Michael Richards Michael Richards
Director, Policy, U.S. Chamber of Commerce Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC)


June 10, 2024


What happened: Over 500 Artificial Intelligence (“AI”) bills have inundated state legislatures this year. While legislators are eager to shape the future of AI, governors are treading cautiously, wary of stifling innovation.

Colorado leads with caution: Colorado Senate Bill 205 (“SB 205”) launched the state into uncharted territory as the nation's inaugural comprehensive AI statute. During the signing ceremony of SB 205, Governor Polis's signing statement sounded more like a veto and a cautionary tale for other states. Governor Polis said, “this is an important conversation to have. In signing this bill, I hope that it furthers the conversation, especially at the national level.” The statement highlights many of the governor’s concerns with the legislation: “This bill deviates from the practice by regulating the results of AI system usage, regardless of intent.” Expressing concern about the potential negative impact of the new law on Colorado, Governor Polis stated, "I am concerned about the impact this law may have on an industry fueling critical technological advancements across our state for consumers and enterprises alike. Government regulation applied at the state level across the country could stifle innovation and deter competition in an open market."

From coast to coast, caution prevails: Other governors shared Governor Polis's caution. In early May, Connecticut seemed poised to be the first state to pass a comprehensive AI bill. However, the legislation was not brought up in the Connecticut House of Representatives after Governor Lamont informed reporters that he would veto the bill. Most recently, California Governor Gavin Newsom highlighted his concerns about overregulation when he stated, "[i]f we over-regulate, if we overindulge, if we chase the shiny object, we could put ourselves in a perilous position."

Our perspective: The Chamber shares the governors' concerns. Last November, state and local Chambers sent an open letter emphasizing their concerns about a state patchwork that would stifle innovation and the importance of developing a federal framework.  

Bottom line: State lawmakers must heed Governor Polis's words before passing AI laws. We need to encourage innovation while also ensuring AI is used responsibly.

About the authors

Michael Richards

Michael Richards