Pluribus AM: The year of big housing bills

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Good morning, it’s Monday, March 25, 2024. In today’s edition, 2024 becomes the Year of Housing; New Hampshire expected to advance AI rules; West Virginia AG Morrisey leads GOP governor field:

Top Stories

HOUSING: Lawmakers in Oregon, Washington and Utah have approved massive new housing construction measures this year as states grapple with shortages and rising homelessness. Housing packages are still on the table in other states, while big measures fell short in New Mexico and Arizona. (Pluribus News)

We called last year the year of education savings accounts. This year is shaping up to be the year of the big housing bill.

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE: The New Hampshire House is expected to vote this week on a bill setting rules for state employee use of AI tools. The bill bars AI from use in public surveillance without warning and requires human oversight for AI-based decision-making. (WMUR)

SOCIAL MEDIA: Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird (R) has asked a court to require TikTok to change its age rating to 17+ in Apple’s App Store. Bird sued the social media company in January over what she alleges are deceptive advertising practices. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) has signed legislation banning gender-affirming care for transgender minors. (Wyoming Public Media) The Maine legislature will consider a bill to shield hospitals and doctors from providing information on patients who receive gender-affirming care, after the measure passed a committee on a party-line vote. (Maine Public Radio)

MORE: The Idaho Senate approved legislation barring the use of public funds to cover gender-affirming medications and surgeries for residents. The bill applies to both adults and children. It now heads to Gov. Brad Little (R) for a likely signature. (Idaho Statesman)

GUN POLITICS: Wyoming Gov. Gordon vetoed legislation that would have allowed people to carry concealed firearms in public schools and government meetings. Gordon signed legislation barring credit card processors from using firearm-related merchant codes. (Associated Press)

EDUCATION: The Kansas House approved legislation barring public universities from using diversity, equity and inclusion in hiring, admissions and student aid. Gov. Laura Kelly (D) vetoed a DEI-restricting budget provision last year. (Washington Examiner)

IMMIGRATION: Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) says she will sign legislation allowing undocumented immigrants who had been previously deported to be charged with an aggravated misdemeanor. The bill prohibits arrest while someone is in school, a house of worship or receiving medical care. (KMTV)

In Politics & Business

WEST VIRGINIA: Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (R) leads the Republican primary contest to replace outgoing Gov. Jim Justice (R). A new Emerson College poll finds Morrisey leading the GOP field with 33%, followed by auto dealer Chris Miller (R) at 16% and Del. Moore Capito (R) at 14%. Secretary of State Mac Warner (R) takes 6%. (WOWK)

NEW JERSEY: First Lady Tammy Murphy (D) abruptly dropped her bid for a U.S. Senate seat on Sunday. Murphy said she would have had to run a bruising and negative campaign to win the primary. Her exit makes U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D) the overwhelming favorite for the Democratic nomination. (NJ Advance Media)

TEXAS: Attorneys for Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) are working on a deal with prosectors to dismiss 9-year old securities fraud charges if Paxton completes community service, advanced legal education classes and a six-figure restitution payment. Paxton faced up to 99 years in prison if convicted. (Austin American-Statesman)

OREGON: Gov. Tina Kotek (D) has tapped Chris Warner as her next chief of staff, as current chief Andrea Cooper departs at the end of the week. Special advisor Abby Tibbs and deputy chief of staff Lindsey O’Brien will also leave Kotek’s office, though O’Brien is out on leave. (Oregonian)

By The Numbers

$6.1 million: The amount 799 groups spent lobbying the Kentucky legislature in January and February, smashing the record set in 2023. The state Chamber of Commerce and the ACLU were the two biggest spenders. (Lexington Herald Leader)

30%: The share of requests for water from California’s State Water Project the Department of Water Resources says it expects to fill this year. That’s double the initial projections of just 15% made in February, after a series of late-winter storms dumped snow across the state. (Los Angeles Times)

Off The Wall

Illinois House Speaker Chris Welch (D) has apologized for an order coming from his office that asked legislators not to speak with a reporter from the Chicago Tribune. Welch’s office sent legislators a note asking them to avoid reporter Jeremy Garner, who was asking questions about political contributions Welch made to a challenger to a Chicago-area legislator. (Chicago Tribune)

It’s always funny when memos about leaks eventually leak.

A Pennsylvania law passed in 1967 requires anyone who wants to try cloud seeding to get a license from the state Department of Agriculture. The agency has never received an application for any such license. (Pennsylvania Capital-Star)

Quote of the Day

“Ski resorts and wolverines share many similarities.”

Jamie Caton, a spokesperson for Vail Resorts, testifying in favor of legislation to reintroduce wolverines to Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. (Colorado Public Radio)