May 22, 2020 •

Kansas Lawmakers Push Past Midnight to Conclude Legislative Session

Kansas Capitol Building

Kansas Capitol Building

Nearly five hours after the midnight deadline to adjourn, the Kansas legislature worked to approve legislation that would end the 2020 session on May 22. Lawmakers gathered on May 21 for a one-day close to the legislative session, but Republicans […]

Nearly five hours after the midnight deadline to adjourn, the Kansas legislature worked to approve legislation that would end the 2020 session on May 22.

Lawmakers gathered on May 21 for a one-day close to the legislative session, but Republicans in the house voted to continue past midnight.

The final bill on their agenda is centered around the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bill curbs Gov. Laura Kelly’s emergency powers and gives more oversight to the legislature. It also gives the Legislative Coordinating Council appropriation power over the $1.25 billion in federal money. Originally, this money was allocated to Kansas in the CARES Act.

On the issue of disaster declarations, the bill extends Gov. Kelly’s current declaration from May 26 until the 31st.

Gov. Kelly would also be barred from issuing a new COVID-19 disaster declaration. To avoid this, at least six members of the State Finance Council would need to sign off on it.

The final parts of the bill continue some of Gov. Kelly’s executive orders, including on the sale of alcohol and telemedicine.

Lawmakers also passed legislation that would waive penalties and interest on late property taxes, a package of education bills, and an economic recovery loan program.

All legislation is now headed to Gov. Kelly’s desk. She can either sign the bills into law, veto them, or the bills would become law after 10 days without her signature.

Continue Reading - 2 min read Close

May 12, 2020 •

Colorado General Assembly Extends Legislative Suspension

Colorado Capitol

Colorado Capitol Building

Democratic leaders in Colorado’s General Assembly announced the temporary suspension of the legislature will continue until the day after Memorial Day on May 26. The regular session was originally suspended on March 14 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Colorado […]

Democratic leaders in Colorado’s General Assembly announced the temporary suspension of the legislature will continue until the day after Memorial Day on May 26.

The regular session was originally suspended on March 14 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Colorado lawmakers said the move to resume on May 26 was to ensure additional time for preparations, including safety protocols.

Additionally, clarity on potential congressional action that could impact the state budget will be made certain.

The announcement to extend the suspension of the session took some Republican lawmakers by surprise.

Republican Sen. Paul Lundeen said lawmakers need to start weighing in and addressing critical questions facing unemployment sooner rather than later.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

May 4, 2020 •

Louisiana Lawmakers Resume Regular Session

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana lawmakers will resume their regular legislative session on May 4 to address budget issues and virus response legislation. Despite the stay-at-home order in place through May 15, many legislators are ready to return for the remainder of session. These […]

Louisiana lawmakers will resume their regular legislative session on May 4 to address budget issues and virus response legislation.

Despite the stay-at-home order in place through May 15, many legislators are ready to return for the remainder of session.

These final four weeks began March 9, and the session was postponed March 16.

Legislative leaders also anticipate a large financial gap from widespread unemployment, forcing down tax collections and oil prices.

Altogether, the next financial year, beginning July 1, is predicting between $500 million to $1 billion less in state funding.

With a session that must end June 1, many legislators are eager to use the available days to assist with economic recovery.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 24, 2020 •

Hawaii Ethics Commission Further Extends Deadline for Lobbyist Reports

Hawaii Capitol Building

On April 24, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission further extended the deadline for lobbyist and employer activity reports to June 1 in response to COVID-19. Originally, reports for the January 1 to February 29 period were due on March 31. […]

On April 24, the Hawaii State Ethics Commission further extended the deadline for lobbyist and employer activity reports to June 1 in response to COVID-19.

Originally, reports for the January 1 to February 29 period were due on March 31.

The stay-at-home orders prompted the commission to extend the deadline to April 30.

Now the deadline has been further extended to June 1.

This does not affect lobbyist and employer activity reports due June 1 for the reporting period of March 1 to April 30.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 16, 2020 •

Utah Convenes Online for Emergency Special Session

Utah Capitol Building - Jkinsocal

Due to COVID-19, Utah lawmakers are meeting online for the first time on April 16 for an emergency special session. Only Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson are expected to be in the legislative chambers in the […]

Due to COVID-19, Utah lawmakers are meeting online for the first time on April 16 for an emergency special session.

Only Senate President Stuart Adams and House Speaker Brad Wilson are expected to be in the legislative chambers in the closed state Capitol.

Work on more than 20 items on the agenda will be tackled in one chamber at a time, beginning in the House.

Bills will not receive committee hearings, which are optional in a special session.

The session will continue for a period of up to 10 days.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 16, 2020 •

Louisiana Further Postpones Primary Election until July 11

Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards

Gov. John Bel Edwards delayed Louisiana’s presidential primary a second time due to COVID-19. The primary was originally scheduled for April 4. Edwards initially postponed the election until June 20 at the request of Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin. Now […]

Gov. John Bel Edwards delayed Louisiana’s presidential primary a second time due to COVID-19.

The primary was originally scheduled for April 4. Edwards initially postponed the election until June 20 at the request of Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.

Now the primary election has been pushed back an extra three weeks to July 11, making it one of the last states on the current primary calendar.

Ardoin also asked lawmakers to approve emergency procedures for the election. He sought to expand early voting from seven to 13 days.

Additionally, he wants to widen the availability of mail-in absentee ballots to people impacted by the virus.

With a 5-1 vote, the Senate and Governmental Affairs rejected an emergency certification that Ardoin needed to move ahead with the changes to polling places, early voting timelines, and absentee-by-mail voting eligibility.

The vote’s impact on the election is uncertain.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 14, 2020 •

Emergency Order Extends Austin Lobbyist Quarterly Reporting Deadline

Austin City Hall - by Carol M. Highsmith

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Steve Adler signed an additional emergency order on April 13. The new order suspends all deadlines imposed by city code, ordinance, rule, or other regulation until May 30. Under Section 7 of the […]

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mayor Steve Adler signed an additional emergency order on April 13.

The new order suspends all deadlines imposed by city code, ordinance, rule, or other regulation until May 30.

Under Section 7 of the order, the deadline for all lobbyist quarterly activity reports has been extended from May 1 to May 30.

No late fees will be accrued for failure to file prior to May 30. 

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 9, 2020 •

Puerto Rico Delays Democratic Presidential Primary A Second Time

Puerto Rico Capitol Building

Puerto Rico delayed its Democratic presidential primary election for a second time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues. The Democratic presidential primary election was originally scheduled for March 29. Democratic Party leadership postponed the election until April 26. Then on April […]

Puerto Rico delayed its Democratic presidential primary election for a second time as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The Democratic presidential primary election was originally scheduled for March 29.

Democratic Party leadership postponed the election until April 26.

Then on April 2, the Democratic presidential primary was postponed indefinitely.

However, the island’s Republican presidential primary, as well as two major local party primaries (the pro-statehood New Progressive Party and the left-leaning Popular Democratic Party) are scheduled for June 7.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 9, 2020 •

Colorado Lawmakers Plan to Resume Session May 18

Colorado Capitol

Colorado Capitol Building

The Colorado General Assembly tentatively plans to return from recess on May 18. Lawmakers set the date during an April 8 meeting at the closed Capitol. They also indicated it may change depending on the status of the COVID-19 public […]

The Colorado General Assembly tentatively plans to return from recess on May 18.

Lawmakers set the date during an April 8 meeting at the closed Capitol.

They also indicated it may change depending on the status of the COVID-19 public health crisis.

The General Assembly has flexibility to extend the session beyond the original May 6 adjournment date.

The timeline to resume is guided by the need to finish the state budget.

The House and Senate did not put an end date on the legislative term and continue to refine the agenda for the remainder of the session.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 3, 2020 •

Oklahoma Governor Calls Special Legislative Session

Oklahoma Capitol Building

Oklahoma legislators will head back to the Capitol on April 6 for a special legislative session to confirm Gov. Kevin Stitt’s declaration of a statewide health emergency due to COVID-19. Lawmakers are in the middle of the legislative session, but […]

Oklahoma legislators will head back to the Capitol on April 6 for a special legislative session to confirm Gov. Kevin Stitt’s declaration of a statewide health emergency due to COVID-19.

Lawmakers are in the middle of the legislative session, but they cleared out of the state Capitol as the COVID-19 outbreak ramped up.

The Legislature is constitutionally required to adjourn by 5 p.m. on May 29.

Legislators have not yet set a date to return to pass a state budget and any other legislative priorities.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 2, 2020 •

Hawaii Postpones Presidential Primary Election

Hawaii Capitol Building

The Democratic Party of Hawaii announced the Democrat presidential primary election will take place on May 22 via mail-in ballots. The election had originally been scheduled for April 4, but in-person voting was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns. To accommodate […]

The Democratic Party of Hawaii announced the Democrat presidential primary election will take place on May 22 via mail-in ballots.

The election had originally been scheduled for April 4, but in-person voting was cancelled due to COVID-19 concerns.

To accommodate those who planned to vote in person, the party won’t count the ballots until late May to allow time for the extra round of ballots to be mailed, filled out, and returned.

Voters have until April 4 to register with the party and request a ballot.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 1, 2020 •

Louisiana Legislature Recesses Indefinitely As COVID-19 Concerns Grow

Louisiana State Capitol

Louisiana State Capitol

Only 58 House members and 21 Senate members of the Louisiana Legislature returned briefly on March 31. Lawmakers did not set a date for their next return, opting instead to recess upon the call of the presiding officer. House Speaker […]

Only 58 House members and 21 Senate members of the Louisiana Legislature returned briefly on March 31.

Lawmakers did not set a date for their next return, opting instead to recess upon the call of the presiding officer.

House Speaker Clay Schexnayder and Senate President Page Cortez will decide when the session will resume.

Gov. John Bel Edwards said March 31 he is likely to extend his statewide stay-at-home order until April 30 to coincide with federal guidelines.

In the meantime, official legislative proceedings are halted.

The legislature is prohibited by statutory, constitutional, and rule requirements from meeting remotely.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 1, 2020 •

Utah Governor Plans to Call Special Legislative Session to Address COVID-19 Concerns

Gov Gary Herbert

Gov. Gary Herbert - by Medill DC

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced March 31 he will call a special legislative session within two to three weeks to deal with growing COVID-19 concerns. Gov. Herbert said several items will be at issue during the special session. Items include […]

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert announced March 31 he will call a special legislative session within two to three weeks to deal with growing COVID-19 concerns.

Gov. Herbert said several items will be at issue during the special session.

Items include extending the state’s personal income tax filing deadline from April 15 to July 15, and potentially opening the state’s General and Education funds.

It is unclear whether Gov. Herbert will ask lawmakers to take steps dealing with the spring and summer election deadlines.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

When the special session is called, all restrictions on contributions from individuals, lobbyists, principals, and political committees will apply.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close

April 1, 2020 •

Austin City Clerk’s Office Closes to the Public

Austin City Hall - by Carol M. Highsmith

Due to the social distancing restrictions being implemented by the City of Austin, the Office of the City Clerk has closed to members of the public. Correspondence and payments pertaining to lobbyist registrations/renewals may still be mailed in and will […]

Due to the social distancing restrictions being implemented by the City of Austin, the Office of the City Clerk has closed to members of the public.

Correspondence and payments pertaining to lobbyist registrations/renewals may still be mailed in and will be processed based on their postage date.

Operations are continuing via telework, and employees may be reached via email.

Continue Reading - 1 min read Close