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The California Legislature has concluded its 2021 session.

First Branch News | Legislative Headlines, Week of Sept. 13, 2021

By Gene Rose | Sept. 17, 2021 | State Legislatures News | Print

Some state legislatures are or will be going in to special sessions on redistricting. The Minnesota Senate gets new majority and minority leaders. Illinois considers a statue of Ronald Reagan at the Capitol. And a New York Assemblyman meets with a king.


Legislative Operations

The California Legislature completed its 2021 legislative session last Friday. The Kentucky General Assembly ended its special session. The Missouri General Assembly ended its veto session this week, while the Nebraska Legislature started a redistricting session. Oregon legislators will go into special session for redistricting on Sept. 20, and the Iowa General Assembly is planning one on Oct. 5, following a state Supreme Court ruling. The Alaska governor is calling legislators back for a fourth special session on Oct. 1. Kentucky legislative leaders are relocating 170 executive branch employees from the Capitol Annex to a downtown Frankfort office building to make room for state legislators. Alabama House Speaker Mac McCutcheon (R) said the Statehouse will have few COVID-19 restrictions when the legislature meets for a special session within the next few weeks.


Legislators and Staff in the News

Minnesota Senator Jeremy Miller (R) was elected the new majority leader, replacing Paul Gazelka (R), who recently stepped down from the position. Minnesota Senator Melisa López Franzen (DFL) is the chamber’s new minority leader, replacing Senator Susan Kent (DFL). Mike Bousselot (R) was elected to a vacant seat in the Iowa House. Mia Bonta (D) was elected to the California General Assembly seat formerly held by her husband, who was appointed the state’s attorney general. Greg Vital (R) is the newest member of the Tennessee House, winning an election for a vacant seat. Arizona Representative Raquel Terán (D) was appointed to a vacant seat in the state Senate. Massachusetts Representative Brad Hill (R) is retiring from the Legislature after more than 23 years to serve on the state Gaming Commission. Missouri Representative Dean Plocher (R), who currently serves as the majority floor leader, was selected by his party to become House speaker in 2023. The top two Maine Senate leaders, President Troy Jackson (D) and Majority Leader Eloise Vitelli (D), reported testing positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated. New York Assemblyman Nader Sayegh (D), the first Jordanian American elected to the chamber, recently met with king of Jordan.


2022 Election Moves by Sitting Legislators

Kansas Representative Steven Johnson (R) is running for state treasurer. Nebraska Senator Carol Blood (D) announced she will run for governor. Kentucky Representative Kelly Flood (D) and North Carolina Representative Verla Insko (D) announced they will not seek reelection next year. Kaitlin Wright is leaving her job as an aide to Massachusetts Representative Steven Xiarhos (R) to serve as the assistant city clerk in Haverhill. Connecticut Representative Caroline Simmons (D) won a primary in the contest for the Stamford mayor’s office and will face former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine (U). Alabama Representative Connie Rowe (R), who is not seeking reelection, will become a senior advisor to the lieutenant governor. Rhode Island Representative Gregg Amore (D) is running for secretary of state. Texas Representative Matt Krause (R) is running for attorney general. Nevada Assemblywoman Lisa Krasner (R) will run for the state Senate. West Virginia Delegate Joshua Higginbotham (R) is running for the state Senate. Arkansas Representative Stu Smith (R) said he will not run for reelection. Michigan State Representative Sarah Anthony (D) is running for the state Senate.

In Remembrance

Former Florida Representative and Jacksonville Mayor Tommy Hazouri died from complications of a lung transplant. Bob Faehn, who served as the South Dakota House majority leader, died from cancer. And former U.S. Virgin Islands Senator Holland Redfield II died recently after a long illness.


Other News

Illinois lawmakers may honor former President Ronald Reagan, who was born in the state, with a statue on the Capitol grounds. The New York mayor moved to stop state legislators from visiting Rikers Island jails.

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 reflect NCSL views.

Gene Rose is NCSL’s communications director.

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