higher education schools reopening covid

The Arkansas General Assembly will likely go into special session next week.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of July 26, 2021

By Gene Rose | July 30, 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.

A Texas lawmaker wins a special election to serve in Congress. The Iowa House speaker gets a new chief of staff. And we start tracking the moves of state legislators who will be seeking other seats in the next election.

Authority of Legislatures

The Wisconsin governor has called the Legislature into special session, but lawmakers are not expected to take any action. North Dakota legislators may reconsider a recently passed bill limiting the governor’s powers in an emergency. The Indiana governor’s lawsuit against the legislature took another turn this week. Alaska lawmakers are asking the governor to delay the start of a special session, while the Arkansas governor is calling the Legislature into special session to address hospital staffing shortages.

Legislators and Staff in the News

Texas Representative Jake Ellzey (R) was elected to Congress, replacing the late Ron Wright. Louisiana Senator Ronnie Johns (R) is leaving the Legislature to become chairman of the state Gaming Control Board. Linda Ann Ha‘i Clark (D) was appointed by the governor to represent Maui County in the state House.


Delaware Representative Gerald Brady (D) announced he will not seek reelection, as did Kentucky Senator Alice Forgy Kerr (R). About half the members of the Connecticut House attended a minor league baseball game this week. Georgia Representative Matt Hatchett (R) will become the new House majority whip for the rest of the current legislative session.


Cord Overton will be the new chief of staff to Iowa Speaker Pat Grassley (R) starting Aug. 9.


2022 Election Moves by Sitting Legislators

Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek (D) is preparing a gubernatorial run. South Dakota Representative Taffy Howard (R) is likely to run for Congress in 2022. Representatives Mike Jones (R) of Alabama and Blaise Ingoglia (R) of Florida announced they will run for seats in their respective state senates. Iowa Senator Liz Mathis (D) will seek a seat in Congress. Alaska Senator Elvi Gray-Jackson (D) is considering a run for U.S. Senate.

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