higher education schools reopening covid

The Indiana General Assembly won the latest round in a legal battle with the governor over emergency powers.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of Oct. 4, 2021

By Gene Rose | Oct. 8, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

The state legislative community lost two members to cancer this week, Alaska legislators started their fourth special session, and the West Virginia Senate welcomed a historic new member.


Legislative Operations

The Wisconsin Legislature will take up redistricting when it convenes in November. Alaska legislators started their fourth special legislative session of the year. Tennessee House Speaker Cameron Sexton (R) and Idaho House Speaker Scott Bedke (R) are pushing to hold special sessions in their states regarding COVID-19 issues.

Legislators and Staff in the News

Michigan Representative Andrea Schroeder (R) and North Carolina Representative Dana Bumgardner (R) both died last week after battling cancer. Washington Senator Ann Rivers (R) is leaving the Legislature to become community development director for the city of Longview, Wash. Her colleague Senator David Frockt (D) announced he will not seek reelection in 2022. Tennessee State Senator Katrina Robinson (D) was convicted of wire fraud. Danielle Devine was named director of legislative strategy for Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R). Owens Brown (D) will be the first African American to serve in the West Virginia Senate, replacing Bill Ihlenfeld (D), who was confirmed Tuesday as U.S. attorney for the state’s Northern District.


Authority of State Legislatures

In the continuing legal fight between Indiana legislators and the governor over emergency powers, a judge on Thursday gave a victory to the General Assembly. An Arizona judge said he would rule soon on a lawsuit that seeks the release of records of private deliberations members of the Senate had on the recently concluded 2020 election results review.


2022 Election Moves by Sitting Legislators

Minnesota House Majority Leader Ryan Winkler (D) launched a campaign for a county attorney position. Michigan Representative Beau LaFave (R) will run for secretary of state. Nevada Senator Pat Spearman (D) is running for mayor of Las Vegas. Florida Representative Tracie Davis (D) will run for a seat in the Senate. Wisconsin Senator Brad Pfaff (D) is running for Congress, and his Senate colleague Lena Taylor (D) is running for lieutenant governor. Iowa Senator Jim Carlin (R) said he may leave the Legislature in January to concentrate on a run for the U.S. Senate.

In Remembrance

Donna Nalewaja, a long-serving member of the North Dakota Senate and House, died at the age of 81, and former Virgin Islands Senator Edgar Iles died recently at age 93.

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.

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