Pluribus AM: Total eclipse of the news

Good morning, it’s Monday, April 8, 2024. Don’t forget your eclipse glasses. In today’s edition, Maryland passes youth privacy law; Mississippi set to negotiate Medicaid expansion; the secret to living a long life: Fish and chips.

Top Stories

PRIVACY: Maryland’s General Assembly gave final approval to a youth data privacy measure modeled on California’s first-in-the-nation law. The bill requires companies to design online products for children with privacy, safety and well-being in mind, defaulting to the highest possible privacy settings, with fines of up to $7,500 for intentional violations. (Pluribus News)

California’s law, signed in 2022, is tied up in the courts.

CRIMINAL JUSTICE: The Maryland General Assembly approved legislation expanding the list of charges minors between 10 and 12 can face to include firearm offenses, sex offenses and aggravated animal cruelty. The bill would allow minors to be detained if they committed multiple crimes during a two-year period. (Baltimore Sun)

MORE: The Illinois House Judiciary Committee approved legislation to repeal the state’s three-strikes law. Current law allows a judge to sentence a three-time felony offender to life in prison. (WGEM)

MEDICAID: Mississippi House and Senate leaders plan to appoint a conference committee to hammer out a Medicaid expansion plan. House Speaker Jason White (R) says his chamber won’t accept a plan that does not take advantage of $1 billion in federal money. He says he has the votes to override a potential veto. (Mississippi Today)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The New Hampshire Senate approved legislation barring transgender minors from school and college sports that conform to their gender identities. (WMUR)

CYBERSECURITY: New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed an executive order Friday meant to bolster state cybersecurity. The order directs the Department of Information Technology to assess vulnerabilities, and it directs state agencies to implement stronger defenses. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

ABORTION: Virginia Gov. Glenn Youngkin (R) signed legislation prohibiting the issuance of search warrants, subpoenas or court orders for electronic or digital menstrual data. Proponents say the bill will protect the privacy of patients seeking abortions. Youngkin vetoed several other bills backed by abortion rights advocates. (Associated Press)

In Politics & Business

NEW MEXICO: House Republicans have selected Rep. Rod Montoya (R) as their new minority leader. Freshman Rep. Alan Martinez (R) will serve as minority whip. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

ARIZONA: Rep. Marcelino Quinonez (D) has resigned from the state House, the sixth Democratic lawmaker to quit since January. Quinonez is reportedly seeking a seat on the Phoenix City Council. (Arizona Capitol Times)

NEVADA: The FBI is investigating state Sen. Dina Neal (D) over allegations she used her influence to secure federal money for a friend through a state grant program. Neal has denied wrongdoing, though the former head of the NV Grow grant program says he told the FBI she pressured him to approve grant money for a former North Las Vegas police officer. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

PEOPLE: Former Maine Gov. Joseph Brennan (D) has died at 89. Brennan appointed the state’s first female District Attorney, a young woman named Janet Mills — Maine’s current governor. (Maine Public Radio)

By The Numbers

More than 50,000: The number of “blackout” license plates sold in Minnesota, in just the first three months since it went on the market. Minnesota officials expect the plate to become the most popular specialty license plate they offer. (MPR News)

225%: The rise in traffic at the Vermont Welcome Center on Interstate 91 on Saturday, as visitors began arriving to view today’s solar eclipse. Traffic was up 200% on Friday and 168% on Sunday, compared with a year ago. Vermont’s Agency of Transportation expects up to 160,000 visitors to head to the path of totality. (VT Digger)

Off The Wall

Colorado’s Republican Party kicked Colorado Sun reporter Sandra Fish out of their annual meeting Saturday after party chair Dave Williams objected to her reporting. Fish had written about the Colorado GOP sending a mailer attacking a Republican congressional candidate seeking a seat that Williams is also running for. (Colorado Sun)

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has issued a declaration protecting the 19 feral cats that roam Mexico’s National Palace. AMLO’s order declares the cats “living fixed assets,” obligating the country to give them food and care. (Associated Press)

Reminiscent of the time President Woodrow Wilson brought sheep to the White House lawn to save manpower during World War I.

Want to live forever? Try fish and chips. John Alfred Tinniswood, 111, currently the world’s oldest man, says the key to his longevity is a weekly fish and chips dinner. (Associated Press)

Quote of the Day

“There’s nobody close.”

South Dakota Sen. Lee Schoenbeck (R), who claims to have the largest collection of South Dakota political buttons in the state. Schoenbeck is retiring this year after 14 years in the legislature. (South Dakota Searchlight)