Pluribus AM: Winning The Future Edition

Good morning, it’s Tuesday, June 13, 2023. In today’s edition, digital privacy bills advance; Ill. bans book bans; Texas races to win the future of semiconductors:

Top Stories

PRIVACY: Legislators in Connecticut, Louisiana and Texas have approved or updated comprehensive data privacy laws in recent weeks. Lawmakers in Ohio included parental permission for social media accounts in the state budget currently under debate, and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R) has directed state agencies to develop education campaigns on the harms of social media. (Pluribus News)

CULTURE WARS: Illinois will become the first state to require libraries to adopt policies against book bans, under a new bill Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed Monday. Blue state governors last week wrote to the Association of American Publishers and nine education companies urging them not to censor education materials. (Pluribus News) Utah legislators voted Monday to move a bill requiring elected school boards to make decisions about what books are banned from libraries, after one local district banned the Bible. (Deseret News)

TECHNOLOGY: Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) has signed legislation pumping $1.4 billion into microchip research and manufacturing incentive programs in a bid to lure the industry to his state. Samsung has already committed to building a new facility in Taylor, and Texas Instruments will build a manufacturing plant in Sherman. (Texas Tribune)

TRANSPORTATION: Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro (D) signed an emergency declaration authorizing the use of $7 million in state funds to begin rebuilding a partially collapsed section of I-95 in Philadelphia. Lawmakers have already begun talks to expand Shapiro’s authority to handle the disaster. (Harrisburg Patriot-News)

DRUGS: The Rhode Island House of Representatives has voted to legalize and regulate the sale of kratom, an herbal substance said to be safer than opioids. The state Department of Health, which banned kratom in 2017, opposed the bill. (Providence Journal) The House also approved legislation allowing residents to possess up to one ounce of psilocybin or to grow magic mushrooms at home for personal use. (WPRI)

EDUCATION: Texas Speaker Dade Phelan (R) has created a new committee to consider education legislation ahead of a likely special session. The committee will consider teacher pay raises, expanding a school voucher program and standardized testing requirements for students. (KXAN)

Expanded school voucher programs, a top priority of Gov. Greg Abbott (R), didn’t make progress during the regular session.

ESG: The Texas legislature approved a bill last month that will ban insurers from considering environmental, social and governance criteria when setting rates for virtually every kind of insurance. The bill still allows companies to consider ESG factors that are “relevant and related to the risk of being insured.” (Texas Tribune)

HEALTH CARE: Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) has signed legislation extending postpartum Medicaid coverage to new moms for up to 12 months after birth. Nevada will be the 35th state to extend coverage for a full year; five more states are in the planning phases for expansion. (Nevada Current)

CALIFORNIA: Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D) and Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) say lawmakers have reached a budget deal restoring transit, climate and child care funding that Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) wanted cut. Lawmakers will vote on the budget on Thursday. (Sacramento Bee, CalMatters) Newsom and the legislature remain at odds over the governor’s plan to streamline infrastructure projects by reducing environmental litigation delays. (Los Angeles Times)

In Politics & Business

ALABAMA: A three-judge panel overseeing a lawsuit challenging Alabama’s congressional district lines will hold a status conference on Friday, after the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed their ruling striking down the current lines. The panel includes one judge appointed by Bill Clinton, and two by Donald Trump. (

MISSISSIPPI: Gov. Tate Reeves (R) reported $9.4 million in the bank at the end of May, according to the latest campaign finance reports. Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley (D) reported $1.7 million in the bank. (Magnolia Tribune)

OHIO: The state Supreme Court ordered Republican state officials to rewrite ballot language summarizing the impacts of Issue 1, which will appear on the ballot in August to raise the threshold future constitutional amendments must meet to pass. The court took issue with language describing minimum signature requirements. (Cleveland Plain Dealer)

The proposal to raise the threshold comes ahead of a November vote to codify abortion rights in the state constitution.

NORTH CAROLINA: Senate Republicans have filed legislation that would strip Gov. Roy Cooper (D) of the power to appoint members of the state Board of Elections. The governor currently appoints all five board members, three Democrats and two Republicans. The new bill would expand the board to eight members, all appointed by legislative leaders. (Associated Press)

CONNECTICUT: Gov. Ned Lamont (D) says he has a group of investors ready to buy the Arizona Coyotes NHL franchise and bring them back to Hartford. The Whalers left Hartford in 1997. (New Haven Register)

MORE: Lamont signed a state-level voting rights act that will require municipalities with a record of voter discrimination to pre-clear voting changes, prevent municipalities from interfering with the right to vote of any protected class and requiring language-related assistance in places where many people do not speak English well. (CT Mirror)

NEVADA: The state Commission on Ethics has agreed to delay a hearing into ethics complaints against Gov. Joe Lombardo (R) until July, after two commissioners said they wouldn’t be able to attend a hearing scheduled for today. Lombardo is accused of using his official uniform and badge as Clark County Sheriff during his 2022 run for governor. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

By The Numbers

42%: The share of American children, age 3-6 years old, who were enrolled in preschool in 2021, down from more than half before the pandemic. New Census Bureau data show declines in enrollment were particularly stark among Black and Asian American children, even as more states move to adopt universal preschool. (Pluribus News)

1.09 degrees Celsius: The amount by which the average sea surface temperature in the North Atlantic Ocean is above the mean dating back to 1982, a startling spike that has scientists worried. Researchers say wildfires in California, declining Antarctic sea ice and unusually warm temperatures across the globe are contributing to the spike. (Los Angeles Times)

41: The number of seasons of “Wheel of Fortune” Pat Sajak will have hosted by the time he retires next year. Sajak announced his retirement in a tweet on Monday. (Associated Press)

Off The Wall

Two Rhode Island officials touring a Philadelphia business incubator so alarmed local officials with their bad behavior that their Philadelphia hosts wrote a letter that made it all the way to Rhode Island Gov. Dan McKee (D). The officials, representatives of state government, made sexist, racist and ethnic jokes, demanded gifts from businesses they visited and demanded access to a fancy restaurant that was closed at the time. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

When Alabama legislators debated legalizing medical marijuana gummies, they considered how to keep products away from children. One idea: Limiting the number of flavors that gummy products can have, to one. So, in Alabama, the only flavored gummies are available in peach. (

Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) is headed to … Georgia. That is, Georgia the country. Kemp’s office said his visit, part of a trade mission that also includes a stop at the Paris Air Show, will be the first time a sitting U.S. governor visits the former Soviet republic. (Atlanta Journal Constitution)

Quote of the Day

“Most gentlemen hanging here did not go to prison. A few did. A few did. But most did not.”

Former Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R), returning to Springfield for the unveiling of his official portrait. (Chicago Tribune)