higher education schools reopening covid

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R) has called for a special session—part one begins next week after the current regular session ends, part two in August—to address the annual checks residents receive from the state’s oil-wealth fund and spending of federal recovery dollars, among other issues.

Legislative Headlines, Week of May 10, 2021

By Gene Rose | May 14, 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.

Several legislatures have adjourned or are nearing adjournment, while Alaska lawmakers are going into special session. Here’s this week’s news.

Legislative Operations

Iowa lawmakers are on paid overtime as they craft a state budget. The New Mexico Legislature plans to return to in-person committee hearings. The North Carolina General Assembly is eyeing the end of its session, and the House has approved a measure allowing members of the legislature to carry firearms. The South Carolina General Assembly ended its formal session, but might return soon. The Idaho Senate adjourned, but the House elected to recess, meaning the chamber could be called back into session later in the year. Wyomingites will be able to watch state legislative interim meetings, and legislators will be able to vote remotely, through the rest of the year. The Washington Legislature completed its entire session virtually.

North Dakota’s Legislative Management Committee will meet this month to select the top issues the legislature will study during the next 18 months. Remote testimony could be here to stay at the Oregon Capitol. Alaska’s governor is calling lawmakers back into special session. The Maine Legislature may return to the Capitol as pandemic restrictions are loosened, and the New Hampshire Senate met at the Capitol for the first time this session as the mask mandate was lifted in the Statehouse and the legislative office building. The Vermont General Assembly is nearing the end of its session.

Authority of Legislatures

The Kansas Legislature and the governor reached a power-sharing compromise. The Indiana General Assembly and the governor have fought in years past.

Legislators and Staff in the News

Oklahoma Representative Cyndi Munson (D) will become the House minority leader. Pennsylvania Senate Majority Leader Kim Ward (R) announced that she is battling cancer. Two Kansas House Democrats, Brett Parker and Stephanie Day, announced they are leaving the legislature. The husband of the New York Assembly speaker’s chief of staff was sent to prison after pleading guilty to drug and tax charges. Florida Senate President Wilton Simpson (R) was endorsed by former President Donald Trump to run for statewide office. Idaho Senate Chaplain Doug Armstrong, a former journalist, reflected on how his view of legislators changed in his new role.

North Carolina Representative John Bradford (R) welcomed his new legislative coordinator, Matthew Schwab, to his team for the 2021 legislative session:


This Week From NCSL’s State Legislatures News

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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.

Additional Resources