Pluribus AM: Nebraska sues TikTok

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, May 23, 2024. In today’s edition, Nebraska sues TikTok; California lawmakers back retail theft bills; Robinson leads Stein in North Carolina poll:

Top Stories

SOCIAL MEDIA: Nebraska Attorney General Mike Hilgers (R) has sued TikTok, alleging the company misled teen and parent users about safeguards meant to protect younger users. Hilgers alleges the TikTok algorithm puts young people’s mental health at risk. (Nebraska Examiner)

MORE: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) is asking lawmakers to fast-track legislation requiring age verification on social media apps. The bills under consideration would require social media companies to change the way their algorithms present posts to minors. (State of Politics)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The California Senate approved a package of 15 bills to combat retail theft. One measure would require large online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon to verify identities of sellers who make at least $5,000 a year. The Assembly separately passed measures aimed at combating professional theft rings. (Associated Press)

ENVIRONMENT: The California House and Senate approved separate bills that would ban grocery stores and other retailers from providing multi-use plastic bags to customers. The state already bans single-use plastic bags. Environmental groups and the state grocers association back the bill. (Sacramento Bee)

EDUCATION: The New Hampshire Senate approved a measure expanding Education Freedom Accounts to students whose households make up to 400% of the federal poverty limit, or $124,800. The Senate also approved a bill allowing part-time teachers who do not have a teaching credential to spend up to 30 hours a week in classrooms. (WMUR)

CHILD CARE: The Pennsylvania House approved legislation granting tax credits to employers that contribute to employee child care expenses. Employers would be eligible for tax credits of up to 30% of the contributions they make toward child care. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

ATHLETICS: Ohio Reps. Rodney Creech (R) and Terrance Upchurch (D) have introduced legislation requiring professional sports teams to play on natural grass. The bill would impact the Cincinnati Bengals, who play on synthetic turf. The Cleveland Browns play on natural grass. (Center Square)

In Politics & Business

NORTH CAROLINA: A new survey from High Point University finds Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) leading Attorney General Josh Stein (D) 39% to 34% in the race for governor. The same poll finds Republicans leading the generic ballot for state House races 45%-43%, and Democrats ahead in hypothetical state Senate contests by the same 45%-43% margin. (High Point University)

ARIZONA: The state Senate has approved a proposed ballot measure that would ask voters to make it a state crime for noncitizens to enter the state from Mexico at a location other than a port of entry. The measure would allow state and local police to arrest border crossers who do not have authorization. (Associated Press)

OHIO: The state Senate approved legislation that would make it easier to challenge a local judge’s decision to block state law from taking effect. The measure comes after local judges blocked the state’s six-week abortion ban and a measure barring gender-affirming care for transgender minors. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

NEVADA: Secretary of State Cisco Aguilar (D) will allow election officials to tabulate in-person Election Day votes as they come in, rather than waiting for the polls to close. Aguilar’s office recommended that county election officials begin tabulating mail ballots as early voting begins. (Associated Press)

By The Numbers

43.8 million: The number of Americans who are expected to travel over the Memorial Day weekend, up 4.1% from last year. (Los Angeles Times)

132 million: The number of nips, single-shot liquor bottles, sold in Connecticut between October 2021 and March 2023. If each nip is about 4 inches tall, a stack of those 132 million bottles would reach 8,000 miles high. (Connecticut Public Radio)

Off The Wall

More Americans report using marijuana on a daily basis than using alcohol, the first time pot use has surpassed alcohol use, according to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Pot use is up 15-fold since 1992, long before marijuana was legalized for recreational purposes in many states. (Associated Press)

The California Assembly has unanimously approved legislation to ban food products containing certain chemical food dyes from schools. The bill would apply to products like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Fruit Loops. (Sacramento Bee)

Vermont State University has bestowed an honorary degree on Max the cat, a tabby that lives near the university’s Castleton campus. Max is now a doctor of litter-ature. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“High school years can be tough. I wasn’t the cool kid on campus. There was a lot of loneliness, but I never had continual bombardment to reinforce those feelings. I could find escapes. I found other places to go. I had a job. I made pizza and chicken wings most of high school.”

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), explaining her support for legislation requiring social media companies to change the way they interact with minors. (State of Politics)