Pluribus AM: Illinois legislators are fungis

Good morning, it’s Monday, June 3, 2024. In today’s edition, Connecticut AI bill makes a comeback; Mississippi to allow state-based health insurance; Puerto Rico Gov loses in surprise upset:

Top Stories

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Connecticut Sen. James Maroney (D) intends to reintroduce the comprehensive AI regulation bill that died earlier this year in the face of a veto threat. Maroney said the new version will likely include disclosure requirements and a mandate that AI-generated content carry a digital watermark. (Pluribus News)

MORE: New York lawmakers appear poised to approve legislation that would require AI-driven chatbots provide notice that search results they generate might be inaccurate or inappropriate. The first-in-the-nation legislation would impose penalties of up to $100,000 for companies that fail to comply. (City & State)

But glue pizza is inarguably delicious, right?

ABORTION: The Texas Supreme Court has upheld a state law barring abortions except in cases of medical necessity, ruling against a group of women who said the law was too vague. The court ruled the exceptions were broad enough, and that doctors would be misinterpreting the law if they refused to perform an abortion when a mother’s life is in danger. (Associated Press)

HEALTH CARE: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has allowed legislation authorizing the state Insurance Commissioner to establish a state-based health insurance exchange under the Affordable Care Act to become law without his signature. Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney (R) says the law will result in savings and increase the number of state residents who can get coverage. (Magnolia Tribune)

ENERGY: New Jersey lawmakers will consider legislation today to require utilities and telecom firms to return a portion of consumers’ bills if those consumers experience outages for three or more days. Supporters say the bill is necessary given the prevalence of extreme weather. (New Jersey Monitor)

JOURNALISM: Illinois lawmakers approved legislation that would require local media outlets to provide 120 days’ notice to employees if they intend to sell their business. The state budget package included tax credits for media outlets of up to $15,000 for existing journalists and $25,000 for newly hired reporters. (Chicago Tribune)

In Politics & Business

PUERTO RICO: Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González sprung a surprise upset over Gov. Pedro Pierluisi in the New Progressive Party primary Sunday, scoring 56% of the vote. González and Pierluisi, former allies, are both pro-statehood. (Associated Press)

Trivia: Puerto Rico’s resident commissioner is one of only two legislative branch positions, along with the vice president, to serve four-year terms.

MISSOURI: House Clerk Dana Miller has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Speaker Dean Plocher and Chief of Staff Rod Jetton, alleging they retaliated against her after she raised concerns over treatment of women and misuse of state funds. Miller is seeking damages. (Associated Press)

OHIO: Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has signed legislation allowing President Biden to appear on the November ballot, changing a filing deadline that conflicted with the planned Democratic National Convention in August. It’s the third time Ohio has had to change ballot deadlines in the 14 years since the existing deadline took effect in 2010. (Statehouse News Bureau)

ILLINOIS: State legislative staffers in Speaker Chris Welch’s (D) office filed suit against their boss seeking to force Welch to recognize their union. They say Welch has refused to engage in collective bargaining since 2022, which they say is a violation of the state’s Workers’ Rights Amendment. (Capitol News Illinois, Chicago Tribune)

PEOPLE: Vermont Sen. Dick Sears (D) has died at 81. Sears had served in the Senate since 1993. (VTDigger) Our condolences to the Vermont political family, their second loss in a week.

By The Numbers

3: The number of states — California, Massachusetts and Arizona — that have announced hiring freezes in recent weeks. The cuts in state workforces come at a time when thousands of jobs are being left vacant by retiring Baby Boomers. (Pluribus News)

46: The number of Texas House Republicans and Republican nominees who signed a letter demanding the next House Speaker end a tradition of appointing minority Democrats to chair certain committees. Speaker Dade Phelan (R), seeking a new term, must win 76 votes out of 150 House members to maintain the gavel. (Texas Tribune)

More than 220: The number of proposals to break up California over the state’s 174-year history. The closest any of those efforts came to winning approval came in 1965, when the Senate approved a plan to split Northern and Southern California into two states. (CalMatters)

Off The Wall

Oregon’s coastline is closed for mussel harvesting after a major outbreak of paralytic shellfish poisoning sickened at least 20 people. State officials have also limited harvesting of razor clams, bay clams and oysters on parts of the coast. (Associated Press)

Illinois has a new official state mushroom, the Calvatia Gigantea — colloquially known as the Giant Puffball. The Giant Puffball is used in some indigenous tribes to stop bleeding and treat burns. (Chicago Tribune)

Dad joke: Why should you party with an Illinois state legislator? Because they’re fungis!

Quote of the Day

“Remember to fill your days with laughter, love and lollipops.”

Jacqueline Glick, a Connecticut 6th grader, testifying before the legislature in favor of a bill — since passed — that names the lollipop the official state candy. Lollipops were invented in New Haven in 1908. (Hartford Courant)