October 15th DMGS State Capital Weekly Recap: Louisiana Has a $1B Surplus, Bipartisan Recreational Marijuana Legislation Introduced in Pennsylvania, & California Bans Gas-Powered Lawn Equipment

Digital collage by Ryan Stevens; image source by DEZALB from Pixabay 

As we approach the halfway point through October, lawmakers and executives around the country proved to be quite busy this week. Notably, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed legislation banning gas-powered lawn equipment, an issue that has been gaining some traction across the country in localities and now at the state level. On marijuana, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Pennsylvania introduced legislation this week to legalize adult-use marijuana and New Jersey finally is set to announce the 24 winners for medical marijuana licenses from a 2019 RFA. The issue of automated traffic enforcement saw action as well, with the Massachusetts Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security held a lengthy hearing this week to address the issue, amongst others.

All this and more, below in our State Capital Weekly Recap.


Alaska

Several GOP lawmakers in Alaska are urging easier access for residents to use ivermectin amid the pandemic, despite ivermectin not being authorized by the FDA for preventing or treating COVID-19.

Learn more here.


California

Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill recently to ban the sale of new gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and chain saws as soon as 2024.

Learn more here.


Florida

Florida’s Department of Health appeared before state Senators this week, where lawmakers asked COVID-19 related questions. One question that wasn’t asked was about pending fines for businesses and governments accused of asking for vaccination proof.

Learn more here.


Kentucky

Kentucky state lawmakers finalized a calendar for next year’s 2022 Regular Session with plans to convene the General Assembly on Jan. 4 and adjourn April 14.

Learn more here.


Louisiana

Louisiana recently finished closing out the books for the recently ended fiscal year. After the state’s bills were paid, state accountants found the amount of money leftover to be significant – about $1 billion.

Learn more here.


Massachusetts

Massachusetts’ Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security on Wednesday held a hearing to discuss various pieces of legislation, including bills that would authorize cities and towns to allow for automated photo enforcement.

Learn more here.


New Jersey

On October 15, 2021, the New Jersey Cannabis Regulatory Commission (CRC) will finally announce the 24 Medical Marijuana license awardees from a 2019 Request for Applications (RFA).

Learn more here.


Pennsylvania

Two state Senators this week introduced bipartisan legislation to legalize the adult use of marijuana in the Keystone State. 

Learn more here.


Texas

Governor Greg Abbott this week issued an executive order stating that “no entity in Texas can compel receipt of a COVID-19 vaccination by any individual, including an employee or consumer, who objects to such vaccination for any reason of personal conscience, based on a religious belief, or for medical reasons, including prior recovery from COVID-19.”

Abbott also added this issue as an item to the Third Special Session agenda and his executive order will be rescinded upon the passage of such legislation. 

Learn more here.


West Virginia

West Virginia lawmakers met in a special session this Monday to discuss redistricting.

Learn more here.


Capital and Capitol Happenings: Staff on the Move, Promotions, and More

  • Erica Woods: new Director of Government Relations, Dutchie
  • Amy Walker: new Director of US Policy & Advocacy, Seqirus
  • Colleen Schulz-Eskow: new Senior Director of Public Policy, New Jersey Children’s Foundation
  • Nicole Sunstrum: new Executive Director, Gulf Coast Protection District
  • Ben Utley: new Manager of Governmental Relations, ERCOT

Happy Birthdays This Week

  • Ron Boston: Senior Government Affairs Manager, Duane Morris Government Strategies
  • Adam Harris: Executive Director, Brewers of PA
  • Brittany O’Neil: Director, Belfort Group
  • Patrick MacFarlane: Government Relations Manager, Child Care Resource Center
  • Michael Zhadanovsky: Press Aide, NJ Governor Phil Murphy
  • Anthony Abrantes: Director of Organizing, Eastern Atlantic States Regional Council of Carpenters

Email future suggestions to rjstevens@dmgs.com.


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