Newsmakers | What Lawmakers Are Doing and Saying




MASSACHUSETTS SENATE PRESIDENT STAN ROSENBERG (D) WENT TO WASHINGTON, D.C., TO ADVOCATE AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP’S PROPOSAL TO ELIMINATE THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS. A longtime arts backer, Rosenberg is a fellow with Americans for the Arts. The $147 million NEA budget, he says, leverages state, local and private funds to support state arts projects.


OHIO SENATE MINORITY LEADER JOE SCHIAVONI (D) ANNOUNCED HE WILL RUN FOR GOVERNOR IN 2018. Schiavoni was first appointed to the Senate in 2009 and became Democratic leader in 2013. The GOP controls the chamber 24-9.


HAWAII REPRESENTATIVE BETH FUKUMOTO IS MOVING ACROSS THE AISLE. She left the Republican Party for the Democrats two months after her opposition to President Trump prompted a caucus vote to oust her as minority leader. She held the post since 2014. Her move puts the Democratic majority at 46-5.


PATSY SPAW, SECRETARY OF THE TEXAS SENATE, WAS HONORED FOR HER ACCOMPLISHMENTS AS A PUBLIC SERVANT by the Executive Women in Texas Government and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas. Spaw, who began her career in the Texas Senate in 1969, was elected secretary in 2001 and has served under three lieutenant governors. A resolution commends Spaw for her “exceptional work and leadership” and her “incomparable work ethic, exceptional diplomacy and poise.” Spaw served as NCSL’s staff chair in 2012-13, and was president of NCSL’s American Society of Legislative Clerks and Secretaries in 2007-08.


TEXAS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR DAN PATRICK (R) HAD A HAND IN RECOVERING THE PURLOINED JERSEY OF NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS QUARTERBACK TOM BRADY. Patrick asked the Texas Rangers and Houston Police Department to investigate the missing jersey, which was stolen from Houston’s NRG Stadium and located in Mexico in the possession of a credentialed member of the international media. “I always suspected someone in the media grabbed it…,” Patrick said. “Note to international media: Don’t mess with Texas.”


CONNECTICUT HAS A NEW DEPUTY HOUSE SPEAKER. Speaker Joe Aresimowicz (D) has appointed Representative Michelle Cook (D) to the post. Cook previously served as deputy majority leader.

Rhode Island

RHODE ISLAND SENATOR TERESA PAIVA WEED (D) STEPPED DOWN FROM HER POST AS SENATE PRESIDENT TO BECOME PRESIDENT OF THE HOSPITAL ASSOCIATION OF RHODE ISLAND. Weed, first elected in 1992, became the state’s first female Senate president in 2009. The chamber unanimously elected Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio (D), the Senate’s longest serving member, as Weed’s successor. Michael McCaffrey (D) is the new majority leader.


“Effectively, this is about a $14,000 cut to my salary.”

—Alaska Representative Jason Grenn (I) on his budget amendment to cut legislators’ pay, in the Juneau Empire.

New York

“We want to make electric vehicles a mainstream option.”

New York Assemblywoman Amy Paulin (D) on the state’s newly launched rebate of up to $2,000 for zero-emission and electric hybrid vehicles, from The Associated Press.

New Jersey

“Marriage is a legal contract and it should be reserved for adults.”

New Jersey Senator Nellie Pou (D) on a bill she co-sponsored that would make the Garden State the nation’s first to remove all exceptions to laws requiring minors to be 18 years old to marry,


West Virginia

“It’s going to be completely nonpartisan issues, more of just a think tank.”

West Virginia Delegate Sean Hornbuckle (D), 31, on how a newly created caucus of millennials, who make up 13 percent of the Legislature, is approaching public policy, on WMKY.


“You look at the jobs that were lost, you look at the production of coal and how that has declined … and we’ve got to have a third option.”

Kentucky Senator Danny Carroll (R) on his bill to lift the state’s decades-long moratorium on nuclear energy, from

The Associated Press.


"This is putting the parent in the driver's seat."

Tennessee Representative Roger Kane (R) on his education savings account proposal, which would allow parents to use public funds for private school tuition and other education-related expenses, from The Associated Press.


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