higher education schools reopening covid

The Georgia House lost one of its members this week with the death of Representative Edward “Mickey” Stephens.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of Aug. 16, 2021

By Gene Rose | Aug. 20, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

The Georgia House mourns the death of a colleague. The Texas House reaches a quorum for its second special session. Some states require vaccination for legislative employees. And History.com looks at the role legislatures have played in the impeachment of governors over time.



Legislative Operations

Redistricting battles are heating up in states across the country. The Texas House reached a quorum in the Legislature’s second special session. The New York Legislature has decided not to seek impeachment after the governor leaves office. An appeals court ordered the Arizona Senate to reveal documents related to its audit of election results. The Alaska governor has added another agenda item to the special session that started on Monday.

California House Speaker Anthony Rendon (D) announced that all House employees must be vaccinated. Hawaii’s Senate and House will require all members and staff to be vaccinated or go through weekly testing. The Alaska Legislative Council voted to require masks at the Capitol, regardless of vaccination status. The Massachusetts governor is requiring all state employees to be vaccinated by Oct. 17, with limited exemptions.

Legislators and Staff in the News

Georgia Representative Edward “Mickey” Stephens (D) died on Saturday. He was 77. Two New York senators are candidates to become the state’s new lieutenant governor. Rhode Island Senator Gayle Goldin (D) resigned to take a post in the Biden administration. Ryan Fazio (R) won a special election for a seat in the Connecticut Senate.


New York Assemblyman Victor Pichardo Jr. (D) said he would resign his post Sept. 10 for personal reasons. Reports of legislators recovering from COVID-19 include Illinois Senate President Don Harmon (D), who had been vaccinated. Other legislators were affected in Missouri, North Carolina, Texas and Wisconsin.

Other News

Heavy rain poured through the Texas Capitol this week.


An Alabama columnist details how Republican and Democratic lawmakers worked across the aisle soon after George Floyd’s death. History.com compiled a list of eight governors convicted of crimes by their legislatures.


2022 Election Moves by Sitting Legislators

After considering a run for Congress, Maine Senator Trey Stewart (R) says he will stay in the Legislature. Colorado Representative Janice Rich (R) will run for a Senate post. Kentucky Representative Max Wise (R) is considering a bid for governor. Maine Representative MaryAnne Kinney (R) has filed to run for a Senate seat. Oklahoma Senator Mike Mazzei (R) will seek the state treasurer’s position.

This Week From NCSL’s State Legislatures News

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