The Future of Artificial Intelligence in State Legislatures

By FOCUS, A Leonine Business  

In state legislatures across the country, a critical focus has emerged on addressing the multifaceted challenges posed by AI and emerging technology. The year 2023 marked a significant shift, with legislation relating to AI appearing in 35 states. This trend highlights the growing need for comprehensive regulatory frameworks to address AI’s impact on various sectors, including areas like education, health and elections. Several specific types of bills within AI are expected to become more prevalent in the upcoming legislative session, including:

  • The use of AI in political advertisements in an election year, like Washington’s SB 5152 which was enacted in May.
  • “Deepfake” bills aimed to curb criminal activities around scam calls, or to include digitally altered images in definitions of “Child Sexual Abuse Material” and revenge porn, like those passed in Illinois, Louisiana, Minnesota, New York and Texas.
  • Digital replicas and intellectual property created to mimic existing artists or an artist’s work being used to train algorithms without compensation or notification to the artist, like in the California bill AB 459.


The impact of AI on labor, highlighted by strikes with organizations like SAG-AFTRA and the WGA, points to a growing conversation around AI’s potential to displace workers, with bills like New York AB 8179 indicating the direction of future legislation.

At the federal level, the Biden administration’s October 30 executive order, creating a framework with the National Institute of Standards and Technology for AI model registration and testing, along with guidance from the Office of Personnel Management, reflects an increasing focus on responsible AI governance.

Although Congress has not yet passed a comprehensive AI bill, there is anticipation for the passage of online children’s privacy bills and other AI-related legislation in the upcoming session. California passed the Age-Appropriate Design Code Act (AADC) in 2022, creating a new model for children’s privacy based off legislation from the European Union. However, in a current lawsuit in federal court, a judge has granted a request to block the AADC, as it may violate the First Amendment. That case has not yet slowed down the introduction of these bills, although the ultimate outcome of this case may mean that the future of AADC in its current form is in question. The Council of State Governments has included the California AADC as a potential model bill to be considered in state legislatures in 2024.

As AI continues to evolve and permeate various aspects of society, the urgency for informed and dynamic legislation has become increasingly critical. Both state and federal governments are poised to play pivotal roles in shaping the landscape of AI governance. FOCUS will continue to monitor legislative strategies and how they attempt to balance AI’s benefits with ethical and societal considerations, setting the course for AI’s role in our future.