Pluribus AM: Fla. legislature in sprint to finish; N.C., Mont. move abortion bans; Ala. streamlines adoptions

Good morning, it’s Thursday, May 4, 2023. In today’s edition, Fla. legislature in sprint to finish; N.C., Mont. move abortion bans; Ala. streamlines adoption process:

Top Stories

ABORTION: The North Carolina House has approved a measure banning abortions after 12 weeks, and capping abortions in cases of rape or incest at 20 weeks. Speaker Tim Moore (R) said Republicans had the votes to override Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) promised veto. (Raleigh News & Observer, Associated Press) Montana Gov. Greg Gianforte (R) signed legislation banning abortion after 24 weeks and exempting abortion from the constitutional right to privacy. (Daily Montanan, Missoulian)

MORE: The Michigan House approved a bill barring employers from discriminating against employees who receive an abortion. The bill adds employment protections for abortion recipients to the state’s civil rights act. (Bridge MI)

SOCIAL MEDIA: The Florida legislature has approved a bill banning TikTok and other foreign-owned social media companies from state devices, codifying an executive order Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) issued last year. (Florida Politics) They approved another bill banning social media companies from school devices and requiring schools to teach students about the dangers of the internet. (Florida Politics)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Florida lawmakers have approved a bill making it a misdemeanor trespassing offense for someone to use bathroom facilities that do not correspond to their sex at birth in government buildings, schools, colleges and detention centers. (Politico)

EDUCATION: The Florida House and Senate approved measures banning diversity programs in colleges and preventing students and teachers from being required to use pronouns that do not correspond to someone’s biological sex. (Associated Press, Orlando Sentinel) The Florida Senate gave final approval to a bill expanding a prohibition on instruction about sexual orientation and gender identity through eighth grade. (Orlando Sentinel)

MORE: The Illinois Senate has approved a bill cutting off state grants to public and school libraries that ban books for “partisan or doctrinal” reasons. (Chicago Tribune)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) has signed legislation allowing police officers to chase suspects who have committed or are committing crimes. The bill rolls back police reform legislation passed two years ago. (Associated Press) The Alabama Senate Judiciary Committee has approved a bill allowing someone who sells or gives drugs to a person who then dies to be charged with manslaughter. ( The Florida House gave final approval to a bill decriminalizing fentanyl test strips. (Florida Politics)

ADOPTION: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed legislation simplifying the adoption process, the first big overhaul to the state’s adoption system in 30 years. The law is meant to ease the adoption process; more than 5,000 kids are in Alabama’s foster care system. (Yellowhammer News)

TAXES: The Alabama House approved a bill ending taxes on overtime pay. If the measure passes the Senate and wins Ivey’s signature, Alabama would be the first state in the nation not to tax overtime pay. (Yellowhammer News)

LABOR: The Iowa legislature has approved a bill allowing 16- and 17-year olds to serve alcohol in restaurants with their parents’ permission, and to work in demolition and woodworking jobs as part of an approved training program. (Des Moines Register) South Dakota lawmakers have approved an expanded leave program granting state workers up to 12 weeks of leave after the birth or adoption of a child. (Fargo Forum)

OREGON: Republicans boycotted the capitol on Wednesday over abortion, gender-affirming health care and gun regulation bills, denying quorum in the state Senate. The Republicans are testing a 2022 measure that punishes lawmakers for walkouts after lawmakers in 2019 and 2020 denied quorums to kill climate bills. (Oregonian, OPB)

In Politics & Business

MISSISSIPPI: Democrat Bob Hickingbottom has filed suit against the state Democratic Party for disqualifying him from the primary ballot over a failure to file campaign finance reports during a 2019 campaign. The lawsuit seeks to force Democrats to put him on the ballot against Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D), who is challenging Gov. Tate Reeves. (Magnolia Tribune)

MARYLAND: Voters will decide on a proposed constitutional amendment enshrining a right to reproductive freedom after Gov. Wes Moore (D) signed legislation placing the measure on the 2024 ballot. (Maryland Matters)

GEORGIA: Gov. Brian Kemp (R) has signed legislation making it a felony for local government officials and election workers to ask for or receive money from non-government sources to pay for elections. The bill comes after dozens of Georgia counties received funding from the Center for Tech and Civic Life, a group funded by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg. (GPB)

IOWA: State Democrats have proposed holding first-in-the-nation caucuses but withholding results until after other states hold their presidential nominating contests. The plan includes a mail-in provision that had angered New Hampshire election officials, who threatened to jump Iowa into first place. (Associated Press)

MICHIGAN: Nel Hydrogen, a Norwegian company, will build a $400 million gigafactory in Michigan to manufacture equipment producing hydrogen fuel. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) said the project will create 500 high-paying manufacturing jobs. (MLive)

By The Numbers

32.9%: The share of adults aged 18-34 who are living with their parents in the United States. That’s a higher share than in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Germany, but a lower share than in every other European country surveyed. (Pew Research Center)

$2.2 billion: The amount Massachusetts tax revenue fell in April, over the previous year. Massachusetts is now running $700 million below revenue projections for the year to date. (Boston Globe)

$562 million: The amount of tax revenue Illinois earned from marijuana sales in 2022, more than any state except California. (Crain’s Chicago Business)

Off The Wall

Internet searches for the phrase VPN — virtual private network — have soared in Utah after PornHub shut down access in the state in response to a strict new identity verification law. VPNs allow an internet user to mask their location and get around restrictions. (Cultural Currents)

Someone dumped 500 pounds of pasta near a stream in Old Bridge, N.J., last week. A local political activist, alerted to the piles of spaghetti, elbows and ziti spread out over a 25-foot area, snapped some photos you really shouldn’t miss. (

Sailboats competing in the Ocean Race, an around-the-world contest currently moving from Brazil to Newport, R.I., are getting caught in the 5,000-mile flotilla of seaweed that stretches from Africa to the Gulf of Mexico. Sailors say they expect to encounter thicker patches as they head north. (Boston Globe)

Quote of the Day

“I was a little upset being referred to as the ‘walking dead.’”

Sandra Paquette, 77, a retired teacher from Cranston, R.I., during a state House hearing on cost-of-living adjustments for public employee pensions. (Providence Journal)