iowa capitol building

Iowa gets a new legislator and will soon go into special session.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of Oct. 11, 2021

By Gene Rose | Oct. 15, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

Two people are arrested in separate incidents involving lawmakers in Vermont and Idaho. Alabama and Iowa lawmakers go into special sessions at the end of the month. Another legislator gets tapped to work in the Biden administration, and the Iowa House has a new member.

Legislative Operations


Illinois’ Old State Capitol has reopened, following a renovation. The Alabama Legislature and the Iowa General Assembly will hold special sessions on redistricting starting Oct. 28. Wyoming legislators are being polled on whether to have a special session on vaccine mandates. New Hampshire House Speaker Sherman Packard (R) is encouraging lawmakers to wear masks at the State House.

Legislators and Staff in the News

Oregon Representative Bill Post (R) has resigned, after his family decided to move to Nevada. Nevada State Representative Ben Kieckhefer (R) resigned to take a position on the state gaming commission. Two Alaska senators tested positive for the coronavirus. Massachusetts Representative Maria Robinson (D) has been nominated to be assistant secretary for the Office of Electricity in the Biden administration’s Department of Energy.


A man was arrested at the Vermont Statehouse after threatening House Speaker Jill Krowinski (D), while a man in Idaho was charged with assault on Senator Mark Schoesler (R). Tennessee Senator Kerry Roberts (R) will bike 100 miles to raise funds for local flood victims.


Pennsylvania Senator Bob Mensch (R), Minnesota Senator Chuck Wiger (DFL), Nevada Assemblywoman Jill Tolles (R) and Texas Representative Lyle Larson (R) will retire at the end of their terms. Jon Dunwell (R) is the newest member of the Iowa House, winning a special election.


2022 Election Moves by Sitting Legislators 

Iowa Senator Betsy Johnson (D) announced she will campaign to be governor. South Dakota Representative Taffy Howard (R) will run for Congress in next year’s elections. Oregon Representative Mark Meek (D) said he will seek a state Senate seat next year.


In Remembrance

Former Tennessee Representative Jim Coley died on Sunday. Ray Sullivan, a former Rhode Island Representative, died unexpectedly at the age of 44. Former Alaska Senator Clem Tillion died at the age of 96. Orphy Klempa, a former member of both West Virginia legislative chambers, died of cancer.

This Week From NCSL’s State Legislatures News

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 necessarily reflect NCSL views.

Gene Rose is NCSL’s communications director.

Additional Resources