texas legislature

The Texas Supreme Court has been asked to rule on the governor's power to cut off funding for legislative staff.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of July 19, 2021

By Gene Rose | July 23, 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.

This week’s issue, unfortunately, reports the deaths of three state legislators and a former Louisiana Senate secretary. Other state legislators are leaving for other posts. And the Texas Supreme Court may weigh in on whether the governor can defund the state’s legislative staff.

Authority of Legislatures

The Texas Supreme Court is being asked to rule on whether the governor can cut off funding for legislative staff. Michigan lawmakers wiped a law off the books that gave the governor significant emergency powers following a state Supreme Court decision that found the measure unconstitutional.

Legislators and Staff in the News


Former Kentucky House Majority Leader John “Bam” Carney (R) died at the age of 51. Oregon Representative Gary Leif (R) passed away unexpectedly on Thursday. Kansas Representative Ron Howard (R) also died this week after a long illness, as did former Louisiana Senate Secretary Glenn Koepp. Minnesota Senator David Tomassoni (I) revealed he has been diagnosed with ALS.



Utah Representative Craig Hill (R) has been appointed by the governor to fill a district court vacancy. Alabama Representative Bill Poole (R) was appointed state finance director by the governor. New Jersey Senator Chris Brown (R) is leaving the legislature to promote the Atlantic City region. William Penterman (R) won a special Wisconsin House District 37 election.



Montana Representative Bryce Bennett (D) will resign from the legislature Aug. 2 to take a job with a Washington, D.C.,-based voting group. Alabama House Budget Chairman Steve Clouse announced this will be his last term in the legislature. Pennsylvania Representative Margo L. Davidson (D) told constituents she is resigning after charges brought by the state attorney general. Three Texas lawmakers have contracted the COVID-19 virus.

Legislative Operations

Rhode Island legislators received an increase in pay with the start of the new fiscal year. Idaho Senate leaders have decided not to hold a special session.

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