Pluribus AM: New York takes on social media

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Good morning, it’s Thursday, October 12, 2023. In today’s edition, New York lawmakers introduce social media bills; SCOTUS hears challenge to South Carolina redistricting; Missouri, Oregon Speakers announce runs for higher office:

Top Stories

SOCIAL MEDIA: New York lawmakers have introduced legislation to bar social media platforms from deploying addictive features and algorithms meant to keep kids on the platform, and to require online sites to obtain informed consent before collecting and sharing data on users under 18. The bills were rolled out Wednesday by Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), Attorney General Letitia James (D) and two leading legislators. (Pluribus News)

ENERGY: Michigan Democrats have introduced legislation to allow the state to advance large-scale renewable energy projects, taking decisions out of the hands of local governments. Another bill would require the state to adopt 100% carbon-free energy sources by 2040. (Pluribus News)

REDISTRICTING: The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday in a case challenging South Carolina’s U.S. House district lines. The state NAACP accused lawmakers of intentionally removing Black residents from the 1st district, held by Rep. Nancy Mace (R), to gerrymander the map in favor of Republicans. Conservative justices sounded skeptical of the NAACP’s claims. (The State)

HEALTH CARE: The Michigan Senate Civil Rights, Judiciary and Public Safety Committee will consider legislation today to repeal a 30-year old law that gives pharmaceutical companies a near-total liability shield, barring residents from suing over medications that injure them. Drug makers and business groups oppose the measure. (Bridge MI)

HOUSING: California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) has signed legislation allowing religious institutions and nonprofits to turn parking lots and other properties into low-income housing. The law will allow those groups to bypass most local permitting and environmental review rules to build new houses faster. (Associated Press) The Ohio House approved a measure requiring tax officials to consider three years’ worth of home sale data to determine home values in an effort to reduce property taxes. (Columbus Dispatch)

RAILROADS: Kansas has become the 10th state to require two-person railroad crews, following red states like West Virginia, purple states like Arizona and Wisconsin, and blue states like California, Washington and Minnesota. The railroad industry is suing Ohio over its two-person requirement. (Associated Press)

CHILD CARE: The Wisconsin Senate Committee on Economic Development heard testimony Wednesday on Gov. Tony Evers’s (D) proposal to spend $1 billion on child care services and workforce development. The bill would guarantee 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. Republicans who control the legislature have their own version of child care supports. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Lambda Legal, the national LGBTQ rights organization, has filed suit in federal court seeking to block North Carolina’s new ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors. (Raleigh News & Observer)

There are so many legal challenges to gender-affirming care bans that we can be pretty certain a case will end up before the U.S. Supreme Court one of these days.

In Politics & Business

KENTUCKY: Gov. Andy Beshear (D) raised $1.5 million over the last 30 days, according to new campaign finance reports. He has $1.9 million to spend on the sprint to the finish line. Attorney General Daniel Cameron (R) pulled in $529,000 and has $968,000 left in the bank. (Lexington Herald Leader)

MISSOURI: House Speaker Dean Plocher (R) will run to replace Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe (R) next year, joining state Sen. Holly Thompson Rehder (R) in the GOP primary. Kehoe is running for governor. (Kansas City Star)

OREGON: House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D) will run for attorney general, he said Wednesday. He’s the first Democrat to announce a run to replace incumbent Ellen Rosenblum (D), who is retiring. (Oregonian)

TEXAS: Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) will not return a $3 million contribution from the Defend Texas Liberty PAC after its president held a long meeting with anti-semitic white supremacist Nick Fuentes. Patrick blamed House Speaker Dade Phelan (R) for orchestrating a “smear campaign.” (Texas Tribune)

UTAH: The Forward Party has qualified to run candidates in Utah. Former Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Kerry Healey, who served under then-Gov. Mitt Romney (R), said the party would run candidates at the local level, rather than for president. (KSL)

By The Numbers

5%: The share of recipients of school vouchers in Arkansas who attended public school last year. The other 95% of voucher recipients either attended private or parochial schools or were homeschooled, according to the first annual report from the Arkansas Department of Education. (Arkansas Times)

$727.4 million: The amount of tax revenue on mobile sports betting New York collected in the 2022-2023 fiscal year. Calls to the state problem gambling hotline rose by 26% over that period. (State of Politics)

36: The number of guns caught at security checkpoints at Baltimore-Washington Marshall Airport, a record number. TSA agents caught 35 guns at security checkpoints last year. (Maryland Matters)

Off The Wall

Mixed martial arts fighters will now have access to a pension fund in California, after Gov. Newsom signed first-in-the-nation legislation on Wednesday. Fighters who accrue 39 scheduled rounds — about 12 to 14 fights — will vest in the fund. California is also home to the only state-administered retirement fund for professional boxers. (Los Angeles Times)

The chief justice of Oklahoma’s Supreme Court is recommending a lower court judge be removed from the bench after she was caught on camera scrolling through social media and texting during a murder trial. An investigation found she exchanged more than 500 texts with her courtroom bailiff during the trial. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“I think it won’t be long until you see blue states doing exactly what we have done.”

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R), on legislation he signed this year requiring parental consent for anyone under 18 to sign up for a social media account. (New York Times)