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.

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May 21, 2020 •

Alaska Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Governor Mike Dunleavy

Governor Mike Dunleavy - by The Alaska Landmine

The Alaska Legislature adjourned after approving Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s plan to spend over $1 billion in federal coronavirus funding. Lawmakers were spurred by a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the plans Gov. Dunleavy submitted to the Legislative Budget and Audit […]

The Alaska Legislature adjourned after approving Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s plan to spend over $1 billion in federal coronavirus funding.

Lawmakers were spurred by a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the plans Gov. Dunleavy submitted to the Legislative Budget and Audit Committee.

They were submitted through a process allowing a governor to submit plans to accept and spend additional federal or other program funds on a budget item.

In addition, the committee agreed to more than $1 billion in plans despite concerns some of the items fell outside the scope of what can go through the committee process.

Following the vote, the Legislature adjourned the 2020 regular session, though members of the House and Senate have said a special session may be needed later in the year.

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May 21, 2020 •

Iowa Legislature Will Remain Adjourned Until June 3

Iowa Capitol

Iowa Capitol Building - Ashton B Crew

The Iowa Legislative Council extended the suspension of the 88th General Assembly’s 2020 regular session until 9:00 a.m. June 3. This comes due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and could only change if the adjournment is shortened or further extended […]

The Iowa Legislative Council extended the suspension of the 88th General Assembly’s 2020 regular session until 9:00 a.m. June 3.

This comes due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, and could only change if the adjournment is shortened or further extended prior to that time.

This does not affect lobbying reporting.

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May 20, 2020 •

Illinois House Reconvenes at Bank of Springfield Center

Illinois Capitol

Illinois State Capitol Building

The Illinois House of Representatives reconvened for a special session on May 20 in the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns. Members were spread across the center’s makeshift House floor, sat at folding chairs […]

The Illinois House of Representatives reconvened for a special session on May 20 in the Bank of Springfield Center to accommodate social distancing due to COVID-19 concerns.

Members were spread across the center’s makeshift House floor, sat at folding chairs and desks with a free-standing microphone beside each lawmaker’s workstation.

Both House Republicans and Democrats went into caucus at the Bank of Springfield center shortly after they convened the special session.

The Republicans moved to another space within the convention center, and Democrats remaining on the floor.

The Senate reconvened on May 18 at the Capitol.

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May 20, 2020 •

Alabama Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Alabama State Capitol

Alabama State Capitol Building

On May 18, the final day of the regular session, the Alabama Legislature voted to approve with Gov. Kay Ivey’s amendment to Senate Bill 161. This amendment allocates the $1.8 billion received by the state from the CARES Act. Thus, […]

On May 18, the final day of the regular session, the Alabama Legislature voted to approve with Gov. Kay Ivey’s amendment to Senate Bill 161.

This amendment allocates the $1.8 billion received by the state from the CARES Act.

Thus, the Alabama Legislature now stands adjourned sine die.

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May 19, 2020 •

Minnesota Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Minnesota House

Minnesota House Chamber - Chris Gaukel [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)]

The Minnesota Legislature left much unfinished when it adjourned sine die on May 18 as required by the constitution. Both chambers expect to be back in a special session on June 12 when Gov. Walz’s current declaration of a Peacetime […]

The Minnesota Legislature left much unfinished when it adjourned sine die on May 18 as required by the constitution.

Both chambers expect to be back in a special session on June 12 when Gov. Walz’s current declaration of a Peacetime Emergency ends.

If Walz wants to extend the emergency declaration again, he is obligated by law to call a special session to give both chambers the right to rescind his declaration by a majority vote.

Although Walz calls the session, the legislative branch decides when it ends.

This also takes away the governor’s power to set the agenda for the special session.

Most of the bills passed were in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Additionally, a Select Committee on Minnesota’s Pandemic Response and Rebuilding was formed to allow the House to continue conversations about the pandemic after wrapping up its regular legislative session.

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May 19, 2020 •

Rhode Island General Assembly Extends Delay of Session

Rhode Island State House

Rhode Island State House

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Island General Assembly has extended the delay of the legislative session. House and Senate sessions have been canceled for the week of May 18 to May 22. Additionally, the House and Senate […]

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Island General Assembly has extended the delay of the legislative session.

House and Senate sessions have been canceled for the week of May 18 to May 22.

Additionally, the House and Senate Finance Committees are expected to review the administration’s third-quarter spending report this week.

Both chambers of the General Assembly are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, May 26.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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May 18, 2020 •

Wyoming Special Session Ends with Approval of Three Bills

Wyoming Capitol

Wyoming Capitol - By Bradlyons - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0,

The Legislature’s first special session since 2004 ended Saturday night with three bills headed to the desk of Gov. Mark Gordon for his consideration. The main task of the special session was to set up programs and time frames for […]

The Legislature’s first special session since 2004 ended Saturday night with three bills headed to the desk of Gov. Mark Gordon for his consideration.

The main task of the special session was to set up programs and time frames for the spending of $1.25 billion Wyoming received through the federal CARES act.

Though Gov. Gordon has the ultimate authority to spend the money, the approved legislation provides a broad outline of where that money will go.

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May 18, 2020 •

South Carolina Legislature Recesses Until September

South Carolina Capitol

South Carolina Capitol Building

On May 12, the South Carolina Legislature met to approve a resolution allowing the state to continue to spend money until the budget can be addressed later this year. In addition to the budget and any potential legislation regarding the […]

On May 12, the South Carolina Legislature met to approve a resolution allowing the state to continue to spend money until the budget can be addressed later this year.

In addition to the budget and any potential legislation regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, the Legislature may take up any legislation that has passed either the House or the Senate during the fall session.

As of May 14, the Legislature stands recessed until September 15

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May 14, 2020 •

Michigan Adjourns Until May 19 Due to Protests

Michigan Capitol Building

Michigan State Capitol - By Brian Charles Watson

Thursday’s legislative session was canceled and the Capitol in Lansing was closed due to an armed protest and death threats against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. At the end of the Senate session on May 13, lawmakers simply adjourned until May 19 […]

Thursday’s legislative session was canceled and the Capitol in Lansing was closed due to an armed protest and death threats against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

At the end of the Senate session on May 13, lawmakers simply adjourned until May 19 rather than call the next previously scheduled meeting.

The adjournment came in fear of a repeat of the events on April 30.

Armed protesters entered the Senate Chamber’s visitors gallery, standing above the members during the session.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued an opinion on May 11 saying the State Capitol Commission could ban firearms.

The commission voted to study a ban this week, and on May 12, Sen. Dayna Polehanki proposed Senate Resolution 118 to ban firearms in the Capitol.

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May 13, 2020 •

Wyoming Governor Calls Special Session

Wyoming Gov. Gordon

Gov. Mark Gordon - by MikesGroover

Gov. Mark Gordon called a special session of the Wyoming Legislature to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. The two day special session will start at 8:00 a.m. on May 15. Lawmakers will gather both online and in the state […]

Gov. Mark Gordon called a special session of the Wyoming Legislature to help respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two day special session will start at 8:00 a.m. on May 15.

Lawmakers will gather both online and in the state Capitol, which will be open to those legislators who wish to go there, to distribute federal stimulus money to Wyoming businesses, healthcare facilities and workers.

Through four draft bills, lawmakers will determine how to distribute $500 million of the $1.25 billion the state received through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act passed in March.

In addition, lawmakers are eyeing new programs to provide loans to businesses, recompense landlords for lost rent to halt evictions, and help fund healthcare facilities and other needs.

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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.

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May 11, 2020 •

Rhode Island General Assembly Extends Postponement

Rhode Island State House

Rhode Island State House

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Island General Assembly has extended the postponement of the legislative session. All House and Senate sessions have been canceled for the week of May 11 to May 15. The House Finance Committee […]

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Rhode Island General Assembly has extended the postponement of the legislative session.

All House and Senate sessions have been canceled for the week of May 11 to May 15.

The House Finance Committee is expected to resume fiscal year 2020 and 2021 budget hearings on Thursday, May 14.

Additionally, both chambers of the General Assembly are scheduled to meet on Tuesday, May 19.

This does not affect lobbyist reporting.

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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.

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