Pluribus AM: Where everybody knows the elephant’s name

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, June 11, 2024. In today’s edition, Massachusetts takes on crisis pregnancy centers; California journalism pay bill revived; Wisconsin set for yet another massive Supreme Court fight:

Top Stories

ABORTION: Massachusetts officials are launching a first-in-the-nation ad campaign warning residents about disinformation from so-called crisis pregnancy centers. The ad campaign, the latest blue state move to shore up abortion rights, attempts to draw a distinction between crisis centers and health facilities that offer comprehensive reproductive care. (Pluribus News)

SOCIAL MEDIA: California lawmakers have revived legislation that would charge online platforms like Facebook and Google for the news articles they publish. New amendments to the bill bring it more into line with the way Canada charges platforms for distributing news content. (Los Angeles Times)

LGBTQ RIGHTS: Twenty-three Republican attorneys general have sued the Biden administration to block a rule holding employers liable if health insurance they provide does not cover gender-affirming care. A panel of 11th Circuit Court judges upheld the rule under Title VII. (

HOUSING: New York lawmakers gave final approval to legislation that would require property owners to register short-term rentals with the Department of State every two years. The bill would allow municipalities to collect sales and occupancy taxes on short-term rentals. (State of Politics)

MORE: Michigan lawmakers are considering a package of bills that would give tenants the right to repair units without being responsible for costs and to form a tenant union. Another bill would require notice before future rent increases. (CBS Detroit)

ENVIRONMENT: A New Mexico judge has allowed a lawsuit brought by environmental groups and Native Americans who live near oil wells to continue. The suit alleges New Mexico has failed to meet a constitutional obligation for protecting against oil and gas pollution. (Associated Press)

IMMIGRATION: A federal judge says he will rule on the constitutionality of Iowa’s new law allowing law enforcement officers to arrest undocumented immigrants before it takes effect July 1. Justice Department officials say the law violates federal authority over immigration. (Iowa Capital Dispatch)

EDUCATION: Illinois lawmakers have sent Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) legislation that would outlaw physical punishments at schools. The bill would ban all school personnel, including non-public schools, from administering corporal punishment. (WCIA)

In Politics & Business

ARIZONA: The Arizona Republican Party has sued the state in an effort to purge 500,000 voters from the rolls. The federal lawsuit says the voting rolls include as many as 1.27 million voters who have either died or moved out of state. (AZ Mirror)

WISCONSIN: Dane County Circuit Court Judge Susan Crawford, a liberal who once represented Planned Parenthood, has entered the race to succeed retiring liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley. Former Wisconsin Attorney General Brad Schimel (R), who now serves on the Waukesha County Circuit Court, is the only other announced candidate. The election takes place next April 1. (Associated Press)

The 4-3 liberal majority is at stake in what will certainly be the most expensive court election in 2025.

MAINE: State Republicans are collecting signatures for two proposed statewide referenda that would require people to show identification when voting and to repeal a new law allocating all of Maine’s four electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote. They need 67,682 valid signatures by August 8 to make the 2024 ballot. (Portland Press Herald)

By The Numbers

15: The number of states that have banned credit card companies from using merchant category codes for firearm and ammunition purchases. Two states — California and Colorado — have passed laws that require those codes, creating a headache for the banking industry. (Pluribus News)

Nearly $4 billion: The estimated cost of the 2034 Winter Olympic Games, according to organizers trying to bring the event back to Utah. Salt Lake City has been named a preferred host, and the International Olympic Committee intends to announce its final decision on July 24, Utah’s Pioneer Day. (Idaho Capital Sun)

$14 billion: The amount data center companies plan to invest on construction projects in Indiana in the coming years, as they take advantage of state tax incentives. Amazon has plans to spend $11 billion, followed by $2 billion from Google and $1 billion from Microsoft. (Indiana Capital Chronicle)

Off The Wall

The main shipping channel into Baltimore’s port has fully reopened for the first time since the March 26 collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge. Cleanup crews removed an estimated 50,000 tons of steel and concrete from the Patapsco River to get the channel open again. (Associated Press)

New research finds African elephants call each other and respond to individual names. Scientists think that the complex social structures and large family groups in which elephants live are conducive to individual names. (Associated Press)

Happy 55th birthday to Cheers Boston, the Beacon Hill bar that inspired the iconic sitcom. The bar first opened as the Bull & Finch Pub in 1969. (MassLive)

Quote of the Day

“But I will tell you that Dan Hurley and Geno Auriemma are four million more times popular than the most popular state legislator.”

Connecticut House Speaker Matt Ritter (D), on UConn’s men’s and women’s basketball coaches. Connecticut officials including Gov. Ned Lamont (D) spent the weekend lobbying Hurley to reject an offer to coach the Los Angeles Lakers to stay at UConn. (Hartford Courant)