higher education schools reopening covid

Vermont lawmakers signed off on a $7 billion budget and adjourned for the year after allocating hundreds of millions of federal pandemic relief dollars for housing, businesses, child care and public health.

Legislative Headlines, Week of May 24, 2021

By Gene Rose | May 28, 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.

Nebraska, Oklahoma and Vermont have ended their legislative sessions, the Maryland State House is reopening, Kansas selects a new Senate majority leader, and legislative staff in Massachusetts will get pay raises.

Legislative Operations

The Oklahoma Legislature adjourned on Thursday, sending a record number of bills to the governor. Also adjourning were the Vermont General Assembly, which approved its budget and invested a historic amount of funding in higher education, and the Nebraska Legislature, which passed major tax cuts. The Nevada Legislature is nearing the end of its session and is holding a vaccination event for children 12 and under today, combined with tours of the legislative building afterward. The Alaska Legislature appears to be extending its special session. Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R), who serves as president of the Senate, has asked the governor to call the legislature into special session. Alabama is considering a special session on prison construction.

Oklahoma Legislature Adjourns


The Indiana attorney general said in legal filings that the governor is wrongly using the courts to challenge limits placed on his role by the General Assembly. House and Senate employees in Massachusetts received a 6% increase in pay and a $500 stipend to offset costs of working from home over the past year. Kentuckians were urged to get involved with the General Assembly during its interim period. Maryland legislative leaders and the governor announced the reopening of the State House.

Maryland State House Reopens


Legislators and Staff in the News

Idaho House Speaker and NCSL Vice President Scott Bedke (R) is running for lieutenant governor. Kansas Senator Larry Alley (R) was elected to serve as the chamber’s new majority leader before the Legislature adjourned. Arkansas Speaker Matthew Shepherd (R) announced he will seek a third term as the chamber’s leader. Missouri House Majority Leader Dean Plocher (R) said he will seek to become the chamber’s new speaker next session.

New Jersey Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin (D) was profiled by a local online news source, as was Florida Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R), who is in line to become president of the Senate in 2023. NPR spoke with Kara Clark, chief of staff to New York Senator Jabari Brisport (D), about how to become civically engaged. Kansas Representative Elizabeth Bishop (D) has retired from the Legislature.

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.

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