August 11, 2020 •

Oregon Special Legislative Session Wraps Up After a Single Day

Oregon State Capitol Building

Oregon Lawmakers worked past 11 p.m. Monday to conclude a special session growing tense and at times openly hostile in the Senate earlier in the evening. Lawmakers passed a dozen bills to patch a $1 billion hole in the state […]

Oregon Lawmakers worked past 11 p.m. Monday to conclude a special session growing tense and at times openly hostile in the Senate earlier in the evening.

Lawmakers passed a dozen bills to patch a $1 billion hole in the state budget, tighten restrictions on police and corrections officers’ use of force and help out-of-work and underemployed Oregonians.

The public was not allowed into the Capitol due to coronavirus concerns and lawmakers only accepted written testimony on the bills.

This was the second special session of the year.

Lawmakers spent three days at the Capitol in June focused on police reform laws and a handful of other proposals left over from the regular session abruptly ending when Republican lawmakers walked out.

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August 7, 2020 •

Governor Allows Counties to Hold All-Mail Election in November

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Gov. Steve Bullock announced Thursday Montana counties have the option to hold the November general election by mail. If counties decide to hold a mail-in ballot election, ballots will be sent on October 9. Return postage will be provided. Voters […]

Gov. Steve Bullock announced Thursday Montana counties have the option to hold the November general election by mail.

If counties decide to hold a mail-in ballot election, ballots will be sent on October 9.

Return postage will be provided.

Voters will still be able to vote in-person if they choose.

Gov. Bullock allowed counties to hold a mail-in ballot primary election in June.

Ultimately, all 56 counties used mail ballots for the primary, which had record turnout.

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August 6, 2020 •

Nevada Special Session Ends After Passing COVID-19 Liability Bill

Nevada State Capitol Octagonal Annex

The 32nd Special Legislative Session adjourned shortly after midnight and the final bills have gone to Gov. Steve Sisolak for his signature. Lawmakers wrapped up the state’s latest special session with a deeply divisive amendment. This amendment cuts schools and […]

The 32nd Special Legislative Session adjourned shortly after midnight and the final bills have gone to Gov. Steve Sisolak for his signature.

Lawmakers wrapped up the state’s latest special session with a deeply divisive amendment.

This amendment cuts schools and hospitals out of a bill to protect business owners from coronavirus related employee lawsuits.

Other issues were also addressed such as police reform, voting rights, more flexibility with Nevada’s unemployment benefits, alternative dispute resolution for rental evictions and a dire budget shortfall as a result of the pandemic.

Legislators appropriated $410,000 from the general fund to pay for the six day session.

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August 5, 2020 •

Idaho Governor to Call Special Session Amid Pandemic

Idaho Capitol Building - JSquish

Gov. Brad Little stated Wednesday he will call the part-time Legislature back into a special session during the week of August 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The special session could include how to conduct the November general election amid […]

Gov. Brad Little stated Wednesday he will call the part-time Legislature back into a special session during the week of August 24 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The special session could include how to conduct the November general election amid the pandemic.

Also a topic of discussion is legislation creating a liability shield for protection against lawsuits during declared emergencies such as the pandemic.

How a special session would work during the pandemic and how much it would cost is unclear.

Lawmakers would have to be in the Statehouse in Boise for their votes to count.

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August 3, 2020 •

Nevada Lawmakers Pass Bill to Mail Ballots Amid Pandemic

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State legislators passed a bill Sunday adding Nevada to a growing list of states mailing all active voters ballots ahead of the November election amid the coronavirus pandemic. The bill now heads to Gov. Steve Sisolak. If he signs it […]

State legislators passed a bill Sunday adding Nevada to a growing list of states mailing all active voters ballots ahead of the November election amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The bill now heads to Gov. Steve Sisolak.

If he signs it as expected, Nevada will join seven states planning to automatically send voters mail ballots.

These states include California and Vermont, which moved earlier this summer to adopt automatic mail ballot policies.

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August 3, 2020 •

Oregon Governor Calls for Special Session to Balance State Budget

Oregon Senate Chamber

Oregon Senate Chamber - photo by Cacophony

Gov. Kate Brown announced she will convene a second special session of the Oregon Legislature starting Monday, August 10. The main objective of the session will be to address the state’s devastating budget shortfall arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The […]

Gov. Kate Brown announced she will convene a second special session of the Oregon Legislature starting Monday, August 10.

The main objective of the session will be to address the state’s devastating budget shortfall arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor’s decision to call lawmakers into session could be a concession the state is unlikely to receive any budget assistance from Congress, a possibility Brown and public employee union leaders cited earlier in the summer as a reason to delay the second special session.

In her proclamation calling the special session, the governor also noted her support for urgent legislation building on matters considered in the first special session, including additional police accountability reforms.

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July 31, 2020 •

Nevada Governor Calls Second Special Session

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak

Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a formal proclamation Thursday evening calling the Nevada Legislature into a second special session amid the COVID-19 crisis. The 32nd special session is set to begin Friday, July 31, at 9:00 a.m. The policy items included […]

Gov. Steve Sisolak issued a formal proclamation Thursday evening calling the Nevada Legislature into a second special session amid the COVID-19 crisis.

The 32nd special session is set to begin Friday, July 31, at 9:00 a.m.

The policy items included for consideration include criminal and social justice policy reform, and protections from coronavirus for Nevadans.

Additionally, removal of statutory barriers impeding the work of Nevada’s unemployment insurance program, and alternative dispute resolution measures in cases of rental evictions will be discussed.

According to the proclamation, the session should end no later than 11:59 p.m. Aug. 7, though the language is not binding.

Lawmakers can work past that date.

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July 29, 2020 •

New San Jose Commission Will Decide on Strong Mayor, Campaign Finance Reform

San Jose City Hall

San Jose City Hall - by Daderot

After a month long debate over a proposed strong mayor measure and outrage over lack of community involvement in the decision, San Jose leaders unanimously approved putting decisions about the city’s future into the hands of community members. The Charter Revision […]

After a month long debate over a proposed strong mayor measure and outrage over lack of community involvement in the decision, San Jose leaders unanimously approved putting decisions about the city’s future into the hands of community members.

The Charter Revision Commission, created Tuesday, will consist of residents appointed by Mayor Sam Liccardo and the City Council.

The committee will help decide whether or not San Jose should adopt a strong mayor system, whether mayoral elections should be aligned with presidential elections and campaign finance reforms, including prohibiting contributions from lobbyists and requiring lawmakers to recuse themselves from votes involving organizations donating $250 or more to their campaigns.

While campaign finance reform, measures to move the mayoral election and increase the mayor’s powers won’t go to voters this November, the Charter Revision Commission would have until March 2022 to research what systems would be best for the city and make recommendations for a 2022 ballot measure.

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July 20, 2020 •

Nevada Special Session Ends with Steep State Budget Cuts

Nevada State Capitol Octagonal Annex

The Nevada Legislature’s 31st special session came to an end Sunday after 12 legislative days of grinding progress on a focused agenda to close a $1.2 billion state budget gap. During the budget focused special session, lawmakers passed four bills […]

The Nevada Legislature’s 31st special session came to an end Sunday after 12 legislative days of grinding progress on a focused agenda to close a $1.2 billion state budget gap.

During the budget focused special session, lawmakers passed four bills implementing a vast majority of budget changes.

Still ahead are a possible second session and further fiscal tightening.

These will come amid uncertainty over another possible round of federal assistance, a resurgent virus spread, and stagnant or worsening economic trends.

Gov. Steve Sisolak stated he would postpone calling a second legislative session due to concerns over a spike in COVID-19 cases.

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July 7, 2020 •

Lobbyist Registration and Reporting Not Required During Nevada Special Session

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The James R. Thompson Center - Ken Lund

The Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau sent a notice stating the requirements for registration and reporting of lobbyist activities will not be applicable to the upcoming special session. To prevent potential spread of the coronavirus, access to the legislative building during […]

The Nevada Legislative Counsel Bureau sent a notice stating the requirements for registration and reporting of lobbyist activities will not be applicable to the upcoming special session.

To prevent potential spread of the coronavirus, access to the legislative building during the special session will be limited to legislators, essential staff and a small press pool.

The Legislature’s website and YouTube channel will both host livestreams of all floor sessions and committee meetings.

In addition, the teleconference system will allow individuals to call in to participate in the legislative process.

The Legislators will receive written comments made available through submission by email, fax and mail.

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July 2, 2020 •

San Jose Council Approves Ballot Measure Barring Contributions and Gifts from Lobbyists

San Jose City Hall

San Jose City Hall - by Daderot

The City Council approved a November ballot measure relating to contributions and gifts from lobbyists. The proposed measure would bar lobbyists from making campaign contributions. The mayor, council members, and senior administrators would also be barred from accepting gifts from […]

The City Council approved a November ballot measure relating to contributions and gifts from lobbyists.

The proposed measure would bar lobbyists from making campaign contributions.

The mayor, council members, and senior administrators would also be barred from accepting gifts from lobbyists or city contractors.

The mayor and council members would also be required to sit out of any vote involving a person or entity contributing to their campaign or other cause in the last 12 months and the three months following the vote.

The proposed initiative would also give the mayor the power to hire and fire the city manager and department heads starting January 1, 2023.

The measure also includes a provision to align San Jose’s mayoral races with the presidential election cycle in an effort to increase voter turnout.

The City Council will hold a special meeting on July 28 where they will review the proposed ballot language before sending it off to the county Registrar of Voters.

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July 2, 2020 •

Nevada Governor Announces Date for Special Legislative Session

Nevada State Capitol Octagonal Annex

Gov. Steve Sisolak officially called for the Nevada Legislature to convene in a special session on July 8 to address the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget crisis. At a later date, the governor’s office will issue the formal proclamation to […]

Gov. Steve Sisolak officially called for the Nevada Legislature to convene in a special session on July 8 to address the state’s fiscal year 2021 budget crisis.

At a later date, the governor’s office will issue the formal proclamation to convene the special session.

Gov. Sisolak and legislative leadership are working to assess potential additional items to be included in any special session proclamation.

These additions will be including policy proposals related to criminal and social justice reform.

Furthermore, the governor acknowledged the start date could change based on public health conditions.

The public will be able to watch the floor sessions and committee meetings via the Legislature’s livestreams.

Finally, those who wish to participate will be able to teleconference or submit written comments.

This does affect ALERTS reporting.

A lobbyist activity report will be due between the first and tenth of the month after each month the Legislature in in a special session.

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June 30, 2020 •

California Legislature Passes Special Election Bill

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

Lawmakers passed a bill calling a statewide special election to be consolidated and held on November 3, 2020. Senate Bill 300 requires the Office of the Secretary of State to submit various Assembly Constitutional Amendments, including lowering the voting age, […]

Lawmakers passed a bill calling a statewide special election to be consolidated and held on November 3, 2020.

Senate Bill 300 requires the Office of the Secretary of State to submit various Assembly Constitutional Amendments, including lowering the voting age, wages, elections, and state of emergency procedures, to voters for their approval at the general election if the amendments are passed by the Legislature on or before July 1, 2020.

If signed by the governor, the bill would take effect immediately as an act calling an election.

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June 30, 2020 •

Oregon Legislature Adjourns Special Session

Oregon Senate Chamber

Oregon Senate Chamber - photo by Cacophony

Oregon’s Legislative Assembly adjourned the first special session of 2020. During the session lawmakers passed a slew of bills dealing with police accountability and the coronavirus pandemic. Lawmakers passed 24 bills with more than 600 pieces of public testimony submitted […]

Oregon’s Legislative Assembly adjourned the first special session of 2020.

During the session lawmakers passed a slew of bills dealing with police accountability and the coronavirus pandemic.

Lawmakers passed 24 bills with more than 600 pieces of public testimony submitted and over 100 virtual testimonies during the three day special session.

At least one other special session may be called this year in order to focus on the state budget.

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