Session Updates
Keep on top of the latest session developments.

Wyoming
March 06, 2015
Regular Session Adjourns
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.

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Wisconsin
March 06, 2015
Extraordinary Session Update
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.

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Florida
March 03, 2015
2015 Session Starts
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 creation of a state corrections commission to investigate prison conditions and violent incidents.

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Alabama
March 03, 2015
Regular Session Convenes
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).

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.

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Virginia
March 02, 2015
Regular Session Ends
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.

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Wisconsin
February 23, 2015
Extraordinary Session Called
Lawmakers will convene an extraordinary session this week, concurrent with the regular session, to consider Right-to-Work legislation. Legislative leaders indicate that the Senate will consider the legislation February 25-27, and that the Assembly plans on taking it up the next week, assuming Senate passage.

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Oregon
February 13, 2015
Governor Kitzhaber to Resign
Four-term Governor John Kitzhaber (D) announced today that he will resign February 18. Kitzhaber has been the subject of a criminal probe related to improper influence by his fiancé, Cylvia Hayes. The governor was also facing pressure from legislative leaders to relinquish the office, as Oregon has no impeachment process in its constitution.

Secretary of State Kate Brown (D) will succeed Kitzhaber.

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Tennessee
February 05, 2015
Special Session Adjourns
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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New
York

February 03, 2015
Silver Relinquishes Speakership
Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) relinquished his post late yesterday. Carl Heastie (D) is expected to succeed Silver in a vote today.

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Oregon
February 02, 2015
2015 Regular Session Starts
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.

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Oklahoma
February 02, 2015
2015 Session Starts
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.

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Nevada
February 02, 2015
Regular Session Begins
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.

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Utah
January 26, 2015
Legislature Convenes
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.

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Maryland
January 21, 2015
Governor Hogan to be Inaugurated
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.

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Hawaii
January 21, 2015
2015-2016 Session Convenes
Lawmakers will convene today in Honolulu to begin the 2015-2016 regular session. The session agenda is expected to include enacting a tight budget with limited spending, infrastructure improvements, water management, and medical marijuana legalization. The legislature is expected to recess by May 7.

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Texas
January 20, 2015
Governor Abbott Inaugurated
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.

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Pennsylvania
January 20, 2015
Governor Wolf Inaugurated
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.

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New
Mexico

January 20, 2015
2015 Session Convenes
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.

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Alaska
January 20, 2015
Regular Session Begins
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.

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West
Virginia

January 14, 2015
2015 Session Starts
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.

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