Pluribus AM: Vermont’s groundbreaking privacy bill

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, May 14, 2024. In today’s edition, Vermont passes groundbreaking digital privacy law; GOP AGs sue to block EPA truck emissions rule; Alabama Gov signs labor bill:

Top Stories

DIGITAL PRIVACY: Vermont lawmakers have given final approval to a new digital privacy bill that would give consumers the right to sue companies that mishandle their data. The private right of action will sunset after two years unless the legislature reauthorizes it. The bill also includes an age-appropriate design code to protect minors online. (Pluribus News)

For those keeping score at home: Vermont is the 18th state to pass comprehensive data privacy legislation, and the fifth this year alone — along with Kentucky, Maryland, New Hampshire and New Jersey.

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Mississippi Gov. Tate Reeves (R) has signed legislation barring transgender people from using bathrooms, locker rooms or dormitories in public education buildings that conform to their gender identity. The law requires public education buildings to maintain at least one gender-neutral bathroom and changing room. (Associated Press)

ENVIRONMENT: A group of 24 Republican attorneys general led by Nebraska’s Mike Hilgers (R) has sued to block an EPA rule limiting truck emissions. The new EPA rules limit emissions on trucks beginning in model year 2027. Hilgers filed another suit challenging California emissions standards. (Associated Press, Nebraska Examiner)

PUBLIC HEALTH: The California Assembly has approved legislation requiring warning labels on gas stoves and ranges made or sold after 2024. Supporters say the measure will help combat childhood asthma and other respiratory problems. (Associated Press)

MORE: Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) has signed legislation setting the minimum age to work in adult entertainment establishments at 21. DeSantis said the bill would combat human trafficking. (Florida Politics)

LABOR: Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) has signed legislation barring companies from state economic incentives if they voluntarily recognize labor unions. Ivey’s signature comes as workers at a Mercedes-Benz plant near Tuscaloosa vote on whether to join the UAW. (

ECONOMY: The Georgia General Assembly has created a new bipartisan committee to investigate difficulties businesses face in obtaining and renewing state licenses. The committee aims to introduce legislation to cut red tape in time for the 2025 legislative session. (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

In Politics & Business

WASHINGTON: Yesterday, we told you about the two Bob Fergusons (Bobs Ferguson?) recruited to run for governor against Attorney General Bob Ferguson (D), the race’s front-runner. Both of the other Bob Fergusons withdrew from the race just before Monday’s filing deadline. (KOMO)

NEVADA: The state Supreme Court has struck down a proposed ballot initiative that would have let voters decide whether to repeal public funding for a new Major League Baseball stadium in Las Vegas. Supporters of the measure, backed by Nevada’s teacher’s union, say they’ll aim to qualify for the 2026 ballot. (Associated Press)

MISSOURI: The state Senate is debating a proposed constitutional amendment to make it harder to pass future amendments. Democrats filibustered the bill that would require future amendments to win majorities in five of the state’s eight congressional districts. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

SOUTH DAKOTA: Supporters of a measure to repeal the sales tax on groceries have submitted enough signatures to qualify for the November ballot. South Dakota taxes groceries at a 4.2% rate. (South Dakota Searchlight)

By The Numbers

1.2%: The decline in California’s population since the pre-pandemic days of 2019. Just 25 of California’s 58 counties have added population since 2019. Most of the counties that have experienced growth are rural counties. (Los Angeles Times)

57,780: The number of misdemeanor cannabis convictions expunged in Minnesota, under the state’s new recreational marijuana law. A new Cannabis Expungement Board will review thousands of felony marijuana offenses. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)

Off The Wall

The New York Senate honored Major League Baseball hall of famer David Ortiz for his charity work on Monday. His visit came 20 years after Ortiz’s Red Sox beat the Yankees in the American League Championship Series, en route to their first World Series title in a century. (Associated Press)

Nearly 40 first responders took five hours to rescue two horses stuck in deep mud near Lebanon, Conn., on Sunday. The horses are just fine. (People)

Anyone else having uncomfortable flashbacks to that scene in The Neverending Story?

Quote of the Day

“As I think we often say if there’s anybody out there listening, which I’m sure at this point, there is not.”

Minnesota Rep. Emma Greenman (D), after seven hours of debate over her legislation to advance an Equal Rights Amendment to the November ballot. (MPR News)