exterior view of the new york state capitol building in albany

The New York Legislature adjourned its regular session this week. Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D) said lawmakers could return to the Capitol later this year.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of June 14, 2021

By Gene Rose | June 18, 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.

Sessions ended in Colorado and New York, and the New Hampshire Statehouse complex is now open. Primaries occurred in New Jersey and Virginia, a couple of chambers removed members and a few legislators are moving from the house to the senate.

Colorado Senate President Leroy Garcia (D) praised the 2021 session:


Legislative Operations

The Colorado General Assembly adjourned its regular session, as did the New York Legislature. The Connecticut General Assembly went into special session June 15 on recreational marijuana policy. Minnesota lawmakers met in special session to complete the state budget. Illinois lawmakers will receive a $1,200 raise and get higher office allowances under a budget passed last week. Nevada lawmakers recently celebrated the 150th anniversary of the state Capitol. Iowa lawmakers are exploring the continuation of expanded streaming services following the pandemic. The New Hampshire Statehouse complex reopened this week.

The Ohio House expelled a former speaker, invoking their powers to remove a member for the first time in 150 years. In Oregon, a House member was expunged, marking the first removal of a member in the state’s 162-year history.

Legislators and Staff in the News

North Dakota Senator Ray Holmberg (R) is now tied with South Carolina Senator Nikki Stetzler (D) for longest-serving active state senator in the country. Massachusetts House Speaker Ron Mariano (D) was fitted with a pacemaker during a trip to Florida. Pennsylvania Speaker Bryan Cutter (R) took questions from a statewide media outlet. Arizona Speaker Rusty Bowers (R) lost a family cabin to a fire.


Lawanda Manning, wife and legislative aide of Oregon Senate President Pro Tem James Manning (D), died Friday, June 11.


Iowa House Minority Leader Todd Prichard (D) announced he will resign from his leadership position. Colleagues chose Jennifer Konfrst (D) as the new leader, the first woman to serve in the post.

Legislative staff are making their way back to the Pennsylvania Capitol as COVID-19 restrictions are being lifted. Yaakov “Jake” Weissmann, chief of staff to Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson (D), announced he will step down in July. Weissmann will be replaced by Sally Robb, who is currently the deputy chief of staff. She will be the first Black woman to serve as a top staffer for a state senate president.


Election News

Several Democrats and one Republican incumbent lost their seats in the Virginia primary election. Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman (R) has ruled out a run for governor. Kentucky Senator Paul Hornback (R) announced he will not seek reelection, as did Iowa Senator Rob Hogg (D). New Jersey Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D) won an election to move to the Senate. Louisiana Representative Gary Carter Jr. (D) is moving from the House to the Senate after former Senator Troy Carter (D) was elected to the U.S. House.

Recent Stories 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.

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