A key topic in Missouri, one of several states where legislatures were in special session this week, was Medicaid funding.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of June 21, 2021

By Gene Rose | June 25, 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.

Special sessions, current and planned, headline the news this week. The Texas governor defunds state legislative staff and a couple of states look at using state budgets to restrict gubernatorial power during emergencies.

Legislative Operations

Missouri legislators started a special session on Medicaid funding. West Virginia lawmakers concluded a special session on surplus funds. Alaska started a special session regarding the state budget. Vermont legislators met in an override session this week, and talk of a veto override session is underway in Louisiana, where the legislature recently ended its regular session. The Hawaii Legislature is likely to go into special session following the governor’s announcement he intends to veto 28 bills. The Virginia General Assembly will meet in special session on Aug. 2. Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson (R) rejected a call for a special session on fireworks. The Wisconsin Legislature is considering the creation of a new human resources department.


Authority of Legislatures

Funding for state legislative pay in the next fiscal year was vetoed by the Texas governor, who also called lawmakers into a special session. New Jersey lawmakers passed a budget that requires the governor to call the Legislature into session 90 days after declaring a state emergency. Similarly, the budget proposed by the North Carolina Senate limits the governor’s power during emergencies. The Montana Legislature dropped its request for emails from state Supreme Court justices regarding a law allowing the governor to fill judicial vacancies between elections. The Rhode Island General Assembly approved legislation that removes its authority to decide who can officiate marriages.

Legislators and Staff in the News

Massachusetts House Majority Leader Claire Cronin (D) has been named the new ambassador to Ireland.


Maine Representative Justin Fecteau (R) announced he will leave the House on July 4. Kansas Representative Jennifer Day (D) announced she is leaving the legislature, the third Democrat to resign this year. Connecticut Senator Alex Kasser (D) resigned from office, and Rose Smith, who has worked for the Maine Legislature since 1987, was recently profiled by News Center Maine.


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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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