california legislature swing space office

This 10-story, 472,000-square-foot office building will serve as a temporary home for California lawmakers and staff while the current Capitol Annex office space undergoes a $ 1.2 billion facelift. (California Assembly)

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of Nov. 29, 2021

By Gene Rose | Dec. 7, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

California legislators and staff move out as a new office building is scheduled for construction. Virginia elections appear to be settled. North Carolina finishes a regular session, while Arkansas, Oregon and Maryland look to start special ones.

Legislative Operations

The North Carolina General Assembly finished its regular session this week. California lawmakers and staff are moving out the Capitol Annex, which will be demolished and replaced with a new office building. The Arkansas General Assembly will hold a special session Dec. 7 on tax cuts. The Oregon Legislative Assembly will go into special session Dec. 13 to address rental assistance and eviction protections. A legislative budget analyst said the recent North Dakota special session was under budget. Virginia elections were finalized by a three-judge panel on Friday, giving that state and Minnesota the distinction of having the country’s only split legislatures. The Maryland General Assembly will start a veto and redistricting session on Monday.

Legislators and Staff in the News

Maine Representative Chris Johansen (R) resigned from the Legislature, following his wife’s death. Maryland Delegate Dereck Davis (D) is slated to become the state’s new treasurer, following a vote of a special legislative committee. California Assemblyman Ed Chau (D) was appointed to a judgeship on the Los Angeles County Superior Court. North Carolina Representative Susan Fisher (D) will resign from her seat at the end of the year, and colleague Brian Turner (D) announced he will not seek reelection. Utah Representative Paul Ray (R) resigned from the Legislature for a post with the state Department of Human Services. Vikki Breese-Iverson (R) was selected by her GOP colleagues as the New Oregon House Republican leader after Christine Drazen (R) stepped down in an anticipated run for governor. Illinois House Majority Leader Greg Harris (D), Texas Senator Larry Taylor (R) and Alaska Representative Steve Thompson (R) said they will not seek reelection. Bill Gatewood is retiring as curator of the Old State House in Arkansas. Mark Huizenga (R) was sworn in as a senator in Michigan. Yasmin Trudeau (D), a former state legislative staffer, is the newest member of the Washington Senate. Carrie Semmelroth (D) will replace Ali Rabe, who recently resigned from the Idaho Senate. California Assemblyman Jim Frazier (D) is resigning at the end of the year.

Redistricting News

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled that a Republican-drawn map did not need significant changes. A North Carolina judge said the General Assembly does not need to restart the redistricting process. An Arkansas panel approved new maps for state legislative districts. Oklahoma’s governor signed into law new legislative and congressional districts. The Illinois governor and Ohio governor signed new congressional maps into law. The New Mexico Legislature meets on Monday to approve new redistricting maps. The South Carolina House approved its new districts. Drafts of the California legislative maps have been released. A Senate redistricting plan has been approved in Connecticut.

2022 Election Moves by Sitting Legislators 

North Carolina Senators Chuck Edwards (R) and Don Davis (D) announced they will run for separate congressional seats next year. Wisconsin Representative Amy Loudenbeck (R) kicked off a campaign for secretary of state. Arkansas Representative Gayla Hendren McKenzie (R) will run for state Senate. Oregon Senator Keith Wagoner (R) will run for secretary of state. Ohio Senator Theresa Gavarone (R) will run for Congress. Nevada Assembly Republican Leader Dr. Robin Titus (R) will run for the state Senate. California Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin Mullin (D) said he run for Congress.

In Remembrance

Mary Brown, Michigan’s first female state representative, died at age 86.

This Week From NCSL’s State Legislatures News

The Week in Tweets

First Branch News is NCSL’s weekly roundup of legislative headlines from news sources across the country and throughout the territories. Articles and social media posts 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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