Pluribus AM: The growing popularity of carbon capture

Good morning, it’s Monday, July 1, 2024. How did half the year slip by already? In today’s edition, states embrace carbon capture; SCOTUS to take up gender affirming care ban; Louisiana Gov vetoes political deepfakes bill:

Top Stories

ENVIRONMENT: At least two dozen states considered legislation this year to collect and store carbon dioxide as a means of fighting climate change. Nine bills have become law, including storage and compensation laws in Alabama and Illinois. California lawmakers are considering so-called blue carbon demonstration projects. (Pluribus News)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Texas Supreme Court has upheld the state’s ban on gender-affirming care for transgender minors in an 8-1 vote. (Texas Tribune) The U.S. Supreme Court said last week it will hear arguments over Tennessee’s ban on gender-affirming care for minors in their next term, which begins in October. (NBC News)

MORE: The federal Justice Department has filed a friend of the court brief with a U.S. District Court in Florida claiming the government has a “strong interest” in challenging state law requiring teachers to use pronouns that align with their sex at birth. The DOJ argued the law’s mandatory nature makes use of pronouns a condition of employment. (Orlando Sentinel)

ABORTION: The Iowa Supreme Court ruled Friday to remove an injunction blocking enforcement of the state’s six-week ban on abortions. The injunction will remain in place until a lower court formally receives the case, a process that takes about three weeks. (Des Moines Register)

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry (R) has vetoed legislation that would have made deepfake videos illegal in the context of political campaigns. Landry said he had First Amendment concerns. (Louisiana Illuminator)

At least ten states have enacted laws related to political deepfakes, according to our friends at MultiState.

ADULT CONTENT: A federal district court judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking an Indiana law requiring adult-oriented websites to verify a user’s identity before allowing access. The law was set to take effect today, but the judge ruled it selectively singled out adult content pages. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

ENTERTAINMENT: The Michigan House has approved two bills outlawing technology or software to evade caps on the amount of tickets people can purchase through online platforms like Ticketmaster. The bills create fines for the use of ticket bots. They passed on bipartisan votes. (Michigan Advance)

CULTURE: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has vetoed $32 million in arts funding included in the state budget, a blow to the more than 600 groups that stood to receive state grants. DeSantis said at a press conference last week that some of the money would have gone to create objectionable content. (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

In Politics & Business

CALIFORNIA: Democratic legislative leaders have unveiled a ballot measure aimed at combating retail theft and increasing penalties for fentanyl dealers. The measure is an alternative to a separate effort to roll back Proposition 47, a 2014 voter-passed measure that reduced some criminal penalties. (CalMatters)

LOUISIANA: The U.S. Supreme Court has given parties until July 30 to submit arguments over a new congressional district map that would give Louisiana a second Black-majority congressional district. The delay means justices won’t hear arguments until next term, and that the current map with the second majority-minority district will be in effect for November’s elections. (Baton Rouge Advocate)

NORTH CAROLINA: The Republican Governors Association has launched its first major ad campaign targeting Attorney General Josh Stein (D). The $1 million campaign, running in the state’s three largest metro areas, criticizes a delay in testing 12,000 rape kits across the state. (Carolina Journal)

PEOPLE: Helen Willa McKee, who starred in campaign ads on behalf of her son, Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D), has died at 96. (Boston Globe) Our condolences to the McKee family.

By The Numbers

At least $5 billion: The amount the consulting firm Deloitte earns from 25 states that have awarded the company Medicaid eligibility systems contracts. Deloitte takes in more than $500 million each from contracts in California, Louisiana, Georgia, Tennessee and Pennsylvania. (Texas Tribune)

9,700: The number of Americans treated in emergency rooms for fireworks incidents across the nation in 2023, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Two-thirds of those injuries happened in the weeks surrounding July 4. (Cedar Rapids Gazette)

Be safe out there, folks.

Off The Wall

Theodore Roosevelt’s prized silver pocket watch is back home 36 years after it was stolen from an historic site in Buffalo. The watch, seized by federal agents from a Florida auction house last year, is back on display at Sagamore Hill — though it’s not clear if federal agents have any suspects in the disappearance. (Associated Press)

The Poozeum is opening in Williams, Ariz. The new museum houses more than 7,000 samples of fossilized excrement in the small town along Route 66, near the Grand Canyon. Its largest specimen is 20 lbs. (Associated Press)

Associated Milk Producers, a cheese producer in Sanborn, Iowa, is suing the city for water contamination that allegedly caused $4 million in damages. The alleged failure caused cleaning debris to enter the plant’s cheese supply. (Des Moines Register)

That’s not gouda. The city really bleu it. We’d be cheesed off. Okay, we’ll stop.

Quote of the Day

“I wish we had been able to get more done. I think if we had gotten more done, we’d have a little more to talk about.”

— North Carolina Senate President Phil Berger (R), on the end of the year’s legislative session. (Associated Press)