Pluribus AM: Running for governor? Dean’s a no, Manchin’s a maybe

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, May 21, 2024. In today’s edition, Minnesota advances groundbreaking privacy bill; Kansas sets new foster care standard; Dean won’t run for governor, but Manchin might:

Top Stories

PRIVACY: Minnesota lawmakers approved comprehensive data privacy legislation that would grant consumers rights if automated systems make decisions about them based on their data profile. The measure also prohibits businesses from retaining personal data for longer than relevant or necessary. (Pluribus News)

FOSTER CARE: Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has signed legislation allowing teenagers over 16 in the foster care system to decide who will serve as their primary legal guardian. Kansas becomes the first state to offer teens the choice as they are aging out of the foster system. (Kansas City Star)

IVF: The Louisiana Senate approved legislation protecting in-vitro fertilization. The bill bars providers from sending embryos out of state for destruction. Some providers worried the bill didn’t sufficiently protect them from potential criminal prosecution. (Baton Rouge Advocate)

CONSUMER PROTECTION: Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) has signed legislation banning “junk fees,” or extra service fees and health and wellness surcharges to customer bills. Restaurants and hotels will be allowed to charge mandatory gratuity so long as those fees are advertised alongside pricing information. (Minnesota Reformer)

MARIJUANA: The California Assembly approved legislation that would allow local governments to license Amsterdam-style cannabis cafes. Current state law allows consumers to use cannabis at a dispensary, but dispensaries can’t legally sell non-cannabis products like coffee or food. (Los Angeles Times)

Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) vetoed a previous version of the bill in October, citing the state’s smoke-free workplace rules.

INSURANCE: About three-quarters of a Florida fund to bolster property insurers has been left untouched since it became available in 2022. Insurance companies would have had to reduce rates to gain access to the fund, which industry analysts said wasn’t large enough to cover losses caused by hurricanes. (Orlando Sentinel)

ENVIRONMENT: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis (D) has signed legislation allowing the Parks and Wildlife department to reintroduce wolverines. The last wolverine sighting in Colorado came in 2009, but the state has the largest block of wolverine-friendly habitat in the continental United States. (Colorado Public Radio)

In Politics & Business

WEST VIRGINIA: Wealthy Republican donors have urged U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin (D) to run for governor again, and Manchin appears to be leaving the door open. He endorsed Huntington Mayor Steve Williams (D) in the primary, though Williams is the heavy underdog against Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R). (WV MetroNews)

VERMONT: Former Gov. Howard Dean (D) and former Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger (D) will both skip this year’s gubernatorial contest, after floating potential comeback bids. Dean said internal polling showed him within 10 points of Gov. Phil Scott (R). (VTDigger)

Dean, announcing his decision at a press conference Monday, took more than three minutes to say he wouldn’t actually run.

DELAWARE: Former state Rep. Ruth Briggs King (R) will run for lieutenant governor. Briggs King was nominated by state Republicans at their annual convention on Saturday; she will run alongside gubernatorial candidate and House Minority Leader Mike Ramone (R). (Delaware Public Media)

NEVADA: Supporters of abortion rights submitted more than 200,000 signatures to qualify a proposed constitutional amendment for the November elections. They need just 103,000 signatures to be valid to qualify, and they have almost a month left before the June 26 filing deadline. (NBC News)

We wrote last week that Democrats and Republicans are using ballot measures in swing states to turn out new voters.

PEOPLE: Iowa Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver (R) is receiving radiation therapy to treat a brain tumor. Whitver, 43, said he is responding well to early treatments. (Des Moines Register) We’re wishing Sen. Whitver a fast recovery.

By The Numbers

$1.8 billion: The amount Massachusetts’s new “millionaires tax” has generated so far this fiscal year, already $800 million above initial expectations. Voters approved an additional 4% tax on earnings over $1 million in a 2022 measure. (Boston Globe)

Nearly 10 million: The number of calls, texts and chats received by the 988 national suicide hotline in the two years since its launch in 2022. (Boston Globe)

4.3%: The average ice coverage across the Great Lakes this winter, the lowest recorded average since records began in 1973. (Michigan Advance)

Off The Wall

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont (D) will learn whether he and his neighbors will face fines over the 180 trees workers cut down without proper permits on their properties. Lamont took responsibility for a contractor who was meant to clear up dead or dying trees. (Milford Mirror)

706 people named Kyle showed up in Kyle, Texas, on Saturday in an attempt to set a new world record for the largest gathering of people of the same name. They fell well short of the current record, set by a town in Bosnia that gathered 2,325 people named Ivan in 2017. (Associated Press)

What do you call a group of Kyles? A murder? A colony? A swarm?

France’s national Post Office has rolled out a scratch-and-sniff stamp honoring the baguette. The stamp, which costs 1.96 euros, was unveiled on Thursday, the day of Saint-Honore, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs. (AFP)

Quote of the Day

“Nope, no special session. Next question.”

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D), closing the books on a legislative session that ended in acrimony between Democrats and Republicans. (MPR News)