September 28, 2020 •

Governor Signs Bill Restoring Non-Presidential Year Primaries to June

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill moving non-presidential year primaries back to June. Senate Bill 970 will return California to the traditional midterm primary date. The bill becomes effective January 1, 2021.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill moving non-presidential year primaries back to June.

Senate Bill 970 will return California to the traditional midterm primary date.

The bill becomes effective January 1, 2021.

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September 8, 2020 •

California Lawmakers Pass Campaign Finance Bill

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

The Legislature presented a bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom relating to online filing and disclosure of specific statements, reports, and other documents. Assembly Bill 2151 requires a local government agency to post on its internet website, within 72 hours of […]

The Legislature presented a bill to Gov. Gavin Newsom relating to online filing and disclosure of specific statements, reports, and other documents.

Assembly Bill 2151 requires a local government agency to post on its internet website, within 72 hours of the applicable filing deadline, a copy of any specified statement, report, or other document required by Chapter 4 of the Political Reform Act of 1974 filed with the agency in paper format.

In addition, the statement, report, or other document must be made available for four years from the date of the election associated with the filing.

Finally, if signed by the governor, the bill becomes effective January 1, 2021.

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September 1, 2020 •

Judge Upholds Montana Gov’s Political Spending Disclosure Rule

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock - Gage Skidmore

A federal judge on Monday upheld an executive order by Gov. Steve Bullock requiring companies to report political spending if they want to bid on large state contracts. U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell ruled the Illinois Opportunity Project does not […]

A federal judge on Monday upheld an executive order by Gov. Steve Bullock requiring companies to report political spending if they want to bid on large state contracts.

U.S. District Judge Charles Lovell ruled the Illinois Opportunity Project does not have the legal standing to challenge the governor’s 2018 order requiring reporting of contributions even to so called dark money groups.

Judge Lovell had dismissed the complaint in January due to lack of standing.

However, he gave the Illinois Opportunity Project another chance to prove the executive order would cause it to suffer an actual or imminent, as opposed to hypothetical, loss of a legally protected right.

Under Bullock’s order, companies submitting bids for contracts valued at more than $25,000 for services or $50,000 for goods must disclose two years’ worth of political spending if the spending exceeds $2,500.

The order allows Montana to bring transparency to spending by groups classified as social welfare organizations under the federal tax code.

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September 1, 2020 •

California Legislature Adjourns for the Year

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California State Capitol Building - Jeff Turner

Lawmakers ended the 2020 legislative session beleaguered by COVID-19, wildfires, a tanked economy, and a looming eviction crisis. Each chamber worked through roughly 100 bills on their final day, before adjourning after midnight. The Senate kept passing bills until shortly […]

Lawmakers ended the 2020 legislative session beleaguered by COVID-19, wildfires, a tanked economy, and a looming eviction crisis.

Each chamber worked through roughly 100 bills on their final day, before adjourning after midnight.

The Senate kept passing bills until shortly after 1 a.m.

Some of the bills lawmakers sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom include eviction relief, police reform, COVID-19 response, and a flavored tobacco ban.

The governor has until September 30 to sign or veto any of the bills.

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August 27, 2020 •

Idaho Legislature Wraps Up Special Session

Idaho Capitol Building - JSquish

The Legislature concluded its special session late Wednesday night after three days of protests and public outrage regarding the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. Three bills were sent to Gov. Brad Little’s desk, including two election related bills and […]

The Legislature concluded its special session late Wednesday night after three days of protests and public outrage regarding the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Three bills were sent to Gov. Brad Little’s desk, including two election related bills and a bill shielding businesses and schools from coronavirus-related lawsuits.

The election related bills would guarantee in-person voting would be allowed in some form across Idaho.

This was guaranteed regardless of any emergency orders in effect.

The bills would also buy more time for county clerks to process the expected large influx of mail-in ballots for the November election.

Gov. Little has five days from the time he receives the bills to either sign them or veto them.

If he does neither, the bills will become law automatically.

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August 20, 2020 •

Lobbyists Required to File Reports for Idaho Special Session

Idaho Capitol Building - JSquish

Due to the special legislative session being called for August 24, 2020, registered lobbyists will be required to file a monthly report. Monthly reports must be filed on or before September 15, 2020, covering the month of August. For questions […]

Due to the special legislative session being called for August 24, 2020, registered lobbyists will be required to file a monthly report.

Monthly reports must be filed on or before September 15, 2020, covering the month of August.

For questions concerning this matter, contact the Idaho Office of the Secretary of State at elections@sos.idaho.gov or call (208) 344-2852.

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August 17, 2020 •

Three Names Forwarded to Alaska Governor for Vacant Legislative Seat

Governor Mike Dunleavy

Governor Mike Dunleavy - by The Alaska Landmine

Out of six applicants, three names were forwarded to Gov. Mike Dunleavy to fill the District 30 seat until a new legislator is sworn in in January. The district currently lacks representation since the untimely passing of Rep. Gary Knopp […]

Out of six applicants, three names were forwarded to Gov. Mike Dunleavy to fill the District 30 seat until a new legislator is sworn in in January.

The district currently lacks representation since the untimely passing of Rep. Gary Knopp in a July midair plane collision.

The three chosen by the District 30 committee are Ron Gillham, Derek Leichliter, and Charlene Tautfest.

Gillham is a candidate for the seat and his name is already on the ballot for the primary election.

When a vacancy occurs, the governor typically will choose from the three names the district leaders of the party offer.

In this case, the governor may not appoint a fill-in person, but would need to appoint one if he calls a special session for the purpose of legislative confirmation of his boards and commissions picks.

His choice would have to be ratified by Republicans in the House.

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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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