exterior view of the washington state capitol building in olympia

The Washington Capitol in Olympia, where lawmakers ended a 105-day session that, for the first time, was conducted online. Legislatures in Hawaii and Indiana also ended their 2021 sessions.

Legislative Headlines, Week of April 26, 2021

By Gene Rose | April 30, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

First Branch News is NCSL’s weekly roundup of legislative headlines from news sources across the country and throughout the territories.

Legislatures in Hawaii, Indiana and Washington ended their 2021 sessions, while a handful of others are looking at extended sessions. Indiana lawmakers were sued by their governor, while the New York Legislature rescinded some of the governor’s pandemic restrictions. And the Hawaii Senate Majority Leader announced his retirement.

Legislative Operations

The Indiana General Assembly ended its 2021 session, directing additional resources to be dedicated to education. The Washington Legislature adjourned, ending a 105-day session that, for the first time, was conducted online. The Hawaii Legislature finished its session, passing laws to aid its tourism industry. The Iowa General Assembly will work into May, and the Colorado General Assembly is considering extending its session past Memorial Day. Idaho Speaker Scott Bedke (R) says the pace of the current legislative session is quickening. The Illinois Senate and House passed more than 750 bills this week as the end of the session is in sight.

Arkansas lawmakers referred to voters in 2022 a proposal regarding the legislature’s ability to call itself into session and another requiring that constitutional amendments to be approved by 60% percent of voters, rather than a simple public majority. Oregon legislators are considering a proposal that would allow each member of the legislature to direct spending from the American Rescue Plan Act. The Illinois House forwarded a measure to the Senate that would put term limits in place for leaders in the General Assembly. Ohio is considering ways to extend its redistricting process past a mandated September deadline.

Authority of Legislatures

The Indiana governor sued the General Assembly over a law that allows it to call itself into special session. The North Dakota Legislative Assembly overrode the governor’s veto of a bill allowing the legislature to meet when it receives more than $50 million in federal aid. The New York Legislature has rescinded some of the governor’s pandemic restrictions.

Legislators and Staff in the News

Hawaii Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English (D), above, announced his retirement from the legislature after 25 years of service. Arizona Representative Joanne Osborne (R) announced her appointment to serve in NCSL’s Opioid Policy Fellows program.

This Week From NCSL’s State Legislatures News

Articles from news sources curated in First Branch News are provided for information purposes only and do not reflect NCSL views.

Gene Rose is NCSL’s communications director.

Additional Resources