higher education schools reopening covid

After the governor signed off on a budget deal that will carry the state through June 2022, the Wyoming Legislature ended its current session.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of April 5, 2021

By Gene Rose | April 9, 2021 | State Legislatures News

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

The Wyoming Legislature ends its 2021 session. Lawmakers nationwide continue to introduce bills that would shift authority away from governors and to the legislatures. Voters choose new lawmakers in a handful of special elections. And Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia cooks up a feast for his colleagues.

Legislative Operations

The Wyoming Legislature has ended its 2021 legislative session, while Idaho lawmakers have resumed their session after a short recess. Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) says it will be weeks before the Capitol is open to the public.

Authority of Legislatures

State legislatures are reducing the executive branch’s role in responding to national emergencies. The Indiana General Assembly approved a bill that allows the legislature to convene in a statewide emergency, despite the governor’s threat to veto the measure. A column in the Maine Wire on emergency powers says the “ultimate responsibility for determining public policy rests with state legislatures.”

Legislators and Staff in the News

Voters chose John Jagler (R) in a special Wisconsin Senate race to replace Scott Fitzgerald (R), who recently won a seat in the U.S. House. Elijah Behnke (R) won a special election for the Wisconsin Assembly seat vacated by John Nygren (R). Dr. Akilah Weber (D), who leads the Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology Division at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, won a special election for the California Assembly seat held by her mother, Shirley Weber (D), who was appointed California’s secretary of state. Maine Representative John Martin (D) is away from the legislature following a neurological event. After recovering from COVID-19, U.S. Virgin Islands Senator-at-Large Steven Payne Sr. (D) returned to the legislature Thursday. And, in Georgia, Mary McFall will take over as the lieutenant governor’s director of policy, following the resignation of former legislator Mike Dudgeon (R), who is leaving the position to work in the private sector.

Below left: Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia (D), who is also NCSL’s immediate past president, held a cookout to help colleagues out during budget talks:


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.

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