Resources

Session Updates

Day-to-day session news.

Keep on top of the latest legislative session developments. From this page, you can get day-to-day updates of when sessions begin and adjourn, and keep track of the major legislative and executive leadership changes that might influence the bills in your tracking. You can also get these updates delivered straight to your inbox by signing up for our "Session Updates" newsletter.

Current Updates

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  • March 20, 2017

    Lawmakers completed the 2017 regular session on Saturday, after reaching an agreement on a $6.1 billion budget that includes $350 million in tax increases and a measure that changes the gross receipts tax law. Governor Susana Martinez (R) has indicated she will veto the budget, making a subsequent special session very likely in the near future. Legislators also approved the creation of an independent ethics commission ballot measure for 2018, limits on the small-loan industry to help consumers, more campaign finance disclosures for so-called “dark money” groups, and an increase in the minimum wage (which Martinez has also vowed to veto).

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on capping interest on payday loans, background checks on most firearms transactions, and expanded early childhood education. Governor Martinez, who possesses a pocket veto, has until April 7 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • March 10, 2017

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2017 regular session late Thursday after approving a $16.1 billion budget with $239 million in new education funding, a measure to allow diners to serve alcohol, a .05 percent blood alcohol limit (from .08 percent), and a June 30, 2019 sunset date for the Salt Lake Road Home. Legislators also approved measures to allow medical marijuana research and student programs to prevent suicide and opioid addiction.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a tax reform plan that would have included restoring the sales tax on food. Governor Gary Herbert (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 29 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 07, 2017

    The legislature convenes today for the annual regular session. Lawmakers are expected to consider education, economic growth and water management. Legislators are also expected to tackle the $83.5 billion budget, lobbying reforms, medical marijuana expansion, and a new gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. The session is expected to adjourn May 5.

  • March 04, 2017

    Lawmakers completed the 2017 regular session late Friday after approving a compromise bill to decrease education funding by $34 million and to require a thorough independent study of the state funding model. The funding issue may mean a special session in the future. Legislators also approved measures to allow the Tesla motor company to sell cars directly and to repeal gun-free zones from all government meetings, while also overriding much of the governor’s line-item vetoes of the supplemental budget.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a measure to make audio recordings of committee meetings available online. Governor Matt Mead (R),who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 18 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • February 27, 2017

    Lawmakers concluded regular floor sessions late Saturday after approving a $107 billion biennial budget that restores public employee salary increases, appropriates funds to mental health services, and secures education funding. Legislators also approved a $7.5 million fund for use by municipalities with high poverty rates, for economic development and job training programs.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on additional funds for mental health assessments of inmates. Legislative leadership indicated that it prefers to wait for a report from a joint subcommittee before moving forward. The General Assembly will reconvene April 5 to consider any of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s vetoes.

  • February 23, 2017

    Lawmakers concluded the special session late yesterday, after reaching an agreement on closing the state’s $304 million budget deficit. Legislators appropriated $99 million from the rainy day fund, made $82 million in spending cuts, and made adjustments to current spending levels in other departments. The deal aligns closely to the proposal set by Governor John Bel Edwards (D).

  • February 13, 2017

    Lawmakers are convening today, two months before the regular session, to consider a plan to close a $304 million deficit in the state’s $27 billion budget. Foregoing new taxes as a solution, Governor John Bel Edwards (D) has proposed spending cuts to hospitals, State Police, the attorney general's office, and the courts, as well as a  $119 million rainy day fund transfer. While Senate leaders indicate general agreement on such proposals, the House leadership has stated it would like deeper cuts rather than a rainy day fund transfer.

    The Senate may also take up an expulsion resolution against Senator Troy Brown (D), who has pleaded nolo contendere to two separate charges of domestic abuse within the past four months. The special session must adjourn by February 22.

  • February 08, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today in Charleston to begin the 83rd legislature. After receiving the first budget address of Governor Jim Justice (D), legislators plan to tackle a projected $500 million budget deficit, economic expansion, and education decentralization. Also on the agenda are tax reform, infrastructure improvements, and medical marijuana legalization. The session is scheduled to adjourn April 8.

  • February 06, 2017

    Lawmakers return to Carson City today to convene the 79th regular session. Legislators are expected to consider a tax on recreational marijuana, cybersecurity, and education funding. Also on the agenda are the state budget and economic growth.  The democrats will control both chambers this year and the session is expected to wrap up on June 5.

  • February 06, 2017

    Lawmakers convene the 2017 regular session today. After receiving Governor Mary Fallin (R) to hear the State-of-the-State address, legislators will consider the budget deficit, social assistance, judicial appointments, and corrections funding. The main focus of the session is expected to revolve around education issues; including school choice, education funding, and teacher accountability. The session normally adjourns by late May.

  • February 01, 2017

    Lawmakers are set to begin the 2017 legislative session today in Salem. Legislators are expected to focus on a projected $1.7 billion deficit in the state budget, a transportation funding package, and a lack of affordable housing. Also on the agenda are economic growth, infrastructure improvements, and permanent funding mechanisms. The session is expected to adjourn by July 10.

  • January 18, 2017

    The State Legislature began the 30th legislative session Tuesday in Juneau, with a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans assuming control of the House. Lawmakers are expected to focus on the state budget, especially on closing a spending gap. Legislators also are expected to focus on natural gas pipeline projects and state pensions. The session is scheduled to adjourn in mid-April.

  • January 18, 2017

    John Carney (D) was inaugurated as the 74th governor of Delaware Monday, succeeding Jack Markell (D). Carney is expected to stress economic development and resolution of a $350 million budget deficit as priorities. Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long (D) also took her oath of office.

  • January 18, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today in Honolulu to begin the 2017 legislative session. Legislators are expected to consider energy independence, economic growth, improved working conditions, and assisting the commercial fishing fleet this year. Also on the agenda are closing a budget deficit, public pensions, and rail transit costs. The session is expected to adjourn in early May.

  • January 18, 2017

    Lawmakers convened Tuesday in Santa Fe to begin the 2017 regular session, as the Democrats re-gained control of the House (the Senate also remains in the control of the Democrats). After the ceremonial swearing-in of legislators, the legislature is expected to focus on expansion of the “three strikes” law, extension of the prohibition of asking about felony convictions on job applications, marijuana legalization, and increased funding for early childhood programs. The session is scheduled to adjourn March 18.

Updates by State

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Alabama

  • September 08, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned their special session late yesterday, after approving a compromise measure that applies the state’s share of the 2010 Gulf oil spill settlement -- $639 million -- to reduce state debt, allocate funds for Medicaid, and provide money for highway repairs in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Governor Robert Bentley (R) indicated that he plans to sign the legislation into law. A previous measure to establish a state lottery failed.

  • July 29, 2016

    Governor Robert Bentley (R) has called lawmakers into  a special session, beginning August 15, to consider his proposal to place a state lottery referendum on the November 8 ballot. Governor Bentley indicated that a  lottery is necessary to buttress annual state revenues (by approximately $225 million) and address repeated budget deficits. Bentley also indicated that such revenues could lessen shortages in health and welfare funding.

    A previous 1999 referendum to enact a lottery was defeated. Other states without a lottery include Utah, Nevada, Mississippi, Alaska, and Hawaii.

  • June 13, 2016

    Speaker Mike Hubbard (R) was convicted on Friday of 12 of 23 felony charges, including using the elected office (as well as his former post as chair of the state Republican Party) for personal gain. The convictions automatically removed him from his speaker position and as a member of the House. Hubbard is expected to be sentenced on July 8. He faces 20 years in prison. Speaker Pro Tempore Victor Gaston (R) assumes the gavel until a new election by the members can be held.

  • May 06, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Wednesday, after approving abortion restrictions, teacher raises, and decriminalization of marijuana oil. Legislators also approved Medicaid funding cuts and impeachment articles against the governor. Further action on impeachment is unknown at this time.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a prison construction plan, Confederate monument protection, and establishing a state lottery. Governor Robert Bentley (R), who possesses a pocket veto, has until May 16 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • February 02, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2014 regular session. Aside from the annual process of crafting a state budget, legislators are expected to consider a proposal for a state lottery, a teacher pay raise, and infrastructure improvements. Also on the agenda are concealed-carry authorization on college campuses, an established minimum wage, and medical marijuana. The legislature is slated to adjourn by mid-May.

  • September 21, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the second special session late Wednesday after completing work on a new state budget due by October 1. The spending plan closes a projected $200 million shortfall with a combination of a 25 cent per-pack cigarette tax increase  and $80 million in education funding transfers. The budget also provides funding for the state courts and prisons. Governor Robert Bentley (R) has signed the new budget into law.

  • September 03, 2015

    Lawmakers will again return to the capitol on Tuesday to convene the second special session this year, in an attempt to finalize the state budget. The current fiscal year expires September 30, yet no new agreement is in sight. Governor Robert Bentley’s (R) call for $300 million in new taxes and the elimination of certain income tax deductions has been met with skepticism by legislative leaders. Bentley also is seeking a business privilege tax increase and a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax.

  • August 12, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the special session yesterday without an agreement on a new state budget, due by October 1. During the regular session, legislators passed a budget that contained $200 million in spending cuts to close a deficit, but it was vetoed by Governor Robert Bentley (R), who prefers tax increases. Certain lawmakers are advocating a plan to allow casino gaming and a state lottery to raise revenues. The governor has indicated he will call the legislature back for a second special session without specifying a convening date.

  • July 10, 2015

    Governor Robert Bentley (R) unexpectedly called lawmakers into a special session June 13 to finalize the state budget. However, legislative leaders have indicated that, after officially convening, they will immediately recess the special session until August 3. This maneuver is expected to keep the clock running on the special session and allow legislators about a week or so to finalize a spending plan. Governor Bentley’s proposal calls for new taxes, while the legislative leadership favors a gaming package and budget cuts.

  • June 05, 2015

    The 2015 regular session came to an abrupt end yesterday, after a series of events that saw the legislature approve a $1.63 billion state budget, with $199.6 million in spending cuts, only to be vetoed by Governor Robert Bentley (R). The governor has been supporting tax increases on income and automobile sales to close the spending gap. The House voted to override the veto, but the Senate adjourned sine die without holding an override vote.

    A special session will be necessary later this year to resolve the budget and other issues (the state’s fiscal year begins October 1). House Leaders are planning to meet June 11 to hammer out the details of a special session, but it is unclear at this time if and when the Senate will follow suit.

  • March 03, 2015

    Lawmakers convene the 2015 regular session today. After receiving Governor Robert Bentley's (R) budget address, legislators are expected to consider increasing scholarships for high-tech careers, charter schools, economic growth, and use of the electric chair as an alternative capital punishment method (to lethal injection). <br><br> Also on the agenda is allowing school prayer and protection for clergy who oppose same-sex marriage. The regular session is expected to adjourn in mid-June.

Alaska

  • January 18, 2017

    The State Legislature began the 30th legislative session Tuesday in Juneau, with a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans assuming control of the House. Lawmakers are expected to focus on the state budget, especially on closing a spending gap. Legislators also are expected to focus on natural gas pipeline projects and state pensions. The session is scheduled to adjourn in mid-April.

  • July 19, 2016

    After the House adjourned the recent special session Friday, the Senate followed suit yesterday without voting on the tax legislation that Governor Bill Walker (I) proposed as a trigger for his deficit-reduction proposals. Governor Walker indicated that any further consideration will likely need to occur after the general election in November.

  • July 12, 2016

    Lawmakers convened their fifth special session of the two-year legislative cycle yesterday. Governor Bill Walker (I) has proposed a three percent statewide sales tax and two oil-tax increases to reduce the projected $3.2 billion deficit. Governor Walker also introduced a measure to restructure the Permanent Fund and a separate omnibus tax bill with tax increases on on alcohol, cigarettes, commercial fishing, mining, and motor fuel.

    Legislative leaders have indicated that they may also use the special session to attempt overrides on previous gubernatorial vetoes of the budget.

  • June 20, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the first special session of 2016 Sunday, after failing to reach an agreement on Governor Bill Walker’s (I) revenue-raising proposals, including the Permanent Fund measure, the establishment of a personal income tax, and tax increases on mining, commercial fishing, gas, alcohol and tobacco. Earlier, the legislature had passed a budget that reduces the deficit from $4 billion to $3.2 billion.

    In response, Governor Walker has called lawmakers into an additional special session, beginning July 11, to further consider three new deficit reduction bills as well as his tax increase proposals. Governor Walker has also indicated his intention to veto key parts of the budget such as the Permanent Fund dividend checks, to force the legislature’s hand.

  • May 19, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the 2016 regular session late yesterday without reaching a final agreement on a new state budget, deficit reduction, or oil taxes; prompting Governor Bill Walker (I) to immediately call a special session to convene Monday to resolve the outstanding issues. Governor Walker added capital budget bills, restructuring of the Permanent Fund, authorizing a personal income tax, and tax increases on consumption and natural resource extraction to the agenda.

    Legislators worked overtime from the April 21 voter-approved deadline for regular sessions (state law still allows for the legislature to ignore this deadline up to 31 days), however could not muster a 2/3 majority to extend the session an additional 10 days, as allowed under the constitution.

  • January 19, 2016

    Lawmakers reconvene today for the 2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to consider a budget deficit tied to a sustained drop in oil prices, an increased personal income tax, and potential cuts in Medicaid and corrections funding. Legislators are also expected to consider education funding and a constitutional prohibition on longer legislative sessions. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn April 17.

  • November 05, 2015

    Lawmakers wrapped up their special session on Thursday, after reaching an agreement on a measure to spend $161.25 million to advance the AKLNG project to carry natural gas from the North Slope to the Cook Inlet export terminal. The funds will also be used to end the state’s relationship with TransCanada. Legislators also approved a formal complaint against the Obama Administration’s decision to cancel Arctic oil and gas lease sales.

  • October 23, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene in Juneau tomorrow to consider the construction of a $55 billion natural gas pipeline project from the North Slope. Both Governor Bill Walker (I) and legislative leaders agree that the pipeline would help bring in needed revenues to balance the state budget, but disagree on the specifics. Governor Walker is requesting legislators to appropriate $150 million to buy out TransCanada and approve a tax on natural gas reserves. Legislative leaders indicate that they favor a collaboration effort with BP, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips.

  • June 12, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the second called special session yesterday after reaching an agreement on a $5 billion state budget. The new budget retains public employee pay raises and cuts state agency spending by $400 million to close a spending gap. Legislators also approved a measure to combat child sex abuse and domestic violence, known as “Erin’s Law” and “Bree’s Law.”

  • April 28, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late Monday, after reaching an agreement on an unbalanced state budget without enough votes to tap the $10 billion Constitutional Budget Reserve. Governor Bill Walker (I) then called the legislature into special session to address the spending gap, as well as Medicaid expansion and a child sex-abuse prevention measure.

    During the session, legislators approved a measure that brings the state child support law into line with an international treaty relating to such matters. Without the legislation, the state could have lost $19 million in federal funding for child support and $45 million for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

  • January 20, 2015

    The State Legislature begins the 2015-2016 session today in Juneau. Lawmakers are expected to focus on the $6.1 billion state budget, especially on closing a spending gap. Legislators also are expected to focus on natural gas pipeline projects, state pensions, same-sex marriage, and Medicaid expansion. The session is scheduled to adjourn April 19.

Arizona

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Phoenix to begin the 2017 regular session. In addition to swearing in legislators, lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of the projected $1.5 billion budget, prison recidivism, and the minimum wage. Education funding and opioid addiction treatment is also likely to be on the agenda. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-April, but floor sessions beyond that time are likely.

  • May 09, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session early Saturday after approving nullification of local gun laws that conflict with state statutes, a polling place minimum for presidential primaries (to handle increased participation), and a restoration of children’s health insurance. Legislators also approved a measure that prevents colleges from illegally infringing on the free-speech rights of students and tax cuts for certain college properties.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on public financing of elections. Governor Doug Ducey (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until May 18 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today in Phoenix to begin the 2016 regular session and are expected to begin consideration of proposals to address the state budget. Governor Doug Ducey (R) has indicated he will propose legislation on prison reform, incremental tax cuts, and mental-health service improvements. Legislators are also likely to consider economic growth measures, marijuana legalization, and a measure to ban videotaping within 20 feet of a police officer. The legislature is slated to adjourn in late April, but floor sessions beyond that time are likely.

  • October 31, 2015

    Lawmakers wrapped up their special session on education funding Friday after reaching an agreement on a three-bill package that appropriates $3.5 billion to schools over the next decade, raises the base amount of K-12 dollars (adjusted annually for inflation), and adds $625 million from the state's general fund. Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed the bills immediately after the special session adjourned, sending the matter to the voters at a May 17, 2016 special election.

  • October 29, 2015

    Lawmakers convened a special session late Wednesday after legislative leaders reached an agreement on Governor Doug Ducey’s (R) proposal to increase education funding by $3.5 billion over the next decade. The proposal would resolve litigation filed over the legislature’s failure to provide inflation funding increases to schools during the recession, as required by a voter initiative. Education groups have also signaled their support of the plan, which would go to the voters after legislative approval.

  • April 03, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session early today after approving federally compliant IDs for flights, ground rules for ride-share companies (such as Uber and Lyft), and paper/plastic bag choice in grocery stores. Legislators also approved an eight-year extension of the one-cent per gallon gas tax, and a measure that prohibits state funds from being spent on compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on legislation that provides a 300-foot buffer between liquor merchants and churches, as well as schools. Governor Doug Ducey (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until April 15 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Phoenix to begin the 2015 regular session. In addition to swearing in legislators, lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of the projected $1.5 billion budget deficit, streamlining of state government, education funding, and marijuana legalization. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-April, but floor sessions beyond that time are likely.

  • January 05, 2015

    Governor-elect Doug Ducey (R) will be inaugurated today as the state’s 23rd governor. Ducey has indicated that he plans to establish a “business-like approach” to his duties, and is expected to focus on containing both a current $520 million spending gap and a projected $1 billion future budget deficit. Ducey is also expected to bolster immigration policy and tackle education funding, as well as Common Core standards.

Arkansas

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 91st General Assembly, where the Republicans retain control of both chambers. In addition to consideration of the state budget and tax cuts, lawmakers are expected to consider medical marijuana legalization, abortion restrictions, Medicaid expansion, and conceal-carry of firearms on college campuses. School funding and broadband Internet expansion are also on the agenda. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-April.

  • May 23, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned its special session Monday, after approving legislation for shovelling nearly $50 million for state highway improvements. Legislators tapped into surplus money and utilized investment returns to complete the funding package. Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) signed the measure into law, noting that the legislation allows the state to receive an additional $200 million in federal matching dollars.

  • May 09, 2016

    The General Assembly officially adjourned the 2016 budget session today, having concluded most floor business on Friday. Legislators approved a budget bill that distributes $5.33 billion, with most of the $142.7 million increase slated toward human services and public schools. The legislature also reauthorized the use of federal Medicaid funding to finance a private health insurance program for low-income residents.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on highway funding, prompting Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) to call a special session for May 19 to resolve the impasse. Governor Hutchinson, who does not possess a pocket veto, has 20 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays)  to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 13, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today, after last week’s special session, to begin the short 2016 fiscal session. Besides crafting the state budget, legislators are also expected to consider Medicaid expansion, infrastructure improvements, and corrections funding. Governor Asa Hutchinson’s (R) budget proposal calls for $142.7 million in extra spending and also includes income tax rate cuts as well as increased education and human services funding. The fiscal session is expected to adjourn May 12.

  • April 08, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the special session today after approving legislation that continues the current plan of expanding Medicaid through a  private option instead of the usual mechanism of the federal Affordable Care Act. Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) has signed the legislation into law. Funding for the plan will require a three-fourths majority vote during the fiscal session that begins next week.

  • April 06, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today, a week earlier than the start of the regular session, to consider Governor Asa Hutchinson’s (R) proposal to continue with an expanded Medicaid program, while offering incentives for recipients to stay employed and procure their own coverage. The governor removed his previous proposal that included a measure to hire private companies to manage part of the plan.

    Legislative leaders have not yet indicated whether they will consider their own counter-proposal, the so-called “DiamondCare” program. Also included on the agenda is approval of certain gubernatorial appointees.

  • May 29, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the special session Thursday after approving an $87.1 million bond issue to lure a Lockheed Martin contract to the state and a merger of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority and Department of Rural Services into the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

    Legislators also approved an enhancement to the state’s DUI law and a measure that shifts the 2016 primary elections from May 24 to March 1. The primary election bill necessitates that next year’s fiscal session will convene in April, rather than February.

  • May 13, 2015

    Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) is planning to call lawmakers into a special session May 26 to consider a bond issue to attract a military assembly program for joint readiness training vehicles. Lawmakers also may consider other government streamlining measures and legislation to change the primary election date. The special session is expected to last one week.

  • April 23, 2015

    After recessing April 2, lawmakers returned to Little Rock yesterday to officially adjourn the 2015 regular session sine die. During the session, legislators cut income tax rates for certain residents, authorized the use of federal funds to assist low-income residents in purchasing health insurance, and tightened restrictions on abortion while relaxing those on conceal-carry permits.

    Also approved was a measure to require those who repeatedly fail the driver’s exam (four or more times) to pay a $5 fee for each subsequent exam. Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until May 15 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 03, 2015

    Lawmakers completed regular floor sessions of the 2015 regular session after approving income tax cuts, a workforce development measure, and Medicaid expansion for approximately 200,000 residents. Legislators also approved a revised Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a new $5.18 billion state budget, and legislator pay raises. The General Assembly will reconvene May 8 to consider potential vetoes from Governor Asa Hutchinson (R), and officially adjourn sine die.  

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 90th General Assembly, where the Republicans retain control of both chambers. In addition to consideration of the state budget and tax cuts, lawmakers are expected to consider Medicaid expansion, prison overcrowding, lottery reform, and economic growth.

    The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-March. Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson will be inaugurated Tuesday. Hutchinson has indicated that the middle-class tax cut and economic growth are his priorities.

California

  • December 05, 2016

    Lawmakers convened the 2017-18 regular session Monday. During the bulk of the legislative session that begins in January, legislators are expected to consider education funding, the minimum wage, and healthcare coverage. 

    The Democrats now enjoy a supermajority in both chambers. Kevin Deleon (D) remains the Senate president pro tempore, while Anthony Rendon (D) took the oath as the new Assembly Speaker. The session normally runs through September.

  • September 01, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the final floor session of the 2015-2016 regular session late Wednesday. During the biennial, legislators approved measures to combat climate change, allow assisted suicide for the terminally ill, and strengthen vaccination efforts for public school children. Also approved were a new reserve fund for revenues and a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour by 2022.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on a comprehensive plan to solve the state’s transportation problems, including hikes in the gasoline and diesel tax and new fees to partially finance the plan. Governor Jerry Brown (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until September 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk. The session officially adjourns sine die November 30.

  • January 04, 2016

    Lawmakers return today to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider matters not considered in 2015, including a smoking ban, a hike in the minimum wage, and expanded family leave provisions. Also on the agenda will be increased early education funding, additional social programs, and increased gun control measures.

    Governor Jerry Brown (D) is expected to release his new budget plan this week, which is expected to focus on healthcare and infrastructure funding. The regular session is scheduled to conclude August 31.

  • September 13, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session early Saturday after approving a climate change protection proposal and a measure to allow assisted suicide. Legislators also approved a ballot measure to increase the sales tax by a half-cent to assist anti-gridlock efforts, as well a bill to combat oil spills.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on an anti-tobacco package; including measures to raise the smoking age to 21, restrict e-cigarettes, and increase the tobacco tax by two dollars per pack. Lawmakers also failed to pass a new tax on health plans to buttress Medi-Cal, which faces a drop-off in federal funding.

    The legislature returns in January, however legislators could reconvene the still-active special sessions (regarding healthcare and infrastructure improvements) during the interim. Governor Jerry Brown (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until October 11 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • June 24, 2015

    Governor Jerry Brown (D) called two special session to address funding for the state’s infrastructure (including highways and bridges), and to address healthcare funding. Legislation has been introduced that would utilize $1 billion in annual truck weight fees. Legislative leaders have indicated bonding proposals are unlikely to be considered, but increases in fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees will be considered.

Colorado

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers convene to 2017 legislative session today with a GOP-controlled Senate and a Democrat-controlled House. Legislators are expected to consider the $28 billion state budget, infrastructure improvements, economic development, and energy development. The General Assembly normally adjourns in early May.

  • May 12, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the 2016 regular session late yesterday after approving limited expansion of liquor sales, allowing out-of-state marijuana shop owners, and the sunsetting of certain HIV-related penalties. Legislators also approved a measure to allow the state to engage in higher yield yet riskier investments with public school money.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on infrastructure improvement funding and budget reforms. Governor John Hickenlooper (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until June 11 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 13, 2016

    Lawmakers meet today in Denver to usher in the 2016 regular session. The session is expected to focus primarily on the state’s budget, infrastructure improvements, education financing, and Planned Parenthood funding. Legislators are also expected to consider job creation and affordable housing. The session is scheduled to adjourn May 4.

  • May 07, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a measure to reduce the amount of state-mandated student testing, a pay raise for elected officials, a workforce development package, and body cameras for law enforcement. Legislators also approved a ballot measure to determine how to proceed with $58 million in retail marijuana taxes, and an extension of medical marijuana regulations until 2019.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on curtailing red-light cameras and photo radar, a fetal homicide bill, and an earlier presidential primary. Governor John Hickenlooper (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until June 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers convene today in Denver to begin the 2015 regular session. The GOP regains control of the Senate, while the Democrats regain control of the House. The General Assembly is expected to consider tax collections pursuant to the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR), education funding, and Marijuana regulation. Legislators also are expected to focus on fracking restrictions.

    The General Assembly is slated to adjourn the regular session May 6. Governor John Hickenlooper (D) will be inaugurated for his second term January 13.

Connecticut

  • January 04, 2017

    The 2017 regular session of the General Assembly convenes today. While the House remains in Democrat control, the Senate is currently tied at 18-18 (Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman-D holds the tiebreaker). Lawmakers are expected to focus on crafting the $20 billion budget, while addressing an estimated $1.4 billion deficit. The General Assembly also will consider infrastructure improvements, tolls on Interstate highways, and marijuana legalization. The session is slated to adjourn in early June.

  • September 24, 2016

    Governor Dannel P. Malloy (D) has announced a special session, beginning September 28, to consider a $220 million agreement to retain Sikorsky Aircraft’s headquarters in the state. A tentative agreement reached with the company provides $220 million in grants and tax exemptions over 14 years to manufacture approximately 200 CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters.

    Legislative Republican leaders indicated that they might push for other measures during the special session, including a requirement that the legislature vote on every public-sector union contract and a state bonding cap.

  • May 06, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Wednesday, after approving medical marijuana, firearms restrictions for subjects of restraining orders, and opioid prescription restrictions. Legislators also approved retirement account protections, enhanced penalties for drivers who hit pedestrians, and availability of teacher records for investigative purposes.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on direct sales of Tesla motor vehicles, in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, and a gambling impact study. Legislators will return to the capitol May 12 for a special session to finalize the budget. Governor Dannel Malloy (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • February 03, 2016

    Lawmakers return today to Hartford to convene the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider a $20 billion state budget (with a projected $7.1 million deficit), job growth and economic expansion, infrastructure improvements, and a new Indian casino near the Massachusetts border. Also on the agenda are funds for municipalities and streamlining of local governments. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn May 4.

  • December 09, 2015

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session Tuesday, approving a constitutional amendment to protect transportation funding (to be decided in 2018) and approving $350 million in budgetary adjustments. The budget legislation prescribes a $19 million corporate tax reduction, $196 million in spending cuts, and $136 million in new revenue sources.

    The Republican minority failed in their attempts to change legislative rules addressing the way legislators vote on union contracts and a recalculation of the spending cap.

  • December 04, 2015

    Despite the failure of legislative leaders of both parties to reach an agreement on closing a $350 million budget deficit, Governor Dannel Malloy (D) felt enough progress had been made and called the legislature into a special session beginning December 8 to close the gap. Also on the agenda will be alteration of certain business taxes to keep GE from moving out-of-state from its Fairfield headquarters.

  • June 30, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded a one-day special session yesterday, after approving a budget implementation bill that postpones some recently-approved business tax increases, creates a statutory appropriations “lockbox” for transportation funding, and appropriates $30 million to hospitals. However, the General Assembly balked at granting the governor the authority to make future unilateral budget cuts. Legislators also approved medical marijuana, prison reform, and increased law enforcement accountability.

  • June 29, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today for a special session to finalize the $40.3 billion biennial state budget with implementation language to reflect the cuts needed to close a spending gap. Legislators also will consider Governor Dannel Malloy’s (D) “Second Chance” prison reform legislation and a measure to address the use of force by law enforcement. Legislative leaders indicate the special session will likely last one day.

  • June 04, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday, after approving a two-year, $40 billion budget that raises corporate and personal income taxes, restrictions on e-cigarettes, and enhanced child sex abuse reporting requirements. Legislators also approved a ban on revenge porn and enhanced penalties for voyeurism.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on measures to prohibit firearms for persons subject to a restraining order and to address lethal use-of-force by law enforcement. A special session is likely in the near future to consider certain unfinished legislation. Governor Dannel Malloy (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 07, 2015

    The 2015 regular session of the General Assembly convenes today. Lawmakers are expected to focus on crafting the $20 billion budget, while addressing an estimated $1 billion deficit. The General Assembly also will consider infrastructure improvements, economic growth, and domestic violence prevention. The session is slated to adjourn June 3. Governor Dannel Malloy (D) will be inaugurated for his second term today as well.

Delaware

  • January 18, 2017

    John Carney (D) was inaugurated as the 74th governor of Delaware Monday, succeeding Jack Markell (D). Carney is expected to stress economic development and resolution of a $350 million budget deficit as priorities. Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long (D) also took her oath of office.

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 149th General Assembly. In addition to swearing in legislators, lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of proposals to address the projected $350 million state budget deficit and related revenue shortfalls. Legislators also are slated to consider education funding, healthcare funding, and infrastructure improvements. Governor-elect John Carney will be inaugurated January 17. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn in late June.

  • July 01, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session early Friday morning after approving a $4.1 billion budget, $45.8 million in grants to non-profit organizations (including the Girl Scouts, fire companies, and drug treatment programs), juvenile justice reforms, and an infrastructure improvements package. Legislators also approved measures to increase penalties for driving while texting, reduce the impact of standardized testing in teacher evaluations, strengthen the charter school auditing process, and place health centers in the state’s remaining high schools.

    Governor Jack Markell (D) has signed the budget bills into law. The governor has until July 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers will re-convene today in Dover to begin the 2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to hear Governor Jack Markell’s (D) budget address later this month and begin consideration of proposals to reform the criminal justice system to make sentences fairer. Legislators are also slated to consider body cameras for law enforcement, a repeal of the death penalty, and job creation. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn by late June.

  • July 01, 2015

    The 2015 regular session adjourned early Wednesday morning after lawmakers approved a new $3.9 billion state budget and a $456 million capital projects budget. In the budget, the General Assembly restored appropriations for farmland preservation, city streets, and local transportation. Legislators also approved additional funds for state employee health care and public education, and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on assistance for casinos, open-space remediation, or certain crime prevention programs. Governor Jack Markell (D) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until July 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 148th General Assembly. In addition to swearing in legislators, lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of proposals to address the state budget deficit and related revenue shortfalls. Legislators also are slated to consider education funding, privatization of the Port of Wilmington, and infrastructure improvements. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn in late June.

Florida

  • March 07, 2017

    The legislature convenes today for the annual regular session. Lawmakers are expected to consider education, economic growth and water management. Legislators are also expected to tackle the $83.5 billion budget, lobbying reforms, medical marijuana expansion, and a new gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. The session is expected to adjourn May 5.

  • November 21, 2016

    Lawmakers will return to the capitol on Tuesday to organize the 2017 regular session. The rank and file are expected to elect Senator Joe Negron (R) and Richard Corcoran (R) as the new Senate president and House speaker, respectively; replacing Senator Andrew Gardiner (R) and Steve Crisafulli (R) in those roles. Corcoran is expected to institute new House rules to increase budget transparency and restrict lobbyists.

    Legislators are expected to consider school choice, health care funding, responding to the Zika virus, and addressing the Pulse nightclub shootings when the legislative session convenes March 7.

  • March 14, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Friday after approving a new $82.3 billion state budget, economic incentives to help Tallahassee International Airport land JetBlue, and funding for Florida A&M, Florida State, and Tallahassee Community College. Legislators also approved the “Legacy Florida Act,” which commits a minimum of $300 million over the next 20 years to clean up the Everglades and restore natural springs.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a $1 billion tax cut, a $250 million economic development fund, a Seminole gaming compact, and the establishment of a state Surgeon General. Governor Rick Scott (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol Tuesday to begin the 2016 regular session. This year the agenda includes the state budget, a water quality protection bill, and measures to help mainstream the disabled. Legislators also are expected to consider tax and spending cuts. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn May 2.

  • November 06, 2015

    Lawmakers ended a special session today after failing to finalize a Senate redistricting plan. Legislative leaders indicated that "Fair Districts" amendments – approved by a referendum in 2010 that prohibits gerrymandering – contain too many contradictory standards, making a finalized map impossible. Like the congressional district maps, the State Senate plan will likely be settled in the courts. Other legislators have proposed establishing an independent commission to handle the reapportionment duties.

  • October 19, 2015

    Lawmakers return to Tallahassee today to convene the third special session of the year to consider Senate redistricting. The GOP currently holds a 26-14 majority in the chamber while the Democrats enjoy a 400,000 edge in voter registration. In July, the Senate agreed that the 2010 Fair Districts amendment to the state constitution – requiring contiguous, compact, and impartial district boundaries - was not being followed correctly.

  • August 21, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the second special session today without reaching an agreement on new congressional district boundaries, as mandated by the state Supreme Court. A House plan could not garner enough Senate support, creating the stalemate. The consensus is that the court will complete the redistricting process. A third special session, to redraw the State Senate districts, is scheduled to convene October 19.

  • July 29, 2015

    Lawmakers indicated this week that they will hold a special session October 19 to November 6 – in addition to the special session scheduled in August – to reconsider the State Senate redistricting plan. While the State Supreme Court has not invalidated the current plan, legislative leaders acknowledged that a redrawing would be likely necessary due to the precedent set by the court.

  • July 21, 2015

    Lawmakers will return to Tallahassee August 10 for a special session to reconsider the state’s 27 congressional districts. This was deemed necessary when the state Supreme Court ruled that the current redistricting plan was unconstitutional. The state legislature redistricting plan is being challenged in a separate case and an additional special session may be called if the challenge is successful.

    To forestall suspicion of improper influence peddling, legislative leaders have prohibited the redistricting staff from contact with most outside persons, or from openly discussing the deliberations. The legislature expects to wrap up the special session August 12.

  • June 22, 2015

    Lawmakers completed the June special session late Friday, after approving a $78.7 billion budget for the new fiscal year and avoiding a state government shutdown. The budget includes spending for projects at Florida A&M University and Florida State University, while excluding state employee pay raises and Medicaid expansion. The new budget also kept state pension levels constant.

  • May 07, 2015

    Lawmakers in the House and Senate have tentatively agreed to convene a special session June 1- 20 to complete consideration of the state budget, as mandated by the state constitution. Legislators have not yet agreed to any additional agenda items, however Medicaid expansion and environmental protection have been discussed as potential topics.

  • May 04, 2015

    The 2015 regular session ended quietly on Friday, after the state Supreme Court rendered a moot decision that the House adjournment last Tuesday was too early. The adjournment left many high-profile issues unsettled, including the state budget, Department of Corrections reforms, and revamped water policies. The legislature is likely to reconvene in the near future to resolve the outstanding issues from the session. Medicaid expansion is also a possible agenda item; however the House has indicated its strong opposition to considering a plan.

    During the session, legislators did reach an agreement on setting the presidential primary on the third Tuesday in March, establishing a date-certain start of the school year, and increased funding for environmental protection. Governor Rick Scott (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 03, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Tallahassee for the 2015 regular session, expected to run until May 1.

    Items on the agenda include the $77 billion state budget with several tax cuts, a repeal of the ban of firearms at colleges, and education funding. Legislators also are expected to consider new funding for water and land acquisition, legalization of certain marijuana oils to assist those with seizures, and the creation of a state corrections commission to investigate prison conditions and violent incidents.

Georgia

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Atlanta for the 2017-2018 regular session. The legislature is expected to address the state budget and consider issues such as education spending and health care. Also on the agenda are illegal immigration, firearms rights, and casino gaming. Medicaid expansion is not likely to secure passage. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late March.

  • March 25, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session a few moments after midnight Thursday. During the session, they approved a requirement of a search warrant to fly drones over private property, a measure to prohibit financial institutions from refusing services to legal gun or ammunition sellers, and legislation to allow students over 18 to carry stun guns on college campuses. Legislators also approved expedited processing of rape kits, a bill to protect opponents of gay marriage, as well as changes to teacher evaluations and standardized testing.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on medical marijuana expansion and a citizenship requirement for serving on local boards. Governor Nathan Deal (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until May 4 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today for the 2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to address performance-based teacher salaries, casino gaming, and campaign finance reform. Legislators also will consider a half-penny sales tax increase, and a high-speed rail line for northern Fulton County. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late March.

  • April 03, 2015

    The 2015 regular session concluded late yesterday, after lawmakers approved a new $40 billion state budget, a $900 million infrastructure improvement package, and assistance for children with autism. Legislators also approved medical marijuana for treatment of certain illnesses, direct sales for craft breweries, and an expansion of a tax credit for historical building restoration.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on a contentious religious freedom measure. Governor Nathan Deal (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until May 14 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Atlanta for the 2015-2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to address the state budget and consider issues such as education spending and health care. Also on the agenda are medical marijuana legalization and infrastructure improvements. Governor Nathan Deal (R) will be inaugurated for his second term today as well. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late March.

Hawaii

  • January 18, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today in Honolulu to begin the 2017 legislative session. Legislators are expected to consider energy independence, economic growth, improved working conditions, and assisting the commercial fishing fleet this year. Also on the agenda are closing a budget deficit, public pensions, and rail transit costs. The session is expected to adjourn in early May.

  • July 21, 2016

    Lawmakers voted Wednesday to override Governor David Ige’s (D) veto of SB 2077, preserving the management transfer of three Maui County hospitals to Kaiser Permanente. The new law allows severance benefits or early retirement incentives for affected workers.

  • July 13, 2016

    Lawmakers called themselves into a rare special session yesterday in order to consider an override of Governor David Ige’s (D) veto of legislation that assists employees of three local hospitals subject to an October 1 takeover by Kaiser Permanente. The affected hospitals are Maui Memorial, Kula Hospital and Clinic, and Lanai Community Hospital. The bill grants the affected employees a choice of early retirement or a severance payment. Governor Ige indicated that he thought the bill provided excessive payouts.

    Legislative leaders recessed the special session until July 18 in order to prepare an amendment before proceeding with any override votes.

  • May 06, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Wednesday, after approving measures to prohibit sex trafficking and prevent homelessness, as well as a $100 million program to climate-control 1000 classrooms. Legislators also approved legislation to allow terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs, however it was vetoed by the governor.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on regulations on fantasy sports, rules for operating drones, renewable energy rebates, police accountability, and a measure to allow women to obtain birth control from pharmacists. Governor David Ige (D), who does not  possess a pocket veto, has until June 20 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 20, 2016

    Lawmakers return today to convene the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to focus on health care and education funding, reducing homelessness, and increasing the minimum wage. Also on the agenda are infrastructure improvements, mental health reform, and enhanced access to health care. The legislature is expected to adjourn in early May.

  • May 08, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late Thursday after approving a new $26 billion budget, a measure that requires the state to attain 100% renewable energy by 2045, and legislation prohibiting sex trafficking. Legislators also approved a medical marijuana dispensary bill, as well as tax credits for high-technology industry and food assistance for low-income residents.

    Before the session ended, the Senate replaced President Donna Mercado Kim (D) with Ron Kouchi (D). Governor David Ige (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until July 13 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

Idaho

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2017 session. After receiving Governor Butch Otter’s (R) State of the State address, the legislature is expected to consider several issues, including Medicaid expansion, public school funding, infrastructure improvements, and tax cuts. The legislature will likely adjourn by mid-March.

  • March 26, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session this week (the Senate on Thursday, the House on Friday), after approving large education funding increases and an $8 million transfer for a possible broadband Internet contract settlement. Legislators also approved a prohibition against the sale or donation of aborted fetal tissue, a statewide DNA tracking system for sexual assault crimes, and a measure to allow concealed carry of firearms in cities without a permit.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a $22.6 million tax cut measure for the state’s top earners or Medicaid expansion. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until April 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2016 session. After receiving Governor Butch Otter’s (R) State of the State address, the legislature is expected to consider several issues, including school choice, Medicaid expansion, urban renewal and infrastructure improvements, and broadband Internet expansion. The legislature will likely adjourn by the end of March.

  • April 13, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session early Saturday after approving a pay raise for teachers, broader conceal-carry allowances for firearms, and a provision that prohibits doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs via telemedicine. Legislators also approved a $95 million transportation funding package that raises fuel taxes by seven cents per gallon, and a measure to make the Idaho giant salamander the state amphibian.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on legalization of marijuana oil for child epilepsy treatment, a measure to move the state presidential primary to March, and Medicaid expansion. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until April 23 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015 session. After receiving Governor Butch Otter’s (R) State of the State address, the legislature is expected to consider several issues, including Medicaid expansion, restoration of public school funding, infrastructure improvements, and broadband Internet expansion. The legislature will likely adjourn by the end of March.

Illinois

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers adjourned the 99th General Assembly late Tuesday without an agreement on a permanent state budget, or consensus on an income tax hike, term limits, and pension reform. The 100th session begins today with newly-elected Representatives and Senators being sworn in. The Democrats remain in control of both chambers.

  • January 13, 2016

    Lawmakers convene today to begin the 2016 regular session basically where the 2015 session recessed: without a budget agreement in place. Legislative leaders are not optimistic that an agreement is close. Lawmakers are also expected to consider a measure to allow recall efforts against the mayor of Chicago, the $111 billion pension debt, body cameras for law enforcement, and regulations for fantasy sports gambling. The legislature normally concludes floor sessions in late May.

  • June 01, 2015

    The 2015 regular session was slated to adjourn yesterday, however lawmakers were unwilling to send a $36 billion (approximate) state budget to Governor Bruce Rauner (R) which he was likely to veto. Legislators also are stuck on issues such as workers’ compensation reform, a property tax freeze, term limits, and tort reform. Accordingly, the General Assembly will be meeting in intermittent sessions during the summer months.

    With the legislative session proceeding past May 31, supermajorities are now required to pass legislation. Legislative leaders have indicated that a final adjournment date is not known at this time.

  • January 12, 2015

    Governor-elect Bruce Rauner (R) will be inaugurated as the state’s 42nd governor today in Springfield.  Rauner has indicated that his administration will focus on criminal justice reform, education funding, infrastructure improvements, and economic development. Lawmakers officially conclude the 2013-2014 regular and start the 2015-2016 session Wednesday. The legislature is expected to run through late May.

  • January 08, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene for a special session today to consider legislation that would automatically trigger a special election for the comptroller's office (as well as the secretary of state, treasurer, and attorney general) if they become vacant with 28 months or more remaining in their terms. Former Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka won re-election in November, but died in December before beginning her second term.

    Governor-elect Bruce Rauner (R) indicated that he should have the authority to appoint fellow Republican Leslie Munger as her successor after he begins his term January 12.

Indiana

  • January 10, 2017

    Eric Holcomb (R) was inaugurated as the 51st governor of Indiana Monday, succeeding Mike Pence, who will be sworn in as the Vice President of the United States in 10 days. Holcomb stressed that the state needs to maintain the “pioneer spirit” that defined the state for 200 years, and named education, transportation, and economic growth as priorities. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch (R) also took her oath of office.

  • January 03, 2017

    Senators will convene today (the House convenes tomorrow) in Indianapolis to begin the 2017 regular session as Republicans retain majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Legislators are expected to address the $31 billion state budget, with planned increases for pre-school education and transportation funding. The legislature also is expected to consider social issues such as abortion, transgender restroom access, and the elimination of firearms permits.

    Governor-elect Eric Holcomb (R) will be inaugurated January 9. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn by April 29.

  • March 14, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session Thursday, after approving incremental increases in the medical malpractice cap by 2018, extension of the school voucher application window, and a measure to prohibit abortions due to the fetus being diagnosed with Down Syndrome or other disabilities. Legislators also approved $800 million in infrastructure improvements and repealed the ISTEP test in 2017.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a measure to expand the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered residents. Governor Mike Pence, who does not possess a pocket veto, has seven days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 05, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today in Indianapolis to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to address several issues; including civil rights related to sexual orientation and gender identification, infrastructure improvements, and standardized testing in schools. Combating a teacher shortage and requiring prescriptions for pseudoephedrine are also on the agenda. The legislature is slated to adjourn March 10.

  • April 30, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday, after approving a new two-year $31 billion budget, slight increases in education spending, a new grant for charter schools, and legislation to allow riverboat casinos to operate on land.

    Legislators also approved a contentious religious freedom measure, additional funding for infrastructure improvements and domestic violence prevention, and a repeal of the common construction wage law. Governor Mike Pence (R) -- who does not possess a pocket veto -- has seven days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Indianapolis to begin the 2015 regular session as Republicans retain supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature. Legislators are expected to address the $29 billion state budget and gambling expansion. The legislature also is expected to consider allowing the purchase of alcohol at grocery stores on Sunday, changes in the education funding structure, and protections for business owners’ religious beliefs. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn April 15.

Iowa

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today to begin the 2017-18 regular session as the Republicans have retaken control of the Senate (while retaining control of the House). Lawmakers are expected to consider infrastructure improvements, voter ID, and a revamping of collective bargaining laws for state employees. Also on the agenda are abortion restrictions and expansion of religious liberties. The legislature is slated to adjourn in late April or early May.

  • May 02, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Friday after approving a $7.3 billion state budget, business tax breaks to foster economic growth, and infrastructure improvements. Legislators also approved timely funding procedures for education and enhanced Medicaid oversight.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on funding for water quality improvement projects, legalization of medical marijuana, and de-funding Planned Parenthood. Governor Terry Branstad (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until May 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to focus primarily on approving a $7 billion state budget, education spending, and Medicaid expansion. Legislators are also expected to consider workforce development and Planned Parenthood funding. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-April.

  • June 08, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session yesterday after approving a $7.3 billion state budget, a uniform August 23 start to the school year, and increased education funding. Legislators also approved an increase in the state gasoline tax, and broadband Internet service for rural communities.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on a plan to combat school bullying, restricting the use of eminent domain in a crude oil pipeline project, and expansion of firearm rights. Governor Terry Branstad (R) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until July 8 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers convene today to begin the 2015-16 regular session. As in the last session, the Republicans control the House, while the Senate remains in Democrat hands. Lawmakers are expected to consider infrastructure improvements, broadband Internet expansion, and workforce development. Also on the agenda are voter ID, medical marijuana, and income tax relief.

    Governor Terry Branstad (R) will also be inaugurated for his second term today. The legislature is slated to adjourn in late April.

Kansas

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to gavel in the 2017-2018 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider closing a projected $345 million budget deficit, education spending, economic growth, and pension reform. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late May.

  • June 27, 2016

    Lawmakers completed a two-day special session Friday after approving a bi-partisan compromise education finance measure. The legislation utilizes proceeds from the sale of Kansas Bioscience Authority assets to grant $38 million in additional school equity spending. Governor Sam Brownback (R) has indicated that he plans to sign the measure into law.

  • June 02, 2016

    Lawmakers officially adjourned the 2016 regular session yesterday without responding to last week’s state Supreme Court decision that invalidated the current school funding formula. The court ruled in Gannon v. Kansas that the most recent changes to school finance create “intolerable, and simply unfair, wealth-based disparities” among the school districts. Legislators also voted overwhelmingly to override a gubernatorial veto of legislation that streamlines the process for appealing decisions by the Board of Tax Appeals.

    The school funding situation is currently in flux, with a special session scheduled for June 23 in order to possibly resolve the issue by the imposed June 30 deadline. Without a final arrangement, the court could act to close the schools and precipitate a constitutional crisis among the legislature, Governor Sam Brownback (R), and the state Supreme Court. Several of the justices are up for retention votes in the November general election.

  • May 02, 2016

    The legislature ended regular floor sessions early Monday after narrowly passing a $6.3 billion budget with a $22 million projected spending gap. Governor Sam Brownback (R) is expected to sign the budget into law after making several line-item reductions. Legislators also approved restrictions on local governments from enacting rental inspection and nutrition labeling laws, a measure to hastens the effective date of a new property tax lid for local governments, and a reduction of penalties for marijuana possession.

    As the floor sessions ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a welfare reform bill. The legislature is expected to return June 1 to consider vetoes from the governor and ceremonially adjourn sine die.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers will re-convene today to gavel in the 2016 regular session. Besides the state budget, legislators are expected to consider state budget adjustments, school funding, and spending cuts. Legislators are also expected to consider a reduced grocery tax, a measure to allow conceal carry on college campuses, and funding for additional prison guards. The legislature is expected to adjourn by early April.

  • June 15, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the longest regular session in the state’s history late yesterday, after approving a $432 million increase in consumption (i.e. sales and cigarette) taxes in order to address a $400 million budget deficit. The deal keeps three-year-old business tax exemptions in place. Governor Sam Brownback (R) indicated that he is likely to sign the bill into law. The legislature returns June 26 to officially adjourn the regular session sine die.

  • April 03, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the bulk of the 2015 regular session late Thursday without approving a new budget plan that had been nearly finalized on Wednesday. Legislative sources indicate that the sticking point is a package of new taxes to fund the state for the next fiscal year, including taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. The plan also hinges on adoption of a tax amnesty plan and a $1 billion bond issue to reduce payments into the public employees’ pension fund.

    As the regular session paused, lawmakers did approve increased regulations for social services and a measure to allow the concealed carry of firearms without a permit. Legislators return April 29 to consider potential gubernatorial vetoes and to finish the session.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to gavel in the 2015-2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider closing a projected budget deficit, education spending, economic growth, and pension reform. Governor Sam Brownback (R) will be inaugurated for his second term today as well. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late May.

Kentucky

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today in Frankfort to begin the 2017 regular session, with the Republicans set to take control of the House for the first time in nearly a century. Legislators are expected to consider issues such as infrastructure improvements, right-to-work legislation, and economic improvement. Also on the agenda is governmental transparency. After this week, the session will go on hiatus until February 7 and is scheduled to adjourn by March 30.

  • April 18, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the 2016 regular session late Friday, after approving the so-called “Work Ready” scholarship program for community college students, a revamped driver’s license to comply with federal Real ID requirements, and a revenue bill to finance state operations. Legislators also approved funding for infrastructure improvements and enhanced penalties for trafficking or possessing synthetic drugs..

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a transparency bill for public oversight of certain governmental programs, a halt to Planned Parenthood funding, and increased campaign contribution limits. Governor Matt Bevin (R) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until April 27 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 05, 2016

    Lawmakers convene the 2016 regular session Tuesday. Legislators are expected to consider a biennial $21 billion state budget, and issues such as the state pension system, charter schools, and voting rights for felons. Legislators are also expected to consider education spending, tort reform, and the minimum wage. Governor Matt Bevin (R) was inaugurated December 8, 2015. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn April 12.

  • December 08, 2015

    Governor Matt Bevin (R) was inaugurated at 12:01 AM Tuesday, succeeding Steve Beshear (D), who was term-limited, to become the state’s 62nd governor. Jenean Hampton (R) also was inaugurated as the commonwealth’s lieutenant governor. The public swearing-in ceremony takes place later today.

    Governor Bevin campaigned on repealing much of his predecessor’s health care reforms, including Medicaid expansion and the state-run health exchange, citing affordability as the primary reason. Bevin’s first major chore will be to prepare a new biennial budget that addresses large projected state pension plan deficits and expands Medicaid benefits (despite his desire for its repeal).

  • March 25, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session early Wednesday morning after approving measures to combat heroin addiction and extend protection orders to dating partners. Legislators also approved a gas tax freeze to buttress the Road Fund and require children age 8 and younger to use booster seats in vehicles.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on legislation to allow high school students to serve on superintendent screening committees or to shuffle $50 million to the teacher pension fund, which is facing a $14 billion unfunded liability. The pension matter will be studied by a task force during the interim. Governor Steve Beshear (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 10 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 12, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the regular floor debates for the 2015 regular session late Wednesday, after approving measures to allow school districts to waive some mandatory instruction hours due to inclement weather and waiving the excise tax on certain live wagering at the Breeders’ Cup World Championship. Legislators also reached an agreement on the elimination of dog fighting and fracking regulations.

    As the regular floor debates ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on combating heroin addiction, a constitutional amendment to allow municipalities to increase sales taxes for major projects, a statewide smoking ban in public places, and a budgetary fix for the teacher pension fund. The legislature returns March 23 for a two-day veto session, then official adjournment sine die.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers convene today in Frankfort to begin the 2015 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider issues such infrastructure improvements, redrawing circuit court boundaries, and voting rights for felons. Also on the agenda is a potential increase in the minimum wage. After this week, the session will go on hiatus until February 3 and is scheduled to adjourn by March 24.

Louisiana

  • February 23, 2017

    Lawmakers concluded the special session late yesterday, after reaching an agreement on closing the state’s $304 million budget deficit. Legislators appropriated $99 million from the rainy day fund, made $82 million in spending cuts, and made adjustments to current spending levels in other departments. The deal aligns closely to the proposal set by Governor John Bel Edwards (D).

  • February 13, 2017

    Lawmakers are convening today, two months before the regular session, to consider a plan to close a $304 million deficit in the state’s $27 billion budget. Foregoing new taxes as a solution, Governor John Bel Edwards (D) has proposed spending cuts to hospitals, State Police, the attorney general's office, and the courts, as well as a  $119 million rainy day fund transfer. While Senate leaders indicate general agreement on such proposals, the House leadership has stated it would like deeper cuts rather than a rainy day fund transfer.

    The Senate may also take up an expulsion resolution against Senator Troy Brown (D), who has pleaded nolo contendere to two separate charges of domestic abuse within the past four months. The special session must adjourn by February 22.

  • June 24, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the second special session this year after approving a $263 million budget, $55 million for colleges and universities, and 70 percent of requested funding for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). Governor John Bel Edwards (D) had prescribed $600 million. The lesser amounts will likely mean spending cuts to balance the ledger. As the special session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on raising $88 million through a sunset in an individual income tax break.

  • June 07, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Monday without reaching an agreement on the state construction budget. The issue, as well as the lingering $600 million budget shortfall, will be considered in the special session that began immediately after the regular session adjournment. The special session is  expected to adjourn by June 23. The budget needs to be completed by July 1.

    As the regular session ended, legislators did approve certain second-trimester abortions and prohibitions against forced Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, streamlined concealed carry permits for domestic violence victims, access to online screen names of registered sex offenders, and increased availability of medical marijuana.

  • March 15, 2016

    After completing a three-week special session that did little to resolve an estimated $800 million budget deficit, lawmakers returned to the Capitol yesterday to begin the regular session. Due to legislative rules prohibiting tax increases during the second-year session, a second special session will likely be necessary in June to close the gap.

    Legislators are expected to consider the TOPS college scholarship program, education funding and charter schools, as well as abortion restrictions and Medicaid expansion curtailment. Also on the agenda are reforms to prisons and sentencing guidelines. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn June 2.

  • February 08, 2016

    Governor John Bel Edwards (D) has called lawmakers into special session, beginning February 14, to close a projected $750 million spending gap. Legislators also may consider higher education funding. Governor Edwards is proposing a mixture of tax increases and budget cuts to resolve the deficit. The special session is expected to adjourn by March 9, five days before the March 14 start of the regular session.

  • January 11, 2016

    John Bel Edwards (D) was inaugurated as the states 56th governor today, succeeding the term-limited Bobby Jindal (R). In his inauguration remarks, Edwards indicated that he would focus on fixing budget problems, addressing the state’s economic climate despite falling oil prices, Medicaid expansion, and improving education standards.

    Earlier in the day, the House elected Taylor Barras (R), a former Democrat, as its new Speaker, defeating Walt Leger (D), who was Governor Edward’s choice. The move was seen as an apparent snub to the new governor (traditionally, the governor wields considerable clout in who gets the Speakership, regardless of majority status in the chamber). John Alario (R) was elected as Senate president.

  • June 12, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday, after approving legislation to close a $1.6 billion spending gap in the state’s $24 billion budget with a higher cigarette tax and several tax credit rollbacks. Legislators also approved additional elementary and higher education funding, lesser marijuana penalties (as well as legalized medicinal marijuana), and an increase in the vehicle title fee.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on elimination of Common Core education standards. The issue will be revisited in 2016. Governor Bobby Jindal (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 20 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 13, 2015

    Lawmakers convene today for the 2015 regular. Legislators are expected to consider the state budget, continuation of the public school test program, and same-sex marriage. Also on the agenda are marijuana legalization, abortion restrictions, and film tax credits. The regular session is scheduled to conclude June 11.

Maine

  • December 08, 2016

    Lawmakers were sworn in for the 128th Legislature by Governor Paul LePage (R) Wednesday. Chamber control remains split, with the Democrats retaining control of the House and the GOP in charge of the Senate. The state officers were also re-elected: Treasurer Terry Hayes, Attorney General Janet Mills, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap and State Auditor Pola Buckley. In the House, Sarah Gideon (D) was elected Speaker, while Mike Thibodeau (R) was elected as Senate president.

    After swearing in the members, Governor LePage addressed the legislature, renewing his call to revisit the income tax levy and minimum wage raise measure passed by the voters in November. The regular session normally adjourns in mid-June.

  • May 02, 2016

    The Maine General Assembly completed its 2016 deliberations with a Friday veto session. During the session, lawmakers approved measures to deal with the opioid-addiction crisis, an overhaul of the Bureau of Veterans’ Services, and legislation to establish a Lewiston-Auburn passenger rail line. Legislators sustained a gubernatorial veto of a bill that would boost solar energy programs, while overriding a veto on increased jail funding

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on education funding, property tax reductions, and Medicaid expansion under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

  • January 06, 2016

    Lawmakers will reconvene today to begin the second regular session of the 126th Legislature. Legislators are expected to focus on approving a supplemental budget to close projected spending shortfalls. Legislators are also expected to consider combating the opioid addiction epidemic, Medicaid expansion, restrictions on videotaping at polling places, and workforce training initiatives. The session is slated to adjourn by early June.

  • August 10, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned an extended and contentious regular session July 16 after preserving Governor Paul LePage’s (R) veto of a measure to limit the governor’s control over land conservation bonds. However, the legislature refused, with the backing of Attorney General Janet Mills (D), to acknowledge 65 other vetoes, claiming that the governor missed the 10-day veto deadline. 

    UPDATE (08/07/15): The Supreme Judicial Court decided that the 65 gubernatorial vetoes that were challenged by the legislature are invalid since the governor filed his objections beyond the constitutionally-prescribed deadline.

     

Maryland

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Annapolis to begin the 2017 regular session. In addition to addressing an estimated $400 million budget shortfall, legislators are expected to address several issues, including paid sick leave, incentives for manufacturing, fracking, and transportation. The legislature is slated to adjourn in April.

  • April 12, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the 2016 regular session late Monday, after approving an overhaul of the state’s criminal justice policies that focuses on rehabilitation and treatment (instead of incarceration), and eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses. Legislators also approved measures to enhance police accountability, funding for inner-city needs, and a $37.5 million tax break for Northrup Grumman.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on income tax decreases, legalized daily fantasy sports betting, and measures to prevent lead poisoning. Governor Larry Hogan (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until May 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 13, 2016

    The Maryland General Assembly convenes today in Annapolis. Lawmakers are expected to focus on passing a $17.1 billion state budget, as well as education funding, protecting the pension system, and right-to-die legislation. The General Assembly may also vote to override Governor Larry Hogan’s (R) vetoes on bills to decriminalize marijuana and to allow felons on parole or probation to vote, The session is slated to adjourn in early April.

  • April 14, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a new $40.5 billion budget with increased education and health care funding, a halt on tax increases, and a measure eliminating gubernatorial discretion in limiting future education funding. Legislators also reached an agreement on approximately $805,000 in bond bills for several organizations, a ban on fracking, and the creation of a task force to consider the fate of Crownsville Hospital Center.

    Also approved were a repeal of the “rain tax” and a watered-down charter school measure. Governor Larry Hogan (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until June 2 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 21, 2015

    Larry Hogan (R) will be inaugurated today as Maryland’s 62nd governor.  Hogan has indicated that his main focus will be on getting tax cuts enacted and closing a projected $750 million budget deficit with spending decreases.  The new governor also has placed economic growth on the agenda. Governor Hogan will elaborate on his budget priorities Thursday.

  • January 14, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Annapolis to begin the 2015 regular session. In addition to addressing an estimated $200 million budget shortfall, legislators are expected to address several issues, including tax cuts as proposed by Governor-elect Larry Hogan (R), charter schools, bail reform, and sick leave. Governor-elect Hogan will be inaugurated for his first term January 21. The legislature is slated to adjourn April 13.

Massachusetts

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers in the General Court officially concluded the 2015-2016 regular session on Wednesday and convene today for the 190th (2017-2018) session. Legislators are expected to consider issues such as addressing revenue shortfalls, a revamp of how the state finances transportation, increased gun control, and stemming increased health care costs. The Democrats retain their majorities in both chambers; Robert DiLeo is expected to remain as Speaker while Stan Rosenberg is expected to remain as Senate president.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers in the General Court officially concluded the 2013-2014 regular session on Wednesday and convene today for the 189th (2015-2016) session. Legislators are expected to consider issues such as addressing revenue shortfalls, a revamp of how the state finances transportation, increased gun control, and stemming increased health care costs. The Democrats retain their majorities in both chambers. Governor-elect Charlie Baker (R) will be inaugurated for his first term January 8.

Michigan

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2017-2018 regular session. After swearing in ceremonies, the legislature is expected to address teacher pension changes and no-fault insurance adjustments. Legislators also are expected to consider retiree benefits, recidivism in the criminal justice system, and infrastructure improvements. The legislature normally meets throughout the year.

  • January 14, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015-2016 regular session. After swearing in ceremonies, the legislature is expected to address job creation, energy independence, and regulatory reform. Legislators also are expected to consider a potential income tax cut, infrastructure improvements, and revisiting the prevailing wage law.

    Governor Rick Snyder (R) was inaugurated for his second term January 1. The legislature normally meets throughout the year.

Minnesota

  • January 03, 2017

    The State Legislature convenes today to begin the 2017-2018 regular session, with the GOP regaining control of the Senate and retaining control of the House. Lawmakers are expected to consider a $42 billion state budget, health care costs, and transportation funding. Also on the agenda are tax cuts, easing regulatory restrictions on forestry and energy, and Sunday liquor sales.

  • May 23, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Sunday night, after failing to reach an agreement on a transportation funding proposal and an infrastructure improvements package, including mass transit funding. Legislators could not agree on a measure to comply with the federal Real ID program.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were able to approve $1.1 billion in new state spending and $259 million in tax cuts. The new funding provides for prekindergarten, rural broadband Internet development, and economic growth. Legislators also approved body cameras for law enforcement. Governor Mark Dayton (D), who possesses a pocket veto, has until June 7 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 08, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today to begin the 2016 regular session.  Legislators are expected to consider small adjustments to the $41.5 billion state budget as well as bonding bills for infrastructure improvements, transportation and education funding, and tax cuts. Also on the agenda is compliance with federal Real ID standards, changes in drug offense sentencing, and police body cameras. The regular session is slated to adjourn May 23.

  • June 15, 2015

    Lawmakers completed the one-day special session early Saturday morning after approving a $42 billion budget (including funding for schools, economic development, and capital projects), and an environmental and agricultural protection bill. Governor Mark Dayton (D) has indicated that he will sign the measures into law.

  • June 12, 2015

    After reaching a tentative agreement with legislative leaders, Governor Mark Dayton (D) has called lawmakers into a special session today to finalize the budget. The legislature will consider a $190 million environmental protection and agriculture funding package, passage of which is unclear at this time. The special session is expected to last one day.

  • May 19, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the 2015 regular session overnight after approving a workforce development bill, and a $17 billion education funding bill. Governor Mark Dayton (D) has indicated he is likely to veto the education funding measure due to a lack of sufficient prekindergarten expansion for children age four. Legislators also approved a measure to allow counties to bypass the state auditor’s office by hiring private auditing firms.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a $107 million bonding bill for Capitol renovation, tax cuts, or a substantial transportation funding package financed by a new gas tax. A special session to resolve unfinished business is very likely, according to legislative sources and the governor’s staff. Governor Dayton – who possesses a pocket veto – has until June 2 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 06, 2015

    The State Legislature convenes today to begin the 2015-2016 regular session, with the GOP regaining control of the House (the Democrat-Farmer-Labor party retains power in the Senate).  Lawmakers are expected to consider a new state budget with possible tax cuts, repealing the minimum wage inflation index, and medical marijuana expansion. Also on the agenda is increased oversight of the state health care exchange, infrastructure improvements, and school choice. Governor Mark Dayton (D) was inaugurated for his second term Tuesday.

Mississippi

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today for the 2017 regular session and are expected to focus on crafting the new $6 billion state budget with tax cuts, education funding changes, and the reality of stagnant revenues. Legislators are also expected to consider infrastructure improvements, creation of a state lottery, and education funding. The session is scheduled to adjourn in early April.

  • June 30, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the two-day special session Wednesday, after the House agreed to a measure to allow Governor Phil Bryant (R) to access up to $349 million in rainy day funds to close a current budget deficit. While the exact amount is unknown at this time, legislative leaders do not expect the governor to take more than $60 million in funds. House Democrats unsuccessfully sought to amend the legislation to provide more funding for health and mental health services.

  • June 27, 2016

    Governor Phil Bryant (R) has called lawmakers into a special session Tuesday to authorize him to transfer money from the rainy day fund to the general fund to cover up as much as $75 million in the current spending gap. Governor Bryant has also made several budget cuts to buttress the anticipated funding maneuver. The special session is expected to last one or two days.

  • April 21, 2016

    The 2016 regular session ended after the House adjourned (the Senate adjourned Wednesday). Lawmakers approved a $6 billion budget that cuts state spending across the board due to lesser revenues, $415 million in business and income taxes, and legislation allowing for denial of services based on religious objections. Legislators also approved education reform legislation and a measure allowing the possession of alcoholic drinks outside bars.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on allocating BP settlement funds for coastal areas. Governor Phil Bryant (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 15 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • February 05, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the one-day special session late yesterday, after reaching an agreement on an economic incentives package that includes $274 million in borrowing and tax breaks to assist both Continental Tire in building a manufacturing plant in Hinds County and Edison Chouest in investing in shipyards at Gulfport.

  • February 04, 2016

    Lawmakers are convening a special session today, concurrent with the regular session, to approve economic incentives to lure a $1.45 billion Continental Tire manufacturing plant to Hinds County, and a shipping operation to Gulfport. The two projects are expected to constitute the largest economic development deal in the state’s history, adding 3,500 jobs to the employment rolls and $1.5 billion in private investment.

  • January 05, 2016

    The Mississippi Legislature convenes today for the 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to contend with balancing the state budget as well as infrastructure improvements, body cameras for police, child custody reform, and protections against terrorism. Legislative leaders indicate that issues such as enhanced DUI penalties and human trafficking will also be considered. The legislature is slated to adjourn May 8.

  • April 02, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session – three days ahead of schedule – after approving a measure to require school principals to certify results of standardized tests, and legislation to remove corrections employees from civil service protection. Legislators also approved the annual budget transfer bill and education vouchers for students with special needs.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on increased funding for a workforce training program, prompting Governor Phil Bryant (R) to indicate that he might call the legislature into special session later this year to address the issue. Governor Bryant – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 15 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today for the 2015 regular session and are expected to focus on crafting the new state budget with tax cuts, education funding changes, and reform of the state contracting system. Legislators are also expected to consider infrastructure improvements, school choice, and Common Core adjustments. The session is scheduled to adjourn in early April.

Missouri

  • January 10, 2017

    Eric Greitens (R) took the reins of Missouri’s executive branch Monday, succeeding Jay Nixon (D) as Missouri’s 56th governor. Greitens indicated that criminal justice and economic development will be priorities in his administration. Soon after the ceremonies, The new governor signed an executive order banning lobbyist gifts to executive branch employees.

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Jefferson City to begin the 2017 regular session. With Republican majorities in both chambers, legislators are expected to craft a state budget without tax increases. While economic issues are expected to be the main focus of the session, the General Assembly also is slated to consider other issues such as school choice and right-to-work legislation. Governor-elect Eric Greitens (R) will be inaugurated January 9. The session is expected to conclude mid-May.

  • September 15, 2016

    Lawmakers returned to the capitol yesterday to consider Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) vetoes during the 2016 regular session. Legislators overrode gubernatorial vetoes on legislation that eliminated the need for conceal-carry permits and a Voter ID law. Also overridden were measures to exempt Yoga classes and dance studios from the state sales tax and to allow Medicaid providers to impose a missed appointment fee under certain circumstances.

    The legislature left intact a veto of a bill to allow trucking companies to test special technology to reduce fuel costs.

  • January 06, 2016

    The 2016 regular session begins today as lawmakers return to Jefferson City. Legislators are expected to consider economic development, infrastructure improvements, right-to-work measures, ethics reform, and Planned Parenthood funding. The session is scheduled to adjourn May 30.

  • May 18, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded regular floor sessions Friday after approving a $26 billion budget, a $300 million bonding plan for Capitol improvements, and a measure instituting a time restraint on welfare benefits. Legislators also approved $3.6 million in Medicaid provider taxes and right-to-work legislation that prohibits mandatory union dues collection.

    As the floor sessions ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on annual inspections of abortion clinics and a rewrite of deadly force standards for law enforcement. The legislature will hold pro forma sessions during the last week of May and officially adjourn sine die May 30. Governor Jay Nixon (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until July 15 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 14, 2015

    House Speaker John Diehl (R) announced today that he is resigning both the Speakership and his House seat by the end of the week. The announcement came after Diehl acknowledged that he exchanged text messages of a sexual nature with a legislative intern. Majority Leader Todd Richardson (R) has been elected as the new speaker.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Jefferson City to begin the 2015 regular session. With Republican supermajorities in both chambers, legislators are expected to craft a state budget without tax increases. While economic issues are expected to be the main focus of the session, the General Assembly also is slated to consider other issues such as infrastructure improvements and ethics reform. The session is expected to conclude mid-May.

Montana

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers convened Monday to begin the 2017 regular session. Legislators are expected to focus on economic development, a proposed $4.7 billion budget from Governor Steve Bullock (who was inaugurated for his second term this week), and health care. As the GOP enjoys majorities in both chambers, Austin Knudsen (R) remains the House Speaker and Scott Sales (R) is the Senate president. The legislature is slated to adjourn by late April.

  • April 28, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session today. During the session, legislators approved Medicaid expansion for low-income residents, the Flathead tribal water-rights compact, and campaign finance reforms, especially a measure to enhance campaign finance reporting. Also approved were a three-percent spending increase cap and increased education funding.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were not able to reach an agreement on a $150 million infrastructure funding bill. Governor Steve Bullock (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 10 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 05, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015 regular session. Legislators are expected to focus on economic development, Medicaid, and charter schools. Legislative sources indicate that issues such as natural resource development, tax relief extensions, and infrastructure improvements will also be on the agenda. Austin Knudsen (R) will be sworn in as the new House Speaker. The legislature is slated to adjourn by late April.

Nebraska

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Lincoln to begin the 2017-2018 regular session. Legislators are expected to address several issues, including a new state budget, ethics reform and transparency, health and human services funding, and job creation. The legislature is slated to adjourn in early June.

  • April 21, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the 2016 regular session yesterday, after approving a revised state budget that holds spending growth to 3.6 percent, property tax relief for residents and farm owners, and funding to complete the state highway system. Senators also approved prison reform and increased education funding.

    As the session concluded, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on Medicaid expansion. The Senators also upheld Governor Pete Ricketts’ (R) veto of a measure to transfer redistricting duties from the legislature to an unelected commission. Governor Ricketts indicated that the move violated the constitution. The legislature did override a veto of a measure to offer two-year, renewable work permits to illegal immigrants.

  • January 06, 2016

    The 2016 regular session begins today in Lincoln.  Lawmakers expect to consider property and income tax cuts, education funding, and an overhaul of the state prison system to reduce overcrowding. Senators are also expected to consider infrastructure improvements and Medicaid expansion. Lawmakers expect to adjourn the session April 20.

  • June 01, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session a week early on Friday, after approving a two-year budget with a reserve of $684 million, an overhaul of the state’s criminal justice system, and a repeal of the death penalty. Legislators also approved a gas tax increase and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on Voter ID. Governor Pete Ricketts (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has five days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Lincoln to begin the 2015-2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to address several issues, including a new state budget and a $50 million spending gap, prison overcrowding, health and human services funding, and job creation. The legislature is slated to adjourn in early June. Governor-elect Pete Ricketts (R) will be inaugurated for his first term January 8. Ricketts has indicated that his main priority is reducing property taxes.

Nevada

  • February 06, 2017

    Lawmakers return to Carson City today to convene the 79th regular session. Legislators are expected to consider a tax on recreational marijuana, cybersecurity, and education funding. Also on the agenda are the state budget and economic growth.  The democrats will control both chambers this year and the session is expected to wrap up on June 5.

  • October 17, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded their special session late Friday after approving a measure that increases the Las Vegas-area hotel tax to raise $400 million for Las Vegas Convention Center renovations and $750 million to build an NFL-ready football stadium, presumably to lure both UNLV and the Oakland Raiders.

    Legislators also approved legislation that allows the Clark County Commission to raise the county sales tax by one-tenth of one percent to finance more police. Governor Brian Sandoval is very likely to sign the bills into law.

  • October 07, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene in Carson City  Monday to consider a plan to utilize public funding to build a 65,000-seat professional football stadium in Las Vegas (to lure the  NFL’s Oakland Raiders). The plan also calls for expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center and additional Metro Police officers to patrol the strip. Governor Brian Sandoval (R) has removed a proposal to adjust the hotel tax to close an education funding gap from the agenda.

  • December 21, 2015

    Lawmakers completed their special session late Saturday after approving an economic benefits package to lure Faraday Future – a $1 billion electric car manufacturer – into building a plant in North Las Vegas. Governor Brian Sandoval (R) signed the measure into law shortly after the special session adjourned. The approved legislative package includes $215 million in tax abatements and transferrable tax credits, as well as $175 million in infrastructure improvement bonds for the projected site. The manufacturer indicated that they intend to produce cars by 2017.

    Legislators also passed an unexpected school choice resolution, expressing the legislature’s intent to exempt military families and children under age seven from the 100-day rule to receive state funds to attend private schools.

  • December 16, 2015

    Governor Brian Sandoval (R) has called the legislature into a special session today to consider a tax incentive package to lure Faraday Future, an electric car manufacturer, to the state. Sandoval is requesting lawmakers to approve $217 million in tax abatements and transferable tax credits for businesses that invest a minimum of $1 billion in capital.

  • June 02, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a $1.1 billion tax package, a $7 billion budget, and a prevailing wage exemption for school construction bonds. Legislators also approved body cameras for law enforcement, incentives for new teachers, and a live entertainment tax.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a minimum wage increase. Governor Brian Sandoval (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until June 12 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • February 02, 2015

    Lawmakers return to Carson City today to begin the 2015 regular session. After the opening-day swearing-in ceremonies, legislators are expected to consider combating Internet pornography, permitting firearms on school grounds, and raising the sheep tax.

    Also on the agenda are education funding, raising the speed limit on certain highways, and infrastructure improvements. The session is expected to adjourn in early June.

New Hampshire

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers meet today in Concord to begin floor sessions of the 2017 regular session, with Republicans retaining control of the House and Senate. Legislators are expected to consider several issues -- most notably addressing the state budget deficit, education funding, and child protective services. Governor Chris Sununu (R) will be inaugurated for his first term January 5. The General Court is slated to adjourn the regular session by late June.

  • June 17, 2016

    Lawmakers returned to the capitol yesterday for a one-day special session to approve a $1.5 million appropriation to law enforcement programs to combat the opioid crisis. The measure was signed into law later Thursday by Governor Maggie Hassan (D).

    Legislative leaders felt the special session was necessary to revive the grant program after it was spiked earlier this month over a disagreement over whether state employees over 65-years-old must begin paying some of their health care premiums.

  • June 03, 2016

    Lawmakers ended floor sessions for the 2016 regular session on Wednesday, after approving Medicaid expansion and business tax cuts. Legislators also approved additional funding for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and drug abuse prevention programs, and a prohibition against bestiality.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on banning so-called “conversion therapy” that targets homosexual minors, as well as  additional funding for law enforcement to combat drug dealers themselves. The General Court will return to the capitol June 16 to reconsider the law enforcement funding bill.

  • January 06, 2016

    Lawmakers return today to usher in the 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to consider economic development, Keno legalization, gun licensing, and drone regulation. Legislators are also expected to consider the repeal of mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses and body cameras for law enforcement personnel. The General Court is expected to be in session until mid-June.

  • November 19, 2015

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session yesterday, after approving the establishment of a joint legislative task force to consider legislation to combat opioid addiction. Governor Maggie Hassan (D) called the special session to consider a comprehensive legislative package before the 2016 regular session, but GOP legislative leaders opted for the task force. The task force will issue an interim report December 21 and a final report January 6. The reports will focus on enhanced penalties for opioid possession, standardizing insurance coverage, and increased scrutiny on monitoring standards.

  • November 06, 2015

    Governor Maggie Hassan (D) has called on lawmakers to convene a special session, beginning November 18, to approve $11.1 million in new heroin and opioid addiction programs. Legislative leaders have indicated that they feel the problem is too complicated, and that appropriations need to be carefully considered, to reach a quick legislative solution.

  • September 21, 2015

    Lawmakers ended a three-month impasse on the state budget last Wednesday when they overrode Governor Maggie Hassan’s (D) veto and enacted a new, $11.35 billion biennial budget. The new budget appropriates funding for budget priorities such as opioid treatment and prevention, a two percent pay raise for state employees, infrastructure improvements, and business tax cuts. As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a reauthorization of Medicaid expansion.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers meet today in Concord to begin floor sessions of the 2015 regular session, with Republicans regaining control of the House and retaining control of the Senate. Legislators are expected to consider several issues -- most notably addressing the state budget deficit, education funding, and state pensions. Governor Maggie Hassan (D) will be inaugurated for her second term January 8. The General Court is slated to adjourn the regular session by late June.

New Jersey

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers will officially conclude the 2014-2015 session and start the 2016-2017 session today in Trenton. As the 2014-15 session concluded, legislators were able to reach agreement on ballot measures to require state funding of the pension system, expand gaming in the northern part of the state, and dedicate all gas tax revenues to transportation projects.  Legislators also approved a measure to require “smart guns,” a prohibition on selling tobacco and vaping products to persons under age 21, and a bill to require law enforcement to obtain warrants to use drones.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on changing the state’s redistricting process. Legislative leaders have indicated that increased funding for substance abuse and mental health programs and a 15-year plan to take over Atlantic City will be considered in the new (2016-2017) session.

New Mexico

  • March 20, 2017

    Lawmakers completed the 2017 regular session on Saturday, after reaching an agreement on a $6.1 billion budget that includes $350 million in tax increases and a measure that changes the gross receipts tax law. Governor Susana Martinez (R) has indicated she will veto the budget, making a subsequent special session very likely in the near future. Legislators also approved the creation of an independent ethics commission ballot measure for 2018, limits on the small-loan industry to help consumers, more campaign finance disclosures for so-called “dark money” groups, and an increase in the minimum wage (which Martinez has also vowed to veto).

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on capping interest on payday loans, background checks on most firearms transactions, and expanded early childhood education. Governor Martinez, who possesses a pocket veto, has until April 7 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • January 18, 2017

    Lawmakers convened Tuesday in Santa Fe to begin the 2017 regular session, as the Democrats re-gained control of the House (the Senate also remains in the control of the Democrats). After the ceremonial swearing-in of legislators, the legislature is expected to focus on expansion of the “three strikes” law, extension of the prohibition of asking about felony convictions on job applications, marijuana legalization, and increased funding for early childhood programs. The session is scheduled to adjourn March 18.

  • October 07, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded their special session yesterday after approving a financial solvency package to rectify the current budget deficit. Anti-crime measures proposed by Governor Susana Martinez (R), including the reinstatement of capital punishment in the state, were approved by the GOP-controlled House, but not considered by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

  • February 19, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the 2016 regular session yesterday after approving a $6.2 billion budget, $166 million in infrastructure improvement spending, regulations on ride-booking services such as Uber, and legislation to require student athletes to wait longer to return from concussions. Legislators also passed a Real ID Act compliance measure.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on the creation of an ethics commission, mandatory retention for third-graders who cannot read proficiently, pension forfeiture for corrupt public officials, and a gas tax hike. Governor Susana Martinez (R) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until March 9 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • January 19, 2016

    Lawmakers return to Santa Fe today for the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to address the $6.5 billion state budget, right-to-work legislation, expansion of the “three-strikes” law, and enhanced DUI penalties. Also on the agenda are legalization of marijuana, increased teacher salaries, and the creation of Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses. The 30-day session is scheduled to adjourn February 18.

  • June 09, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the one-day special session yesterday after approving a $295 infrastructure improvement package, tax incentives designed to stimulate economic growth, and emergency funding for state courts ($300,000) and the Department of Health ($4 million). Governor Susana Martinez (R) is expected to sign the measures into law.

  • June 04, 2015

    Lawmakers will return to the capitol June 8 for a short special session. The agenda is likely to include a public works bill, a $295 million capital construction bill, and $3000,000 in supplemental funding for both court administration and the Department of Health.

  • March 23, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session Saturday after approving a new $6.2 million state budget, a new gambling compact with the state’s Indian tribes, and a prohibition against civil asset forfeiture. Legislators also approved a measure to make certain hospital pricing information publicly available on the Internet by 2018.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on tax cuts and a $264 million public works package to fund school construction and other infrastructure improvements. Governor Susana Martinez (R) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until April 10 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • January 20, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Santa Fe to begin the 2015 regular session. For the first time in nearly 60 years, the Republicans will assume control of the House (the Senate remains in the control of the Democrats).

    After the ceremonial swearing-in of legislators and Governor Susana Martinez’s (R) state of the state address, legislators are expected to focus on the $6.3 billion state budget, the minimum wage, right-to-work, and voter ID. The session is expected to adjourn March 21.

New York

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers officially concluded the 2015-2016 regular session yesterday, and meet today to start the 2017-2018 session. While the Assembly is in firm Democrat control, the GOP has retained control of the Senate, governing in a coalition with seven independent Democrats. Legislators will receive Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) State of the State address in the near future, however a specific date remains undetermined. The legislature meets throughout the year.

  • June 20, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the Spring Session of the legislature on Friday, after approving pension forfeiture for convicted legislators, more openness regarding school finances, and charter school adjustments. Legislators also voted for a hike in the minimum wage to $15 and to force New York City to delay enactment of a five-cent fee on plastic bags.

    As the floor sessions ended, however, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) proposals for ethics reform, in the wake of legal troubles of former Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R). The legislature also failed to agree on an affordable housing program, and an extension of mayoral oversight of schools in New York City. The regular session does not officially adjourn until January, 2017. Lawmakers could return in the summer or fall if needed.

  • January 06, 2016

    Lawmakers return today for the 2016 regular session. The Legislature is expected to receive Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) for his State of the State Address next week, which will likely include his call for a $15 minimum wage for state university employees. Legislators are expected to consider education funding, paid family leave, and increased gun control measures. The legislature usually recesses in June.

  • June 26, 2015

    Lawmakers recessed the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving legislation that extends rent regulations in New York City and its suburbs, extends mayoral control of New York City’s schools for one year, and grants the governor the power to officiate at weddings. Legislators also approved a property tax rebate program, a reassessment of standardized testing, and funding for nonpublic schools.

    As the session recessed, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on criminal justice reforms. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until July 26 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 12, 2015

    John Flanagan (R) was elected by his colleagues yesterday to succeed Dean Skelos (R) as the Senate majority leader. Flanagan defeated John DeFrancisco (R) for the post. Skelos stepped aside after being charged in a corruption probe. Skelos will maintain his seat as a rank-and-file Senator.

  • January 28, 2015

    Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) will relinquish his post on Monday, February 2. Under an apparent arrangement brokered by the Democratic members, current Majority Leader Joe Morelle (D) will assume the mantle until a permanent speaker can be elected by the Assembly on February 10. Morelle is expected to be a candidate for the position, as well as Keith Wright (D) and Carl Heastie (D).

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers officially concluded the 2013-2014 regular session yesterday, and meet today to start the 2015-2016 session. While the Assembly is in firm Democrat control, the GOP has regained control of the Senate. Legislators will receive Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) State of the State address in two weeks as a result of the death of Governor Cuomo’s father. The legislature meets throughout the year.

North Carolina

  • January 11, 2017

    With the Republicans retaining majorities in both chambers of the legislature, lawmakers convene today to begin the 2017-2018 regular session. House Speaker Tim Moore (R) and Senate president Phil Berger (R) will continue in their leadership roles. Legislators are expected to prepare the state budget and consider jobs creation, economic growth, tax incentives, and streamlining state government.

  • December 22, 2016

    The fifth special session ended without result after lawmakers could not reach an agreement on repealing House Bill 2, the so-called “bathroom bill” (the Senate defeated a repeal measure, while the House did not vote on it). The House version of the repeal measure would have combined it with a six-month moratorium on municipal ordinances that would allow free gender identification in public restrooms, as passed – and rescinded -- by the City of Charlotte earlier this year.

  • December 19, 2016

    Governor Pat McCrory (R) has called lawmakers into a fifth special session Wednesday – the third within a week – to repeal House Bill 2, the controversial “bathroom bill” passed earlier this year. The call comes as the Charlotte City Council has repealed an ordinance that would have allowed an open policy toward gender identification and public restroom use.

  • December 16, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the second special session of the week after approving legislation to substantially limit the incoming governor’s appointment power, subject cabinet appointments to legislative confirmation, and to reform the state’s lobbying industry. Governor Pat McCrory (R) is expected to sign the lobbying measure into law.

  • December 14, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the third special session of the year on Wednesday, after approving a $200 million flood relief package. However, legislators immediately convened a fourth special session to consider as yet unknown issues, with rumors that a measure to curtail Governor-elect Roy Cooper’s (D) powers, additional state supreme court changes, and deregulation may be on the agenda. Legislative Democrat leaders officially protested the maneuver as being unconstitutional.

  • December 05, 2016

    Governor Pat McCrory (R) announced a special session, beginning December 13, to address flood relief from Hurricane Matthew earlier this year. Another potential topic for consideration would be disaster relief from recent wildfires. Legislative leaders are currently awaiting word from Washington on how much federal aid may be allotted to the state.

  • July 05, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Friday after approving a small change to the controversial “bathroom bill” approved in the March special session to ensure workers can bring civil suit for discriminatory termination. Legislators also approved procedures for using police body camera footage, “Achievement School Districts” for certain low-performing schools, and a $22.3 billion budget that raises teacher and state worker salaries, enhances the rainy day fund, and increases standard income tax deductions.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on regulatory reform, background checks for new teacher licensees, and several new environmental rules. Governor Pat McCrory (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until July 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 25, 2016

    Amid the controversy over the recent special session, that saw the enactment of the so-called “bathroom bill,” lawmakers return to the capitol to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider teacher salaries, budget revisions, and regulatory reform during the short session, which is expected to last until late June. Also on the agenda is education spending, mental health and substance abuse prevention programs, and infrastructure improvements.

  • March 24, 2016

    The one day special session adjourned yesterday after lawmakers approved a measure that prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances to allow gender use flexibility in public restrooms. The action was in response to an ordinance passed by the City of Charlotte, which allowed such use. Republican legislators feared the local ordinance would enable men, including sex offenders, to use the law to gain access to women’s restrooms.

    Governor Pat McCrory (R) signed the measure into law after the special session.

  • March 22, 2016

    Lawmakers have called themselves into a one-day special session Wednesday to consider legislation that would overturn Charlotte’s LGBT ordinance. The measure would negate a recently-passed ordinance (set to go into effect April 1) that prohibits LGBT discrimination, but legislative leaders insist that the so-called “bathroom bill” would be abused by criminals pretending to be transgendered. The ordinance also prohibits denial of services by private businesses due to religious objections.

    Governor Pat McCrory (R) declined to call a special session, indicating his concern that the special session legislation would go further than necessary, however Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest (R) and House Speaker Tim Moore ( R) invoked a seldom used constitutional provision to act on their own accord.

  • February 19, 2016

    Lawmakers completed this week’s special session after approving new congressional district boundaries (to satisfy a federal panel of judges who ruled the existing lines unconstitutional), and a measure to delay the state’s congressional primary from March 15 to June 7. The rest of the primary elections will proceed as planned on March 15.

  • February 18, 2016

    Lawmakers will meet today in a rare special session to reconfigure the boundaries for the state’s congressional districts. The changes were necessitated by a panel of federal judges who ruled that the current lines for two of the districts (the first and twelfth) were unconstitutional. The new proposal is expected to maintain the current split of 10 Republicans and three Democrats. Legislators are also expected to consider a measure to delay the March 15 congressional primary.

  • September 30, 2015

    After meeting months longer than anticipated, the General Assembly finally adjourned the 2015 regular session early this morning. Lawmakers approved term limits for the UNC Board of Governors, an earlier presidential primary, and a $2 billion bond referendum for higher education and infrastructure improvements. Legislators also approved measures to curb environmental regulations, expand the “Good Samaritan” law, and establish an animal welfare hotline in the Attorney General’s Office.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on restricting local governments from enacting certain ordinances and transferring more funds from public schools to charter schools. Governor Pat McCrory  (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until October 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk. The 2016 regular session convenes April 26.

  • January 14, 2015

    With the Republicans retaining majorities in both chambers of the legislature, lawmakers convene today to begin the 2015-2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to prepare the state budget and consider jobs creation, economic growth, tax incentives for the film industry, and streamlining state government.

North Dakota

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Bismarck to begin the 2017 session. After receiving Governor Doug Burgum’s (R) State of the State address (his first), the legislative assembly is slated to consider a $4.7 billion, two-year budget plan that includes state worker reductions. Legislators also are expected to consider the opioid addiction epidemic, prison overcrowding, and the Dakota Access pipeline. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn by early May.

  • August 05, 2016

    The legislative assembly concluded a three-day special session yesterday, after reaching an agreement on legislation to close an estimated $310 million budget deficit. The measure leaves a projected $28,000 general fund balance. Democratic members attempted to restore certain human services funding to no avail, including money for behavioral health, nursing homes, and addiction treatment. Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) signed the bill into law shortly after passage.

  • July 13, 2016

    Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) is calling lawmakers back to the capitol, tentatively August 2-5, for a special session to close a budget deficit projected at approximately $310 million. Legislative leaders are likely to propose an authorization of certain emergency fund transfers (excluding human services and K-12 education accounts). Much of the shortfall is a result of declining sales tax collections tied to energy production.

  • June 15, 2015

    Lawmakers will return to the capitol Tuesday to complete consideration of a public employee pension bill (SB 2022) left unresolved at the end of the regular session in late April. Earlier, a special committee reworked the existing legislation, resolved continuing funding issues, and increased the PERS board from seven members to nine. The reconvened session is expected to last one day.

  • April 30, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the 2015 regular session late yesterday after failing to reach an agreement on funding for the Retirement and Investment Office and Public Employees Retirement System. The legislature did complete consideration of the remaining parts of the $14.4 billion two-year state budget. A special session could be called later this year to revisit the outstanding funding issues if the state is not allowed to use a continuing appropriation to fill the gap.

    During the session, lawmakers approved funding for oil patch infrastructure and several tax cuts, including those on property, income, and corporate property. Also approved were expansion of pre-kindergarten programs and measures to combat human trafficking. Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) -- who does not possess a pocket veto -- has 15 days upon transmittal (excluding weekends) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Bismarck to begin the 2015 session. After receiving Governor Jack Dalrymple’s (R) State of the State address, the legislative assembly is slated to consider a two-year budget plan that includes tax relief, funds for infrastructure improvements, higher education, water projects, and property tax reductions. Legislators also are expected to consider Common Core adjustments and a measure to prevent the governor from appointing Congressional replacements. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn by early May.

Ohio

  • January 03, 2017

    Legislators in the Buckeye State convened Monday to begin the 132nd General Assembly. Cliff Rosenberger (R) returns as House Speaker, while Larry Obhof (R) takes the reins as the Senate president. The main issues will be the biennial state budget and streamlining government. Other areas of focus will be Medicaid issues, and combating the opioid abuse epidemic. The 2015-2016 session is active throughout the year. 

  • January 05, 2015

    Legislators in the Buckeye State convene today to begin the 131st General Assembly, as Cliff Rosenberger (R) takes the reins as the new Speaker of the House. The main issues will be the $52 billion, biennial state budget and streamlining government. Other areas of focus will be tax reform, Medicaid, and regulation of charter schools. Governor John Kasich (R) will be inaugurated for his second term January 12. The 2015-2016 session is active throughout the year. 

Oklahoma

  • February 06, 2017

    Lawmakers convene the 2017 regular session today. After receiving Governor Mary Fallin (R) to hear the State-of-the-State address, legislators will consider the budget deficit, social assistance, judicial appointments, and corrections funding. The main focus of the session is expected to revolve around education issues; including school choice, education funding, and teacher accountability. The session normally adjourns by late May.

  • May 28, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session Friday after approving a $6.78 billion budget that decreases state spending for public safety, education, and human services. Governor Mary Fallin (R) is expected to sign the budget into law next week. Legislators also passed a measure to prohibit physicians from performing abortions, however the legislation was vetoed by the governor.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a $1.50 per-pack cigarette tax, tax increases on sales and gasoline, and a measure to use federal funds to help subsidize health care for those with low-incomes. Governor Fallin, who possesses a pocket veto, has until June 11 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • February 01, 2016

    Lawmakers return to Oklahoma City today to convene the 2016 regular session, where the primary focus is likely to be on a projected $900 million budget deficit, an income tax cut, and revenue stream flexibility. Legislators are expected to consider other issues, including Real ID driver’s license standards, school choice, and school district consolidation. Governor Mary Fallin (R) will deliver her State-of-the-State Address today. The regular session is expected to adjourn by late May.

  • May 26, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session a week earlier than expected, after approving a $7.1 billion state budget, a $25 million bond issue for a popular-culture museum in Tulsa, and a ban on texting and driving. Legislators also approved measures to discourage doctor shopping for prescriptions, nitrogen asphyxiation as an alternative execution method, and increased regulations on abortions in the state.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on measures to allow education vouchers (school choice) and prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual preference or gender identification. Governor Mary Fallin (R) -- who possesses a pocket veto – has until June 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • February 02, 2015

    The 2015-2016 regular session begins today in Oklahoma City. Lawmakers are expected to consider economic growth, requiring DUI offenders to have auto insurance, and allowing the sale of refrigerated high-point beer. Legislators also may consider wind farm subsidies, tax cuts, and infrastructure improvements. The session is expected to adjourn in late May.

Oregon

  • February 01, 2017

    Lawmakers are set to begin the 2017 legislative session today in Salem. Legislators are expected to focus on a projected $1.7 billion deficit in the state budget, a transportation funding package, and a lack of affordable housing. Also on the agenda are economic growth, infrastructure improvements, and permanent funding mechanisms. The session is expected to adjourn by July 10.

  • March 07, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 session March 3 – three days earlier than expected. During the session, legislators approved a three-tiered hike in the minimum wage (for rural counties, Portland, and the rest of the state), a measure to switch reliance on coal to renewable energy sources, and a package of bills to alleviate the state’s housing crisis.

    As the session ended, lawmakers did not approve measures to remove wolves from the endangered species list, license tobacco dealers, and enhance the state firearms background check system. Governor Kate Brown (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until April 11 to sign or veto the remaining legislation that reached her desk.

  • February 01, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the short 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to consider issues such as increasing the minimum wage, gun control, and doubling the lodging tax. Lawmakers also are expected to consider housing affordability and switching from coal power to alternative energy sources. The session is expected to wrap up by early March.

  • July 07, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late Monday after approving easier access to medical marijuana and a campaign finance task force. Legislators also approved measures to expand student aid for the children of illegal immigrants and require school districts to report their immunization rates.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a transportation funding package, a two-year moratorium on hemp production,  and a so-called “Christmas tree” bill that allocates surplus funding. This legislation will be taken up in the 2016 legislative session. Governor Kate Brown (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until August 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • February 02, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 78th Legislature, as the Democrats retain control of both chambers. The legislature is slated to consider issues such as transportation funding and infrastructure improvements, carbon limits in motor fuel, and firearms background checks. Also on the agenda for legislators are the state budget, economic development, and job creation. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late June.

Pennsylvania

  • January 03, 2017

    The Pennsylvania General Assembly convened Tuesday in Harrisburg to begin the 2017-2018 session. While today’s activities are mostly reserved to the swearing in of legislators and other ceremonial duties, lawmakers will begin the normal routine of considering legislation – with an emphasis on resolving the budget deficit - and crafting the annual budget later this year. Legislators also are expected to consider economic development, public pension reform, and liquor privatization.

    Governor Tom Wolf will present his budget address February 7. The General Assembly meets throughout the year.

  • January 20, 2015

    Tom Wolf (D), a business owner and relative political newcomer, will be inaugurated today as the commonwealth’s 47th governor. Wolf has tapped many previous officeholders from former Governor Ed Rendell’s (D) administration, including Kathleen McGinty and Mary Isenhour (Governor Wolf himself served as Governor Rendell’s revenue secretary). Governor Wolf faces a projected $2.3 billion budget deficit, a decision on continued fracking for natural gas, and a General Assembly controlled by the Republicans.

  • January 06, 2015

    The Pennsylvania General Assembly convened Tuesday in Harrisburg to begin the 2015-2016 session. While today’s activities are mostly reserved to the swearing in of legislators and other ceremonial duties, lawmakers will begin the normal routine of considering legislation – with an emphasis on resolving the budget deficit - and crafting the annual budget later this year. Legislators also are expected to consider economic development, public pension reform, and liquor privatization. The General Assembly meets throughout the year. Governor-elect Tom Wolf (D) will be inaugurated January 20.

Rhode Island

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers meet today in Providence to usher in the 2017 session. Nicholas Mattiello (D) and M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D) are expected to be reelected House speaker and Senate President, respectively.

    The General Assembly is slated to consider the state budget without tax increases, economic improvement and job creation, and Medicaid expansion. Legislators also are expected to consider marijuana legalization and increasing the minimum wage. The General Assembly is slated to adjourn by late June.

  • June 20, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session early Saturday morning – two weeks earlier than scheduled – after approving a new $8.9 billion state budget. A last-minute referendum proposal, to grant the governor a line-item veto, was scrapped. Legislators also approved measures to prevent brothels using the euphemism “massage parlors,” combat the opioid overdose crisis, and specify who must report child sex abuse in schools.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on certain probation and parole reforms, as well as marijuana legalization. Governor Gina Raimondo (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until June 28 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • January 05, 2016

    Lawmakers convene today to usher in the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider an overhaul of the state pension system, Governor Gina Raimondo's (D) $60 million truck toll proposal to aid highway improvements, and gambling expansion. Also on the agenda is gun control, education funding, sentencing reform, and marijuana legalization. The General Assembly is expected to adjourn late June.

  • June 26, 2015

    Lawmakers recessed the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a new state budget and firearm prohibitions for persons convicted of domestic violence offenses. Legislators also approved a hike in the minimum wage, minimum requirements for serving prison sentences, and designation of the burying beetle as the state insect.

    As the session recessed, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on truck tolls for a bridge repair plan, charter schools, and legal protections for persons seeking drug overdose assistance. Governor Gina Raimondo (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until July 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers meet today in Providence to usher in the 2015 session. Nicholas Mattiello (D) and M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D) are expected to be reelected House speaker and Senate President, respectively. The General Assembly is slated to consider the state budget, economic improvement and job creation, and Medicaid expansion. Legislators also are expected to consider pension reform and the state’s participation in the federal Affordable Care Act. The General Assembly is slated to adjourn by late June.

    Today also marks the inauguration of Gina Raimondo (D) as the state’s first female governor. Raimondo has indicated that her priorities will be job creation and infrastructure improvements.

South Carolina

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today for the 2017-2018 regular session. The legislature is expected to address infrastructure improvements as its top priority. Other issues on the agenda include ethics reform, education funding, and the state’s pension system. The General Assembly is expected to adjourn by early June.

  • June 03, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session Thursday after failing to reach an agreement on an ethics reform package championed by Governor Nikki Haley (R), including the creation of an independent commission to investigate officeholders. Legislators are expected to continue consideration of the bill, as well as a measure to require income reporting, in the June 15 special/veto session. Legislation to require police dashcam audio recordings available to the public also died.

    As the session ended, lawmakers did approve a tax break for military retirees, moped requirements, a measure to have state health agencies investigate opioid-related deaths through marijuana use, and a prohibition against law enforcement agencies from establishing ticket quotas or threshold requirements. Legislators also approved a $7.5 billion budget, infrastructure improvements, and a system of reporting college fraternity and sorority misconduct.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers will re-convene today for the 2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to address ethics reform, infrastructure improvements, and education funding in rural school districts. Legislators are also expected to consider how to distribute an expected budget surplus, a firearms reciprocity agreement with Georgia, and coastal wind energy development. The legislature is expected to adjourn by early June.

  • July 10, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the veto session yesterday after considering vetoes issued by Governor Nikki Haley (R). However, most of the attention this week was focused on legislation signed into law that removes the battle flag of the former Confederacy from the Capitol grounds. The flag will now be placed in the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. Lawmakers resume the 2016 legislative session January 5, 2016.

  • June 05, 2015

    Lawmakers recessed the regular session late yesterday without reaching an agreement on several hot-button issues, including the $7 billion state budget, disbursement of a $322 million surplus, ethics reform, and highway improvements.

    The General Assembly will return June 16 to finalize these matters and perhaps adjourn by June 18, however legislative leaders indicate that additional reconvened sessions (especially to consider potential gubernatorial vetoes) may be necessary during the summer months.

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today for the 2015-2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to address infrastructure improvements as its top priority. Other issues on the agenda include ethics reform, education funding, domestic violence prevention, and local government financing.

    Governor Nikki Haley will be inaugurated for her second term Thursday, January 15. The General Assembly is expected to adjourn by early June.

South Dakota

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 92nd legislative session. The legislature is expected to hear the State of the State address from Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) and craft the state budget. Legislators also are expected to consider infrastructure improvements, an ethics overhaul, and addressing the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. Mark Mickelson (R) will serve as House speaker and Brock Greenfield (R) will be Senate president pro tempore. The legislature is scheduled to finish normal business by the end of March.

  • March 30, 2016

    Lawmakers wrapped up the 2016 regular session yesterday with the annual veto session. Legislators were unable to override Governor Dennis Daugaard’s (R) four vetoes from the session, including a measure to establish transgender bathroom restrictions, a buffer-strip tax break for farmers, an expense-benefits increase for members of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, and a tax rebate for broadband Internet connectivity projects.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today in Pierre to begin the 2016 session, where the legislature is expected to hear Governor Dennis Daugaards’ (R) State of the State address. Legislators are expected to also consider health care for Native Americans, expanded health care coverage for needy residents, and a raise in teacher salaries. Also on the agenda is a measure to stop the licensing of all marriages in the state, in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn March 31.

  • March 30, 2015

    Lawmakers completed the 2015 regular session today after overriding Governor Dennis Daugaard’s (R) veto of a measure to reduce the tax burden on rural electric companies. Legislators sustained vetoes on a plan to collect certain rental property data and legislation that exempts the earnings of American Legion and VFW baseball coaches from the state sales tax.

  • March 16, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the regular floor debates for the 2015 regular session late Friday, after reaching an agreement on a $1.4 billion estimated state budget, a six cent increase in the gas tax, a measure to increase the speed limit to 80 miles per hour on certain highways, and the creation of a debt collection center. Legislators also approved a revised conceal-carry bill, increased Opportunity scholarships, and an overhaul of the juvenile justice system.

    As the regular floor debates ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on voiding the policy allowing transgendered student athletes. The legislature returns March 30 for a one-day veto session, then official adjournment sine die.

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 90th legislative session. The legislature is expected to hear the State of the State address from Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) – who begins his second term this year -- and craft the $4.3 billion state budget. Legislators also are expected to consider infrastructure improvements, Medicaid expansion, and education reform. The legislature is scheduled to finish normal business by March 13 and adjourn March 30.

Tennessee

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2017-2018 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of the $30 billion state budget, a potential gas tax, and marijuana legalization. Legislators also are expected to consider a teacher evaluation program, and other social-related legislation. The General Assembly is slated to adjourn in late May.

  • September 07, 2016

    Governor Bill Haslam (R) has called the General Assembly into special session starting September 12. Lawmakers are expected to fix a new law that lowered the illegal blood alcohol level for drivers under age 21 to .08 percent. The limit must be lowered to .02 percent by October 1 to retain $60 million in federal transportation funding. Governor Haslam indicated that this will be the only subject of the special session.

  • April 25, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Friday, after approving a $34.9 billion budget, a measure to allow the attorney general to sue the federal government over its refugee settlement program, and personal belief protections for counselors and therapists. Legislators also approved legislation allowing college faculty and staff to be armed on campus and relaxed storm-water runoff rules.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on transgender restrooms and a limited school voucher program. The House was unable to override a gubernatorial veto that would designate the Bible as the official book of the state. Governor Bill Haslam (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk. Legislators have not scheduled a veto override session.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers in the Volunteer State will re-convene today to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider a projected $500 million budget surplus, criminal justice reform, education spending, and school choice. Also on the agenda are infrastructure improvements, allowing firearms in parks, and measures to address marriage in the state. The regular session is slated to adjourn in mid-April.

  • April 23, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday, after approving a system of legislative confirmation of judges, a school choice measure, and an additional exemption for the state tax on investment income. Legislators also approved a 48-hour waiting period for abortions and legislation that allows non-citizens who honorably served in the military to become police officers.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were not able to reach an agreement on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Governor Bill Haslam (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 10 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • February 04, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned this week’s special session Wednesday, after failing to reach an agreement on Governor Haslam’s (R) plan to expand federally-funded health care benefits for low-income residents. Speaker Beth Harwell (R) indicated that the plan did not have majority support in the House, while the Senate defeated the proposal in the Health and Welfare Committee.

    Find out more:

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015-2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of the $30 billion state budget, expansion of firearm rights, and school choice. Legislators also are expected to consider constitutional amendments to ban state and local income and payroll taxes and to allow the governor to appoint appellate judges.

    Governor Bill Haslam (R), who begins his second term on January 17, has also called a special session beginning February 2, to consider a pilot program for Medicaid expansion. The special session will be held concurrently with the regular session. The General Assembly is slated to adjourn in late May.

Texas

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to gavel in the 85th regular session. Legislators are expected to consider the biennial $209.4 billion budget, gender-based discrimination, education funding, and school choice. Also on the agenda are illegal immigration controls and child protective services. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late May or early June.

  • June 02, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving additional security along the Mexican border, a measure to allow certain persons to refuse to solemnize same-sex marriages, and human trafficking training for abortion clinics. Legislators also approved open-carry firearms rights, and additional funding for highways and pre-kindergarten.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on same-sex marriage, a repeal of sanctuary cities and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, and legalization of recreational marijuana. Governor Greg Abbott (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until June 21 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 20, 2015

    Greg Abbott (R) will be inaugurated today as the state’s 48th governor. Abbott has indicated that he will focus on relieving traffic congestion, education, lowering tax burdens, and economic growth. He is not expected to take the lead on hot-button issues such as abortion, firearms, and illegal immigration.

United States (Federal)

  • November 09, 2016

    On November 8, state legislative elections were held in 44 states and the District of Columbia, as well as gubernatorial elections in 12 states. Voters also elected Donald J. Trump of New York over Hillary R. Clinton of New York as the 45th president and the GOP retained control for the 115th Congress.

    GOVERNORS:  This year, 12 governorships were decided.The Democrats retained five governorships: John Carney (DE), Steve Bullock (MT), Kate Brown (OR), Jay Inslee (WA), and Jim Justice (WV). The GOP retained three: Eric Holcomb (IN), Doug Burgum (ND), and Gary Herbert (UT), while picking up three: Eric Greitens (MO), Chris Sununu (NH), and Phil Scott (VT).

    The race in North Carolina between Pat McCrory (R) and Roy Cooper (D), in which Cooper currently leads, is headed to a November 18 recount.

    LEGISLATURES: Forty-four states held legislative elections this year. Before the elections, Democrats controlled 30 chambers, while the GOP controlled 68. Nebraska has an officially nonpartisan and unicameral legislature.

    Three chambers switched to GOP control: the Kentucky House, the Iowa Senate, and the Minnesota Senate. The Democrats gained control of four chambers: The New Mexico House, both chambers of the Nevada Legislature and the Washington Senate (although functional control remains with the Republicans due to a Democrat who caucuses with them). The Connecticut Senate will be tied for 2017.

    BALLOT MEASURES:  Several states had over 150 total policy questions on their ballots this year.

    Marijuana: California, Nevada and Massachusetts approved measures legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota will now allow it for medical purposes. A recreational marijuana proposal lost in Arizona. (it’s important to note that marijuana remains on the federal prohibited controlled substance schedule)

    Firearms: Voters in California approved measures to prohibit possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, require permits for ammunition purchases, and extend a program to allow seizure of firearms from owners who are no longer allowed to own them. Washington also approved a measure to allow judges to seize firearms from those they deem a threat. A measure to generally require background checks was approved in Nevada but defeated in Maine.

    Minimum Wage: Arizona, Colorado, and Maine approved a phased-in $12 minimum wage by 2020. In Washington, where the minimum wage is $9.47 an hour, voters approved a measure raising the minimum wage from $9.47 per hour to $13.50 an hour by 2020.

    Other: Nebraska has reinstated the death penalty. Colorado approved a physician assisted suicide measure for a terminally ill person. Voters in the state however defeated a proposal to establish the nation’s first universal health care system.

    For more detailed information on the state elections and ballot measures, StateScape recommends the following source:

  • November 07, 2016

    On November 8, state legislative elections will be held in 44 states and the District of Columbia, as well as gubernatorial elections in 12 states. In addition to ballot measures in several states, voters will also decide the U.S. presidency and control of the 115th Congress.

    Governors:  This year, 11 governorships will be decided. Incumbent Democrats Jack Markell (Delaware), Jay Nixon (Missouri), and Earl Ray Tomblin (West Virginia) are term-limited. In Delaware, John Carney (D) will face off against Colin Bonini (R). In Missouri, Chris Koster (D) contends against Eric Greitens (R). In West Virginia, Jim Justice (D) faces Bill Cole (R).

    Five incumbents are seeking re-election: Steve Bullock (D) against Greg Gianforte (R) in Montana; Pat McCrory (R) against Roy Cooper (D) in North Carolina; Gary Herbert (R) against Mike Weinholtz (D) in Utah; and Jay Inslee (D) against Bill Bryant (R) in Washington. Kate Brown (D) is seeking a full term in a special election in Oregon against Bud Pierce (R).

    Four incumbents are not seeking re-election: Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), Peter Shumlin (D-Vermont),Mike Pence (R-Indiana), and Jack Dalrymple (R-North Dakota). In New Hampshire, Colin van Ostern (D) faces Chris Sununu (R); Sue Minter (D) faces Phillip Scott (R) in Vermont; John Gregg (D) faces Eric Holcomb (R) in Indiana; and voters in North Dakota will choose between Marvin Nelson (D) and Doug Burgum (R).

    Legislatures: Forty-four states hold legislative elections this year. Democrats control 30 chambers, while the GOP controls 68. Nebraska has an officially nonpartisan and unicameral legislature.

    Ballot Measures:  Several states have policy questions on their ballots this year. Current hot-topic subjects include: tax reform measures, legalization of marijuana, and questions regarding the response to the opioid epidemic.

    For more detailed information on the state elections and ballot measures, StateScape recommends the following source:

Utah

  • March 10, 2017

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2017 regular session late Thursday after approving a $16.1 billion budget with $239 million in new education funding, a measure to allow diners to serve alcohol, a .05 percent blood alcohol limit (from .08 percent), and a June 30, 2019 sunset date for the Salt Lake Road Home. Legislators also approved measures to allow medical marijuana research and student programs to prevent suicide and opioid addiction.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a tax reform plan that would have included restoring the sales tax on food. Governor Gary Herbert (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 29 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • November 17, 2016

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session after approving two measures: a recalculation of the appropriations from a recently-enacted gasoline tax, and a reworking of an exemption of recyclers from licensing requirements to ensure compliance with federal guidelines. Governor Gary Herbert (R) is expected to sign both bills into law.

  • November 16, 2016

    Governor Gary Herbert (R) has called a special session to begin this evening. The agenda includes a legislative fix for the distribution formulae from a recently-passed gasoline tax, and a measure to exempt recyclers from licensing requirements. A similar bill was vetoed by the governor during the regular session when the federal Environmental Protection Agency threatened to withhold approval for certain projects, as well as some waste program grants.

    Lawmakers are also expected to consider some recent gubernatorial appointees.

  • July 14, 2016

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session yesterday after approving an emergency measure to enhance penalties for drone pilots who interfere with wildfires, an allocation of $10 million to build a stadium at the Utah Fairpark, and tax incentives to lure an Internet-based company data center. Legislators rejected a measure to enhance grandparent visitation rights.

  • July 12, 2016

    Governor Gary Herbert (R) has called lawmakers into a special session beginning Wednesday, to tackle a varied agenda. Legislators are expected to consider an emergency measure to enhance penalties for drone pilots who interfere with wildfires, allocate $10 million to build a stadium at the Utah Fairpark, and tax incentives to lure an Internet-based company data center.

    Also on the agenda are measures to enhance grandparent visitation rights, warrantless access to controlled-substance databases by probation and parole officers, and revisions to both the Judicial Nominating Commission and Justice Reinvestment Initiative.

  • May 19, 2016

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session Wednesday, after overriding a $4.7 million line item veto to restore funding for various education programs. Legislators also approved a non-binding resolution that opposes a proposed Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah.

  • May 18, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today to begin a special session to consider a restoration of $4.7 million in education funding, vetoed by Governor Gary Herbert (R), and whether to officially oppose the creation of a national monument by President Obama. The education funding line item would provide supplemental funding for preschool programs, students with reading difficulties, and a televised culinary arts program. The funding is expected to be restored.

  • March 11, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Thursday after approving additional a $14.7 billion budget that increases education funding, asserts state ownership of federal lands, and further restricts abortions. Legislators also approved a limited Medicaid expansion program, as well as funding for a coal port and future water pipeline projects.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on repealing the death penalty, prohibiting hate crimes, and approving medical marijuana. Governor Gary Herbert (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until March 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 25, 2016

    Lawmakers convene today to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider the state budget, infrastructure improvements, economic development, and Internet sales tax enforcement. Also on the agenda are Medicaid expansion, funding for carp removal, and medical marijuana legalization. Lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up the session March 10.

  • August 20, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned a one-day special session yesterday after approving a resolution to relocate the state prison from Draper to Salt Lake City. Governor Gary Herbert (R) is expected to sign the measure. Legislators also approved measures to adjust corporate franchise and income tax overpayments, change the requirements to be appointed the Medicaid Inspector General, and make other technical changes to certain criminal penalties.

  • August 18, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene Wednesday for a special session to consider a plan to build a new state prison in Salt Lake City. Last week, the Prison Relocation Commission voted unanimously to move the prison from Draper to a space near the Salt Lake City International Airport. Legislators also expect to consider corporate tax overpayments, the Medicaid Inspector General, and gubernatorial appointments.

  • March 13, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a gas tax increase to fund transportation projects, increased education funding, and a measure prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (with protections for persons with certain religious beliefs). Legislators also reached an agreement on increased penalties for cockfighting and a measure to reintroduce the firing squad as a method of execution.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana, and a right-to-die measure. The legislature may take up the issue in a special session later this year. Governor Gary Herbert ( R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until April 1 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 26, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider the $13 billion state budget, raising the gas tax, and Medicaid expansion. Also on the agenda are measures to reestablish the firing squad as a method of execution and eliminate daylight saving time. The legislature is expected to adjourn March 12.

Vermont

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Montpelier to begin the 2017 regular session. Legislators are expected to address the state budget deficit, economic growth, property tax reduction, and education funding. Governor Phil Scott (R) will be inaugurated January 5.

  • May 09, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session late Friday, after approving a $2.5 billion state budget (with additional funding for state colleges and child protection), $49 million in new revenue (largely from several new fees), and greater public input for alternative energy proposals.  . Legislators also approved a measure to ensure prescription drug pricing transparency.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on marijuana legalization. Governor Peter Shumlin (D), who possesses a pocket veto, has three days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 05, 2016

    The Vermont Legislature returns today to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislative leaders indicate that the two main issues for the session will be balancing the state budget (including efforts to close a projected $58 million spending gap) and a paid sick leave measure. Also on the agenda will be marijuana legalization, education reform, and expanded health care coverage. The session is expected to run until early March.

  • May 18, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned late Saturday after approving a new state budget, an economic development measure, a 33-cent increase in the tobacco tax, and a health care reform bill that keeps current levels of cost-sharing subsidies for low-income residents and stabilizes Medicaid reimbursements to health care providers.

    Legislators also raised $30 million on other taxes and fees, including a sales tax expansion to cover soft drinks, and a cap on itemized income tax deductions (except for medical and charitable donations). Measures to consolidate school districts and require reporting of hazing incidents were also sent to the governor. Governor Peter Shumlin (D) – who possesses a pocket veto – has three days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Montpelier to begin the 2015 regular session. The first order of business for the legislature is to elect the governor, since no candidate received a majority of the votes in the 2014 election. Incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin (D) is expected to win the vote and be officially reelected.

    Legislators are expected to address the state budget deficit, economic growth, property tax reduction, and expanding renewable energy sources.

Virginia

  • February 27, 2017

    Lawmakers concluded regular floor sessions late Saturday after approving a $107 billion biennial budget that restores public employee salary increases, appropriates funds to mental health services, and secures education funding. Legislators also approved a $7.5 million fund for use by municipalities with high poverty rates, for economic development and job training programs.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on additional funds for mental health assessments of inmates. Legislative leadership indicated that it prefers to wait for a report from a joint subcommittee before moving forward. The General Assembly will reconvene April 5 to consider any of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s vetoes.

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Richmond to begin the 2017 regular session. The Republicans retain majorities in both the House and Senate, given the results of Tuesday’s elections. Legislators are expected to consider a projected $1.26 billion budget deficit, economic development, and strengthening the state ethics laws. The General Assembly is not expected to consider a repeal of the state’s voter ID law. The legislature is slated to adjourn in late February.

  • April 21, 2016

    Lawmakers returned to the Capitol yesterday for a one-day veto session. The lack of veto-proof majorities in the chambers basically foretold that all 32 of Governor McAuliffe’s (D) vetoes would be upheld, including on measures to protect religious objections to gay marriage, authorize coal tax credits, and prohibit the removal of Confederate monuments.

    Legislators also upheld the governor’s vetoes on allowing home-schooled students to participate in public high school athletics, allowing parents to opt their kids out of sexually explicit instructional material, and placing additional restrictions on abortion providers.

  • March 14, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Friday after approving a new $105 billion biennial budget that grants state employees and higher education faculty a three-percent raise, as well as a two-percent raise for other teachers. Legislators also approved increased education funding, economic development measures, and a good-natured resolution calling on Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment (R) to shave his newly-grown beard (Norment apparently complied).

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid. The General Assembly will reconvene on April 20 to consider Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D) vetoes and other final considerations.

  • January 13, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene in Richmond today to begin the 2016 regular session. Control of the Senate remains a factor, with a slim GOP majority in the Senate. The House remains under Republican control.

    Legislators will consider a proposed $109 billion, two-year budget, Medicaid expansion, and state employee pay raises. Also on the agenda are state pension funding, education initiatives and additional teachers, and transportation projects such as road funding and the expansion of port facilities at Norfolk. The session is scheduled to adjourn March 12.

  • August 21, 2015

    This week’s special session took a bizarre turn when Senate Democrats, aided by one Republican Senator and the tie-breaking vote of Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam (D), adjourned the Senate on Monday before reaching an agreement on new congressional district boundaries and electing a justice to replace Jane Roush, Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D) recess appointment. The Republican leadership indicated that the tactic has dubious legality since the House did not agree to the adjournment, however it is currently unknown how they could challenge or alter the outcome.

    The adjournment also makes it likely that the redistricting process will be completed by the federal courts (by default) after the September 1 deadline. Whether the General Assembly is still officially in session remains unclear.

  • August 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene a special session August 17 to reconsider the redistricting plan of the state’s congressional districts. A plan passed in 2012 was deemed unconstitutional (due to racial irregularities) by a federal court. The General Assembly had requested a delay in the special session in order to further appeal the original decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the request was denied.

  • March 02, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session Friday after reaching an agreement on the state budget, preventing campus sex crimes, and scrutiny over Dominion Virginia Power’s rates. Legislators also approved additional health insurance for children with Autism, a constitutional amendment for additional charter schools, decriminalization of marijuana-derived oils for epilepsy treatment, and certain firearm reciprocity arrangements.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on measures allowing schools to open before Labor Day and making the state’s lethal injection process secret. Governor Terry McAuliffe has until March 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk. The General Assembly will reconvene April 15 to consider gubernatorial vetoes.

  • January 14, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Richmond to begin the 2015 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider closing a projected $2.4 billion spending gap and strengthening the state ethics laws. The General Assembly is also expected to consider issues such as Medicaid expansion, gun control, and infrastructure improvements. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-February.

Washington

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2017-18 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider education funding, use of deadly force by law enforcement, real ID legislation, and mental health assistance. Also on the agenda are infrastructure improvements and medical marijuana regulation. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn in mid-April.

  • March 30, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the special session late Tuesday after approving a $191 million 2016 supplemental budget, which aids staffing at Western State Hospital, provides funds for home health care providers, and underwrites wildfire containment costs from last year. Significant work still needs to be done to address the school funding and teacher pay issues.

    The legislature also overrode Governor Jay Inslee’s (D) vetoes on 27 bills from the regular session, including measures regarding refrigeration of noodles and growing industrial hemp.

  • March 11, 2016

    The 2016 regular session ended late Thursday without a final agreement on a supplemental state budget and a plan to address K-12 education funding, prompting Governor Jay Inslee (D) to call a special session to resolve the issues, and also to veto several bills sent to his desk, including legislation relating to wholesale vehicle dealers, pharmacy assistants, fire-sprinkler systems, and industrial hemp.

    The governor actually signed several other bills deemed vital to state interests, including measures to combat human trafficking, enhance penalties for vehicular homicide, and protect employment rights for National Guard personnel. Governor Inslee indicated that the special session should only last for a few days. He has until April 2 to sign or veto the remaining bills from the regular session that reach his desk.

  • January 11, 2016

    The legislature convenes today in Olympia for the 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of proposals to address the state budget, relieving a teacher shortage, and other education funding. Legislators are also likely to consider mental-health services, funding for state prisons, and wildfire management. The legislature is slated to adjourn by mid-March.

  • July 10, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the third of three spedcial sessions after approving an approximate 12-cent hike in the gas tax to pay for infrastructure improvements, decreased college tuition rates, and secured appropriations for the state education system. Legislators also approved the final touches on the $38.2 billion budget,  a bonding measure for additional transportation projects, and a delay on a biology exam requirement for high school students until 2017.

    Governor Jay Inslee (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 20 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 27, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session Friday, without coming to an agreement on a new state budget, education and transportation funding, or recreational marijuana reforms. As a result, Governor Jay Inslee (D) has called the legislature back for a special session, to begin April 29, to resolve the outstanding issues from the regular session. There is no specific adjournment date for the special session at this time.

    During the session, legislators did approve the creation of the Oil Transportation Safety Act, enhanced child support regulations, and legalization of medical marijuana.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015-16 regular session. In the Senate, the Republicans have gained an outright majority. In addition to swearing in legislators, legislators are expected to consider education funding, reducing teacher/student ratios, a capital gains tax, and mental health assistance. Also on the agenda is infrastructure improvements and medical marijuana regulation

    The legislature is scheduled to adjourn in late April.

West Virginia

  • February 08, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today in Charleston to begin the 83rd legislature. After receiving the first budget address of Governor Jim Justice (D), legislators plan to tackle a projected $500 million budget deficit, economic expansion, and education decentralization. Also on the agenda are tax reform, infrastructure improvements, and medical marijuana legalization. The session is scheduled to adjourn April 8.

  • January 18, 2017

    Jim Justice (D) took the reins of West Virginia’s executive branch Monday, succeeding Earl Ray Tomblin (D) as the state’s 36th governor. Justice indicated that economic development, infrastructure improvements, and a tiered severance tax for coal and gas will be priorities in his administration.

  • September 20, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the special session today after overwhelmingly approving an $85 million funding bill to cover the state’s portion of flood relief costs from the June, 2016 floods. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has indicated he is likely to sign the measure into law. The Senate also confirmed many of the governor’s appointees to the bench and executive departments.

  • September 16, 2016

    Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) called the legislature into a special session starting Sunday. Lawmakers are expected to transfer $85 million in state financing (from the rainy day fund and unappropriated lottery funds) to cover that state’s responsibility of recovery costs relating to the floods earlier this summer. Governor Tomblin has also requested $310 million in federal disaster relief funds.

  • June 15, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded a seventeen-day special session yesterday after approving a $4.18 billion state budget that includes a new special reserve fund to alleviate the impact of rising state pension premium hikes. Legislators also approved a 65-cent per-pack tobacco tax increase, $120 million in spending cuts, a $70 million appropriation from the rainy day fund, and a provision to allow first-time DUI offenders to participate in an alcohol ignition interlock program.

  • May 10, 2016

    Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has called lawmakers into a special session, beginning May 16, to finalize the state budget that proved elusive during the regular session. Legislators will specifically consider closing  a projected $270 million spending gap. Governor Tomblin is expected to call for tax increases on general sales, tobacco, and telecommunications. A new spending plan is needed by July 1.

  • March 16, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the Extended Budget Session yesterday after failing to reach a final agreement on the new state budget. Legislators will return to the capitol for a special session, likely later this spring, to close an estimated $238.8 million deficit and resolve the impasse.

  • March 14, 2016

    The 2016 regular session ended late Saturday evening without a final agreement on a new $4.3 billion state budget, prompting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) to call the extended budget session to resolve the impasse. However, Governor Tomblin indicated that the extended session will not likely resolve the outstanding appropriations issues, and that an additional future special session will be needed.

    During the session, lawmakers did reach an agreement on several high-profile issues, including additional abortion restrictions, a repeal of the prevailing wage, a right-to-work law, and a measure to allow the concealed carry of handguns without a permit. Governor Tomblin, who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 30 to sign or veto legislation from the regular session that reaches his desk.

  • January 13, 2016

    Lawmakers return to Charleston today to convene the 2016 regular session. Legislators plan to consider a projected $353 budget deficit, education funding, forced pooling of natural gas leasing agreements, and broadband Internet expansion. Also likely to be considered will be the repeal of Common Core standards and alleviating a teacher shortage. The session is scheduled to adjourn March 12.

  • March 19, 2015

    Lawmakers completed the extended budget session yesterday, after reaching an agreement on a new state budget that takes $22.7 million from the Rainy Day Fund and increases funding (from $40 million to $48.5 million) for secondary road repair.

    Legislators also amended and re-passed several bills vetoed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D), including measures to provide medical and religious exemptions for immunizations, adjust certain state worker pensions, and allow certain entities to maintain a stock of epinephrine auto-injectors for emergency treatment.

  • March 16, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late Saturday after approving a regulatory reduction on above-ground chemical storage tanks, revisions to the Workers’ Compensation program, and incentives for the craft brewing industry. Legislators also reached an agreement on a measure to block Tesla Motors from establishing operations and a repeal of a law that prohibits conceal carry without a permit.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on the legalization of fireworks, a statewide smoking ban, a repeal of Common Core standards, and a pilot program for charter schools.

    After adjourning the regular session, the legislature convened the extended budget session, which is expected to adjourn by March 20. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until April 1 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 14, 2015

    Lawmakers return to Charleston today to convene the 2015 regular session and receive Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s (D) State of the State address. After the swearing in ceremonies, legislators are expected to consider job creation and economic growth, tax reductions, and tort reform. Voter ID and right-to-work legislation could also be on the agenda. The session is slated to adjourn mid-March.

Wisconsin

  • January 04, 2017

    The 2017-2018 session of the State Legislature convenes today, with the Republicans retaining control of both legislative chambers. Legislative sources indicate that economic growth and job creation, toll roads to generate infrastructure improvement revenue, and dividing the Department of Natural Resources into smaller agencies will figure prominently on the agenda.

    Other items such education funding, marijuana legalization, and broader conceal-carry permit allowances on a college campus may also be considered. The legislature meets throughout the year.

  • March 06, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the business of the extraordinary session today, after the Assembly gave final approval of a Senate measure that makes Wisconsin a “right-to-work” state. Governor Scott Walker (R) is expected to sign the legislation March 9.

  • January 05, 2015

    The 2015-2016 session of the State Legislature convenes today, with the Republicans retaining control of both legislative chambers. Legislative sources indicate that economic growth and job creation, tax cuts, expanded school vouchers, and infrastructure improvements will be the main issues for the session. Other items such as abortion restrictions, right-to-work, and curtailing secret “John Doe” investigations may also be considered. The legislature meets throughout the year. Governor Scott Walker (R) will be inaugurated for his second term today, as well.

Wyoming

  • March 04, 2017

    Lawmakers completed the 2017 regular session late Friday after approving a compromise bill to decrease education funding by $34 million and to require a thorough independent study of the state funding model. The funding issue may mean a special session in the future. Legislators also approved measures to allow the Tesla motor company to sell cars directly and to repeal gun-free zones from all government meetings, while also overriding much of the governor’s line-item vetoes of the supplemental budget.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a measure to make audio recordings of committee meetings available online. Governor Matt Mead (R),who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 18 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Cheyenne to begin the 2017 session. The legislature is slated to consider several issues; including passage of a state budget amid declining oil and gas revenues, infrastructure improvements, and education funding. Diversification of the economy, rainy day fund expenditures, and taxes will also be on the agenda. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn in early March.

  • March 07, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 budget session late Friday after approving a new $3 billion biennial budget and addressed a $465 million deficit from declining petroleum prices. The 20-day session prevented much else from being approved: Medicaid expansion, a hike in the minimum wage, a ban on the death penalty, and a hate-crimes law were all defeated. Abortion restrictions and a measure to allow firearms in public meetings were also quashed.

    Governor Matt Mead (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 22 to sign or veto the remaining legislation that reached his desk.

  • February 08, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today to begin the 2016 budget session with Governor Matt Mead’s (R) State of the State address. While the month-long session will focus primarily on the 2017-18 spending plan, other issues will be considered as well, including infrastructure improvements and Medicaid expansion. A hike in the minimum wage is not expected to garner much support in this year’s session. The session is expected to conclude on or around March 3.

  • March 06, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session today after reaching an agreement on a supplemental budget that uses $200 million of rainy-day funds to plug a spending gap, improvements at the Capitol and the University of Wyoming, and funding for a permanent Mineral Trust Fund. Legislators also approved an external cost adjustment for public schools and a measure to enhance criminal penalties for sexual assault.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on Medicaid expansion, discrimination protections for homosexual and trans-gendered persons, and a measure to allow firearms in schools. Governor Matt Mead (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until March 20 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Cheyenne to begin the 2015 session. The legislature is slated to consider several issues; including a Medicaid expansion, infrastructure improvements, decriminalization of marijuana, and use of the firing squad for executions. Workforce development, education standards, and alternative fuel taxes will also be on the agenda.

    Governor Matt Mead (R) was sworn in for his second term on January 5. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn March 9.

Updates by Date

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March 2017

  • March 20, 2017

    Lawmakers completed the 2017 regular session on Saturday, after reaching an agreement on a $6.1 billion budget that includes $350 million in tax increases and a measure that changes the gross receipts tax law. Governor Susana Martinez (R) has indicated she will veto the budget, making a subsequent special session very likely in the near future. Legislators also approved the creation of an independent ethics commission ballot measure for 2018, limits on the small-loan industry to help consumers, more campaign finance disclosures for so-called “dark money” groups, and an increase in the minimum wage (which Martinez has also vowed to veto).

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on capping interest on payday loans, background checks on most firearms transactions, and expanded early childhood education. Governor Martinez, who possesses a pocket veto, has until April 7 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • March 10, 2017

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2017 regular session late Thursday after approving a $16.1 billion budget with $239 million in new education funding, a measure to allow diners to serve alcohol, a .05 percent blood alcohol limit (from .08 percent), and a June 30, 2019 sunset date for the Salt Lake Road Home. Legislators also approved measures to allow medical marijuana research and student programs to prevent suicide and opioid addiction.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a tax reform plan that would have included restoring the sales tax on food. Governor Gary Herbert (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 29 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 07, 2017

    The legislature convenes today for the annual regular session. Lawmakers are expected to consider education, economic growth and water management. Legislators are also expected to tackle the $83.5 billion budget, lobbying reforms, medical marijuana expansion, and a new gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe. The session is expected to adjourn May 5.

  • March 04, 2017

    Lawmakers completed the 2017 regular session late Friday after approving a compromise bill to decrease education funding by $34 million and to require a thorough independent study of the state funding model. The funding issue may mean a special session in the future. Legislators also approved measures to allow the Tesla motor company to sell cars directly and to repeal gun-free zones from all government meetings, while also overriding much of the governor’s line-item vetoes of the supplemental budget.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a measure to make audio recordings of committee meetings available online. Governor Matt Mead (R),who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 18 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

February 2017

  • February 27, 2017

    Lawmakers concluded regular floor sessions late Saturday after approving a $107 billion biennial budget that restores public employee salary increases, appropriates funds to mental health services, and secures education funding. Legislators also approved a $7.5 million fund for use by municipalities with high poverty rates, for economic development and job training programs.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on additional funds for mental health assessments of inmates. Legislative leadership indicated that it prefers to wait for a report from a joint subcommittee before moving forward. The General Assembly will reconvene April 5 to consider any of Governor Terry McAuliffe’s vetoes.

  • February 23, 2017

    Lawmakers concluded the special session late yesterday, after reaching an agreement on closing the state’s $304 million budget deficit. Legislators appropriated $99 million from the rainy day fund, made $82 million in spending cuts, and made adjustments to current spending levels in other departments. The deal aligns closely to the proposal set by Governor John Bel Edwards (D).

  • February 13, 2017

    Lawmakers are convening today, two months before the regular session, to consider a plan to close a $304 million deficit in the state’s $27 billion budget. Foregoing new taxes as a solution, Governor John Bel Edwards (D) has proposed spending cuts to hospitals, State Police, the attorney general's office, and the courts, as well as a  $119 million rainy day fund transfer. While Senate leaders indicate general agreement on such proposals, the House leadership has stated it would like deeper cuts rather than a rainy day fund transfer.

    The Senate may also take up an expulsion resolution against Senator Troy Brown (D), who has pleaded nolo contendere to two separate charges of domestic abuse within the past four months. The special session must adjourn by February 22.

  • February 08, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today in Charleston to begin the 83rd legislature. After receiving the first budget address of Governor Jim Justice (D), legislators plan to tackle a projected $500 million budget deficit, economic expansion, and education decentralization. Also on the agenda are tax reform, infrastructure improvements, and medical marijuana legalization. The session is scheduled to adjourn April 8.

  • February 06, 2017

    Lawmakers return to Carson City today to convene the 79th regular session. Legislators are expected to consider a tax on recreational marijuana, cybersecurity, and education funding. Also on the agenda are the state budget and economic growth.  The democrats will control both chambers this year and the session is expected to wrap up on June 5.

  • February 06, 2017

    Lawmakers convene the 2017 regular session today. After receiving Governor Mary Fallin (R) to hear the State-of-the-State address, legislators will consider the budget deficit, social assistance, judicial appointments, and corrections funding. The main focus of the session is expected to revolve around education issues; including school choice, education funding, and teacher accountability. The session normally adjourns by late May.

  • February 01, 2017

    Lawmakers are set to begin the 2017 legislative session today in Salem. Legislators are expected to focus on a projected $1.7 billion deficit in the state budget, a transportation funding package, and a lack of affordable housing. Also on the agenda are economic growth, infrastructure improvements, and permanent funding mechanisms. The session is expected to adjourn by July 10.

January 2017

  • January 18, 2017

    The State Legislature began the 30th legislative session Tuesday in Juneau, with a coalition of Democrats and moderate Republicans assuming control of the House. Lawmakers are expected to focus on the state budget, especially on closing a spending gap. Legislators also are expected to focus on natural gas pipeline projects and state pensions. The session is scheduled to adjourn in mid-April.

  • January 18, 2017

    John Carney (D) was inaugurated as the 74th governor of Delaware Monday, succeeding Jack Markell (D). Carney is expected to stress economic development and resolution of a $350 million budget deficit as priorities. Lieutenant Governor Bethany Hall-Long (D) also took her oath of office.

  • January 18, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today in Honolulu to begin the 2017 legislative session. Legislators are expected to consider energy independence, economic growth, improved working conditions, and assisting the commercial fishing fleet this year. Also on the agenda are closing a budget deficit, public pensions, and rail transit costs. The session is expected to adjourn in early May.

  • January 18, 2017

    Lawmakers convened Tuesday in Santa Fe to begin the 2017 regular session, as the Democrats re-gained control of the House (the Senate also remains in the control of the Democrats). After the ceremonial swearing-in of legislators, the legislature is expected to focus on expansion of the “three strikes” law, extension of the prohibition of asking about felony convictions on job applications, marijuana legalization, and increased funding for early childhood programs. The session is scheduled to adjourn March 18.

  • January 18, 2017

    Jim Justice (D) took the reins of West Virginia’s executive branch Monday, succeeding Earl Ray Tomblin (D) as the state’s 36th governor. Justice indicated that economic development, infrastructure improvements, and a tiered severance tax for coal and gas will be priorities in his administration.

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers convene to 2017 legislative session today with a GOP-controlled Senate and a Democrat-controlled House. Legislators are expected to consider the $28 billion state budget, infrastructure improvements, economic development, and energy development. The General Assembly normally adjourns in early May.

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers adjourned the 99th General Assembly late Tuesday without an agreement on a permanent state budget, or consensus on an income tax hike, term limits, and pension reform. The 100th session begins today with newly-elected Representatives and Senators being sworn in. The Democrats remain in control of both chambers.

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Annapolis to begin the 2017 regular session. In addition to addressing an estimated $400 million budget shortfall, legislators are expected to address several issues, including paid sick leave, incentives for manufacturing, fracking, and transportation. The legislature is slated to adjourn in April.

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2017-2018 regular session. After swearing in ceremonies, the legislature is expected to address teacher pension changes and no-fault insurance adjustments. Legislators also are expected to consider retiree benefits, recidivism in the criminal justice system, and infrastructure improvements. The legislature normally meets throughout the year.

  • January 11, 2017

    With the Republicans retaining majorities in both chambers of the legislature, lawmakers convene today to begin the 2017-2018 regular session. House Speaker Tim Moore (R) and Senate president Phil Berger (R) will continue in their leadership roles. Legislators are expected to prepare the state budget and consider jobs creation, economic growth, tax incentives, and streamlining state government.

  • January 11, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Richmond to begin the 2017 regular session. The Republicans retain majorities in both the House and Senate, given the results of Tuesday’s elections. Legislators are expected to consider a projected $1.26 billion budget deficit, economic development, and strengthening the state ethics laws. The General Assembly is not expected to consider a repeal of the state’s voter ID law. The legislature is slated to adjourn in late February.

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 149th General Assembly. In addition to swearing in legislators, lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of proposals to address the projected $350 million state budget deficit and related revenue shortfalls. Legislators also are slated to consider education funding, healthcare funding, and infrastructure improvements. Governor-elect John Carney will be inaugurated January 17. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn in late June.

  • January 10, 2017

    Eric Holcomb (R) was inaugurated as the 51st governor of Indiana Monday, succeeding Mike Pence, who will be sworn in as the Vice President of the United States in 10 days. Holcomb stressed that the state needs to maintain the “pioneer spirit” that defined the state for 200 years, and named education, transportation, and economic growth as priorities. Lieutenant Governor Suzanne Crouch (R) also took her oath of office.

  • January 10, 2017

    Eric Greitens (R) took the reins of Missouri’s executive branch Monday, succeeding Jay Nixon (D) as Missouri’s 56th governor. Greitens indicated that criminal justice and economic development will be priorities in his administration. Soon after the ceremonies, The new governor signed an executive order banning lobbyist gifts to executive branch employees.

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today for the 2017-2018 regular session. The legislature is expected to address infrastructure improvements as its top priority. Other issues on the agenda include ethics reform, education funding, and the state’s pension system. The General Assembly is expected to adjourn by early June.

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 92nd legislative session. The legislature is expected to hear the State of the State address from Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) and craft the state budget. Legislators also are expected to consider infrastructure improvements, an ethics overhaul, and addressing the mentally ill in the criminal justice system. Mark Mickelson (R) will serve as House speaker and Brock Greenfield (R) will be Senate president pro tempore. The legislature is scheduled to finish normal business by the end of March.

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2017-2018 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of the $30 billion state budget, a potential gas tax, and marijuana legalization. Legislators also are expected to consider a teacher evaluation program, and other social-related legislation. The General Assembly is slated to adjourn in late May.

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to gavel in the 85th regular session. Legislators are expected to consider the biennial $209.4 billion budget, gender-based discrimination, education funding, and school choice. Also on the agenda are illegal immigration controls and child protective services. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late May or early June.

  • January 10, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Cheyenne to begin the 2017 session. The legislature is slated to consider several issues; including passage of a state budget amid declining oil and gas revenues, infrastructure improvements, and education funding. Diversification of the economy, rainy day fund expenditures, and taxes will also be on the agenda. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn in early March.

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Phoenix to begin the 2017 regular session. In addition to swearing in legislators, lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of the projected $1.5 billion budget, prison recidivism, and the minimum wage. Education funding and opioid addiction treatment is also likely to be on the agenda. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-April, but floor sessions beyond that time are likely.

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 91st General Assembly, where the Republicans retain control of both chambers. In addition to consideration of the state budget and tax cuts, lawmakers are expected to consider medical marijuana legalization, abortion restrictions, Medicaid expansion, and conceal-carry of firearms on college campuses. School funding and broadband Internet expansion are also on the agenda. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-April.

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Atlanta for the 2017-2018 regular session. The legislature is expected to address the state budget and consider issues such as education spending and health care. Also on the agenda are illegal immigration, firearms rights, and casino gaming. Medicaid expansion is not likely to secure passage. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late March.

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2017 session. After receiving Governor Butch Otter’s (R) State of the State address, the legislature is expected to consider several issues, including Medicaid expansion, public school funding, infrastructure improvements, and tax cuts. The legislature will likely adjourn by mid-March.

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today to begin the 2017-18 regular session as the Republicans have retaken control of the Senate (while retaining control of the House). Lawmakers are expected to consider infrastructure improvements, voter ID, and a revamping of collective bargaining laws for state employees. Also on the agenda are abortion restrictions and expansion of religious liberties. The legislature is slated to adjourn in late April or early May.

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to gavel in the 2017-2018 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider closing a projected $345 million budget deficit, education spending, economic growth, and pension reform. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late May.

  • January 09, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2017-18 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider education funding, use of deadly force by law enforcement, real ID legislation, and mental health assistance. Also on the agenda are infrastructure improvements and medical marijuana regulation. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn in mid-April.

  • January 04, 2017

    The 2017 regular session of the General Assembly convenes today. While the House remains in Democrat control, the Senate is currently tied at 18-18 (Lieutenant Governor Nancy Wyman-D holds the tiebreaker). Lawmakers are expected to focus on crafting the $20 billion budget, while addressing an estimated $1.4 billion deficit. The General Assembly also will consider infrastructure improvements, tolls on Interstate highways, and marijuana legalization. The session is slated to adjourn in early June.

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers in the General Court officially concluded the 2015-2016 regular session on Wednesday and convene today for the 190th (2017-2018) session. Legislators are expected to consider issues such as addressing revenue shortfalls, a revamp of how the state finances transportation, increased gun control, and stemming increased health care costs. The Democrats retain their majorities in both chambers; Robert DiLeo is expected to remain as Speaker while Stan Rosenberg is expected to remain as Senate president.

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Jefferson City to begin the 2017 regular session. With Republican majorities in both chambers, legislators are expected to craft a state budget without tax increases. While economic issues are expected to be the main focus of the session, the General Assembly also is slated to consider other issues such as school choice and right-to-work legislation. Governor-elect Eric Greitens (R) will be inaugurated January 9. The session is expected to conclude mid-May.

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Lincoln to begin the 2017-2018 regular session. Legislators are expected to address several issues, including a new state budget, ethics reform and transparency, health and human services funding, and job creation. The legislature is slated to adjourn in early June.

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers meet today in Concord to begin floor sessions of the 2017 regular session, with Republicans retaining control of the House and Senate. Legislators are expected to consider several issues -- most notably addressing the state budget deficit, education funding, and child protective services. Governor Chris Sununu (R) will be inaugurated for his first term January 5. The General Court is slated to adjourn the regular session by late June.

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers officially concluded the 2015-2016 regular session yesterday, and meet today to start the 2017-2018 session. While the Assembly is in firm Democrat control, the GOP has retained control of the Senate, governing in a coalition with seven independent Democrats. Legislators will receive Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) State of the State address in the near future, however a specific date remains undetermined. The legislature meets throughout the year.

  • January 04, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Montpelier to begin the 2017 regular session. Legislators are expected to address the state budget deficit, economic growth, property tax reduction, and education funding. Governor Phil Scott (R) will be inaugurated January 5.

  • January 04, 2017

    The 2017-2018 session of the State Legislature convenes today, with the Republicans retaining control of both legislative chambers. Legislative sources indicate that economic growth and job creation, toll roads to generate infrastructure improvement revenue, and dividing the Department of Natural Resources into smaller agencies will figure prominently on the agenda.

    Other items such education funding, marijuana legalization, and broader conceal-carry permit allowances on a college campus may also be considered. The legislature meets throughout the year.

  • January 03, 2017

    Senators will convene today (the House convenes tomorrow) in Indianapolis to begin the 2017 regular session as Republicans retain majorities in both chambers of the legislature. Legislators are expected to address the $31 billion state budget, with planned increases for pre-school education and transportation funding. The legislature also is expected to consider social issues such as abortion, transgender restroom access, and the elimination of firearms permits.

    Governor-elect Eric Holcomb (R) will be inaugurated January 9. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn by April 29.

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers convene today in Frankfort to begin the 2017 regular session, with the Republicans set to take control of the House for the first time in nearly a century. Legislators are expected to consider issues such as infrastructure improvements, right-to-work legislation, and economic improvement. Also on the agenda is governmental transparency. After this week, the session will go on hiatus until February 7 and is scheduled to adjourn by March 30.

  • January 03, 2017

    The State Legislature convenes today to begin the 2017-2018 regular session, with the GOP regaining control of the Senate and retaining control of the House. Lawmakers are expected to consider a $42 billion state budget, health care costs, and transportation funding. Also on the agenda are tax cuts, easing regulatory restrictions on forestry and energy, and Sunday liquor sales.

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today for the 2017 regular session and are expected to focus on crafting the new $6 billion state budget with tax cuts, education funding changes, and the reality of stagnant revenues. Legislators are also expected to consider infrastructure improvements, creation of a state lottery, and education funding. The session is scheduled to adjourn in early April.

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers convened Monday to begin the 2017 regular session. Legislators are expected to focus on economic development, a proposed $4.7 billion budget from Governor Steve Bullock (who was inaugurated for his second term this week), and health care. As the GOP enjoys majorities in both chambers, Austin Knudsen (R) remains the House Speaker and Scott Sales (R) is the Senate president. The legislature is slated to adjourn by late April.

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers will convene today in Bismarck to begin the 2017 session. After receiving Governor Doug Burgum’s (R) State of the State address (his first), the legislative assembly is slated to consider a $4.7 billion, two-year budget plan that includes state worker reductions. Legislators also are expected to consider the opioid addiction epidemic, prison overcrowding, and the Dakota Access pipeline. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn by early May.

  • January 03, 2017

    Legislators in the Buckeye State convened Monday to begin the 132nd General Assembly. Cliff Rosenberger (R) returns as House Speaker, while Larry Obhof (R) takes the reins as the Senate president. The main issues will be the biennial state budget and streamlining government. Other areas of focus will be Medicaid issues, and combating the opioid abuse epidemic. The 2015-2016 session is active throughout the year. 

  • January 03, 2017

    The Pennsylvania General Assembly convened Tuesday in Harrisburg to begin the 2017-2018 session. While today’s activities are mostly reserved to the swearing in of legislators and other ceremonial duties, lawmakers will begin the normal routine of considering legislation – with an emphasis on resolving the budget deficit - and crafting the annual budget later this year. Legislators also are expected to consider economic development, public pension reform, and liquor privatization.

    Governor Tom Wolf will present his budget address February 7. The General Assembly meets throughout the year.

  • January 03, 2017

    Lawmakers meet today in Providence to usher in the 2017 session. Nicholas Mattiello (D) and M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D) are expected to be reelected House speaker and Senate President, respectively.

    The General Assembly is slated to consider the state budget without tax increases, economic improvement and job creation, and Medicaid expansion. Legislators also are expected to consider marijuana legalization and increasing the minimum wage. The General Assembly is slated to adjourn by late June.

December 2016

November 2016

  • November 21, 2016

    Lawmakers will return to the capitol on Tuesday to organize the 2017 regular session. The rank and file are expected to elect Senator Joe Negron (R) and Richard Corcoran (R) as the new Senate president and House speaker, respectively; replacing Senator Andrew Gardiner (R) and Steve Crisafulli (R) in those roles. Corcoran is expected to institute new House rules to increase budget transparency and restrict lobbyists.

    Legislators are expected to consider school choice, health care funding, responding to the Zika virus, and addressing the Pulse nightclub shootings when the legislative session convenes March 7.

  • November 17, 2016

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session after approving two measures: a recalculation of the appropriations from a recently-enacted gasoline tax, and a reworking of an exemption of recyclers from licensing requirements to ensure compliance with federal guidelines. Governor Gary Herbert (R) is expected to sign both bills into law.

  • November 16, 2016

    Governor Gary Herbert (R) has called a special session to begin this evening. The agenda includes a legislative fix for the distribution formulae from a recently-passed gasoline tax, and a measure to exempt recyclers from licensing requirements. A similar bill was vetoed by the governor during the regular session when the federal Environmental Protection Agency threatened to withhold approval for certain projects, as well as some waste program grants.

    Lawmakers are also expected to consider some recent gubernatorial appointees.

  • November 09, 2016

    On November 8, state legislative elections were held in 44 states and the District of Columbia, as well as gubernatorial elections in 12 states. Voters also elected Donald J. Trump of New York over Hillary R. Clinton of New York as the 45th president and the GOP retained control for the 115th Congress.

    GOVERNORS:  This year, 12 governorships were decided.The Democrats retained five governorships: John Carney (DE), Steve Bullock (MT), Kate Brown (OR), Jay Inslee (WA), and Jim Justice (WV). The GOP retained three: Eric Holcomb (IN), Doug Burgum (ND), and Gary Herbert (UT), while picking up three: Eric Greitens (MO), Chris Sununu (NH), and Phil Scott (VT).

    The race in North Carolina between Pat McCrory (R) and Roy Cooper (D), in which Cooper currently leads, is headed to a November 18 recount.

    LEGISLATURES: Forty-four states held legislative elections this year. Before the elections, Democrats controlled 30 chambers, while the GOP controlled 68. Nebraska has an officially nonpartisan and unicameral legislature.

    Three chambers switched to GOP control: the Kentucky House, the Iowa Senate, and the Minnesota Senate. The Democrats gained control of four chambers: The New Mexico House, both chambers of the Nevada Legislature and the Washington Senate (although functional control remains with the Republicans due to a Democrat who caucuses with them). The Connecticut Senate will be tied for 2017.

    BALLOT MEASURES:  Several states had over 150 total policy questions on their ballots this year.

    Marijuana: California, Nevada and Massachusetts approved measures legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Florida, Arkansas and North Dakota will now allow it for medical purposes. A recreational marijuana proposal lost in Arizona. (it’s important to note that marijuana remains on the federal prohibited controlled substance schedule)

    Firearms: Voters in California approved measures to prohibit possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines, require permits for ammunition purchases, and extend a program to allow seizure of firearms from owners who are no longer allowed to own them. Washington also approved a measure to allow judges to seize firearms from those they deem a threat. A measure to generally require background checks was approved in Nevada but defeated in Maine.

    Minimum Wage: Arizona, Colorado, and Maine approved a phased-in $12 minimum wage by 2020. In Washington, where the minimum wage is $9.47 an hour, voters approved a measure raising the minimum wage from $9.47 per hour to $13.50 an hour by 2020.

    Other: Nebraska has reinstated the death penalty. Colorado approved a physician assisted suicide measure for a terminally ill person. Voters in the state however defeated a proposal to establish the nation’s first universal health care system.

    For more detailed information on the state elections and ballot measures, StateScape recommends the following source:

  • November 07, 2016

    On November 8, state legislative elections will be held in 44 states and the District of Columbia, as well as gubernatorial elections in 12 states. In addition to ballot measures in several states, voters will also decide the U.S. presidency and control of the 115th Congress.

    Governors:  This year, 11 governorships will be decided. Incumbent Democrats Jack Markell (Delaware), Jay Nixon (Missouri), and Earl Ray Tomblin (West Virginia) are term-limited. In Delaware, John Carney (D) will face off against Colin Bonini (R). In Missouri, Chris Koster (D) contends against Eric Greitens (R). In West Virginia, Jim Justice (D) faces Bill Cole (R).

    Five incumbents are seeking re-election: Steve Bullock (D) against Greg Gianforte (R) in Montana; Pat McCrory (R) against Roy Cooper (D) in North Carolina; Gary Herbert (R) against Mike Weinholtz (D) in Utah; and Jay Inslee (D) against Bill Bryant (R) in Washington. Kate Brown (D) is seeking a full term in a special election in Oregon against Bud Pierce (R).

    Four incumbents are not seeking re-election: Maggie Hassan (D-New Hampshire), Peter Shumlin (D-Vermont),Mike Pence (R-Indiana), and Jack Dalrymple (R-North Dakota). In New Hampshire, Colin van Ostern (D) faces Chris Sununu (R); Sue Minter (D) faces Phillip Scott (R) in Vermont; John Gregg (D) faces Eric Holcomb (R) in Indiana; and voters in North Dakota will choose between Marvin Nelson (D) and Doug Burgum (R).

    Legislatures: Forty-four states hold legislative elections this year. Democrats control 30 chambers, while the GOP controls 68. Nebraska has an officially nonpartisan and unicameral legislature.

    Ballot Measures:  Several states have policy questions on their ballots this year. Current hot-topic subjects include: tax reform measures, legalization of marijuana, and questions regarding the response to the opioid epidemic.

    For more detailed information on the state elections and ballot measures, StateScape recommends the following source:

October 2016

  • October 17, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded their special session late Friday after approving a measure that increases the Las Vegas-area hotel tax to raise $400 million for Las Vegas Convention Center renovations and $750 million to build an NFL-ready football stadium, presumably to lure both UNLV and the Oakland Raiders.

    Legislators also approved legislation that allows the Clark County Commission to raise the county sales tax by one-tenth of one percent to finance more police. Governor Brian Sandoval is very likely to sign the bills into law.

  • October 07, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene in Carson City  Monday to consider a plan to utilize public funding to build a 65,000-seat professional football stadium in Las Vegas (to lure the  NFL’s Oakland Raiders). The plan also calls for expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center and additional Metro Police officers to patrol the strip. Governor Brian Sandoval (R) has removed a proposal to adjust the hotel tax to close an education funding gap from the agenda.

  • October 07, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded their special session yesterday after approving a financial solvency package to rectify the current budget deficit. Anti-crime measures proposed by Governor Susana Martinez (R), including the reinstatement of capital punishment in the state, were approved by the GOP-controlled House, but not considered by the Democrat-controlled Senate.

September 2016

  • September 24, 2016

    Governor Dannel P. Malloy (D) has announced a special session, beginning September 28, to consider a $220 million agreement to retain Sikorsky Aircraft’s headquarters in the state. A tentative agreement reached with the company provides $220 million in grants and tax exemptions over 14 years to manufacture approximately 200 CH-53K King Stallion heavy-lift helicopters.

    Legislative Republican leaders indicated that they might push for other measures during the special session, including a requirement that the legislature vote on every public-sector union contract and a state bonding cap.

  • September 20, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the special session today after overwhelmingly approving an $85 million funding bill to cover the state’s portion of flood relief costs from the June, 2016 floods. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has indicated he is likely to sign the measure into law. The Senate also confirmed many of the governor’s appointees to the bench and executive departments.

  • September 16, 2016

    Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) called the legislature into a special session starting Sunday. Lawmakers are expected to transfer $85 million in state financing (from the rainy day fund and unappropriated lottery funds) to cover that state’s responsibility of recovery costs relating to the floods earlier this summer. Governor Tomblin has also requested $310 million in federal disaster relief funds.

  • September 15, 2016

    Lawmakers returned to the capitol yesterday to consider Governor Jay Nixon’s (D) vetoes during the 2016 regular session. Legislators overrode gubernatorial vetoes on legislation that eliminated the need for conceal-carry permits and a Voter ID law. Also overridden were measures to exempt Yoga classes and dance studios from the state sales tax and to allow Medicaid providers to impose a missed appointment fee under certain circumstances.

    The legislature left intact a veto of a bill to allow trucking companies to test special technology to reduce fuel costs.

  • September 08, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned their special session late yesterday, after approving a compromise measure that applies the state’s share of the 2010 Gulf oil spill settlement -- $639 million -- to reduce state debt, allocate funds for Medicaid, and provide money for highway repairs in Mobile and Baldwin counties. Governor Robert Bentley (R) indicated that he plans to sign the legislation into law. A previous measure to establish a state lottery failed.

  • September 07, 2016

    Governor Bill Haslam (R) has called the General Assembly into special session starting September 12. Lawmakers are expected to fix a new law that lowered the illegal blood alcohol level for drivers under age 21 to .08 percent. The limit must be lowered to .02 percent by October 1 to retain $60 million in federal transportation funding. Governor Haslam indicated that this will be the only subject of the special session.

  • September 01, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the final floor session of the 2015-2016 regular session late Wednesday. During the biennial, legislators approved measures to combat climate change, allow assisted suicide for the terminally ill, and strengthen vaccination efforts for public school children. Also approved were a new reserve fund for revenues and a minimum wage increase to $15 per hour by 2022.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on a comprehensive plan to solve the state’s transportation problems, including hikes in the gasoline and diesel tax and new fees to partially finance the plan. Governor Jerry Brown (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until September 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk. The session officially adjourns sine die November 30.

August 2016

  • August 05, 2016

    The legislative assembly concluded a three-day special session yesterday, after reaching an agreement on legislation to close an estimated $310 million budget deficit. The measure leaves a projected $28,000 general fund balance. Democratic members attempted to restore certain human services funding to no avail, including money for behavioral health, nursing homes, and addiction treatment. Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) signed the bill into law shortly after passage.

July 2016

  • July 29, 2016

    Governor Robert Bentley (R) has called lawmakers into  a special session, beginning August 15, to consider his proposal to place a state lottery referendum on the November 8 ballot. Governor Bentley indicated that a  lottery is necessary to buttress annual state revenues (by approximately $225 million) and address repeated budget deficits. Bentley also indicated that such revenues could lessen shortages in health and welfare funding.

    A previous 1999 referendum to enact a lottery was defeated. Other states without a lottery include Utah, Nevada, Mississippi, Alaska, and Hawaii.

  • July 21, 2016

    Lawmakers voted Wednesday to override Governor David Ige’s (D) veto of SB 2077, preserving the management transfer of three Maui County hospitals to Kaiser Permanente. The new law allows severance benefits or early retirement incentives for affected workers.

  • July 19, 2016

    After the House adjourned the recent special session Friday, the Senate followed suit yesterday without voting on the tax legislation that Governor Bill Walker (I) proposed as a trigger for his deficit-reduction proposals. Governor Walker indicated that any further consideration will likely need to occur after the general election in November.

  • July 14, 2016

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session yesterday after approving an emergency measure to enhance penalties for drone pilots who interfere with wildfires, an allocation of $10 million to build a stadium at the Utah Fairpark, and tax incentives to lure an Internet-based company data center. Legislators rejected a measure to enhance grandparent visitation rights.

  • July 13, 2016

    Lawmakers called themselves into a rare special session yesterday in order to consider an override of Governor David Ige’s (D) veto of legislation that assists employees of three local hospitals subject to an October 1 takeover by Kaiser Permanente. The affected hospitals are Maui Memorial, Kula Hospital and Clinic, and Lanai Community Hospital. The bill grants the affected employees a choice of early retirement or a severance payment. Governor Ige indicated that he thought the bill provided excessive payouts.

    Legislative leaders recessed the special session until July 18 in order to prepare an amendment before proceeding with any override votes.

  • July 13, 2016

    Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) is calling lawmakers back to the capitol, tentatively August 2-5, for a special session to close a budget deficit projected at approximately $310 million. Legislative leaders are likely to propose an authorization of certain emergency fund transfers (excluding human services and K-12 education accounts). Much of the shortfall is a result of declining sales tax collections tied to energy production.

  • July 12, 2016

    Lawmakers convened their fifth special session of the two-year legislative cycle yesterday. Governor Bill Walker (I) has proposed a three percent statewide sales tax and two oil-tax increases to reduce the projected $3.2 billion deficit. Governor Walker also introduced a measure to restructure the Permanent Fund and a separate omnibus tax bill with tax increases on on alcohol, cigarettes, commercial fishing, mining, and motor fuel.

    Legislative leaders have indicated that they may also use the special session to attempt overrides on previous gubernatorial vetoes of the budget.

  • July 12, 2016

    Governor Gary Herbert (R) has called lawmakers into a special session beginning Wednesday, to tackle a varied agenda. Legislators are expected to consider an emergency measure to enhance penalties for drone pilots who interfere with wildfires, allocate $10 million to build a stadium at the Utah Fairpark, and tax incentives to lure an Internet-based company data center.

    Also on the agenda are measures to enhance grandparent visitation rights, warrantless access to controlled-substance databases by probation and parole officers, and revisions to both the Judicial Nominating Commission and Justice Reinvestment Initiative.

  • July 05, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Friday after approving a small change to the controversial “bathroom bill” approved in the March special session to ensure workers can bring civil suit for discriminatory termination. Legislators also approved procedures for using police body camera footage, “Achievement School Districts” for certain low-performing schools, and a $22.3 billion budget that raises teacher and state worker salaries, enhances the rainy day fund, and increases standard income tax deductions.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on regulatory reform, background checks for new teacher licensees, and several new environmental rules. Governor Pat McCrory (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until July 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • July 01, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session early Friday morning after approving a $4.1 billion budget, $45.8 million in grants to non-profit organizations (including the Girl Scouts, fire companies, and drug treatment programs), juvenile justice reforms, and an infrastructure improvements package. Legislators also approved measures to increase penalties for driving while texting, reduce the impact of standardized testing in teacher evaluations, strengthen the charter school auditing process, and place health centers in the state’s remaining high schools.

    Governor Jack Markell (D) has signed the budget bills into law. The governor has until July 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

June 2016

  • June 30, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the two-day special session Wednesday, after the House agreed to a measure to allow Governor Phil Bryant (R) to access up to $349 million in rainy day funds to close a current budget deficit. While the exact amount is unknown at this time, legislative leaders do not expect the governor to take more than $60 million in funds. House Democrats unsuccessfully sought to amend the legislation to provide more funding for health and mental health services.

  • June 27, 2016

    Lawmakers completed a two-day special session Friday after approving a bi-partisan compromise education finance measure. The legislation utilizes proceeds from the sale of Kansas Bioscience Authority assets to grant $38 million in additional school equity spending. Governor Sam Brownback (R) has indicated that he plans to sign the measure into law.

  • June 27, 2016

    Governor Phil Bryant (R) has called lawmakers into a special session Tuesday to authorize him to transfer money from the rainy day fund to the general fund to cover up as much as $75 million in the current spending gap. Governor Bryant has also made several budget cuts to buttress the anticipated funding maneuver. The special session is expected to last one or two days.

  • June 24, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the second special session this year after approving a $263 million budget, $55 million for colleges and universities, and 70 percent of requested funding for the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students (TOPS). Governor John Bel Edwards (D) had prescribed $600 million. The lesser amounts will likely mean spending cuts to balance the ledger. As the special session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on raising $88 million through a sunset in an individual income tax break.

  • June 20, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the first special session of 2016 Sunday, after failing to reach an agreement on Governor Bill Walker’s (I) revenue-raising proposals, including the Permanent Fund measure, the establishment of a personal income tax, and tax increases on mining, commercial fishing, gas, alcohol and tobacco. Earlier, the legislature had passed a budget that reduces the deficit from $4 billion to $3.2 billion.

    In response, Governor Walker has called lawmakers into an additional special session, beginning July 11, to further consider three new deficit reduction bills as well as his tax increase proposals. Governor Walker has also indicated his intention to veto key parts of the budget such as the Permanent Fund dividend checks, to force the legislature’s hand.

  • June 20, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the Spring Session of the legislature on Friday, after approving pension forfeiture for convicted legislators, more openness regarding school finances, and charter school adjustments. Legislators also voted for a hike in the minimum wage to $15 and to force New York City to delay enactment of a five-cent fee on plastic bags.

    As the floor sessions ended, however, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) proposals for ethics reform, in the wake of legal troubles of former Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) and former Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos (R). The legislature also failed to agree on an affordable housing program, and an extension of mayoral oversight of schools in New York City. The regular session does not officially adjourn until January, 2017. Lawmakers could return in the summer or fall if needed.

  • June 20, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session early Saturday morning – two weeks earlier than scheduled – after approving a new $8.9 billion state budget. A last-minute referendum proposal, to grant the governor a line-item veto, was scrapped. Legislators also approved measures to prevent brothels using the euphemism “massage parlors,” combat the opioid overdose crisis, and specify who must report child sex abuse in schools.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on certain probation and parole reforms, as well as marijuana legalization. Governor Gina Raimondo (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until June 28 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • June 17, 2016

    Lawmakers returned to the capitol yesterday for a one-day special session to approve a $1.5 million appropriation to law enforcement programs to combat the opioid crisis. The measure was signed into law later Thursday by Governor Maggie Hassan (D).

    Legislative leaders felt the special session was necessary to revive the grant program after it was spiked earlier this month over a disagreement over whether state employees over 65-years-old must begin paying some of their health care premiums.

  • June 15, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded a seventeen-day special session yesterday after approving a $4.18 billion state budget that includes a new special reserve fund to alleviate the impact of rising state pension premium hikes. Legislators also approved a 65-cent per-pack tobacco tax increase, $120 million in spending cuts, a $70 million appropriation from the rainy day fund, and a provision to allow first-time DUI offenders to participate in an alcohol ignition interlock program.

  • June 13, 2016

    Speaker Mike Hubbard (R) was convicted on Friday of 12 of 23 felony charges, including using the elected office (as well as his former post as chair of the state Republican Party) for personal gain. The convictions automatically removed him from his speaker position and as a member of the House. Hubbard is expected to be sentenced on July 8. He faces 20 years in prison. Speaker Pro Tempore Victor Gaston (R) assumes the gavel until a new election by the members can be held.

  • June 07, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Monday without reaching an agreement on the state construction budget. The issue, as well as the lingering $600 million budget shortfall, will be considered in the special session that began immediately after the regular session adjournment. The special session is  expected to adjourn by June 23. The budget needs to be completed by July 1.

    As the regular session ended, legislators did approve certain second-trimester abortions and prohibitions against forced Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood, streamlined concealed carry permits for domestic violence victims, access to online screen names of registered sex offenders, and increased availability of medical marijuana.

  • June 03, 2016

    Lawmakers ended floor sessions for the 2016 regular session on Wednesday, after approving Medicaid expansion and business tax cuts. Legislators also approved additional funding for the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program and drug abuse prevention programs, and a prohibition against bestiality.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on banning so-called “conversion therapy” that targets homosexual minors, as well as  additional funding for law enforcement to combat drug dealers themselves. The General Court will return to the capitol June 16 to reconsider the law enforcement funding bill.

  • June 03, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session Thursday after failing to reach an agreement on an ethics reform package championed by Governor Nikki Haley (R), including the creation of an independent commission to investigate officeholders. Legislators are expected to continue consideration of the bill, as well as a measure to require income reporting, in the June 15 special/veto session. Legislation to require police dashcam audio recordings available to the public also died.

    As the session ended, lawmakers did approve a tax break for military retirees, moped requirements, a measure to have state health agencies investigate opioid-related deaths through marijuana use, and a prohibition against law enforcement agencies from establishing ticket quotas or threshold requirements. Legislators also approved a $7.5 billion budget, infrastructure improvements, and a system of reporting college fraternity and sorority misconduct.

  • June 02, 2016

    Lawmakers officially adjourned the 2016 regular session yesterday without responding to last week’s state Supreme Court decision that invalidated the current school funding formula. The court ruled in Gannon v. Kansas that the most recent changes to school finance create “intolerable, and simply unfair, wealth-based disparities” among the school districts. Legislators also voted overwhelmingly to override a gubernatorial veto of legislation that streamlines the process for appealing decisions by the Board of Tax Appeals.

    The school funding situation is currently in flux, with a special session scheduled for June 23 in order to possibly resolve the issue by the imposed June 30 deadline. Without a final arrangement, the court could act to close the schools and precipitate a constitutional crisis among the legislature, Governor Sam Brownback (R), and the state Supreme Court. Several of the justices are up for retention votes in the November general election.

May 2016

  • May 28, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session Friday after approving a $6.78 billion budget that decreases state spending for public safety, education, and human services. Governor Mary Fallin (R) is expected to sign the budget into law next week. Legislators also passed a measure to prohibit physicians from performing abortions, however the legislation was vetoed by the governor.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a $1.50 per-pack cigarette tax, tax increases on sales and gasoline, and a measure to use federal funds to help subsidize health care for those with low-incomes. Governor Fallin, who possesses a pocket veto, has until June 11 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • May 23, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned its special session Monday, after approving legislation for shovelling nearly $50 million for state highway improvements. Legislators tapped into surplus money and utilized investment returns to complete the funding package. Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) signed the measure into law, noting that the legislation allows the state to receive an additional $200 million in federal matching dollars.

  • May 23, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Sunday night, after failing to reach an agreement on a transportation funding proposal and an infrastructure improvements package, including mass transit funding. Legislators could not agree on a measure to comply with the federal Real ID program.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were able to approve $1.1 billion in new state spending and $259 million in tax cuts. The new funding provides for prekindergarten, rural broadband Internet development, and economic growth. Legislators also approved body cameras for law enforcement. Governor Mark Dayton (D), who possesses a pocket veto, has until June 7 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 19, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the 2016 regular session late yesterday without reaching a final agreement on a new state budget, deficit reduction, or oil taxes; prompting Governor Bill Walker (I) to immediately call a special session to convene Monday to resolve the outstanding issues. Governor Walker added capital budget bills, restructuring of the Permanent Fund, authorizing a personal income tax, and tax increases on consumption and natural resource extraction to the agenda.

    Legislators worked overtime from the April 21 voter-approved deadline for regular sessions (state law still allows for the legislature to ignore this deadline up to 31 days), however could not muster a 2/3 majority to extend the session an additional 10 days, as allowed under the constitution.

  • May 19, 2016

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session Wednesday, after overriding a $4.7 million line item veto to restore funding for various education programs. Legislators also approved a non-binding resolution that opposes a proposed Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah.

  • May 18, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today to begin a special session to consider a restoration of $4.7 million in education funding, vetoed by Governor Gary Herbert (R), and whether to officially oppose the creation of a national monument by President Obama. The education funding line item would provide supplemental funding for preschool programs, students with reading difficulties, and a televised culinary arts program. The funding is expected to be restored.

  • May 12, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the 2016 regular session late yesterday after approving limited expansion of liquor sales, allowing out-of-state marijuana shop owners, and the sunsetting of certain HIV-related penalties. Legislators also approved a measure to allow the state to engage in higher yield yet riskier investments with public school money.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on infrastructure improvement funding and budget reforms. Governor John Hickenlooper (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until June 11 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 10, 2016

    Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) has called lawmakers into a special session, beginning May 16, to finalize the state budget that proved elusive during the regular session. Legislators will specifically consider closing  a projected $270 million spending gap. Governor Tomblin is expected to call for tax increases on general sales, tobacco, and telecommunications. A new spending plan is needed by July 1.

  • May 09, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session early Saturday after approving nullification of local gun laws that conflict with state statutes, a polling place minimum for presidential primaries (to handle increased participation), and a restoration of children’s health insurance. Legislators also approved a measure that prevents colleges from illegally infringing on the free-speech rights of students and tax cuts for certain college properties.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on public financing of elections. Governor Doug Ducey (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until May 18 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 09, 2016

    The General Assembly officially adjourned the 2016 budget session today, having concluded most floor business on Friday. Legislators approved a budget bill that distributes $5.33 billion, with most of the $142.7 million increase slated toward human services and public schools. The legislature also reauthorized the use of federal Medicaid funding to finance a private health insurance program for low-income residents.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on highway funding, prompting Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) to call a special session for May 19 to resolve the impasse. Governor Hutchinson, who does not possess a pocket veto, has 20 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays)  to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 09, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session late Friday, after approving a $2.5 billion state budget (with additional funding for state colleges and child protection), $49 million in new revenue (largely from several new fees), and greater public input for alternative energy proposals.  . Legislators also approved a measure to ensure prescription drug pricing transparency.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on marijuana legalization. Governor Peter Shumlin (D), who possesses a pocket veto, has three days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 06, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Wednesday, after approving abortion restrictions, teacher raises, and decriminalization of marijuana oil. Legislators also approved Medicaid funding cuts and impeachment articles against the governor. Further action on impeachment is unknown at this time.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a prison construction plan, Confederate monument protection, and establishing a state lottery. Governor Robert Bentley (R), who possesses a pocket veto, has until May 16 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 06, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Wednesday, after approving medical marijuana, firearms restrictions for subjects of restraining orders, and opioid prescription restrictions. Legislators also approved retirement account protections, enhanced penalties for drivers who hit pedestrians, and availability of teacher records for investigative purposes.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on direct sales of Tesla motor vehicles, in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, and a gambling impact study. Legislators will return to the capitol May 12 for a special session to finalize the budget. Governor Dannel Malloy (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 06, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Wednesday, after approving measures to prohibit sex trafficking and prevent homelessness, as well as a $100 million program to climate-control 1000 classrooms. Legislators also approved legislation to allow terminally ill patients to try experimental drugs, however it was vetoed by the governor.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on regulations on fantasy sports, rules for operating drones, renewable energy rebates, police accountability, and a measure to allow women to obtain birth control from pharmacists. Governor David Ige (D), who does not  possess a pocket veto, has until June 20 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 02, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Friday after approving a $7.3 billion state budget, business tax breaks to foster economic growth, and infrastructure improvements. Legislators also approved timely funding procedures for education and enhanced Medicaid oversight.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on funding for water quality improvement projects, legalization of medical marijuana, and de-funding Planned Parenthood. Governor Terry Branstad (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until May 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 02, 2016

    The legislature ended regular floor sessions early Monday after narrowly passing a $6.3 billion budget with a $22 million projected spending gap. Governor Sam Brownback (R) is expected to sign the budget into law after making several line-item reductions. Legislators also approved restrictions on local governments from enacting rental inspection and nutrition labeling laws, a measure to hastens the effective date of a new property tax lid for local governments, and a reduction of penalties for marijuana possession.

    As the floor sessions ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a welfare reform bill. The legislature is expected to return June 1 to consider vetoes from the governor and ceremonially adjourn sine die.

  • May 02, 2016

    The Maine General Assembly completed its 2016 deliberations with a Friday veto session. During the session, lawmakers approved measures to deal with the opioid-addiction crisis, an overhaul of the Bureau of Veterans’ Services, and legislation to establish a Lewiston-Auburn passenger rail line. Legislators sustained a gubernatorial veto of a bill that would boost solar energy programs, while overriding a veto on increased jail funding

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on education funding, property tax reductions, and Medicaid expansion under the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.

April 2016

  • April 25, 2016

    Amid the controversy over the recent special session, that saw the enactment of the so-called “bathroom bill,” lawmakers return to the capitol to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider teacher salaries, budget revisions, and regulatory reform during the short session, which is expected to last until late June. Also on the agenda is education spending, mental health and substance abuse prevention programs, and infrastructure improvements.

  • April 25, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Friday, after approving a $34.9 billion budget, a measure to allow the attorney general to sue the federal government over its refugee settlement program, and personal belief protections for counselors and therapists. Legislators also approved legislation allowing college faculty and staff to be armed on campus and relaxed storm-water runoff rules.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on transgender restrooms and a limited school voucher program. The House was unable to override a gubernatorial veto that would designate the Bible as the official book of the state. Governor Bill Haslam (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk. Legislators have not scheduled a veto override session.

  • April 21, 2016

    The 2016 regular session ended after the House adjourned (the Senate adjourned Wednesday). Lawmakers approved a $6 billion budget that cuts state spending across the board due to lesser revenues, $415 million in business and income taxes, and legislation allowing for denial of services based on religious objections. Legislators also approved education reform legislation and a measure allowing the possession of alcoholic drinks outside bars.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on allocating BP settlement funds for coastal areas. Governor Phil Bryant (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 15 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 21, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the 2016 regular session yesterday, after approving a revised state budget that holds spending growth to 3.6 percent, property tax relief for residents and farm owners, and funding to complete the state highway system. Senators also approved prison reform and increased education funding.

    As the session concluded, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on Medicaid expansion. The Senators also upheld Governor Pete Ricketts’ (R) veto of a measure to transfer redistricting duties from the legislature to an unelected commission. Governor Ricketts indicated that the move violated the constitution. The legislature did override a veto of a measure to offer two-year, renewable work permits to illegal immigrants.

  • April 21, 2016

    Lawmakers returned to the Capitol yesterday for a one-day veto session. The lack of veto-proof majorities in the chambers basically foretold that all 32 of Governor McAuliffe’s (D) vetoes would be upheld, including on measures to protect religious objections to gay marriage, authorize coal tax credits, and prohibit the removal of Confederate monuments.

    Legislators also upheld the governor’s vetoes on allowing home-schooled students to participate in public high school athletics, allowing parents to opt their kids out of sexually explicit instructional material, and placing additional restrictions on abortion providers.

  • April 18, 2016

    Lawmakers concluded the 2016 regular session late Friday, after approving the so-called “Work Ready” scholarship program for community college students, a revamped driver’s license to comply with federal Real ID requirements, and a revenue bill to finance state operations. Legislators also approved funding for infrastructure improvements and enhanced penalties for trafficking or possessing synthetic drugs..

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a transparency bill for public oversight of certain governmental programs, a halt to Planned Parenthood funding, and increased campaign contribution limits. Governor Matt Bevin (R) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until April 27 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 13, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today, after last week’s special session, to begin the short 2016 fiscal session. Besides crafting the state budget, legislators are also expected to consider Medicaid expansion, infrastructure improvements, and corrections funding. Governor Asa Hutchinson’s (R) budget proposal calls for $142.7 million in extra spending and also includes income tax rate cuts as well as increased education and human services funding. The fiscal session is expected to adjourn May 12.

  • April 12, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the 2016 regular session late Monday, after approving an overhaul of the state’s criminal justice policies that focuses on rehabilitation and treatment (instead of incarceration), and eliminates mandatory minimum sentences for certain drug offenses. Legislators also approved measures to enhance police accountability, funding for inner-city needs, and a $37.5 million tax break for Northrup Grumman.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on income tax decreases, legalized daily fantasy sports betting, and measures to prevent lead poisoning. Governor Larry Hogan (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until May 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 08, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the special session today after approving legislation that continues the current plan of expanding Medicaid through a  private option instead of the usual mechanism of the federal Affordable Care Act. Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) has signed the legislation into law. Funding for the plan will require a three-fourths majority vote during the fiscal session that begins next week.

  • April 06, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today, a week earlier than the start of the regular session, to consider Governor Asa Hutchinson’s (R) proposal to continue with an expanded Medicaid program, while offering incentives for recipients to stay employed and procure their own coverage. The governor removed his previous proposal that included a measure to hire private companies to manage part of the plan.

    Legislative leaders have not yet indicated whether they will consider their own counter-proposal, the so-called “DiamondCare” program. Also included on the agenda is approval of certain gubernatorial appointees.

March 2016

  • March 30, 2016

    Lawmakers wrapped up the 2016 regular session yesterday with the annual veto session. Legislators were unable to override Governor Dennis Daugaard’s (R) four vetoes from the session, including a measure to establish transgender bathroom restrictions, a buffer-strip tax break for farmers, an expense-benefits increase for members of the State Board of Pardons and Paroles, and a tax rebate for broadband Internet connectivity projects.

  • March 30, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the special session late Tuesday after approving a $191 million 2016 supplemental budget, which aids staffing at Western State Hospital, provides funds for home health care providers, and underwrites wildfire containment costs from last year. Significant work still needs to be done to address the school funding and teacher pay issues.

    The legislature also overrode Governor Jay Inslee’s (D) vetoes on 27 bills from the regular session, including measures regarding refrigeration of noodles and growing industrial hemp.

  • March 26, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session this week (the Senate on Thursday, the House on Friday), after approving large education funding increases and an $8 million transfer for a possible broadband Internet contract settlement. Legislators also approved a prohibition against the sale or donation of aborted fetal tissue, a statewide DNA tracking system for sexual assault crimes, and a measure to allow concealed carry of firearms in cities without a permit.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a $22.6 million tax cut measure for the state’s top earners or Medicaid expansion. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until April 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 25, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session a few moments after midnight Thursday. During the session, they approved a requirement of a search warrant to fly drones over private property, a measure to prohibit financial institutions from refusing services to legal gun or ammunition sellers, and legislation to allow students over 18 to carry stun guns on college campuses. Legislators also approved expedited processing of rape kits, a bill to protect opponents of gay marriage, as well as changes to teacher evaluations and standardized testing.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on medical marijuana expansion and a citizenship requirement for serving on local boards. Governor Nathan Deal (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until May 4 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 24, 2016

    The one day special session adjourned yesterday after lawmakers approved a measure that prohibits local governments from enacting ordinances to allow gender use flexibility in public restrooms. The action was in response to an ordinance passed by the City of Charlotte, which allowed such use. Republican legislators feared the local ordinance would enable men, including sex offenders, to use the law to gain access to women’s restrooms.

    Governor Pat McCrory (R) signed the measure into law after the special session.

  • March 22, 2016

    Lawmakers have called themselves into a one-day special session Wednesday to consider legislation that would overturn Charlotte’s LGBT ordinance. The measure would negate a recently-passed ordinance (set to go into effect April 1) that prohibits LGBT discrimination, but legislative leaders insist that the so-called “bathroom bill” would be abused by criminals pretending to be transgendered. The ordinance also prohibits denial of services by private businesses due to religious objections.

    Governor Pat McCrory (R) declined to call a special session, indicating his concern that the special session legislation would go further than necessary, however Lieutenant Governor Dan Forest (R) and House Speaker Tim Moore ( R) invoked a seldom used constitutional provision to act on their own accord.

  • March 16, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the Extended Budget Session yesterday after failing to reach a final agreement on the new state budget. Legislators will return to the capitol for a special session, likely later this spring, to close an estimated $238.8 million deficit and resolve the impasse.

  • March 15, 2016

    After completing a three-week special session that did little to resolve an estimated $800 million budget deficit, lawmakers returned to the Capitol yesterday to begin the regular session. Due to legislative rules prohibiting tax increases during the second-year session, a second special session will likely be necessary in June to close the gap.

    Legislators are expected to consider the TOPS college scholarship program, education funding and charter schools, as well as abortion restrictions and Medicaid expansion curtailment. Also on the agenda are reforms to prisons and sentencing guidelines. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn June 2.

  • March 14, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Friday after approving a new $82.3 billion state budget, economic incentives to help Tallahassee International Airport land JetBlue, and funding for Florida A&M, Florida State, and Tallahassee Community College. Legislators also approved the “Legacy Florida Act,” which commits a minimum of $300 million over the next 20 years to clean up the Everglades and restore natural springs.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a $1 billion tax cut, a $250 million economic development fund, a Seminole gaming compact, and the establishment of a state Surgeon General. Governor Rick Scott (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 14, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session Thursday, after approving incremental increases in the medical malpractice cap by 2018, extension of the school voucher application window, and a measure to prohibit abortions due to the fetus being diagnosed with Down Syndrome or other disabilities. Legislators also approved $800 million in infrastructure improvements and repealed the ISTEP test in 2017.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a measure to expand the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered residents. Governor Mike Pence, who does not possess a pocket veto, has seven days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 14, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the regular session Friday after approving a new $105 billion biennial budget that grants state employees and higher education faculty a three-percent raise, as well as a two-percent raise for other teachers. Legislators also approved increased education funding, economic development measures, and a good-natured resolution calling on Senate Majority Leader Thomas Norment (R) to shave his newly-grown beard (Norment apparently complied).

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on accepting federal dollars to expand Medicaid. The General Assembly will reconvene on April 20 to consider Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D) vetoes and other final considerations.

  • March 14, 2016

    The 2016 regular session ended late Saturday evening without a final agreement on a new $4.3 billion state budget, prompting Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) to call the extended budget session to resolve the impasse. However, Governor Tomblin indicated that the extended session will not likely resolve the outstanding appropriations issues, and that an additional future special session will be needed.

    During the session, lawmakers did reach an agreement on several high-profile issues, including additional abortion restrictions, a repeal of the prevailing wage, a right-to-work law, and a measure to allow the concealed carry of handguns without a permit. Governor Tomblin, who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 30 to sign or veto legislation from the regular session that reaches his desk.

  • March 11, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 regular session late Thursday after approving additional a $14.7 billion budget that increases education funding, asserts state ownership of federal lands, and further restricts abortions. Legislators also approved a limited Medicaid expansion program, as well as funding for a coal port and future water pipeline projects.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on repealing the death penalty, prohibiting hate crimes, and approving medical marijuana. Governor Gary Herbert (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until March 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 11, 2016

    The 2016 regular session ended late Thursday without a final agreement on a supplemental state budget and a plan to address K-12 education funding, prompting Governor Jay Inslee (D) to call a special session to resolve the issues, and also to veto several bills sent to his desk, including legislation relating to wholesale vehicle dealers, pharmacy assistants, fire-sprinkler systems, and industrial hemp.

    The governor actually signed several other bills deemed vital to state interests, including measures to combat human trafficking, enhance penalties for vehicular homicide, and protect employment rights for National Guard personnel. Governor Inslee indicated that the special session should only last for a few days. He has until April 2 to sign or veto the remaining bills from the regular session that reach his desk.

  • March 08, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today to begin the 2016 regular session.  Legislators are expected to consider small adjustments to the $41.5 billion state budget as well as bonding bills for infrastructure improvements, transportation and education funding, and tax cuts. Also on the agenda is compliance with federal Real ID standards, changes in drug offense sentencing, and police body cameras. The regular session is slated to adjourn May 23.

  • March 07, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 session March 3 – three days earlier than expected. During the session, legislators approved a three-tiered hike in the minimum wage (for rural counties, Portland, and the rest of the state), a measure to switch reliance on coal to renewable energy sources, and a package of bills to alleviate the state’s housing crisis.

    As the session ended, lawmakers did not approve measures to remove wolves from the endangered species list, license tobacco dealers, and enhance the state firearms background check system. Governor Kate Brown (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until April 11 to sign or veto the remaining legislation that reached her desk.

  • March 07, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2016 budget session late Friday after approving a new $3 billion biennial budget and addressed a $465 million deficit from declining petroleum prices. The 20-day session prevented much else from being approved: Medicaid expansion, a hike in the minimum wage, a ban on the death penalty, and a hate-crimes law were all defeated. Abortion restrictions and a measure to allow firearms in public meetings were also quashed.

    Governor Matt Mead (R), who does not possess a pocket veto, has until March 22 to sign or veto the remaining legislation that reached his desk.

February 2016

  • February 19, 2016

    Lawmakers completed the 2016 regular session yesterday after approving a $6.2 billion budget, $166 million in infrastructure improvement spending, regulations on ride-booking services such as Uber, and legislation to require student athletes to wait longer to return from concussions. Legislators also passed a Real ID Act compliance measure.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on the creation of an ethics commission, mandatory retention for third-graders who cannot read proficiently, pension forfeiture for corrupt public officials, and a gas tax hike. Governor Susana Martinez (R) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until March 9 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • February 19, 2016

    Lawmakers completed this week’s special session after approving new congressional district boundaries (to satisfy a federal panel of judges who ruled the existing lines unconstitutional), and a measure to delay the state’s congressional primary from March 15 to June 7. The rest of the primary elections will proceed as planned on March 15.

  • February 18, 2016

    Lawmakers will meet today in a rare special session to reconfigure the boundaries for the state’s congressional districts. The changes were necessitated by a panel of federal judges who ruled that the current lines for two of the districts (the first and twelfth) were unconstitutional. The new proposal is expected to maintain the current split of 10 Republicans and three Democrats. Legislators are also expected to consider a measure to delay the March 15 congressional primary.

  • February 08, 2016

    Governor John Bel Edwards (D) has called lawmakers into special session, beginning February 14, to close a projected $750 million spending gap. Legislators also may consider higher education funding. Governor Edwards is proposing a mixture of tax increases and budget cuts to resolve the deficit. The special session is expected to adjourn by March 9, five days before the March 14 start of the regular session.

  • February 08, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today to begin the 2016 budget session with Governor Matt Mead’s (R) State of the State address. While the month-long session will focus primarily on the 2017-18 spending plan, other issues will be considered as well, including infrastructure improvements and Medicaid expansion. A hike in the minimum wage is not expected to garner much support in this year’s session. The session is expected to conclude on or around March 3.

  • February 05, 2016

    Lawmakers adjourned the one-day special session late yesterday, after reaching an agreement on an economic incentives package that includes $274 million in borrowing and tax breaks to assist both Continental Tire in building a manufacturing plant in Hinds County and Edison Chouest in investing in shipyards at Gulfport.

  • February 04, 2016

    Lawmakers are convening a special session today, concurrent with the regular session, to approve economic incentives to lure a $1.45 billion Continental Tire manufacturing plant to Hinds County, and a shipping operation to Gulfport. The two projects are expected to constitute the largest economic development deal in the state’s history, adding 3,500 jobs to the employment rolls and $1.5 billion in private investment.

  • February 03, 2016

    Lawmakers return today to Hartford to convene the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider a $20 billion state budget (with a projected $7.1 million deficit), job growth and economic expansion, infrastructure improvements, and a new Indian casino near the Massachusetts border. Also on the agenda are funds for municipalities and streamlining of local governments. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn May 4.

  • February 02, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2014 regular session. Aside from the annual process of crafting a state budget, legislators are expected to consider a proposal for a state lottery, a teacher pay raise, and infrastructure improvements. Also on the agenda are concealed-carry authorization on college campuses, an established minimum wage, and medical marijuana. The legislature is slated to adjourn by mid-May.

  • February 01, 2016

    Lawmakers return to Oklahoma City today to convene the 2016 regular session, where the primary focus is likely to be on a projected $900 million budget deficit, an income tax cut, and revenue stream flexibility. Legislators are expected to consider other issues, including Real ID driver’s license standards, school choice, and school district consolidation. Governor Mary Fallin (R) will deliver her State-of-the-State Address today. The regular session is expected to adjourn by late May.

  • February 01, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the short 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to consider issues such as increasing the minimum wage, gun control, and doubling the lodging tax. Lawmakers also are expected to consider housing affordability and switching from coal power to alternative energy sources. The session is expected to wrap up by early March.

January 2016

  • January 25, 2016

    Lawmakers convene today to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider the state budget, infrastructure improvements, economic development, and Internet sales tax enforcement. Also on the agenda are Medicaid expansion, funding for carp removal, and medical marijuana legalization. Lawmakers are scheduled to wrap up the session March 10.

  • January 20, 2016

    Lawmakers return today to convene the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to focus on health care and education funding, reducing homelessness, and increasing the minimum wage. Also on the agenda are infrastructure improvements, mental health reform, and enhanced access to health care. The legislature is expected to adjourn in early May.

  • January 19, 2016

    Lawmakers reconvene today for the 2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to consider a budget deficit tied to a sustained drop in oil prices, an increased personal income tax, and potential cuts in Medicaid and corrections funding. Legislators are also expected to consider education funding and a constitutional prohibition on longer legislative sessions. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn April 17.

  • January 19, 2016

    Lawmakers return to Santa Fe today for the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to address the $6.5 billion state budget, right-to-work legislation, expansion of the “three-strikes” law, and enhanced DUI penalties. Also on the agenda are legalization of marijuana, increased teacher salaries, and the creation of Real ID-compliant driver’s licenses. The 30-day session is scheduled to adjourn February 18.

  • January 13, 2016

    Lawmakers meet today in Denver to usher in the 2016 regular session. The session is expected to focus primarily on the state’s budget, infrastructure improvements, education financing, and Planned Parenthood funding. Legislators are also expected to consider job creation and affordable housing. The session is scheduled to adjourn May 4.

  • January 13, 2016

    Lawmakers convene today to begin the 2016 regular session basically where the 2015 session recessed: without a budget agreement in place. Legislative leaders are not optimistic that an agreement is close. Lawmakers are also expected to consider a measure to allow recall efforts against the mayor of Chicago, the $111 billion pension debt, body cameras for law enforcement, and regulations for fantasy sports gambling. The legislature normally concludes floor sessions in late May.

  • January 13, 2016

    The Maryland General Assembly convenes today in Annapolis. Lawmakers are expected to focus on passing a $17.1 billion state budget, as well as education funding, protecting the pension system, and right-to-die legislation. The General Assembly may also vote to override Governor Larry Hogan’s (R) vetoes on bills to decriminalize marijuana and to allow felons on parole or probation to vote, The session is slated to adjourn in early April.

  • January 13, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene in Richmond today to begin the 2016 regular session. Control of the Senate remains a factor, with a slim GOP majority in the Senate. The House remains under Republican control.

    Legislators will consider a proposed $109 billion, two-year budget, Medicaid expansion, and state employee pay raises. Also on the agenda are state pension funding, education initiatives and additional teachers, and transportation projects such as road funding and the expansion of port facilities at Norfolk. The session is scheduled to adjourn March 12.

  • January 13, 2016

    Lawmakers return to Charleston today to convene the 2016 regular session. Legislators plan to consider a projected $353 budget deficit, education funding, forced pooling of natural gas leasing agreements, and broadband Internet expansion. Also likely to be considered will be the repeal of Common Core standards and alleviating a teacher shortage. The session is scheduled to adjourn March 12.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers will re-convene today in Dover to begin the 2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to hear Governor Jack Markell’s (D) budget address later this month and begin consideration of proposals to reform the criminal justice system to make sentences fairer. Legislators are also slated to consider body cameras for law enforcement, a repeal of the death penalty, and job creation. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn by late June.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol Tuesday to begin the 2016 regular session. This year the agenda includes the state budget, a water quality protection bill, and measures to help mainstream the disabled. Legislators also are expected to consider tax and spending cuts. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn May 2.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers will officially conclude the 2014-2015 session and start the 2016-2017 session today in Trenton. As the 2014-15 session concluded, legislators were able to reach agreement on ballot measures to require state funding of the pension system, expand gaming in the northern part of the state, and dedicate all gas tax revenues to transportation projects.  Legislators also approved a measure to require “smart guns,” a prohibition on selling tobacco and vaping products to persons under age 21, and a bill to require law enforcement to obtain warrants to use drones.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on changing the state’s redistricting process. Legislative leaders have indicated that increased funding for substance abuse and mental health programs and a 15-year plan to take over Atlantic City will be considered in the new (2016-2017) session.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers will re-convene today for the 2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to address ethics reform, infrastructure improvements, and education funding in rural school districts. Legislators are also expected to consider how to distribute an expected budget surplus, a firearms reciprocity agreement with Georgia, and coastal wind energy development. The legislature is expected to adjourn by early June.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today in Pierre to begin the 2016 session, where the legislature is expected to hear Governor Dennis Daugaards’ (R) State of the State address. Legislators are expected to also consider health care for Native Americans, expanded health care coverage for needy residents, and a raise in teacher salaries. Also on the agenda is a measure to stop the licensing of all marriages in the state, in response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on same-sex marriage. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn March 31.

  • January 12, 2016

    Lawmakers in the Volunteer State will re-convene today to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider a projected $500 million budget surplus, criminal justice reform, education spending, and school choice. Also on the agenda are infrastructure improvements, allowing firearms in parks, and measures to address marriage in the state. The regular session is slated to adjourn in mid-April.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today in Phoenix to begin the 2016 regular session and are expected to begin consideration of proposals to address the state budget. Governor Doug Ducey (R) has indicated he will propose legislation on prison reform, incremental tax cuts, and mental-health service improvements. Legislators are also likely to consider economic growth measures, marijuana legalization, and a measure to ban videotaping within 20 feet of a police officer. The legislature is slated to adjourn in late April, but floor sessions beyond that time are likely.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers return to the capitol today for the 2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to address performance-based teacher salaries, casino gaming, and campaign finance reform. Legislators also will consider a half-penny sales tax increase, and a high-speed rail line for northern Fulton County. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late March.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2016 session. After receiving Governor Butch Otter’s (R) State of the State address, the legislature is expected to consider several issues, including school choice, Medicaid expansion, urban renewal and infrastructure improvements, and broadband Internet expansion. The legislature will likely adjourn by the end of March.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to focus primarily on approving a $7 billion state budget, education spending, and Medicaid expansion. Legislators are also expected to consider workforce development and Planned Parenthood funding. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-April.

  • January 11, 2016

    Lawmakers will re-convene today to gavel in the 2016 regular session. Besides the state budget, legislators are expected to consider state budget adjustments, school funding, and spending cuts. Legislators are also expected to consider a reduced grocery tax, a measure to allow conceal carry on college campuses, and funding for additional prison guards. The legislature is expected to adjourn by early April.

  • January 11, 2016

    John Bel Edwards (D) was inaugurated as the states 56th governor today, succeeding the term-limited Bobby Jindal (R). In his inauguration remarks, Edwards indicated that he would focus on fixing budget problems, addressing the state’s economic climate despite falling oil prices, Medicaid expansion, and improving education standards.

    Earlier in the day, the House elected Taylor Barras (R), a former Democrat, as its new Speaker, defeating Walt Leger (D), who was Governor Edward’s choice. The move was seen as an apparent snub to the new governor (traditionally, the governor wields considerable clout in who gets the Speakership, regardless of majority status in the chamber). John Alario (R) was elected as Senate president.

  • January 11, 2016

    The legislature convenes today in Olympia for the 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of proposals to address the state budget, relieving a teacher shortage, and other education funding. Legislators are also likely to consider mental-health services, funding for state prisons, and wildfire management. The legislature is slated to adjourn by mid-March.

  • January 06, 2016

    Lawmakers will reconvene today to begin the second regular session of the 126th Legislature. Legislators are expected to focus on approving a supplemental budget to close projected spending shortfalls. Legislators are also expected to consider combating the opioid addiction epidemic, Medicaid expansion, restrictions on videotaping at polling places, and workforce training initiatives. The session is slated to adjourn by early June.

  • January 06, 2016

    The 2016 regular session begins today as lawmakers return to Jefferson City. Legislators are expected to consider economic development, infrastructure improvements, right-to-work measures, ethics reform, and Planned Parenthood funding. The session is scheduled to adjourn May 30.

  • January 06, 2016

    The 2016 regular session begins today in Lincoln.  Lawmakers expect to consider property and income tax cuts, education funding, and an overhaul of the state prison system to reduce overcrowding. Senators are also expected to consider infrastructure improvements and Medicaid expansion. Lawmakers expect to adjourn the session April 20.

  • January 06, 2016

    Lawmakers return today to usher in the 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to consider economic development, Keno legalization, gun licensing, and drone regulation. Legislators are also expected to consider the repeal of mandatory minimum sentences for certain offenses and body cameras for law enforcement personnel. The General Court is expected to be in session until mid-June.

  • January 06, 2016

    Lawmakers return today for the 2016 regular session. The Legislature is expected to receive Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) for his State of the State Address next week, which will likely include his call for a $15 minimum wage for state university employees. Legislators are expected to consider education funding, paid family leave, and increased gun control measures. The legislature usually recesses in June.

  • January 05, 2016

    Lawmakers will convene today in Indianapolis to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to address several issues; including civil rights related to sexual orientation and gender identification, infrastructure improvements, and standardized testing in schools. Combating a teacher shortage and requiring prescriptions for pseudoephedrine are also on the agenda. The legislature is slated to adjourn March 10.

  • January 05, 2016

    Lawmakers convene the 2016 regular session Tuesday. Legislators are expected to consider a biennial $21 billion state budget, and issues such as the state pension system, charter schools, and voting rights for felons. Legislators are also expected to consider education spending, tort reform, and the minimum wage. Governor Matt Bevin (R) was inaugurated December 8, 2015. The regular session is scheduled to adjourn April 12.

  • January 05, 2016

    The Mississippi Legislature convenes today for the 2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to contend with balancing the state budget as well as infrastructure improvements, body cameras for police, child custody reform, and protections against terrorism. Legislative leaders indicate that issues such as enhanced DUI penalties and human trafficking will also be considered. The legislature is slated to adjourn May 8.

  • January 05, 2016

    Lawmakers convene today to usher in the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider an overhaul of the state pension system, Governor Gina Raimondo's (D) $60 million truck toll proposal to aid highway improvements, and gambling expansion. Also on the agenda is gun control, education funding, sentencing reform, and marijuana legalization. The General Assembly is expected to adjourn late June.

  • January 05, 2016

    The Vermont Legislature returns today to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislative leaders indicate that the two main issues for the session will be balancing the state budget (including efforts to close a projected $58 million spending gap) and a paid sick leave measure. Also on the agenda will be marijuana legalization, education reform, and expanded health care coverage. The session is expected to run until early March.

  • January 04, 2016

    Lawmakers return today to begin the 2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider matters not considered in 2015, including a smoking ban, a hike in the minimum wage, and expanded family leave provisions. Also on the agenda will be increased early education funding, additional social programs, and increased gun control measures.

    Governor Jerry Brown (D) is expected to release his new budget plan this week, which is expected to focus on healthcare and infrastructure funding. The regular session is scheduled to conclude August 31.

December 2015

  • December 21, 2015

    Lawmakers completed their special session late Saturday after approving an economic benefits package to lure Faraday Future – a $1 billion electric car manufacturer – into building a plant in North Las Vegas. Governor Brian Sandoval (R) signed the measure into law shortly after the special session adjourned. The approved legislative package includes $215 million in tax abatements and transferrable tax credits, as well as $175 million in infrastructure improvement bonds for the projected site. The manufacturer indicated that they intend to produce cars by 2017.

    Legislators also passed an unexpected school choice resolution, expressing the legislature’s intent to exempt military families and children under age seven from the 100-day rule to receive state funds to attend private schools.

  • December 16, 2015

    Governor Brian Sandoval (R) has called the legislature into a special session today to consider a tax incentive package to lure Faraday Future, an electric car manufacturer, to the state. Sandoval is requesting lawmakers to approve $217 million in tax abatements and transferable tax credits for businesses that invest a minimum of $1 billion in capital.

  • December 09, 2015

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session Tuesday, approving a constitutional amendment to protect transportation funding (to be decided in 2018) and approving $350 million in budgetary adjustments. The budget legislation prescribes a $19 million corporate tax reduction, $196 million in spending cuts, and $136 million in new revenue sources.

    The Republican minority failed in their attempts to change legislative rules addressing the way legislators vote on union contracts and a recalculation of the spending cap.

  • December 08, 2015

    Governor Matt Bevin (R) was inaugurated at 12:01 AM Tuesday, succeeding Steve Beshear (D), who was term-limited, to become the state’s 62nd governor. Jenean Hampton (R) also was inaugurated as the commonwealth’s lieutenant governor. The public swearing-in ceremony takes place later today.

    Governor Bevin campaigned on repealing much of his predecessor’s health care reforms, including Medicaid expansion and the state-run health exchange, citing affordability as the primary reason. Bevin’s first major chore will be to prepare a new biennial budget that addresses large projected state pension plan deficits and expands Medicaid benefits (despite his desire for its repeal).

  • December 04, 2015

    Despite the failure of legislative leaders of both parties to reach an agreement on closing a $350 million budget deficit, Governor Dannel Malloy (D) felt enough progress had been made and called the legislature into a special session beginning December 8 to close the gap. Also on the agenda will be alteration of certain business taxes to keep GE from moving out-of-state from its Fairfield headquarters.

November 2015

  • November 19, 2015

    Lawmakers completed a one-day special session yesterday, after approving the establishment of a joint legislative task force to consider legislation to combat opioid addiction. Governor Maggie Hassan (D) called the special session to consider a comprehensive legislative package before the 2016 regular session, but GOP legislative leaders opted for the task force. The task force will issue an interim report December 21 and a final report January 6. The reports will focus on enhanced penalties for opioid possession, standardizing insurance coverage, and increased scrutiny on monitoring standards.

  • November 06, 2015

    Lawmakers ended a special session today after failing to finalize a Senate redistricting plan. Legislative leaders indicated that "Fair Districts" amendments – approved by a referendum in 2010 that prohibits gerrymandering – contain too many contradictory standards, making a finalized map impossible. Like the congressional district maps, the State Senate plan will likely be settled in the courts. Other legislators have proposed establishing an independent commission to handle the reapportionment duties.

  • November 06, 2015

    Governor Maggie Hassan (D) has called on lawmakers to convene a special session, beginning November 18, to approve $11.1 million in new heroin and opioid addiction programs. Legislative leaders have indicated that they feel the problem is too complicated, and that appropriations need to be carefully considered, to reach a quick legislative solution.

  • November 05, 2015

    Lawmakers wrapped up their special session on Thursday, after reaching an agreement on a measure to spend $161.25 million to advance the AKLNG project to carry natural gas from the North Slope to the Cook Inlet export terminal. The funds will also be used to end the state’s relationship with TransCanada. Legislators also approved a formal complaint against the Obama Administration’s decision to cancel Arctic oil and gas lease sales.

October 2015

  • October 31, 2015

    Lawmakers wrapped up their special session on education funding Friday after reaching an agreement on a three-bill package that appropriates $3.5 billion to schools over the next decade, raises the base amount of K-12 dollars (adjusted annually for inflation), and adds $625 million from the state's general fund. Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed the bills immediately after the special session adjourned, sending the matter to the voters at a May 17, 2016 special election.

  • October 29, 2015

    Lawmakers convened a special session late Wednesday after legislative leaders reached an agreement on Governor Doug Ducey’s (R) proposal to increase education funding by $3.5 billion over the next decade. The proposal would resolve litigation filed over the legislature’s failure to provide inflation funding increases to schools during the recession, as required by a voter initiative. Education groups have also signaled their support of the plan, which would go to the voters after legislative approval.

  • October 23, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene in Juneau tomorrow to consider the construction of a $55 billion natural gas pipeline project from the North Slope. Both Governor Bill Walker (I) and legislative leaders agree that the pipeline would help bring in needed revenues to balance the state budget, but disagree on the specifics. Governor Walker is requesting legislators to appropriate $150 million to buy out TransCanada and approve a tax on natural gas reserves. Legislative leaders indicate that they favor a collaboration effort with BP, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips.

  • October 19, 2015

    Lawmakers return to Tallahassee today to convene the third special session of the year to consider Senate redistricting. The GOP currently holds a 26-14 majority in the chamber while the Democrats enjoy a 400,000 edge in voter registration. In July, the Senate agreed that the 2010 Fair Districts amendment to the state constitution – requiring contiguous, compact, and impartial district boundaries - was not being followed correctly.

September 2015

  • September 30, 2015

    After meeting months longer than anticipated, the General Assembly finally adjourned the 2015 regular session early this morning. Lawmakers approved term limits for the UNC Board of Governors, an earlier presidential primary, and a $2 billion bond referendum for higher education and infrastructure improvements. Legislators also approved measures to curb environmental regulations, expand the “Good Samaritan” law, and establish an animal welfare hotline in the Attorney General’s Office.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on restricting local governments from enacting certain ordinances and transferring more funds from public schools to charter schools. Governor Pat McCrory  (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until October 31 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk. The 2016 regular session convenes April 26.

  • September 21, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the second special session late Wednesday after completing work on a new state budget due by October 1. The spending plan closes a projected $200 million shortfall with a combination of a 25 cent per-pack cigarette tax increase  and $80 million in education funding transfers. The budget also provides funding for the state courts and prisons. Governor Robert Bentley (R) has signed the new budget into law.

  • September 21, 2015

    Lawmakers ended a three-month impasse on the state budget last Wednesday when they overrode Governor Maggie Hassan’s (D) veto and enacted a new, $11.35 billion biennial budget. The new budget appropriates funding for budget priorities such as opioid treatment and prevention, a two percent pay raise for state employees, infrastructure improvements, and business tax cuts. As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a reauthorization of Medicaid expansion.

  • September 13, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session early Saturday after approving a climate change protection proposal and a measure to allow assisted suicide. Legislators also approved a ballot measure to increase the sales tax by a half-cent to assist anti-gridlock efforts, as well a bill to combat oil spills.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on an anti-tobacco package; including measures to raise the smoking age to 21, restrict e-cigarettes, and increase the tobacco tax by two dollars per pack. Lawmakers also failed to pass a new tax on health plans to buttress Medi-Cal, which faces a drop-off in federal funding.

    The legislature returns in January, however legislators could reconvene the still-active special sessions (regarding healthcare and infrastructure improvements) during the interim. Governor Jerry Brown (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until October 11 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • September 03, 2015

    Lawmakers will again return to the capitol on Tuesday to convene the second special session this year, in an attempt to finalize the state budget. The current fiscal year expires September 30, yet no new agreement is in sight. Governor Robert Bentley’s (R) call for $300 million in new taxes and the elimination of certain income tax deductions has been met with skepticism by legislative leaders. Bentley also is seeking a business privilege tax increase and a 25-cent-per-pack cigarette tax.

August 2015

  • August 21, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the second special session today without reaching an agreement on new congressional district boundaries, as mandated by the state Supreme Court. A House plan could not garner enough Senate support, creating the stalemate. The consensus is that the court will complete the redistricting process. A third special session, to redraw the State Senate districts, is scheduled to convene October 19.

  • August 21, 2015

    This week’s special session took a bizarre turn when Senate Democrats, aided by one Republican Senator and the tie-breaking vote of Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam (D), adjourned the Senate on Monday before reaching an agreement on new congressional district boundaries and electing a justice to replace Jane Roush, Governor Terry McAuliffe’s (D) recess appointment. The Republican leadership indicated that the tactic has dubious legality since the House did not agree to the adjournment, however it is currently unknown how they could challenge or alter the outcome.

    The adjournment also makes it likely that the redistricting process will be completed by the federal courts (by default) after the September 1 deadline. Whether the General Assembly is still officially in session remains unclear.

  • August 20, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned a one-day special session yesterday after approving a resolution to relocate the state prison from Draper to Salt Lake City. Governor Gary Herbert (R) is expected to sign the measure. Legislators also approved measures to adjust corporate franchise and income tax overpayments, change the requirements to be appointed the Medicaid Inspector General, and make other technical changes to certain criminal penalties.

  • August 18, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene Wednesday for a special session to consider a plan to build a new state prison in Salt Lake City. Last week, the Prison Relocation Commission voted unanimously to move the prison from Draper to a space near the Salt Lake City International Airport. Legislators also expect to consider corporate tax overpayments, the Medicaid Inspector General, and gubernatorial appointments.

  • August 12, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the special session yesterday without an agreement on a new state budget, due by October 1. During the regular session, legislators passed a budget that contained $200 million in spending cuts to close a deficit, but it was vetoed by Governor Robert Bentley (R), who prefers tax increases. Certain lawmakers are advocating a plan to allow casino gaming and a state lottery to raise revenues. The governor has indicated he will call the legislature back for a second special session without specifying a convening date.

  • August 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene a special session August 17 to reconsider the redistricting plan of the state’s congressional districts. A plan passed in 2012 was deemed unconstitutional (due to racial irregularities) by a federal court. The General Assembly had requested a delay in the special session in order to further appeal the original decision to the U.S. Supreme Court, but the request was denied.

  • August 10, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned an extended and contentious regular session July 16 after preserving Governor Paul LePage’s (R) veto of a measure to limit the governor’s control over land conservation bonds. However, the legislature refused, with the backing of Attorney General Janet Mills (D), to acknowledge 65 other vetoes, claiming that the governor missed the 10-day veto deadline. 

    UPDATE (08/07/15): The Supreme Judicial Court decided that the 65 gubernatorial vetoes that were challenged by the legislature are invalid since the governor filed his objections beyond the constitutionally-prescribed deadline.

     

July 2015

  • July 29, 2015

    Lawmakers indicated this week that they will hold a special session October 19 to November 6 – in addition to the special session scheduled in August – to reconsider the State Senate redistricting plan. While the State Supreme Court has not invalidated the current plan, legislative leaders acknowledged that a redrawing would be likely necessary due to the precedent set by the court.

  • July 21, 2015

    Lawmakers will return to Tallahassee August 10 for a special session to reconsider the state’s 27 congressional districts. This was deemed necessary when the state Supreme Court ruled that the current redistricting plan was unconstitutional. The state legislature redistricting plan is being challenged in a separate case and an additional special session may be called if the challenge is successful.

    To forestall suspicion of improper influence peddling, legislative leaders have prohibited the redistricting staff from contact with most outside persons, or from openly discussing the deliberations. The legislature expects to wrap up the special session August 12.

  • July 10, 2015

    Governor Robert Bentley (R) unexpectedly called lawmakers into a special session June 13 to finalize the state budget. However, legislative leaders have indicated that, after officially convening, they will immediately recess the special session until August 3. This maneuver is expected to keep the clock running on the special session and allow legislators about a week or so to finalize a spending plan. Governor Bentley’s proposal calls for new taxes, while the legislative leadership favors a gaming package and budget cuts.

  • July 10, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the veto session yesterday after considering vetoes issued by Governor Nikki Haley (R). However, most of the attention this week was focused on legislation signed into law that removes the battle flag of the former Confederacy from the Capitol grounds. The flag will now be placed in the Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum. Lawmakers resume the 2016 legislative session January 5, 2016.

  • July 10, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the third of three spedcial sessions after approving an approximate 12-cent hike in the gas tax to pay for infrastructure improvements, decreased college tuition rates, and secured appropriations for the state education system. Legislators also approved the final touches on the $38.2 billion budget,  a bonding measure for additional transportation projects, and a delay on a biology exam requirement for high school students until 2017.

    Governor Jay Inslee (D), who does not possess a pocket veto, has 20 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • July 07, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late Monday after approving easier access to medical marijuana and a campaign finance task force. Legislators also approved measures to expand student aid for the children of illegal immigrants and require school districts to report their immunization rates.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a transportation funding package, a two-year moratorium on hemp production,  and a so-called “Christmas tree” bill that allocates surplus funding. This legislation will be taken up in the 2016 legislative session. Governor Kate Brown (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until August 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • July 01, 2015

    The 2015 regular session adjourned early Wednesday morning after lawmakers approved a new $3.9 billion state budget and a $456 million capital projects budget. In the budget, the General Assembly restored appropriations for farmland preservation, city streets, and local transportation. Legislators also approved additional funds for state employee health care and public education, and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on assistance for casinos, open-space remediation, or certain crime prevention programs. Governor Jack Markell (D) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until July 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

June 2015

  • June 30, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded a one-day special session yesterday, after approving a budget implementation bill that postpones some recently-approved business tax increases, creates a statutory appropriations “lockbox” for transportation funding, and appropriates $30 million to hospitals. However, the General Assembly balked at granting the governor the authority to make future unilateral budget cuts. Legislators also approved medical marijuana, prison reform, and increased law enforcement accountability.

  • June 29, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today for a special session to finalize the $40.3 billion biennial state budget with implementation language to reflect the cuts needed to close a spending gap. Legislators also will consider Governor Dannel Malloy’s (D) “Second Chance” prison reform legislation and a measure to address the use of force by law enforcement. Legislative leaders indicate the special session will likely last one day.

  • June 26, 2015

    Lawmakers recessed the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving legislation that extends rent regulations in New York City and its suburbs, extends mayoral control of New York City’s schools for one year, and grants the governor the power to officiate at weddings. Legislators also approved a property tax rebate program, a reassessment of standardized testing, and funding for nonpublic schools.

    As the session recessed, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on criminal justice reforms. Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until July 26 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • June 26, 2015

    Lawmakers recessed the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a new state budget and firearm prohibitions for persons convicted of domestic violence offenses. Legislators also approved a hike in the minimum wage, minimum requirements for serving prison sentences, and designation of the burying beetle as the state insect.

    As the session recessed, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on truck tolls for a bridge repair plan, charter schools, and legal protections for persons seeking drug overdose assistance. Governor Gina Raimondo (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until July 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • June 24, 2015

    Governor Jerry Brown (D) called two special session to address funding for the state’s infrastructure (including highways and bridges), and to address healthcare funding. Legislation has been introduced that would utilize $1 billion in annual truck weight fees. Legislative leaders have indicated bonding proposals are unlikely to be considered, but increases in fuel taxes and vehicle registration fees will be considered.

  • June 22, 2015

    Lawmakers completed the June special session late Friday, after approving a $78.7 billion budget for the new fiscal year and avoiding a state government shutdown. The budget includes spending for projects at Florida A&M University and Florida State University, while excluding state employee pay raises and Medicaid expansion. The new budget also kept state pension levels constant.

  • June 15, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the longest regular session in the state’s history late yesterday, after approving a $432 million increase in consumption (i.e. sales and cigarette) taxes in order to address a $400 million budget deficit. The deal keeps three-year-old business tax exemptions in place. Governor Sam Brownback (R) indicated that he is likely to sign the bill into law. The legislature returns June 26 to officially adjourn the regular session sine die.

  • June 15, 2015

    Lawmakers completed the one-day special session early Saturday morning after approving a $42 billion budget (including funding for schools, economic development, and capital projects), and an environmental and agricultural protection bill. Governor Mark Dayton (D) has indicated that he will sign the measures into law.

  • June 15, 2015

    Lawmakers will return to the capitol Tuesday to complete consideration of a public employee pension bill (SB 2022) left unresolved at the end of the regular session in late April. Earlier, a special committee reworked the existing legislation, resolved continuing funding issues, and increased the PERS board from seven members to nine. The reconvened session is expected to last one day.

  • June 12, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the second called special session yesterday after reaching an agreement on a $5 billion state budget. The new budget retains public employee pay raises and cuts state agency spending by $400 million to close a spending gap. Legislators also approved a measure to combat child sex abuse and domestic violence, known as “Erin’s Law” and “Bree’s Law.”

  • June 12, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday, after approving legislation to close a $1.6 billion spending gap in the state’s $24 billion budget with a higher cigarette tax and several tax credit rollbacks. Legislators also approved additional elementary and higher education funding, lesser marijuana penalties (as well as legalized medicinal marijuana), and an increase in the vehicle title fee.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on elimination of Common Core education standards. The issue will be revisited in 2016. Governor Bobby Jindal (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 20 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • June 12, 2015

    After reaching a tentative agreement with legislative leaders, Governor Mark Dayton (D) has called lawmakers into a special session today to finalize the budget. The legislature will consider a $190 million environmental protection and agriculture funding package, passage of which is unclear at this time. The special session is expected to last one day.

  • June 09, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the one-day special session yesterday after approving a $295 infrastructure improvement package, tax incentives designed to stimulate economic growth, and emergency funding for state courts ($300,000) and the Department of Health ($4 million). Governor Susana Martinez (R) is expected to sign the measures into law.

  • June 08, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session yesterday after approving a $7.3 billion state budget, a uniform August 23 start to the school year, and increased education funding. Legislators also approved an increase in the state gasoline tax, and broadband Internet service for rural communities.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on a plan to combat school bullying, restricting the use of eminent domain in a crude oil pipeline project, and expansion of firearm rights. Governor Terry Branstad (R) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until July 8 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • June 05, 2015

    The 2015 regular session came to an abrupt end yesterday, after a series of events that saw the legislature approve a $1.63 billion state budget, with $199.6 million in spending cuts, only to be vetoed by Governor Robert Bentley (R). The governor has been supporting tax increases on income and automobile sales to close the spending gap. The House voted to override the veto, but the Senate adjourned sine die without holding an override vote.

    A special session will be necessary later this year to resolve the budget and other issues (the state’s fiscal year begins October 1). House Leaders are planning to meet June 11 to hammer out the details of a special session, but it is unclear at this time if and when the Senate will follow suit.

  • June 05, 2015

    Lawmakers recessed the regular session late yesterday without reaching an agreement on several hot-button issues, including the $7 billion state budget, disbursement of a $322 million surplus, ethics reform, and highway improvements.

    The General Assembly will return June 16 to finalize these matters and perhaps adjourn by June 18, however legislative leaders indicate that additional reconvened sessions (especially to consider potential gubernatorial vetoes) may be necessary during the summer months.

  • June 04, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday, after approving a two-year, $40 billion budget that raises corporate and personal income taxes, restrictions on e-cigarettes, and enhanced child sex abuse reporting requirements. Legislators also approved a ban on revenge porn and enhanced penalties for voyeurism.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on measures to prohibit firearms for persons subject to a restraining order and to address lethal use-of-force by law enforcement. A special session is likely in the near future to consider certain unfinished legislation. Governor Dannel Malloy (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • June 04, 2015

    Lawmakers will return to the capitol June 8 for a short special session. The agenda is likely to include a public works bill, a $295 million capital construction bill, and $3000,000 in supplemental funding for both court administration and the Department of Health.

  • June 02, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a $1.1 billion tax package, a $7 billion budget, and a prevailing wage exemption for school construction bonds. Legislators also approved body cameras for law enforcement, incentives for new teachers, and a live entertainment tax.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a minimum wage increase. Governor Brian Sandoval (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until June 12 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • June 02, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving additional security along the Mexican border, a measure to allow certain persons to refuse to solemnize same-sex marriages, and human trafficking training for abortion clinics. Legislators also approved open-carry firearms rights, and additional funding for highways and pre-kindergarten.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on same-sex marriage, a repeal of sanctuary cities and in-state tuition for illegal immigrants, and legalization of recreational marijuana. Governor Greg Abbott (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until June 21 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • June 01, 2015

    The 2015 regular session was slated to adjourn yesterday, however lawmakers were unwilling to send a $36 billion (approximate) state budget to Governor Bruce Rauner (R) which he was likely to veto. Legislators also are stuck on issues such as workers’ compensation reform, a property tax freeze, term limits, and tort reform. Accordingly, the General Assembly will be meeting in intermittent sessions during the summer months.

    With the legislative session proceeding past May 31, supermajorities are now required to pass legislation. Legislative leaders have indicated that a final adjournment date is not known at this time.

  • June 01, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session a week early on Friday, after approving a two-year budget with a reserve of $684 million, an overhaul of the state’s criminal justice system, and a repeal of the death penalty. Legislators also approved a gas tax increase and drivers licenses for illegal immigrants.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on Voter ID. Governor Pete Ricketts (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has five days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

May 2015

  • May 29, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the special session Thursday after approving an $87.1 million bond issue to lure a Lockheed Martin contract to the state and a merger of the Arkansas Science and Technology Authority and Department of Rural Services into the Arkansas Economic Development Commission.

    Legislators also approved an enhancement to the state’s DUI law and a measure that shifts the 2016 primary elections from May 24 to March 1. The primary election bill necessitates that next year’s fiscal session will convene in April, rather than February.

  • May 26, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session a week earlier than expected, after approving a $7.1 billion state budget, a $25 million bond issue for a popular-culture museum in Tulsa, and a ban on texting and driving. Legislators also approved measures to discourage doctor shopping for prescriptions, nitrogen asphyxiation as an alternative execution method, and increased regulations on abortions in the state.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on measures to allow education vouchers (school choice) and prohibit workplace discrimination based on sexual preference or gender identification. Governor Mary Fallin (R) -- who possesses a pocket veto – has until June 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • May 19, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the 2015 regular session overnight after approving a workforce development bill, and a $17 billion education funding bill. Governor Mark Dayton (D) has indicated he is likely to veto the education funding measure due to a lack of sufficient prekindergarten expansion for children age four. Legislators also approved a measure to allow counties to bypass the state auditor’s office by hiring private auditing firms.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on a $107 million bonding bill for Capitol renovation, tax cuts, or a substantial transportation funding package financed by a new gas tax. A special session to resolve unfinished business is very likely, according to legislative sources and the governor’s staff. Governor Dayton – who possesses a pocket veto – has until June 2 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 18, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded regular floor sessions Friday after approving a $26 billion budget, a $300 million bonding plan for Capitol improvements, and a measure instituting a time restraint on welfare benefits. Legislators also approved $3.6 million in Medicaid provider taxes and right-to-work legislation that prohibits mandatory union dues collection.

    As the floor sessions ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on annual inspections of abortion clinics and a rewrite of deadly force standards for law enforcement. The legislature will hold pro forma sessions during the last week of May and officially adjourn sine die May 30. Governor Jay Nixon (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until July 15 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 18, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned late Saturday after approving a new state budget, an economic development measure, a 33-cent increase in the tobacco tax, and a health care reform bill that keeps current levels of cost-sharing subsidies for low-income residents and stabilizes Medicaid reimbursements to health care providers.

    Legislators also raised $30 million on other taxes and fees, including a sales tax expansion to cover soft drinks, and a cap on itemized income tax deductions (except for medical and charitable donations). Measures to consolidate school districts and require reporting of hazing incidents were also sent to the governor. Governor Peter Shumlin (D) – who possesses a pocket veto – has three days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 14, 2015

    House Speaker John Diehl (R) announced today that he is resigning both the Speakership and his House seat by the end of the week. The announcement came after Diehl acknowledged that he exchanged text messages of a sexual nature with a legislative intern. Majority Leader Todd Richardson (R) has been elected as the new speaker.

  • May 13, 2015

    Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) is planning to call lawmakers into a special session May 26 to consider a bond issue to attract a military assembly program for joint readiness training vehicles. Lawmakers also may consider other government streamlining measures and legislation to change the primary election date. The special session is expected to last one week.

  • May 12, 2015

    John Flanagan (R) was elected by his colleagues yesterday to succeed Dean Skelos (R) as the Senate majority leader. Flanagan defeated John DeFrancisco (R) for the post. Skelos stepped aside after being charged in a corruption probe. Skelos will maintain his seat as a rank-and-file Senator.

  • May 08, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late Thursday after approving a new $26 billion budget, a measure that requires the state to attain 100% renewable energy by 2045, and legislation prohibiting sex trafficking. Legislators also approved a medical marijuana dispensary bill, as well as tax credits for high-technology industry and food assistance for low-income residents.

    Before the session ended, the Senate replaced President Donna Mercado Kim (D) with Ron Kouchi (D). Governor David Ige (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until July 13 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 07, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a measure to reduce the amount of state-mandated student testing, a pay raise for elected officials, a workforce development package, and body cameras for law enforcement. Legislators also approved a ballot measure to determine how to proceed with $58 million in retail marijuana taxes, and an extension of medical marijuana regulations until 2019.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on curtailing red-light cameras and photo radar, a fetal homicide bill, and an earlier presidential primary. Governor John Hickenlooper (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until June 6 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • May 07, 2015

    Lawmakers in the House and Senate have tentatively agreed to convene a special session June 1- 20 to complete consideration of the state budget, as mandated by the state constitution. Legislators have not yet agreed to any additional agenda items, however Medicaid expansion and environmental protection have been discussed as potential topics.

  • May 04, 2015

    The 2015 regular session ended quietly on Friday, after the state Supreme Court rendered a moot decision that the House adjournment last Tuesday was too early. The adjournment left many high-profile issues unsettled, including the state budget, Department of Corrections reforms, and revamped water policies. The legislature is likely to reconvene in the near future to resolve the outstanding issues from the session. Medicaid expansion is also a possible agenda item; however the House has indicated its strong opposition to considering a plan.

    During the session, legislators did reach an agreement on setting the presidential primary on the third Tuesday in March, establishing a date-certain start of the school year, and increased funding for environmental protection. Governor Rick Scott (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 15 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

April 2015

  • April 30, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday, after approving a new two-year $31 billion budget, slight increases in education spending, a new grant for charter schools, and legislation to allow riverboat casinos to operate on land.

    Legislators also approved a contentious religious freedom measure, additional funding for infrastructure improvements and domestic violence prevention, and a repeal of the common construction wage law. Governor Mike Pence (R) -- who does not possess a pocket veto -- has seven days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 30, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the 2015 regular session late yesterday after failing to reach an agreement on funding for the Retirement and Investment Office and Public Employees Retirement System. The legislature did complete consideration of the remaining parts of the $14.4 billion two-year state budget. A special session could be called later this year to revisit the outstanding funding issues if the state is not allowed to use a continuing appropriation to fill the gap.

    During the session, lawmakers approved funding for oil patch infrastructure and several tax cuts, including those on property, income, and corporate property. Also approved were expansion of pre-kindergarten programs and measures to combat human trafficking. Governor Jack Dalrymple (R) -- who does not possess a pocket veto -- has 15 days upon transmittal (excluding weekends) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 28, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late Monday, after reaching an agreement on an unbalanced state budget without enough votes to tap the $10 billion Constitutional Budget Reserve. Governor Bill Walker (I) then called the legislature into special session to address the spending gap, as well as Medicaid expansion and a child sex-abuse prevention measure.

    During the session, legislators approved a measure that brings the state child support law into line with an international treaty relating to such matters. Without the legislation, the state could have lost $19 million in federal funding for child support and $45 million for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.

  • April 28, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session today. During the session, legislators approved Medicaid expansion for low-income residents, the Flathead tribal water-rights compact, and campaign finance reforms, especially a measure to enhance campaign finance reporting. Also approved were a three-percent spending increase cap and increased education funding.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were not able to reach an agreement on a $150 million infrastructure funding bill. Governor Steve Bullock (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 10 days upon transmittal to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 27, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session Friday, without coming to an agreement on a new state budget, education and transportation funding, or recreational marijuana reforms. As a result, Governor Jay Inslee (D) has called the legislature back for a special session, to begin April 29, to resolve the outstanding issues from the regular session. There is no specific adjournment date for the special session at this time.

    During the session, legislators did approve the creation of the Oil Transportation Safety Act, enhanced child support regulations, and legalization of medical marijuana.

  • April 23, 2015

    After recessing April 2, lawmakers returned to Little Rock yesterday to officially adjourn the 2015 regular session sine die. During the session, legislators cut income tax rates for certain residents, authorized the use of federal funds to assist low-income residents in purchasing health insurance, and tightened restrictions on abortion while relaxing those on conceal-carry permits.

    Also approved was a measure to require those who repeatedly fail the driver’s exam (four or more times) to pay a $5 fee for each subsequent exam. Governor Asa Hutchinson (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until May 15 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 23, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday, after approving a system of legislative confirmation of judges, a school choice measure, and an additional exemption for the state tax on investment income. Legislators also approved a 48-hour waiting period for abortions and legislation that allows non-citizens who honorably served in the military to become police officers.

    As the session adjourned, lawmakers were not able to reach an agreement on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. Governor Bill Haslam (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 10 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 14, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a new $40.5 billion budget with increased education and health care funding, a halt on tax increases, and a measure eliminating gubernatorial discretion in limiting future education funding. Legislators also reached an agreement on approximately $805,000 in bond bills for several organizations, a ban on fracking, and the creation of a task force to consider the fate of Crownsville Hospital Center.

    Also approved were a repeal of the “rain tax” and a watered-down charter school measure. Governor Larry Hogan (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until June 2 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 13, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session early Saturday after approving a pay raise for teachers, broader conceal-carry allowances for firearms, and a provision that prohibits doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing drugs via telemedicine. Legislators also approved a $95 million transportation funding package that raises fuel taxes by seven cents per gallon, and a measure to make the Idaho giant salamander the state amphibian.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on legalization of marijuana oil for child epilepsy treatment, a measure to move the state presidential primary to March, and Medicaid expansion. Governor C.L. “Butch” Otter (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until April 23 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 13, 2015

    Lawmakers convene today for the 2015 regular. Legislators are expected to consider the state budget, continuation of the public school test program, and same-sex marriage. Also on the agenda are marijuana legalization, abortion restrictions, and film tax credits. The regular session is scheduled to conclude June 11.

  • April 03, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session early today after approving federally compliant IDs for flights, ground rules for ride-share companies (such as Uber and Lyft), and paper/plastic bag choice in grocery stores. Legislators also approved an eight-year extension of the one-cent per gallon gas tax, and a measure that prohibits state funds from being spent on compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on legislation that provides a 300-foot buffer between liquor merchants and churches, as well as schools. Governor Doug Ducey (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until April 15 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 03, 2015

    Lawmakers completed regular floor sessions of the 2015 regular session after approving income tax cuts, a workforce development measure, and Medicaid expansion for approximately 200,000 residents. Legislators also approved a revised Religious Freedom Restoration Act, a new $5.18 billion state budget, and legislator pay raises. The General Assembly will reconvene May 8 to consider potential vetoes from Governor Asa Hutchinson (R), and officially adjourn sine die.  

  • April 03, 2015

    The 2015 regular session concluded late yesterday, after lawmakers approved a new $40 billion state budget, a $900 million infrastructure improvement package, and assistance for children with autism. Legislators also approved medical marijuana for treatment of certain illnesses, direct sales for craft breweries, and an expansion of a tax credit for historical building restoration.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on a contentious religious freedom measure. Governor Nathan Deal (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until May 14 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • April 03, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the bulk of the 2015 regular session late Thursday without approving a new budget plan that had been nearly finalized on Wednesday. Legislative sources indicate that the sticking point is a package of new taxes to fund the state for the next fiscal year, including taxes on alcohol and cigarettes. The plan also hinges on adoption of a tax amnesty plan and a $1 billion bond issue to reduce payments into the public employees’ pension fund.

    As the regular session paused, lawmakers did approve increased regulations for social services and a measure to allow the concealed carry of firearms without a permit. Legislators return April 29 to consider potential gubernatorial vetoes and to finish the session.

  • April 02, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session – three days ahead of schedule – after approving a measure to require school principals to certify results of standardized tests, and legislation to remove corrections employees from civil service protection. Legislators also approved the annual budget transfer bill and education vouchers for students with special needs.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on increased funding for a workforce training program, prompting Governor Phil Bryant (R) to indicate that he might call the legislature into special session later this year to address the issue. Governor Bryant – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 15 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

March 2015

  • March 30, 2015

    Lawmakers completed the 2015 regular session today after overriding Governor Dennis Daugaard’s (R) veto of a measure to reduce the tax burden on rural electric companies. Legislators sustained vetoes on a plan to collect certain rental property data and legislation that exempts the earnings of American Legion and VFW baseball coaches from the state sales tax.

  • March 25, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session early Wednesday morning after approving measures to combat heroin addiction and extend protection orders to dating partners. Legislators also approved a gas tax freeze to buttress the Road Fund and require children age 8 and younger to use booster seats in vehicles.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on legislation to allow high school students to serve on superintendent screening committees or to shuffle $50 million to the teacher pension fund, which is facing a $14 billion unfunded liability. The pension matter will be studied by a task force during the interim. Governor Steve Beshear (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has 10 days upon transmittal (excluding Sundays) to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 23, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session Saturday after approving a new $6.2 million state budget, a new gambling compact with the state’s Indian tribes, and a prohibition against civil asset forfeiture. Legislators also approved a measure to make certain hospital pricing information publicly available on the Internet by 2018.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on tax cuts and a $264 million public works package to fund school construction and other infrastructure improvements. Governor Susana Martinez (R) – who possesses a pocket veto – has until April 10 to sign or veto legislation that reaches her desk.

  • March 19, 2015

    Lawmakers completed the extended budget session yesterday, after reaching an agreement on a new state budget that takes $22.7 million from the Rainy Day Fund and increases funding (from $40 million to $48.5 million) for secondary road repair.

    Legislators also amended and re-passed several bills vetoed by Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D), including measures to provide medical and religious exemptions for immunizations, adjust certain state worker pensions, and allow certain entities to maintain a stock of epinephrine auto-injectors for emergency treatment.

  • March 16, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the regular floor debates for the 2015 regular session late Friday, after reaching an agreement on a $1.4 billion estimated state budget, a six cent increase in the gas tax, a measure to increase the speed limit to 80 miles per hour on certain highways, and the creation of a debt collection center. Legislators also approved a revised conceal-carry bill, increased Opportunity scholarships, and an overhaul of the juvenile justice system.

    As the regular floor debates ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on voiding the policy allowing transgendered student athletes. The legislature returns March 30 for a one-day veto session, then official adjournment sine die.

  • March 16, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late Saturday after approving a regulatory reduction on above-ground chemical storage tanks, revisions to the Workers’ Compensation program, and incentives for the craft brewing industry. Legislators also reached an agreement on a measure to block Tesla Motors from establishing operations and a repeal of a law that prohibits conceal carry without a permit.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on the legalization of fireworks, a statewide smoking ban, a repeal of Common Core standards, and a pilot program for charter schools.

    After adjourning the regular session, the legislature convened the extended budget session, which is expected to adjourn by March 20. Governor Earl Ray Tomblin (D) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until April 1 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 13, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session late yesterday after approving a gas tax increase to fund transportation projects, increased education funding, and a measure prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation (with protections for persons with certain religious beliefs). Legislators also reached an agreement on increased penalties for cockfighting and a measure to reintroduce the firing squad as a method of execution.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on Medicaid expansion, medical marijuana, and a right-to-die measure. The legislature may take up the issue in a special session later this year. Governor Gary Herbert ( R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until April 1 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 12, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the regular floor debates for the 2015 regular session late Wednesday, after approving measures to allow school districts to waive some mandatory instruction hours due to inclement weather and waiving the excise tax on certain live wagering at the Breeders’ Cup World Championship. Legislators also reached an agreement on the elimination of dog fighting and fracking regulations.

    As the regular floor debates ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on combating heroin addiction, a constitutional amendment to allow municipalities to increase sales taxes for major projects, a statewide smoking ban in public places, and a budgetary fix for the teacher pension fund. The legislature returns March 23 for a two-day veto session, then official adjournment sine die.

  • March 06, 2015

    Lawmakers concluded the business of the extraordinary session today, after the Assembly gave final approval of a Senate measure that makes Wisconsin a “right-to-work” state. Governor Scott Walker (R) is expected to sign the legislation March 9.

  • March 06, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session today after reaching an agreement on a supplemental budget that uses $200 million of rainy-day funds to plug a spending gap, improvements at the Capitol and the University of Wyoming, and funding for a permanent Mineral Trust Fund. Legislators also approved an external cost adjustment for public schools and a measure to enhance criminal penalties for sexual assault.

    As the session ended, lawmakers were unable to reach an agreement on Medicaid expansion, discrimination protections for homosexual and trans-gendered persons, and a measure to allow firearms in schools. Governor Matt Mead (R) – who does not possess a pocket veto – has until March 20 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk.

  • March 03, 2015

    Lawmakers convene the 2015 regular session today. After receiving Governor Robert Bentley's (R) budget address, legislators are expected to consider increasing scholarships for high-tech careers, charter schools, economic growth, and use of the electric chair as an alternative capital punishment method (to lethal injection). <br><br> Also on the agenda is allowing school prayer and protection for clergy who oppose same-sex marriage. The regular session is expected to adjourn in mid-June.

  • March 03, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Tallahassee for the 2015 regular session, expected to run until May 1.

    Items on the agenda include the $77 billion state budget with several tax cuts, a repeal of the ban of firearms at colleges, and education funding. Legislators also are expected to consider new funding for water and land acquisition, legalization of certain marijuana oils to assist those with seizures, and the creation of a state corrections commission to investigate prison conditions and violent incidents.

  • March 02, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned the 2015 regular session Friday after reaching an agreement on the state budget, preventing campus sex crimes, and scrutiny over Dominion Virginia Power’s rates. Legislators also approved additional health insurance for children with Autism, a constitutional amendment for additional charter schools, decriminalization of marijuana-derived oils for epilepsy treatment, and certain firearm reciprocity arrangements.

    As the session ended, lawmakers could not reach an agreement on measures allowing schools to open before Labor Day and making the state’s lethal injection process secret. Governor Terry McAuliffe has until March 30 to sign or veto legislation that reaches his desk. The General Assembly will reconvene April 15 to consider gubernatorial vetoes.

February 2015

  • February 04, 2015

    Lawmakers adjourned this week’s special session Wednesday, after failing to reach an agreement on Governor Haslam’s (R) plan to expand federally-funded health care benefits for low-income residents. Speaker Beth Harwell (R) indicated that the plan did not have majority support in the House, while the Senate defeated the proposal in the Health and Welfare Committee.

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  • February 02, 2015

    Lawmakers return to Carson City today to begin the 2015 regular session. After the opening-day swearing-in ceremonies, legislators are expected to consider combating Internet pornography, permitting firearms on school grounds, and raising the sheep tax.

    Also on the agenda are education funding, raising the speed limit on certain highways, and infrastructure improvements. The session is expected to adjourn in early June.

  • February 02, 2015

    The 2015-2016 regular session begins today in Oklahoma City. Lawmakers are expected to consider economic growth, requiring DUI offenders to have auto insurance, and allowing the sale of refrigerated high-point beer. Legislators also may consider wind farm subsidies, tax cuts, and infrastructure improvements. The session is expected to adjourn in late May.

  • February 02, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 78th Legislature, as the Democrats retain control of both chambers. The legislature is slated to consider issues such as transportation funding and infrastructure improvements, carbon limits in motor fuel, and firearms background checks. Also on the agenda for legislators are the state budget, economic development, and job creation. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late June.

January 2015

  • January 28, 2015

    Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) will relinquish his post on Monday, February 2. Under an apparent arrangement brokered by the Democratic members, current Majority Leader Joe Morelle (D) will assume the mantle until a permanent speaker can be elected by the Assembly on February 10. Morelle is expected to be a candidate for the position, as well as Keith Wright (D) and Carl Heastie (D).

  • January 26, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider the $13 billion state budget, raising the gas tax, and Medicaid expansion. Also on the agenda are measures to reestablish the firing squad as a method of execution and eliminate daylight saving time. The legislature is expected to adjourn March 12.

  • January 21, 2015

    Larry Hogan (R) will be inaugurated today as Maryland’s 62nd governor.  Hogan has indicated that his main focus will be on getting tax cuts enacted and closing a projected $750 million budget deficit with spending decreases.  The new governor also has placed economic growth on the agenda. Governor Hogan will elaborate on his budget priorities Thursday.

  • January 20, 2015

    The State Legislature begins the 2015-2016 session today in Juneau. Lawmakers are expected to focus on the $6.1 billion state budget, especially on closing a spending gap. Legislators also are expected to focus on natural gas pipeline projects, state pensions, same-sex marriage, and Medicaid expansion. The session is scheduled to adjourn April 19.

  • January 20, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Santa Fe to begin the 2015 regular session. For the first time in nearly 60 years, the Republicans will assume control of the House (the Senate remains in the control of the Democrats).

    After the ceremonial swearing-in of legislators and Governor Susana Martinez’s (R) state of the state address, legislators are expected to focus on the $6.3 billion state budget, the minimum wage, right-to-work, and voter ID. The session is expected to adjourn March 21.

  • January 20, 2015

    Tom Wolf (D), a business owner and relative political newcomer, will be inaugurated today as the commonwealth’s 47th governor. Wolf has tapped many previous officeholders from former Governor Ed Rendell’s (D) administration, including Kathleen McGinty and Mary Isenhour (Governor Wolf himself served as Governor Rendell’s revenue secretary). Governor Wolf faces a projected $2.3 billion budget deficit, a decision on continued fracking for natural gas, and a General Assembly controlled by the Republicans.

  • January 20, 2015

    Greg Abbott (R) will be inaugurated today as the state’s 48th governor. Abbott has indicated that he will focus on relieving traffic congestion, education, lowering tax burdens, and economic growth. He is not expected to take the lead on hot-button issues such as abortion, firearms, and illegal immigration.

  • January 14, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Annapolis to begin the 2015 regular session. In addition to addressing an estimated $200 million budget shortfall, legislators are expected to address several issues, including tax cuts as proposed by Governor-elect Larry Hogan (R), charter schools, bail reform, and sick leave. Governor-elect Hogan will be inaugurated for his first term January 21. The legislature is slated to adjourn April 13.

  • January 14, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015-2016 regular session. After swearing in ceremonies, the legislature is expected to address job creation, energy independence, and regulatory reform. Legislators also are expected to consider a potential income tax cut, infrastructure improvements, and revisiting the prevailing wage law.

    Governor Rick Snyder (R) was inaugurated for his second term January 1. The legislature normally meets throughout the year.

  • January 14, 2015

    With the Republicans retaining majorities in both chambers of the legislature, lawmakers convene today to begin the 2015-2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to prepare the state budget and consider jobs creation, economic growth, tax incentives for the film industry, and streamlining state government.

  • January 14, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Richmond to begin the 2015 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider closing a projected $2.4 billion spending gap and strengthening the state ethics laws. The General Assembly is also expected to consider issues such as Medicaid expansion, gun control, and infrastructure improvements. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-February.

  • January 14, 2015

    Lawmakers return to Charleston today to convene the 2015 regular session and receive Governor Earl Ray Tomblin’s (D) State of the State address. After the swearing in ceremonies, legislators are expected to consider job creation and economic growth, tax reductions, and tort reform. Voter ID and right-to-work legislation could also be on the agenda. The session is slated to adjourn mid-March.

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 148th General Assembly. In addition to swearing in legislators, lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of proposals to address the state budget deficit and related revenue shortfalls. Legislators also are slated to consider education funding, privatization of the Port of Wilmington, and infrastructure improvements. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn in late June.

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today for the 2015-2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to address infrastructure improvements as its top priority. Other issues on the agenda include ethics reform, education funding, domestic violence prevention, and local government financing.

    Governor Nikki Haley will be inaugurated for her second term Thursday, January 15. The General Assembly is expected to adjourn by early June.

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 90th legislative session. The legislature is expected to hear the State of the State address from Governor Dennis Daugaard (R) – who begins his second term this year -- and craft the $4.3 billion state budget. Legislators also are expected to consider infrastructure improvements, Medicaid expansion, and education reform. The legislature is scheduled to finish normal business by March 13 and adjourn March 30.

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015-2016 regular session. Lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of the $30 billion state budget, expansion of firearm rights, and school choice. Legislators also are expected to consider constitutional amendments to ban state and local income and payroll taxes and to allow the governor to appoint appellate judges.

    Governor Bill Haslam (R), who begins his second term on January 17, has also called a special session beginning February 2, to consider a pilot program for Medicaid expansion. The special session will be held concurrently with the regular session. The General Assembly is slated to adjourn in late May.

  • January 13, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Cheyenne to begin the 2015 session. The legislature is slated to consider several issues; including a Medicaid expansion, infrastructure improvements, decriminalization of marijuana, and use of the firing squad for executions. Workforce development, education standards, and alternative fuel taxes will also be on the agenda.

    Governor Matt Mead (R) was sworn in for his second term on January 5. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn March 9.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Phoenix to begin the 2015 regular session. In addition to swearing in legislators, lawmakers are expected to begin consideration of the projected $1.5 billion budget deficit, streamlining of state government, education funding, and marijuana legalization. The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-April, but floor sessions beyond that time are likely.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 90th General Assembly, where the Republicans retain control of both chambers. In addition to consideration of the state budget and tax cuts, lawmakers are expected to consider Medicaid expansion, prison overcrowding, lottery reform, and economic growth.

    The legislature is slated to adjourn in mid-March. Governor-elect Asa Hutchinson will be inaugurated Tuesday. Hutchinson has indicated that the middle-class tax cut and economic growth are his priorities.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Atlanta for the 2015-2016 regular session. The legislature is expected to address the state budget and consider issues such as education spending and health care. Also on the agenda are medical marijuana legalization and infrastructure improvements. Governor Nathan Deal (R) will be inaugurated for his second term today as well. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late March.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015 session. After receiving Governor Butch Otter’s (R) State of the State address, the legislature is expected to consider several issues, including Medicaid expansion, restoration of public school funding, infrastructure improvements, and broadband Internet expansion. The legislature will likely adjourn by the end of March.

  • January 12, 2015

    Governor-elect Bruce Rauner (R) will be inaugurated as the state’s 42nd governor today in Springfield.  Rauner has indicated that his administration will focus on criminal justice reform, education funding, infrastructure improvements, and economic development. Lawmakers officially conclude the 2013-2014 regular and start the 2015-2016 session Wednesday. The legislature is expected to run through late May.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers convene today to begin the 2015-16 regular session. As in the last session, the Republicans control the House, while the Senate remains in Democrat hands. Lawmakers are expected to consider infrastructure improvements, broadband Internet expansion, and workforce development. Also on the agenda are voter ID, medical marijuana, and income tax relief.

    Governor Terry Branstad (R) will also be inaugurated for his second term today. The legislature is slated to adjourn in late April.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to gavel in the 2015-2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider closing a projected budget deficit, education spending, economic growth, and pension reform. Governor Sam Brownback (R) will be inaugurated for his second term today as well. The legislature is expected to adjourn by late May.

  • January 12, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015-16 regular session. In the Senate, the Republicans have gained an outright majority. In addition to swearing in legislators, legislators are expected to consider education funding, reducing teacher/student ratios, a capital gains tax, and mental health assistance. Also on the agenda is infrastructure improvements and medical marijuana regulation

    The legislature is scheduled to adjourn in late April.

  • January 08, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene for a special session today to consider legislation that would automatically trigger a special election for the comptroller's office (as well as the secretary of state, treasurer, and attorney general) if they become vacant with 28 months or more remaining in their terms. Former Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka won re-election in November, but died in December before beginning her second term.

    Governor-elect Bruce Rauner (R) indicated that he should have the authority to appoint fellow Republican Leslie Munger as her successor after he begins his term January 12.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers convene today in Denver to begin the 2015 regular session. The GOP regains control of the Senate, while the Democrats regain control of the House. The General Assembly is expected to consider tax collections pursuant to the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR), education funding, and Marijuana regulation. Legislators also are expected to focus on fracking restrictions.

    The General Assembly is slated to adjourn the regular session May 6. Governor John Hickenlooper (D) will be inaugurated for his second term January 13.

  • January 07, 2015

    The 2015 regular session of the General Assembly convenes today. Lawmakers are expected to focus on crafting the $20 billion budget, while addressing an estimated $1 billion deficit. The General Assembly also will consider infrastructure improvements, economic growth, and domestic violence prevention. The session is slated to adjourn June 3. Governor Dannel Malloy (D) will be inaugurated for his second term today as well.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers in the General Court officially concluded the 2013-2014 regular session on Wednesday and convene today for the 189th (2015-2016) session. Legislators are expected to consider issues such as addressing revenue shortfalls, a revamp of how the state finances transportation, increased gun control, and stemming increased health care costs. The Democrats retain their majorities in both chambers. Governor-elect Charlie Baker (R) will be inaugurated for his first term January 8.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Jefferson City to begin the 2015 regular session. With Republican supermajorities in both chambers, legislators are expected to craft a state budget without tax increases. While economic issues are expected to be the main focus of the session, the General Assembly also is slated to consider other issues such as infrastructure improvements and ethics reform. The session is expected to conclude mid-May.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Lincoln to begin the 2015-2016 regular session. Legislators are expected to address several issues, including a new state budget and a $50 million spending gap, prison overcrowding, health and human services funding, and job creation. The legislature is slated to adjourn in early June. Governor-elect Pete Ricketts (R) will be inaugurated for his first term January 8. Ricketts has indicated that his main priority is reducing property taxes.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers meet today in Concord to begin floor sessions of the 2015 regular session, with Republicans regaining control of the House and retaining control of the Senate. Legislators are expected to consider several issues -- most notably addressing the state budget deficit, education funding, and state pensions. Governor Maggie Hassan (D) will be inaugurated for her second term January 8. The General Court is slated to adjourn the regular session by late June.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers officially concluded the 2013-2014 regular session yesterday, and meet today to start the 2015-2016 session. While the Assembly is in firm Democrat control, the GOP has regained control of the Senate. Legislators will receive Governor Andrew Cuomo’s (D) State of the State address in two weeks as a result of the death of Governor Cuomo’s father. The legislature meets throughout the year.

  • January 07, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Montpelier to begin the 2015 regular session. The first order of business for the legislature is to elect the governor, since no candidate received a majority of the votes in the 2014 election. Incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin (D) is expected to win the vote and be officially reelected.

    Legislators are expected to address the state budget deficit, economic growth, property tax reduction, and expanding renewable energy sources.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Indianapolis to begin the 2015 regular session as Republicans retain supermajorities in both chambers of the legislature. Legislators are expected to address the $29 billion state budget and gambling expansion. The legislature also is expected to consider allowing the purchase of alcohol at grocery stores on Sunday, changes in the education funding structure, and protections for business owners’ religious beliefs. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn April 15.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers convene today in Frankfort to begin the 2015 regular session. Legislators are expected to consider issues such infrastructure improvements, redrawing circuit court boundaries, and voting rights for felons. Also on the agenda is a potential increase in the minimum wage. After this week, the session will go on hiatus until February 3 and is scheduled to adjourn by March 24.

  • January 06, 2015

    The State Legislature convenes today to begin the 2015-2016 regular session, with the GOP regaining control of the House (the Democrat-Farmer-Labor party retains power in the Senate).  Lawmakers are expected to consider a new state budget with possible tax cuts, repealing the minimum wage inflation index, and medical marijuana expansion. Also on the agenda is increased oversight of the state health care exchange, infrastructure improvements, and school choice. Governor Mark Dayton (D) was inaugurated for his second term Tuesday.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today for the 2015 regular session and are expected to focus on crafting the new state budget with tax cuts, education funding changes, and reform of the state contracting system. Legislators are also expected to consider infrastructure improvements, school choice, and Common Core adjustments. The session is scheduled to adjourn in early April.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today in Bismarck to begin the 2015 session. After receiving Governor Jack Dalrymple’s (R) State of the State address, the legislative assembly is slated to consider a two-year budget plan that includes tax relief, funds for infrastructure improvements, higher education, water projects, and property tax reductions. Legislators also are expected to consider Common Core adjustments and a measure to prevent the governor from appointing Congressional replacements. The legislature is scheduled to adjourn by early May.

  • January 06, 2015

    The Pennsylvania General Assembly convened Tuesday in Harrisburg to begin the 2015-2016 session. While today’s activities are mostly reserved to the swearing in of legislators and other ceremonial duties, lawmakers will begin the normal routine of considering legislation – with an emphasis on resolving the budget deficit - and crafting the annual budget later this year. Legislators also are expected to consider economic development, public pension reform, and liquor privatization. The General Assembly meets throughout the year. Governor-elect Tom Wolf (D) will be inaugurated January 20.

  • January 06, 2015

    Lawmakers meet today in Providence to usher in the 2015 session. Nicholas Mattiello (D) and M. Teresa Paiva Weed (D) are expected to be reelected House speaker and Senate President, respectively. The General Assembly is slated to consider the state budget, economic improvement and job creation, and Medicaid expansion. Legislators also are expected to consider pension reform and the state’s participation in the federal Affordable Care Act. The General Assembly is slated to adjourn by late June.

    Today also marks the inauguration of Gina Raimondo (D) as the state’s first female governor. Raimondo has indicated that her priorities will be job creation and infrastructure improvements.

  • January 05, 2015

    Governor-elect Doug Ducey (R) will be inaugurated today as the state’s 23rd governor. Ducey has indicated that he plans to establish a “business-like approach” to his duties, and is expected to focus on containing both a current $520 million spending gap and a projected $1 billion future budget deficit. Ducey is also expected to bolster immigration policy and tackle education funding, as well as Common Core standards.

  • January 05, 2015

    Lawmakers will convene today to begin the 2015 regular session. Legislators are expected to focus on economic development, Medicaid, and charter schools. Legislative sources indicate that issues such as natural resource development, tax relief extensions, and infrastructure improvements will also be on the agenda. Austin Knudsen (R) will be sworn in as the new House Speaker. The legislature is slated to adjourn by late April.

  • January 05, 2015

    Legislators in the Buckeye State convene today to begin the 131st General Assembly, as Cliff Rosenberger (R) takes the reins as the new Speaker of the House. The main issues will be the $52 billion, biennial state budget and streamlining government. Other areas of focus will be tax reform, Medicaid, and regulation of charter schools. Governor John Kasich (R) will be inaugurated for his second term January 12. The 2015-2016 session is active throughout the year. 

  • January 05, 2015

    The 2015-2016 session of the State Legislature convenes today, with the Republicans retaining control of both legislative chambers. Legislative sources indicate that economic growth and job creation, tax cuts, expanded school vouchers, and infrastructure improvements will be the main issues for the session. Other items such as abortion restrictions, right-to-work, and curtailing secret “John Doe” investigations may also be considered. The legislature meets throughout the year. Governor Scott Walker (R) will be inaugurated for his second term today, as well.