Pluribus AM: The looming lobbying battle over AI

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, December 5, 2023. In today’s edition, tech companies fight over AI development; Ohio Republicans plan marijuana reforms; former NFL punter wants to be a legislator:

Top Stories

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: Meta, the parent company of Facebook, has partnered with IBM to launch the AI Alliance to advocate for an “open science” approach to artificial intelligence. That puts those companies at odds with Google, Microsoft and OpenAI, the makers of ChatGPT, which are pursuing closed-source AI development. The two sides disagree over the safest way to develop AI technology. (Associated Press)

Get ready for a mammoth lobbying battle between the world’s largest tech magnates.

MARIJUANA: Ohio Republicans have proposed banning home-grown marijuana plants and increasing taxes on legal marijuana sales just weeks after voters approved recreational use by a 57%-43% margin. The state Senate has also proposed  limiting the maximum amount of THC in pot products, and to limit the number of dispensaries to 230, below the 350 voters approved in November. (Columbus Dispatch)

PUBLIC HEALTH: Oregon lawmakers held a four-hour hearing Monday over reforms to Measure 110, the voter-approved law that decriminalized minor possession of drugs. Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler (D) asked lawmakers to re-criminalize public drug use and to make it easier to prosecute drug dealing in next year’s legislative session. (Oregonian)

MORE: Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) will ask lawmakers to spend an additional $50 million to combat the flow of illegal opioids into the state. Inslee’s proposal would distribute more naloxone, the overdose-reversing drug, and fund police department stings to catch drug dealers. CDC data shows Washington had the highest increase of drug deaths over the last year-long reporting period. (Washington State Standard)

IMMIGRATION: Massachusetts lawmakers approved a $3 billion supplemental spending package that includes $250 million to expand the state’s overwhelmed emergency shelter system in the face of an influx of migrants. The bill requires Gov. Maura Healey’s (D) administration to use $50 million to create new overflow shelters. (Boston Globe)

MORE: Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) is calling on the Biden administration to waive fees for migrants applying for employment-based visas. Migrants are required to pay $500 to apply for a visa, an amount Pritzker says is unrealistic. (Center Square)

HOUSING: Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) has proposed spending $186 million to combat homelessness in next year’s budget. Cox’s proposal would spend $120 million to expand emergency shelter systems in Salt Lake City and throughout the state, and $8 million to expand workforce shortages in behavioral health systems. (Deseret News)

LABOR: Faculty at California State University began a series of one-day strikes on Monday, demanding higher pay and more parental leave for university employees. Their union wants a 12% salary increase, which would cost the CSU system $380 million a year. (Associated Press)

In Politics & Business

NORTH CAROLINA: Black and Latino voters have sued over new congressional district boundaries they say will weaken their voting power. Legislators approved new maps that give Republicans a good chance to win 10 of the state’s 14 seats in Congress. (Associated Press)

DELAWARE: Former Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control Secretary Collin O’Mara (D) has formed an exploratory committee as he considers a run for governor. O’Mara would join Lt. Gov. Bethany Hall-Long (D) and New Castle County Executive Matt Meyer (D) in the Democratic primary. (Delaware Public Media)

UTAH: Former House Minority Leader Brian King (D) will run for governor in 2024, he said Monday. Utah hasn’t elected a Democratic governor since Scott Matheson won office in 1980. (Salt Lake Tribune)

FLORIDA: State Republican Party leaders will meet Dec. 17 to consider ousting party chair Christian Ziegler, who faces allegations of sexual assault. Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) and legislative leaders have called on Ziegler to resign. Ziegler denies the charges against him. (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)

WHITE HOUSE: North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) has suspended his presidential campaign, after it became clear he would not qualify for this week’s Republican debate. Burgum missed last month’s debate after falling short of the polling threshold set by the Republican National Committee. (Fargo Forum)

By The Numbers

228: The number of homicides recorded in Detroit through Nov. 30, down 18% over last year. The city is on pace to record the fewest homicides since 1966. (Associated Press)

$144.1 million: The budget surplus Arkansas has raked in during the first five months of the fiscal year. Total tax revenue is down 1.4% over the same period last year, but 5.6% higher than budget forecasts predicted. (Talk Business & Politics)

Off The Wall

Former Indianapolis Colts punter Hunter Smith (R) will seek a seat in the Indiana state House, he said Monday. Smith, who played in the NFL for 11 seasons, retired to operate a farm in Zionsville for the last decade. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

ChatGPT was the most common search on English-language Wikipedia this year, the company said Tuesday. Users searched the English-language version of the site more than 84 billion times this year. The annual list of celebrity deaths was the second most-read article, followed by the 2023 Cricket World Cup. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“Think of it as a challenge, an opportunity. You can only go up.”

Jeff Coates, director of research and evaluation at the National Conference on Citizenship, on a new report showing Arkansas voters turned out at the lowest rate of any state in the 2020 presidential election. (Talk Business & Politics)