Session Updates
Keep on top of the latest session developments.

Virginia
September 19, 2014
Special Session Update
Lawmakers reconvened the special session called back in March to close a $2.4 billion spending gap. While an agreement was reached on addressing the deficit, the Republican leadership in both chambers resisted calls to also address health care insurance expansion. Legislators are expected to resume the special session next month to fill a vacancy on the state Supreme Court and two seats on the Court of Appeals.

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Nevada
September 12, 2014
Special Session Ends
Lawmakers concluded a two-day special session Thursday, after unanimously approving a $1.1 billion tax incentive package for Tesla Motors to secure a battery plant in the state. Governor Brian Sandoval (R) signed the legislation into law.

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Nebraska
September 10, 2014
Lieutenant Governor Heidemann Resigns
Lieutenant Governor Lavon Heidemann (R) resigned from office Tuesday, and also withdrew as the 2014 running mate for Republican gubernatorial nominee Pete Ricketts. The resignation came after a judge granted a protection from abuse order against him, as sought by his sister.

Ricketts has named the state auditor Mike Foley to replace Heidemann on the ticket. On September 29, Governor Dave Heineman (R) named retiring Senator John Nelson as a replacement as lieutenant governor for the remainder of the term.

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Nevada
September 05, 2014
Special Session Called
Governor Brian Sandoval (R) has called lawmakers into a special session, that will convene September 10, to approve a $1.25 billion/20 year tax incentive plan for a factory to produce Tesla Motors' new electric car battery. Democratic legislative leaders have indicated a cautious approach to cementing the deal.

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California
September 02, 2014
Floor Sessions End
Lawmakers ended regular floor sessions for the 2013-14 regular session early Saturday, after approving a ban on plastic grocery bags, a measure to restrict firearms from persons deemed to be potentially violent, a campaign finance reform bill, and legislation to address the state’s continuing drought.

Legislators also approved several bonding ballot measures, enhanced ethics requirements for themselves, a shorter timeframe for processing rape kits in criminal investigations, and a measure requiring railroad companies to report crude oil freight schedules to emergency officials. Governor Pat Brown (D) -- who does not possess a pocket veto -- has until September 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk. Sine die adjournment is scheduled for November 30.

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North
Carolina

August 21, 2014
Short Session Adjourns
Lawmakers concluded the short session late Wednesday after approving the Coal Ash Management Act to prevent accidents and to clean up groundwater contamination locations owned by Duke Energy and its subsidiary, Duke Energy Progress. As the session ended, legislators could not reach an agreement on creating a new job incentive program to combat unemployment or a budget correction to provide funding for teacher assistants.

Governor Pat McCrory (R) -- who does not possess a pocket veto -- has until September 19 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

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Florida
August 14, 2014
Special Session Adjourns
Lawmakers concluded their special session Monday after approving a new congressional redistricting plan to meet an August 15 deadline. The new plan was supported by the majority Republicans, while most Democrats voted against it. Governor Rick Scott (R) signed the legislation into law on Wednesday. The voter groups who had challenged the original plan in the courts indicated they will challenge the new lines due to the same perceived flaws.

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New
Jersey

August 05, 2014
Special Session Update
Governor Chris Christie (R) called the legislature into special session last Thursday to consider bail reform legislation. The measures included a constitutional amendment to allow judges to deny bail to defendants deemed dangerous and a companion bill to create bail alternatives for certain defendants charged with nonviolent offenses.

UPDATE (08/05/14): The special session was completed Monday with the approval of the measures.

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Florida
August 04, 2014
Special Session Called
Lawmakers will return to the capitol Thursday to convene a one-week session to make adjustments to the redistricting plan. The current structure (for the congressional districts) was declared unconstitutional by a federal judge, who then ordered a new plan that meets constitutional muster, to be approved by August 15. The state House and Senate redistricting plan is unaffected by the ruling.

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Massachusetts
August 01, 2014
Formal Sessions End
Lawmakers ended formal sessions of the General Court late yesterday after approving a campaign finance bill to increase individual donor thresholds and enhance reporting requirements for super PACs (i.e. corporations, labor unions, and political committees). Legislators also approved a measure to increase scrutiny of public housing authorities.

The General Court usually meets on an informal basis (to consider routine or non-controversial measures) between now and final adjournment in January, 2015. Governor Deval Patrick (D) has 10 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

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Arkansas
July 02, 2014
Special Session Completed
Lawmakers completed the special session early Wednesday with bipartisan approval for three measures: a package to avoid a large increase in school employees’ health insurance premiums and a $36.6 million insurance fund deficit; a measure to temporarily prohibit fast-paced lottery monitor games until March 13, 2015; and $6.3 million in approximate funding for a maximum of 604 additional prison beds.

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Delaware
July 01, 2014
Regular Session Ends
Lawmakers concluded the 2014 regular session early today after approving a $9.9 million bailout of the state's three casinos, a $3.8 billion state budget that raises salaries for state workers and shuffles highway improvement funds, and a $421 million capital budget plan. Legislators also approved ignition interlock devices for DUI offenders, the establishment of a Fort DuPont Redevelopment and Preservation Corporation, and a measure to allow law enforcement to carry the anti-overdose drug naloxone.

As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on Governor Jack Markell's (D) proposal to increase the gas tax by ten cents per gallon, a new property tax to finance a water improvement program, and marijuana decriminalization. Governor Markell -- who possesses a pocket veto -- has until July 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

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Arkansas
June 27, 2014
Special Session Called
Lawmakers will meet in a special session Monday to consider a plan to alleviate rising teacher insurance premiums and address overcrowding in county jails. Legislators will be meeting in the old capitol while the current chambers undergo renovation. The special session is expected to last three days.

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Virginia
June 24, 2014
Special Session Update
Lawmakers finished consideration of a new two-year, $96 billion state budget late Monday. In doing so, the General Assembly avoided a government shutdown and stopped (in the House) an attempt by Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) to unilaterally impose expanded health care coverage without legislative approval. The new Republican majority in the Senate also took the opportunity to reorganize the chamber due to the recent resignation of Senator Phillip Puckett (D).

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Rhode
Island

June 23, 2014
Regular Session Adjourns
Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Saturday after approving a new casino ballot measure for the Newport Grand slot parlor, delayed usage of certain standardized tests for high school graduation, relieving certain "effective-rated" teachers from annual evaluations, and a $4.8 million bailout for Central Falls retirees. Legislators also approved enhanced information reporting for mental health patients for firearms purposes, as well as a measure to make "Rhode Island-style calamari" as the official state appetizer.

As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on allowing the Ethics Commission to investigate and prosecute legislators for wrongdoing. Governor Lincoln Chafee (D) -- who does not possess a pocket veto -- has until July 1 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

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New
York

June 23, 2014
Regular Floor Sessions End
Lawmakers ended regular floor sessions Friday after approving a $138 billion state budget, increased education spending, property tax credits to restrain municipal spending, income tax cuts for manufacturers, and enhanced penalties for heroin distribution. Legislators also approved a limited medical marijuana program and a bill to legalize sparklers.

As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on raising the minimum wage, financial aid for illegal immigrants, a measure to combat human trafficking, and public campaign financing. The regular session officially adjourns sine die in January, 2015.

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South
Carolina

June 19, 2014
Lieutenant Governor McConnell Resigns
Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell (R) resigned Wednesday to assume the presidency of the College of Charleston. Senator Yancey McGill (D) was elected without opposition to replace McConnell. Senator Hugh Leatherman (R) was elected president pro tempore of the Senate.

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Virginia
June 09, 2014
Senator Puckett Resigns; GOP Takes Control of Senate
Citing personal reasons, Senator Phillip Puckett (D) has resigned from the chamber, effective today. The resignation gives the GOP a temporary 20-19 majority (with the one vacancy) until Governor Terry McAuliffe (D) can set a special election for the seat.

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South
Carolina

June 06, 2014
Regular Session Ends
Lawmakers adjourned the 2014 regular session after approving a statewide ban on texting while driving, increased penalties for driving while intoxicated, and additional K-12 education funding. Legislators also approved some extra funding for infrastructure improvements, and a one-year prohibition against powdered alcohol.

As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on ObamaCare nullification and an ethics reform proposal. Senator John Courson (R) resigned this week as the Senate president pro tempore, in a procedural move to avoid becoming lieutenant governor upon the potential resignation of Lieutenant Governor Glenn McConnell (R).

Governor Nikki Haley (R) -- who does not possess a pocket veto -- has five days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk. Lawmakers return June 17 for a veto session.

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New
Hampshire

June 05, 2014
Regular Session Ends
Lawmakers ended the 2014 regular session Wednesday after approving Medicaid expansion, a four-cent per gallon increase in the gas tax to pay for infrastructure improvements, enhanced penalties for human trafficking, and a ban on handheld cell phones while driving. Legislators also approved paycheck equity and the creation of the crime of domestic violence.

As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on establishing a death penalty, decriminalization of marijuana, background checks for firearm purchases, raising the minimum wage, and casino gambling. Governor Maggie Hassan (D) -- who does not possess a pocket veto -- has five days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

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