March 18, 2020 •

Mississippi Legislature Halts Session Over COVID-19 Concerns

Mississippi State Capitol - by Ken Lund

The Legislature has announced the legislative session will be suspended. The Senate met March 18 to pass House Bill 1647. House Bill 1647 provides administrative leave to local government and school district employees in response to the effects of COVID-19. […]

The Legislature has announced the legislative session will be suspended.

The Senate met March 18 to pass House Bill 1647.

House Bill 1647 provides administrative leave to local government and school district employees in response to the effects of COVID-19.

The Senate also agreed to House Concurrent Resolution 65, suspending the session until April 1.

The resolution also extended the legislative session until June 9 and provided for a potential further extension until July 9.

The additional extension is needed if the Legislature is unable to reconvene in time for the June 9 deadline.

This does affect lobbyist reporting.

The end of session report due 10 days after the Legislature adjourns sine die will now be due on June 19 unless an additional extension of the session occurs.

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March 17, 2020 •

Georgia Governor Recalls General Assembly for Single Day Special Session

Georgia State Capitol Building

The Georgia General Assembly convened special session called by Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday, March 16 to adopt his declaration of a public health emergency. After passing a joint resolution concurring with Gov. Kemp’s declaration, the General Assembly adjourned the […]

The Georgia General Assembly convened special session called by Gov. Brian Kemp on Monday, March 16 to adopt his declaration of a public health emergency.

After passing a joint resolution concurring with Gov. Kemp’s declaration, the General Assembly adjourned the special session, sine die.

Therefore, the regular session remains suspended indefinitely.

The Government Transparency and Campaign Finance Commission is expected to issue guidance as to whether this will affect lobbyist dates reporting.

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March 17, 2020 •

Maryland’s April Primary Elections Postponed

Maryland Capitol Building - Jimmy Emerson

Gov. Larry Hogan has announced the April primary elections have been postponed until June 2. The special election for the 7th Congressional District held by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings will still take place on April 28. However, the election […]

Gov. Larry Hogan has announced the April primary elections have been postponed until June 2.

The special election for the 7th Congressional District held by the late Rep. Elijah Cummings will still take place on April 28.

However, the election will be a mail-in only election, becoming the first federal election to shift to mail voting in response to COVID-19.

The Board of Elections will mail ballots out to all eligible voters later this month.

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March 17, 2020 •

Maryland General Assembly to End Session Early

Maryland Capitol Building - Jimmy Emerson

The General Assembly has announced the 2020 session will adjourn on Wednesday, March 18, due to concerns about COVID-19. Though they intend to reconvene the session the last week of May, lawmakers are pushing to complete legislation by Wednesday’s self-imposed […]

The General Assembly has announced the 2020 session will adjourn on Wednesday, March 18, due to concerns about COVID-19.

Though they intend to reconvene the session the last week of May, lawmakers are pushing to complete legislation by Wednesday’s self-imposed deadline.

Senate President Bill Ferguson stressed the importance of focusing and prioritizing the most important measures and policies.

Among these important measures is the budget bill constitutionally required to be completed during this session.

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March 16, 2020 •

South Carolina Governor Postpones County Elections

South Carolina Capitol Building

On Sunday March 15, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has announced all county elections will be postponed until after May 1. Additionally, this announcement comes will a list of measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19. These guidelines include […]

On Sunday March 15, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has announced all county elections will be postponed until after May 1.

Additionally, this announcement comes will a list of measures to help combat the spread of COVID-19.

These guidelines include the closing of all schools within the state for the remainder of March.

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March 16, 2020 •

Georgia March Primary Postponed

Georgia State Capitol Building

Due to concerns over COVID-19, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has postponed the March 24 presidential primary election to May 19. The rescheduling moves the presidential primary to the same day as the state’s general primary.

Due to concerns over COVID-19, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger has postponed the March 24 presidential primary election to May 19.

The rescheduling moves the presidential primary to the same day as the state’s general primary.

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March 16, 2020 •

Alabama Ethics Commission to Operate with Minimal Staff

Alabama State Capitol Building

The Ethics Commission has announced only minimal essential personnel will be in office from March 16 through April 6. This will likely cause delays in precertification processing. Accordingly, the Commission has requested that precertification requests be submitted well ahead of […]

The Ethics Commission has announced only minimal essential personnel will be in office from March 16 through April 6.

This will likely cause delays in precertification processing.

Accordingly, the Commission has requested that precertification requests be submitted well ahead of time to ensure timely processing.

A drop box has been placed in the front office to accommodate hand delivery during this period.

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March 16, 2020 •

Alabama Secretary of State Seeks Postponement of March 31 Runoffs

Alabama State Capitol Building

Citing concern for the health and well-being of the citizens, Secretary of State John Merrill is urging the state’s March 31 runoff elections be postponed. In a statement over the weekend, Merrill requested an emergency opinion on whether the Governor’s […]

Citing concern for the health and well-being of the citizens, Secretary of State John Merrill is urging the state’s March 31 runoff elections be postponed.

In a statement over the weekend, Merrill requested an emergency opinion on whether the Governor’s declaration of a state of emergency would authorize this postponement.

Merrill also stated there is no provision or process in Alabama’s Code or Constitution allowing changes to election dates after being set.

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March 13, 2020 •

Telework Policies and Travel Ban for Virginia Employees

Virginia State Capitol - KWL / CC BY-SA

On March 12, Gov. Ralph Northam announced a ban on all official out-of-state travel for state employees for at least the next 30 days. Northam has also ordered an implementation of telework policies for state employees.

On March 12, Gov. Ralph Northam announced a ban on all official out-of-state travel for state employees for at least the next 30 days.

Northam has also ordered an implementation of telework policies for state employees.

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March 13, 2020 •

Maryland General Assembly Closed to the Public Amid Coronavirus Concerns

Maryland Capitol Building - Jimmy Emerson

On March 12, the Maryland General Assembly announced the State House, the House and Senate office buildings, and Department of Legislative Services will be closed to the public. Only people with a state-issued credential are permitted access. Further, a mandatory […]

On March 12, the Maryland General Assembly announced the State House, the House and Senate office buildings, and Department of Legislative Services will be closed to the public.

Only people with a state-issued credential are permitted access.

Further, a mandatory telework policy has been put into effect for all non-essential personnel.

The announcement came after Gov. Larry Hogan instituted a similar telework policy for state agencies.

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March 13, 2020 •

Georgia General Assembly Halts Session

Georgia State Capitol Building

On Thursday March 12, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Speaker of the House David Ralston announced the General Assembly will suspend the 2020 legislative session indefinitely. The assembly suspended following the 29th legislative day on Friday, March 13. The suspension […]

On Thursday March 12, Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan and Speaker of the House David Ralston announced the General Assembly will suspend the 2020 legislative session indefinitely.

The assembly suspended following the 29th legislative day on Friday, March 13.

The suspension is out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of health and safety of members, staff and the public given the prevalence of the coronavirus.

The session will resume at a future date to be determined.

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March 13, 2020 •

Virginia General Assembly Adjourns 2020 Session

Virginia Capitol Building - Ron Cogswell

The 2020 session of the Virginia General Assembly adjourned sine die on March 12. The assembly completed the final actions for the session, including approval of the budget bill. Legislators will reconvene on April 22 for the annual one-day veto […]

The 2020 session of the Virginia General Assembly adjourned sine die on March 12.

The assembly completed the final actions for the session, including approval of the budget bill.

Legislators will reconvene on April 22 for the annual one-day veto session.

Under consideration are Gov. Ralph Northam’s vetoes and recommended amendments on any bills still pending.

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March 10, 2020 •

West Virginia Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

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West Virginia Capitol Building - O Palsson

The Second Session of the 84th Legislature adjourned sine die on March 7 at noon after 60 days in session. Legislators passed 74 bills, including the budget bill that was a priority for legislators and Gov. Jim Justice. Lawmakers also […]

The Second Session of the 84th Legislature adjourned sine die on March 7 at noon after 60 days in session.

Legislators passed 74 bills, including the budget bill that was a priority for legislators and Gov. Jim Justice.

Lawmakers also passed House Bill 4092, which provided major changes to the state’s foster care system.

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January 22, 2020 •

West Virginia Senate Considering Bill Changing Contributions Limits

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West Virginia Capitol Building - O Palsson

A bill has been introduced in the Senate setting new limits on political contributions. Senate Bill 566 would reduce current limits on contributions to candidates from $2,800 to $1,000 per election. Additionally, contributions to a PAC related to a particular […]

A bill has been introduced in the Senate setting new limits on political contributions.

Senate Bill 566 would reduce current limits on contributions to candidates from $2,800 to $1,000 per election.

Additionally, contributions to a PAC related to a particular election reduce from $5,000 to $1,000.

The bill would also reduce contributions limits to state party executive committees from $10,000 to $1,000 per calendar year.

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