Pluribus AM: Good news for gig workers

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Good morning, it’s Tuesday, May 7, 2024. In today’s edition, Colorado, Minnesota work on gig worker bills; Massachusetts proposes free community college; Vermont to regulate crypto ATMs:

Top Stories

GIG ECONOMY: Colorado legislators have given final approval to legislation preventing gig work companies from reducing a driver’s pay based on tips, and requiring those companies to disclose how much a driver will earn before accepting a job. Another bill would allow drivers to unionize. (Pluribus News)

MORE: Minnesota lawmakers and Minneapolis officials reached a tentative agreement on legislation to set minimum wages for Uber and Lyft drivers of $1.27 per mile and 49 cents per minute. A Lyft spokesperson said in a statement that the company would be forced to pull out of the state if the wage bill passes. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

EDUCATION: The Massachusetts Senate introduced a $118 million plan to create universal tuition-free community college for state residents. The proposal would grant $1,200 stipends for low-income students to cover books and supplies. (Boston Globe)

CRYPTO: Vermont lawmakers have approved legislation that would regulate cryptocurrency ATMs, including a one-year moratorium on new machines. The bill caps daily transactions at $1,000 per customer and set a 3% cap on fees ATM operators charge. (VT Digger)

PUBLIC HEALTH: The Alaska House approved legislation requiring schools to stock overdose reversing drugs. State Rep. Alyse Galvin (I) said Anchorage schools suffered 10 fentanyl incidents in the last month. (Alaska Beacon)

MORE: Colorado lawmakers have approved legislation creating new routine inspections of funeral homes and granting regulators new enforcement powers over those facilities. Another bill would require funeral directors to be licensed. (Associated Press)

The bills passed after a series of troubling incidents at Colorado funeral homes, including one that sold body parts and another that failed to properly care for 190 decaying bodies.

TAXES: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) and bipartisan legislative leaders reached a compromise to cut property taxes by more than $1 billion per year. The cuts apply to both commercial and residential properties without impacting schools. (Colorado Public Radio)

In Politics & Business

INDIANA: Voters head to the polls today to pick gubernatorial nominees. Polls show U.S. Sen. Mike Braun (R) leading the GOP field. Former Superintendent of Public Instruction Jennifer McCormick (D) is the only serious Democrat in the race. (Pluribus News)

The four leading candidates and their allies have spent a whopping $44.6 million on advertising during the Republican primary, according to our friends at AdImpact.

MINNESOTA: The House Rules and Legislative Administration Committee has approved a proposed constitutional amendment guaranteeing equal rights for women, including a provision that would guarantee access to reproductive care. If the bill passes the full House and Senate, it would appear on November’s ballot. (MPR News)

SOUTH DAKOTA: Supporters of a top-two primary system turned 47,000 signatures in to Secretary of State Monae Johnson’s (R) office. They need 35,017 signatures to be valid to qualify for November’s ballot. (Associated Press)

NOEM: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has pitched herself as the next head of the National Rifle Association. Noem called NRA chief Wayne LaPierre to seek his job as he exits, though the final decision is made by the group’s 76-member board. (Axios)

By The Numbers

33%: The increase in the gray whale population migrating along the Pacific Coast this winter. The increase is sufficient for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to end a five-year investigation into gray whale deaths. (Oregon Capital Chronicle)

$5,872: The value of gifts received by Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) in his first year in office, according to disclosure reports. Gifts ranged from a model wind turbine ($20) to Orioles merch ($635) and Bruce Springsteen tickets ($549). (Baltimore Sun)

8.7 million acre-feet: The increase in the amount of groundwater stored in California over the last year. It’s the first time in four years California has reported an increase in groundwater supplies. (Associated Press)

Off The Wall

Gov. Takashi Kimura, of Japan’s Kumamoto Prefecture, is in hot water after he allegedly regifted a bunch of large orchid arrangements to acquaintances and hospitals in his region. Japanese law prohibits politicians from giving gifts to their constituents — so Kimura claimed he was just putting the flowers there for safekeeping. (SoraNews)

Arkansas is getting new representation in Statuary Hall. Capitol officials will install a statue of civil rights leader Daisy Bates this week, and musician Johnny Cash later this year. Statues of former Gov. James Clarke and attorney Uriah Rose will return home to Arkansas. (ABC News)

Quote of the Day

“Every time we bring this up, we lose votes.”

Alabama Sen. Greg Albritton (R), on a gambling package that appears stuck in the Senate. (Alabama Reflector)