Pluribus AM: ‘Underwear and socks’

Good morning, it’s Thursday, February 8, 2024. In today’s edition, Dems plan spending to aid migrants; Colorado lawmakers want social media warnings; Hawaii, Kansas debate foreign land ownership bans:

Top Stories

IMMIGRATION: Democratic governors are planning to spend big bucks to help cities dealing with an influx of migrants in the face of congressional inaction. City leaders say they no longer expect the federal government to come to their aid; New York City will spend an estimated $10.6 billion on migrant services in the next two fiscal years, Mayor Eric Adams (D) said, but the federal government has committed only $156 million in assistance. (Pluribus News)

SOCIAL MEDIA: Colorado lawmakers have introduced legislation requiring social media platforms to show in-app warnings to youth users with information and resources about harms the platforms might cause. The warnings would appear after one hour of use, or after 10 p.m., and would repeat every 30 minutes. (Colorado Sun)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: The Idaho House approved legislation defining gender as synonymous with sex. The bill also mandates that gendered terms like “boy,” “father” and “mother” be used only to refer to a person’s sex at birth. Chief sponsor Rep. Julianne Young (R) said she got counsel from the Heritage Foundation and the Alliance Defending Freedom in drafting the bill. (Idaho Statesman)

GUN POLITICS: The New Mexico Senate will consider legislation imposing a seven-day waiting period before anyone could legally purchase a gun. The bill exempts those who already have a concealed carry permit. (Santa Fe New Mexican)

HOUSING: The Hawaii Senate heard testimony over legislation to ban foreigners from purchasing real estate in the state. Hawaii Attorney General Anne Lopez said the measure is likely unconstitutional. (Hawaii News Now) Kansas Attorney General Kris Kobach (R) has asked lawmakers to ban foreign individuals and corporations from purchasing more than three acres of land. (Kansas Reflector)

MORE: The Missouri House approved legislation to ban local governments from enacting moratoriums on evictions. St. Louis and St. Louis County approved local eviction moratoriums in 2021. Previous measures have stalled in the Senate. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

EDUCATION: The Ohio House approved legislation to add curriculum about free-market capitalism to high school courses on financial literacy and entrepreneurship. The measure, which passed along party lines, now goes to Gov. Mike DeWine (R) for a signature. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

PUBLIC HEALTH: The Georgia House unanimously approved legislation allowing vending machines to dispense overdose-reversal drugs like naloxone. The measure also protects pharmacists from punishment if they fill vending machines with overdose-reversing drugs. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

GAMBLING: Alabama lawmakers have introduced legislation to authorize a state lottery and ten casinos, with the support of Gov. Kay Ivey (R). The measure needs three-fifths of lawmakers to send it to voters in November. (Associated Press)

In Politics & Business

VIRGINIA: The Senate Committee on Privileges and Elections voted to advance legislation banning public utility companies from donating to political campaigns. A version of the bill has failed several years in a row, but Democrats hope they can pass it this year. (WTKR)

Wonder why lawmakers want to ban utility companies from spending? Biggest spenders in Virginia’s 2023 elections: 1) Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R) PAC. 2) House Democrats. 3) Dominion Energy.

SOUTH DAKOTA: The state Senate will take up legislation requiring political advertising that includes generative AI “deepfakes” to be labeled within 90 days of an election. Local media groups have raised concerns over whether they would be held liable for airing such advertisements. (South Dakota Searchlight)

ALABAMA: A Senate committee advanced legislation Wednesday that would impose felonies on those who are paid to assist others with absentee ballots. The legislation makes it a misdemeanor to help anyone vote by absentee, with exceptions for relatives or those who live in the same household. (

CALIFORNIA: Supporters of same sex marriage are launching an initiative campaign to strike the state’s ban on marriage equality from the constitution. Voters approved an amendment banning same-sex marriage in 2008, five years before the U.S. Supreme Court declared such bans unconstitutional. (Bay Area Reporter)

By The Numbers

$705,000: The cost of private attorneys defending the Office of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) against a whistleblower lawsuit that led to his impeachment. The lead attorney defending Paxton charges $540 an hour. (Texas Tribune)

551%: The increase in the number of Montana residents experiencing chronic homelessness between 2007 and 2023, the largest increase in the nation. (Daily Montanan)

4,516: The number of state employees Delaware hired or promoted in 2023, up 22% since 2017, a new record. Applications for state jobs are up 20% a month over the last year, and salaries are up 12% on average. (Delaware Public Media)

Off The Wall

Arizona Rep. Lydia Hernandez (D) filed an ethics complaint against fellow Democratic Latino legislators for allegedly holding her hostage in her office over political differences. The lawmakers involved deny the allegations, which House attorneys dismissed after an investigation last year. (Arizona Republic)

Missouri lawmakers are considering legislation to repeal an anachronistic law that prohibits a judge from granting a divorce if the woman in the relationship is pregnant. The law is intended to guarantee child support, but it makes no exceptions in cases of domestic violence. (Kansas City Star)

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) wants to use carrots to incentivize local governments to build new housing — so she brought a bunch of carrots to her press conference announcing the new incentive programs. Hochul rolled out a $650 million grant program for local governments to build new affordable housing units. (City & State)

Quote of the Day

“Underwear and socks.”

Utah Senate Budget Committee chairman Jerry Stevenson (R), comparing this year’s budget to an austere Christmas. (Deseret News)