April 8th DMGS State Capital Weekly Recap: Florida Lawmakers Taking Aim at Disney, MI Gov. Whitmer Vetoes Gas Tax Suspension, & More

This week was a busy one in state capitals around the United States. Of note, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave his backing to lawmakers hoping to review the 1967 Reedy Creek Improvement District Act that provides Disney with the authority to govern their own land. In other news, Michigan Gov Whitmer vetoed a suspension of the state’s 27-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline, New Mexico approved legislation proving $500 for residents ($1,000 for households), and lawmakers in Pennsylvania failed to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of legislation that would have prevented the Commonwealth from entering the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).


Alabama

This week, Alabama lawmakers approved legislation to exempt the state income tax up to $6,000 in taxable retirement income for those over the age of 65.

Learn more here.


Alaska

Lawmakers in the state House opened debate this week on the state’s annual operating budget by repeatedly voting in favor of $2,600 payments to eligible residents this year.

Learn more here.


Florida

Gov. Ron DeSantis said last Friday he supports state lawmakers reviewing Disney’s power to govern their own land.

Learn more here.


Georgia

In a late-night voting frenzy at the Georgia Capitol earlier this week, some pieces of legislation on hot topic issues including abortion, gambling, marijuana, and free speech, failed to advance.

Learn more here.


Illinois

Last month, the State of Illinois made $131 million in legal weed sales. However, none of that marijuana was grown or produced by new state license winners trying to break into the industry and with the legislative session ending this week, it could be another year until there are new products on cannabis dispensaries’ shelves.

Learn more here.


Kentucky

Earlier this week, Gov. Andy Beshear signed a religious freedom bill that was largely a GOP response to his actions in the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, prohibiting government discrimination against churches during a state of emergency.

Learn more here.


Michigan

At the end of last week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer vetoed legislation that would have suspended the state’s 27-cent-per-gallon tax on gasoline.

Learn more here.


New Jersey

Gov. Phil Murphy is sitting on more than $3 billion in unspent federal COVID relief dollars, and his latest state budget proposal removes the state Legislature’s oversight of those funds, fueling concerns from lawmakers of both parties.

Learn more here.


New Mexico

To help offset rising fuel prices and inflation, lawmakers approved legislation that will provide payments of $500 for individual adults or $1,000 per household.

Learn more here.


New York

Lawmakers and Gov. Kathy Hochul are close to agreeing on a measure that would allow cocktails to go, as part of the state budget.

Learn more here.


Ohio

Lawmakers in the state House introduced an education bill this week that would prohibit teaching young students about sexual orientation or gender identity.

Learn more here.


Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania’s state Senate failed at the beginning of this week to override Gov. Tom Wolf’s veto of a resolution that would prevent Pennsylvania from joining the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, known as RGGI, which would tax CO2 emissions.

Learn more here.


South Dakota

Gov. Kristi Noem this week signed an executive order instructing the Department of Education to review teacher trainings, content standards and other educational materials to ensure they do not contain “divisive concepts” on race.

Learn more here.


Tennessee

Legislation in Tennessee would prohibit local governments from making their own rules about devices and software that police use.

Learn more here.


Texas

Responding to the recent announcement that the Biden administration will lift a pandemic-era immigration policy that allows authorities to turn away migrants, Gov. Greg Abbott proposed placing Texas state troopers in riot gear to meet migrants at the border and bus them straight to the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Abbott unveiled a stunning plan that sent a shockwave through the immigration rights community: Texas would place state troopers in riot gear to meet migrants at the border and bus them straight to the steps of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., where he said the Biden administration “will be able to more immediately address the needs of the people that they are allowing to come across our border.”

Learn more here.


Vermont

This week, Gov. Phil Scott gave his final approval of legislation creating new state legislative districts.

Learn more here.


This Week’s DMGS Posts

  • Flood Mitigation Legislation
    • Did you know flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States? Since the start of the 21st century, flood-related disasters have caused more than $850 billion in damage and losses. There have been various policy initiatives – at both the federal and state levels – to help combat the effects of flooding. Such initiatives include legislation related to flood mitigation, which would help prepare communities for, and reduce, the impacts of floods.
  • What was in the Fiscal 2022 Omnibus Appropriations Package?
    • On March 15, 2022, President Joe Biden signed H.R. 2471, the Omnibus Appropriations Package for Fiscal 2022, into law, funding the federal government through September 30, 2022. The $1.5 trillion government funding measure passed boosts non-defense spending by 6.7%, defense funds by 5.6%, and includes earmarks for the first time since their 2011 ban. The omnibus also provided $13.6 billion in emergency funding for Ukraine.

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

  • Justin Bernbach: new Vice President, Government Relations, HNTB
  • Jon Ros Grayson: new Vice President, Government Relations, HCA Healthcare
  • Matthew Russell: new Manager of Communications & Strategic Engagement, Texas Education Agency
  • Chris Borgerding: new Director of Government Relations, Association of Dental Support Organizations
  • Colin O’Shea: new Senior Account Executive, FiscalNote
  • Christine Csizmadia: new Senior Director, State Government Affairs & Advocacy, Nuclear Energy Institute
  • Alexandra Costello: new Vice President, Government Relations, American Gaming Association
  • Harrison Nantz: new Legislative Director, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection

Happy Birthdays This Week

  • Charlie McLaughlin: Director of Commonwealth Relations, University of Pittsburgh
  • Angela Zaydon: Midwest Regional Director of Government Affairs, Cresco Labs
  • Dy Reed: Lead State Government Affairs Manager, Washington Gas
  • Larry Dicke: EVP & CFO, California Chamber of Commerce
  • Philip Moore: Governmental Affairs Director, Southwest Airlines
  • Sarah Crockett: Director of Public Policy, Texas CASA
  • Jason Wagner: Director of Policy and Government Relations, Associated Pennsylvania Constructors

Email future suggestions to rjstevens@dmgs.com.


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