Pluribus AM: How much is that doggie at the lectern

Good morning, it’s Monday, March 11, 2024. In today’s edition, AI disclosure bills proliferate; Oregon Gov will sign drug recriminalization bill; women lag in legislative representation:  

Top Stories

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) became the sixth governor to sign legislation requiring the use of artificial intelligence in campaign ads be disclosed. Governors in four more states — Florida, Indiana, Oregon and Utah — are likely to sign bills that won passage in recent days. (Pluribus News)

Lawmakers are racing to learn all they can about AI, its upsides and downsides. Legislation like this is the low-hanging bipartisan fruit everyone agrees on.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek (D) will sign legislation that reintroduces criminal penalties for small amounts of drug possession, rolling back a 2020 voter-approved initiative that cut those crimes. The new bill is designed to encourage treatment over incarceration, while making it easier for prosecutors to charge drug dealers. (Pluribus News)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Kansas House Health Committee advanced legislation banning all gender-affirming care for transgender minors. Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has vetoed similar legislation in the past. (KSNT)

PUBLIC HEALTH: West Virginia lawmakers gave final approval to legislation banning smoking in vehicles with children present. If Gov. Jim Justice (R) signs the bill, West Virginia would become the 12th state to restrict smoking around minors in cars. (WV Metro News) West Virginia lawmakers voted to allow some students who do not attend traditional public schools to be exempted from state vaccine requirements. (Associated Press)

HEALTH CARE: The Maryland Senate has approved legislation that would allow undocumented residents to apply to purchase health insurance. A previous version had already passed the state House, though the House will have to approve Senate amendments. (Baltimore Sun)

ANTISEMITISM: Indiana lawmakers reached agreement on a bipartisan bill to condemn antisemitism as discrimination in educational settings. The bill won praise from both Jewish and Muslim advocates. (Indianapolis Star)

We wrote in January about the substantial number of states considering measures to define antisemitism and label it as discriminatory in the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel, and the subsequent rise of antisemitic incidents in the United States.

ENERGY: South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) has signed legislation to allow the state to enter into agreements with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The bill updates existing law that required the state to sign agreements with the EPA, which no longer has jurisdiction over nuclear plants. It’s the first step toward adopting nuclear power in the state. (South Dakota Public Broadcasting)

In Politics & Business

WOMEN: Fewer than a quarter of state legislators in 10 states are women. Just 12% of West Virginia lawmakers are women, the lowest share in the nation, followed by Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Louisiana. Nevada is at the top of the list, where 60% of legislators are women. (Associated Press)

WISCONSIN: Supporters of former President Donald Trump say they have collected enough signatures to force Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R) into a recall election. Those backers plan to present about 10,000 signatures — more than the 6,850 they need — to elections officials on Monday. (Associated Press)

Vos narrowly survived a Trump-backed primary challenge in 2022.

CALIFORNIA: Proposition 1, California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) $6.4 billion bond to build mental health care facilities, continues to cling to a narrow lead as more votes are counted. With almost 72% of expected votes in, the proposition is passing 50.3% to 49.7% — a margin of about 32,000 votes out of more than 5.4 million counted. (Los Angeles Times)

PEOPLE: Georgia House Minority Leader James Beverly (D) will not seek re-election in 2024. Beverly was first elected in 2011, and has served as the Democratic leader since 2021. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution) New York Assembly Speaker Pro Tem Jeffrion Aubry (D) will retire at the end of the year. Aubrey has represented his district in Queens since 1992. (City & State)

By The Numbers

$239 million: The amount the Senate Majority PAC, the top outside group that backs Democratic campaigns, plans to spend on television ads this year. The group said Monday it had made reservations totaling that amount in seven states — including $65 million in Ohio, $45 million in Montana, $42 million in Pennsylvania, $23 million in Arizona and $14 million each in Wisconsin and Michigan. (Washington Post)

For those keeping track at home, those are seven seats Democrats already hold. Not a lot of offensive opportunities for the party defending the barest of majorities.

$91 million: The amount Florida lawmakers appropriated to support research and care for Alzheimer’s patients, the most the state has ever spent on the disease. (Florida Politics)

More than 1,000: The number of bills Virginia lawmakers sent to Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) by the close of the legislative session on Saturday. Youngkin has acted on 84 of those bills so far. (Daily Press)

Off The Wall

Police officers in Roswell, N.M., have a new uniform patch that embraces the city’s image as the home of a purported UFO crash in 1947. The patch, which features a UFO and alien heads, promises to “Protect and Serve Those That Land Here.”  (Albuquerque Journal)

The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court has upheld a first-of-its-kind law in Brookline, a Boston suburb, that bans tobacco sales to anyone born in the 21st century. Brookline residents approved the law in 2020, which will eventually ban all tobacco sales in town. (Boston Globe)

Quote of the Day

“Obviously being one myself, one could certainly accuse me of bias when championing the traits of a Siberian Husky.”

Jonathan XV, the University of Connecticut’s mascot, testifying in favor of a bill to name his species the official state dog. UConn student Laura Centanni read Jonathan’s testimony to state lawmakers on his behalf. (New Haven Register)