March 10, 2020 •

Oregon Legislative Session Officially Ends

Oregon State Capitol Building

The Oregon legislative session officially ended at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday. The short session came to a halt when both House and Senate Republican lawmakers walked out. This was done in order to stop progress on controversial cap-and-trade bills designed […]

The Oregon legislative session officially ended at 11:59 p.m. on Sunday.

The short session came to a halt when both House and Senate Republican lawmakers walked out.

This was done in order to stop progress on controversial cap-and-trade bills designed to combat climate change.

Only three bills passed the Legislature during this session, with more than 250 bills left stalled.

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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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February 24, 2020 •

New Mexico Legislature Adjourns, Passes Budget Bill

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

The Second Session of the 54th New Mexico Legislature adjourned sine die on February 20 at noon after 30 days in session. During the session, legislators endorsed a $7.6 billion general fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1. […]

The Second Session of the 54th New Mexico Legislature adjourned sine die on February 20 at noon after 30 days in session.

During the session, legislators endorsed a $7.6 billion general fund budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

The budget raises annual spending by $536 million, setting aside $17 million toward an initiative that may eventually provide tuition-free education at public colleges.

The budget bill also places $320 million in an endowment fund designed to underwrite early childhood education programs with future investments earnings.

Lawmakers also introduced but did not pass Senate Bill 53, which would have required a lobbyist or lobbyist’s employer to file reports within 14 days following the conclusion of a legislative session.

Senate Bill 53 would have required the post-session report to indicate legislation lobbied and the position taken on each piece of legislation.

Opening day of the 2021 legislative session is scheduled for January 19.

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February 5, 2020 •

Oregon Referendum Process Could Change

Oregon State Capitol Building

Salem attorney Steve Elzinga has proposed changes to the state administrative rules to prevent manipulation of a mechanism allowing citizens to stop new laws passed by legislators. Our Oregon, a union backed political group, is alarmed about the proposed changes […]

Salem attorney Steve Elzinga has proposed changes to the state administrative rules to prevent manipulation of a mechanism allowing citizens to stop new laws passed by legislators.

Our Oregon, a union backed political group, is alarmed about the proposed changes to the state’s election rules.

The group says the rules give special interests excessive influence.

The opposing sides argue they are defending the ability of voters to directly access the state’s political system.

The Office of the Secretary of State held a hearing on the rule changes earlier this week. Secretary of State Bev Clarno could decide on the rule changes as soon as next month.

In Oregon, if citizens want to challenge a new law passed by the Legislature they can put it to a statewide vote by using the state’s referendum process.

Citizens have 90 days after the Legislature adjourns to petition for a referendum, unless a new law is written to take effect right away.

The number of signatures required to trigger a referendum is based on turnout in previous elections

The number of signatures required is currently 74,680.

However, signatures can’t be gathered until the governor signs the legislation into law.

The proposed change would permit collecting signatures for a referendum as soon as the targeted legislation passes both the House and the Senate.

Governors have 30 business days after the Legislature adjourns to sign a bill into law.

The change would prevent governors delaying the signing of a bill to chew up some of the 90 days set aside for petition work.

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January 30, 2020 •

Wisconsin Holds Special Session

Wisconsin State Capitol Building

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced a special session to introduce bills regarding the state’s dairy crisis. Gov. Tony Evers, in his State of the State address on January 22, called for the Legislature to convene a special session to address […]

Assembly Speaker Robin Vos announced a special session to introduce bills regarding the state’s dairy crisis.

Gov. Tony Evers, in his State of the State address on January 22, called for the Legislature to convene a special session to address the dairy crisis.

Wisconsin lost 10% of the state’s dairy farms in 2019, breaking the previous year’s record high of 7.25%.

The governor wants the Legislature to act on a package of proposals to assist rural Wisconsin.

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January 21, 2020 •

New Mexico Senator Sponsors Post-Session Lobbying Bill

New Mexico Capitol Building - Ken Lund

In an effort to increase transparency, Sen. Jeff Steinborn is sponsoring a bill that would require post-session lobbying reports. Under Senate Bill 53, lobbyists or their employers would have to file an expenditure report within 14 days after each legislative […]

In an effort to increase transparency, Sen. Jeff Steinborn is sponsoring a bill that would require post-session lobbying reports.

Under Senate Bill 53, lobbyists or their employers would have to file an expenditure report within 14 days after each legislative session listing the legislation they supported or opposed.

The 2020 session of the 54th Legislature is scheduled to begin on January 21 and adjourn on February 20.

If Steinborn’s bill passes, it will become effective on May 20.

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January 17, 2020 •

North Carolina Adjourns until Spring without a Resolution to Outstanding Budget Measures

North Carolina State Legislative Building

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned the regular session until April 28 after meeting for a single day. The Senate attempted but failed to override vetoes by Gov. Roy Cooper on teacher pay and the budget. Before adjourning, lawmakers unanimously […]

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned the regular session until April 28 after meeting for a single day.

The Senate attempted but failed to override vetoes by Gov. Roy Cooper on teacher pay and the budget.

Before adjourning, lawmakers unanimously approved additional funding for the state’s scholarship for children of wartime veterans, which is expected to be signed into law by Cooper.

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December 20, 2019 •

Michigan Legislature Adjourns Sine Die

Michigan State Capitol

The 100th Legislature adjourned sine die at noon on December 19 after more than 100 legislative days in session. During the session, lawmakers voted to pass a bill to revise the rules on the governor transferring funds appropriated by the […]

The 100th Legislature adjourned sine die at noon on December 19 after more than 100 legislative days in session.

During the session, lawmakers voted to pass a bill to revise the rules on the governor transferring funds appropriated by the legislature to a different purpose than the one originally specified.

The legislature also voted to pass a bill to exempt equipment owned by a data center business from local special assessment levies, and some school property tax levies.

Per the state constitution, any business, bill, or joint resolution pending at the final adjournment of a regular session held in an odd-numbered year will carry over with the same status to the next regular session.

The 2020 session is scheduled to begin on January 8, 2020.

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December 19, 2019 •

Utah Lawmakers Adjourn Special Session, Pass Tax, Health Bills

Utah Capitol Building - Jkinsocal

The Utah Legislature approved a sweeping tax-change bill during the one-day special session on December 12. The bill cuts state income taxes and hikes the sales tax on food, gas, and a list of other services. The tax bill did […]

The Utah Legislature approved a sweeping tax-change bill during the one-day special session on December 12.

The bill cuts state income taxes and hikes the sales tax on food, gas, and a list of other services.

The tax bill did not reach a two-thirds majority in either the House or Senate, subjecting it to challenge by a citizen referendum on December 16.

In order to qualify, the referendum must collect more than 115,869 validated signatures across the state by January 21.

Lawmakers also passed a bill to fund behavioral health services, moving $3.9 million from unused appropriations to provide health treatment.

The behavioral health bill passed with no opposition.

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December 18, 2019 •

West Virginia House Adjourns Special Session

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West Virginia Capitol Building - O Palsson

The House of Delegates adjourned the Second Extraordinary Session of 2019 on December 16 after reconvening the same day. Before adjourning, the House passed Senate Bill 2001. Senate Bill 2001 extends tax credits for tourism development projects through December 2025.

The House of Delegates adjourned the Second Extraordinary Session of 2019 on December 16 after reconvening the same day.

Before adjourning, the House passed Senate Bill 2001.

Senate Bill 2001 extends tax credits for tourism development projects through December 2025.

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December 12, 2019 •

Utah Governor Calls Special Session

Utah Capitol Building - Jkinsocal

Gov. Gary Herbert called a special session of the Utah Legislature for December 12 to consider a massive tax reform plan. The special session comes a day after a divided legislative panel voted to advance a significant tax cut for […]

Gov. Gary Herbert called a special session of the Utah Legislature for December 12 to consider a massive tax reform plan.

The special session comes a day after a divided legislative panel voted to advance a significant tax cut for Utah residents.

In addition to the tax reform, the special session will include discussion of funding for behavioral health programs.

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December 12, 2019 •

Connecticut General Assembly to Convene Two Special Sessions

Connecticut State Capitol

The Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to convene for a special session on December 18. The special legislative session is to vote on issues regarding a hospital tax settlement and a restaurant workers wage bill. Gov. Ned Lamont and the […]

The Connecticut General Assembly is scheduled to convene for a special session on December 18.

The special legislative session is to vote on issues regarding a hospital tax settlement and a restaurant workers wage bill.

Gov. Ned Lamont and the Legislature also agreed to convene a special session in early January to address a bonding bill and a long-term infrastructure plan.

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December 6, 2019 •

U.S. Virgin Islands Governor Calls Special Session for Amendment to Cannabis Law

U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Albert Bryan Jr.

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announced a special session for December 18. The special session is to consider an amendment to the Medicinal Cannabis Patient Care Act. The amendment provides more regulatory controls and enables the generation of tax and fee […]

Gov. Albert Bryan Jr. announced a special session for December 18.

The special session is to consider an amendment to the Medicinal Cannabis Patient Care Act.

The amendment provides more regulatory controls and enables the generation of tax and fee revenues.

If passed, the amendment would allow for the sale of cannabis products to tourists and create a regulated system to prevent fraud, increase transparency, testing, licensing and penalties.

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November 21, 2019 •

North Carolina Legislature Adjourns

North Carolina State Legislative Building

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned after finalizing a replacement map for congressional districts. Legislators extended the legislative session to redraw the map due to state judges blocking lines drawn in 2016 from being used next year. The session was […]

The North Carolina General Assembly adjourned after finalizing a replacement map for congressional districts.

Legislators extended the legislative session to redraw the map due to state judges blocking lines drawn in 2016 from being used next year.

The session was one of the longest legislative sessions in recent history due to the redistricting lawsuit and a fight over the budget.

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