Pluribus AM: Tennessee’s ‘abortion trafficking’ bill

Good morning, it’s Friday, April 26, 2024. In today’s edition, Tennessee approves abortion trafficking ban; Colorado’s AI bill in trouble; Alaska moves to bar minors from social media:

Top Stories

ABORTION: Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee (R) is expected to sign legislation that would make his the second state in the country to impose criminal charges on adults who help minors obtain abortions. The legislature gave final approval this week to a bill that would create the offense of “abortion trafficking” punishable by up to a year in prison. (Pluribus News)

A federal judge temporarily blocked Idaho’s abortion trafficking law in November.

MORE: Republican attorneys general in 17 states have filed suit challenging new federal rules that require businesses to give employers time off to obtain abortions. The rule, approved by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on a party-line vote, is set to take effect June 18. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Tennessee legislators also approved a measure that would add criminal penalties for adults who help minors receive gender-affirming care. (Associated Press) The South Carolina Senate has approved budget language that includes a provision requiring K-12 students to use bathrooms and locker rooms that conform to their biological sex at birth. (South Carolina Daily Gazette)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Colorado’s Senate Judiciary Committee has approved legislation requiring companies to alert consumers any time AI is used, and to add protections for the AI industry. Lawmakers suggested the bill needs more work, casting doubt on whether they can get it done by end of session in two weeks. (Colorado Sun)

Stay tuned for the latest on the two biggest AI bills of the year in today’s Tech Friday newsletter, hitting your inbox this afternoon.

MORE: The Massachusetts House has approved legislation requiring political candidates, super PACs and other political spenders to disclose if they use AI-generated material in campaign ads. The bill, filed by House Minority Leader Brad Jones (R), would fine violators up to $1,000. (Boston Globe)

SOCIAL MEDIA: The Alaska House of Representatives has approved legislation barring children under 14 from creating social media accounts. The bill requires 14 and 15-year olds to obtain parental consent to create an account. (Alaska Public Media)

IMMIGRATION: The Alabama House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee has approved legislation that would allow local law enforcement agencies to arrest undocumented immigrants. The bill would require law enforcement to attempt to confirm someone’s immigration status when they are detained. (Alabama Reflector)

MEDICAID EXPANSION: Mississippi Senate conferees tapped to negotiate Medicaid expansion with the House failed to show up to a second conference meeting Thursday. The two sides need to reach agreement by Monday to keep Medicaid expansion alive this year. (Jackson Clarion Ledger)

Holding conference negotiations in public is a pretty effective way to kill a bill.

In Politics & Business

NORTH DAKOTA: Supporters of legal marijuana will begin circulating petitions to gather signatures for a November ballot measure, after Secretary of State Michael Howe (R) approved their petition. They need 15,582 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. (Associated Press)

NORTH CAROLINA: Planned Parenthood will spend $10 million on political races in North Carolina this year, the group said Thursday, to focus voters on abortion rights. The gubernatorial contest pits Attorney General Josh Stein (D), who backs abortion rights, against Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R), an anti-abortion rights advocate. (Associated Press)

MISSOURI: The state House has approved legislation asking voters to make the state constitution more difficult to amend. If the Senate approves and voters sign off, future amendments would be required to win a majority in at least five of the state’s eight congressional districts. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Will somebody please poll a governor’s race?!?

By The Numbers

More than 10,000 megawatts: The amount of battery storage systems California has built, Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) said Thursday. The state needs 52,000 megawatts to reach its climate goals by 2045. (Los Angeles Times)

16: The number of bills Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) has vetoed this year, one shy of the all-time record she set in 2023. She’s likely to break her record before the end of session. (Topeka Capital-Journal)

We’re pretty sure Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) and Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) are the most veto-happy governors in America. Tennessee Gov. Lee hasn’t issued a single veto during his six years in office.

Nearly 70%: The share of local elections that went uncontested in 2022, according to Ballot Ready, a company that maintains election records. Kennard, Texas, hasn’t held elections in at least 18 years because no one challenges the sitting incumbents. (Texas Tribune)

$6 billion: The amount of revenue legal marijuana firms have generated in Massachusetts since recreational pot sales began in 2018. Last year marked the third straight year when pot sales topped $1 billion. (MassLive)

Off The Wall

Happy 100th birthday to Art Schallock, the oldest living former Major League Baseball player. Schallock won three World Series rings with the New York Yankees in the 1950s, sharing a room on the road with Yogi Berra. (Los Angeles Times)

If you’re near Greenwich, Conn., stop by the Bruce Museum to check out the world’s largest bronze gorilla sculpture. The 5,000-pound, 23-foot long statue named King Nyani — the Swahili word for gorilla — is on loan to the museum through 2027. (CT Insider)

Quote of the Day

“Thank you for coming and sorry to have wasted your time.”

Mississippi House Medicaid Committee chairwoman Missy McGee (R), after Senate negotiators failed to show up at a scheduled meeting to hash out differences between the two chambers on Medicaid expansion legislation. (Mississippi Today)