new hampshire capitol

The return of New Hampshire’s 400 House members to the State House in Concord, above, will be delayed for three days as they convene at a Manchester hotel exposition center, due to coronavirus precautions.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of Dec. 6, 2021

By Gene Rose | Dec. 10, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

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

Legislative Operations

The Arkansas General Assembly adjourned its special session on Thursday, approving a historic tax cut. The Maryland General Assembly overrode more than 20 gubernatorial vetoes. The Kentucky Capitol was locked down briefly following a police chase that ended on the Capitol grounds. Pennsylvania lawmakers received a pay raise, while an Alaska commission is consider reducing per diem expenses but raising pay. New Hampshire House members will meet at a hotel exposition center for the first three days of their session in January.

Leadership News

South Carolina Senate President Harvey Peeler (R) became chair of the Senate Finance Committee, turning over his role overseeing the chamber to Senator Thomas Alexander (R). North Carolina Senate Majority Leader Kathy Harrington (R) said she will not run for reelection. Ohio House Minority Leader Emilia Sykes (D) said she would leave her position at the end of the month. In New Jersey, Senator Paul Sarlo (D) will serve as the deputy majority leader, Anthony “Skip” Cimino is retiring as executive director of the Assembly Majority Office. He will be replaced by Seth Hahn.

Legislators and Staff in the News

Utah Representative Lowry Snow (R), West Virginia Senator Mike Romano (D) and Wisconsin Senator Jon Erpenbach (D) announced they will not run for reelection next year. Idaho Representative Muffy Davis, a Paralympic medalist in skiing and cycling, resigned to become a county commissioner. Chris Hoy (D) was appointed to the Oregon House of Representatives to fill the seat left open by the resignation of Brian Clem. Connecticut Representative Tony D’Amelio (R) resigned after 25 years of service. New Mexico Senator Bobby Gonzales (D) tested positive for COVID-19, despite being vaccinated and receiving a booster shot. Rod Hickam (D) was sworn in to the Mississippi Senate on Wednesday. Chicago firefighter Michael Kelly (D) was appointed to the Illinois House of Representatives following the resignation of John D’Amico. Businesswoman Jodi Nelson (R) won a special election to secure a seat in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Washington Representative John Lovick (D) was appointed to the state Senate to fill the seat vacated by Steve Hobbs, who was appointed to statewide office.

Redistricting News

North Carolina’s Supreme Court pushed back 2022 primary dates to have time to consider challenges to redistricting plans. The Maryland General Assembly approved a new congressional map. Redistricting maps in Texas are being challenged by the U.S. Justice Department. The New Mexico Legislature is starting its map-drawing process. The Washington state Supreme Court approved a redistricting plan adopted by a state commission. Pennsylvania started the process of approving a new congressional map.

2022 Election Moves by Sitting Legislators 

Iowa Senator Roby Smith (R) will run for state treasurer. California Senator Andreas Borgeas (R) is running for Congress. Massachusetts Representatives Nika Elugardo (D) and Liz Miranda (D) said they will run for the state Senate. Representatives John Payton (R) of Arkansas, Sharon Shewmake (D) of Washington, Kandie Smith (D) of North Carolina, Jeff Magrum (R) of North Dakota, and Dylan Roberts (D) of Colorado said they will run for seats in their respective state Senates.

In Remembrance

George Fleming, a former member of the Washington House and Senate, died at age 83. Former Rhode Island legislator Vito Anthony Saritelli died at 90, and former Texas lawmaker Elizabeth Ann Linebarger died at 74.

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 reflect NCSL views. 

Gene Rose is NCSL’s communications director.


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