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The Oregon Legislative Assembly ended its special session this week.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of Dec. 13, 2021

By Gene Rose | Dec. 17, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

News of interest to state legislators, state legislative staff and political junkies.

Leadership News

North Dakota Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner (R) is leaving the legislature after 32 years of service. Speaker of the Nebraska Legislature Mike Hilgers (R) will run for attorney general. Vermont Representative Kathleen James (D) is the new House assistant majority leader, following the resignation of Marybeth Redmond. North Dakota Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman (D) said she will not seek reelection. Wisconsin Representative Gordon Hintz (D) will step down as minority leader on Jan. 10.

Legislators and Staff in the News

North Dakota Representative George Keiser (R) announced he will not seek reelection next year. Washington Senator Ann Rivers (R) said she no longer plans to resign from the Legislature at the end of the year. Missouri Representatives Aaron Griesheimer (R) and Becky Ruth (R) resigned to take new jobs. Washington Representative Steve Kirby (D), California Assemblyman Bill Quirk (D), Illinois Senator Melinda Bush (D), New York Assemblyman Richard Gottrifried (D) and Pennsylvania Representative Michael Peifer (R) all said they will not seek reelection. Alexandra M. Hughes, chief of staff to Maryland House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones, is retiring at the end of the year. Virginia Delegate Jay Jones (D) is resigning his seat. Kansas Representative Steven Howe (R) participated in NCSL’s emerging leaders program.

New State Legislators

Marcelino Quinonez (D) was appointed to the Arizona House of Representatives, filling a vacancy. Gina Curry (D) was sworn in as a new member of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. Jessica George (R), a former legislative aide, was appointed to fill a vacancy in the Oregon House of Representatives. Treneé McGee (D) won a special election to serve in the Connecticut House of Representatives. In a series of moves in the Washington Legislature following the resignation of Senator Steve Hobbs (D), John Lovick (D) will move from the House to serve in the Senate, and Brandy Donaghy (D) was appointed to the House.

Legislative Operations

The Virginia General Assembly was the target of a ransomware attack. The Oregon Legislative Assembly ended its one-day special session.

Redistricting News

The Wisconsin governor submitted redistricting plans to the state Supreme Court. A Mississippi House committee approved a congressional map. The New Mexico Legislature sent a redistricting plan to the governor. Pennsylvania legislative leaders are reviewing plans to redraw state legislative districts.

2022 Election Moves by Sitting Legislators 

Georgia Senator Michelle Au (D) will seek a House seat in the next election. Oregon Senator Betsy Johnson (D) resigned from her seat to run for governor. Ohio Representative Jeffrey Crossman (D) will run for attorney general. California Senator Henry Stern (D) is running for a seat on the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors. North Carolina Senator Jeff Jackson (D) ended his bid for a seat in the U.S. Senate. Vermont Senator Becca Balint (D) is running for the U.S. House. Wisconsin Representative Dianne Hesselbein (D) will run for a state Senate seat.

In Remembrance

Former Connecticut legislator Edith Prague died at the age of 96. Bernie Fowler, a former Maryland state senator, died at 97, and James Dugan, a former New Jersey state senator, died at 92.

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

Gene Rose is NCSL’s communications director.


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