) has officially filed papers to run for governor. Warmington has focused her campaign on abortion rights. (WMUR) She’ll face Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig (D) in the Democratic primary on September 10.

INDIANA: State Republicans meet Saturday for their annual convention, in which they will choose U.S. Sen. and gubernatorial nominee Mike Braun’s (R) running mate. Braun backs state Rep. Julie McGuire (R), while ultraconservative pastor Micah Beckwith is running specifically to act as a check on Braun’s governorship. (Indianapolis Star)

ARIZONA: Lawmakers approved a proposed ballot initiative that would allow voters to decide whether to eliminate six-year terms for state Supreme Court justices, a measure that would protect two justices who face retention votes over their support for a near-total abortion ban earlier this year. (Associated Press)

By The Numbers

19.7%: The share of GDP that health care spending will account for by 2032, according to a new report in Health Affairs. Health care spending jumped 7.5% in 2023, faster than GDP rose.

10%: The decline in opioid-related overdose deaths in Massachusetts between 2022 and 2023, the largest single-year drop in 13 years. Early signs indicate the downturn is likely to continue this year. (Boston Herald)

19: The number of votes Daryl Kunze and Shawn McClintock received in their race to be the next mayor of Dazey, N.D., population 78. If the two remain tied after a recount, the winner will be decided by drawing a name out of a hat.

Off The Wall

Lots of Colorado Republicans are irritated with Dave Williams, the chairman of the state party who’s running a scorched-earth congressional primary and bashing Pride flags while he’s at it. That’s a problem for the other Dave Williams, a moderate Republican seeking a state House seat in Buena Vista. “It hasn’t been helpful, to be honest with you,” the other Dave Williams told a reporter. (Steamboat Pilot & Today)

A passenger arriving at Salt Lake City’s airport found an unlocked Lamborghini with the keys inside sitting in the parking garage. The thief made off with the $234,000 vehicle — the fourth Lamborghini stolen in Salt Lake City in the last few weeks. (Salt Lake Tribune)

The Massachusetts Lottery unveiled the six winners of a second-place drawing in a “Jaws”-themed scratch off game, who get an all-inclusive trip to Martha’s Vineyard. The winners get a three-night stay on the island, $1,000 in spending cash and a private screening of what, in our minds, is the greatest movie of all time. (MassLive)

“Fairwell and adieu to you dear Spanish ladies…”

Quote of the Day

“You and I shouldn’t be seen together.”

Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R), to California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) at the opening of the Western Governors Association’s annual meeting. Reporters were asked not to take photographs, in what we can only describe as a depressing sign of the times. (New York Times)