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

Despite this week being sandwiched between Christmas and New Years, plenty of action was taken in state capitals across the country, especially as it relates to COVID-19 and preparing for 2022 legislative sessions which are right around the corner.

Lastly, all of us at DMGS would like to wish you a Happy New Year and best wishes for a healthy and prosperous 2022! See you next year!


California has a massive budget surplus heading into the next legislative session and lawmakers are trying to figure out how to meet the requirements of the State Appropriations Limit.

Learn more here.


Heading into the 2022 legislative session, Colorado lawmakers will be tasked with how to spend more than $2.6 billion in federal COVID-19 stimulus dollars.

Learn more here.


Lawmakers in the Sunshine State are looking at legislation that would make it easier for prosecutors to apply stiffer penalties to criminals who cross county-lines in order to commit burglaries.

Learn more here.


Critical race theory is shaping up to be a hot topic for state lawmakers as they return to session in the New Year.

Learn more here.


The Illinois legislature is scheduled to meet on January 5th but lawmakers cancelled other session days that week and also likely the following week due to COVID-19.

Learn more here.


Lawmakers have introduced a “Snowbird bill” with the goal of keeping the state’s seniors from leaving Massachusetts for lower estate taxes in other states.

Learn more here.

New York

Governor Kathy Hochul declared racism to be a public health crisis as she signed an entire package of bills to address discrimination and racial injustice in New York.

Learn more here.

North Carolina

North Carolina lawmakers had scheduled floor sessions for Thursday but will put off any votes until January.

Learn more here.


Governor Mike DeWine indicated this week he isn’t prepared to issue a statewide mask mandate, but encouraged schools to adopt their own mandates.

Learn more here.


A federal judge rejected Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt’s argument that the Department of Defense overstepped its authority when issuing a military-wide COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Learn more here.


Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf earlier this week criticized a map for new congressional districts proposed by state House Republicans.

Learn more here.


State lawmakers in Washington introduced legislation to reduce penalties for drive-by shootings with a goal to promote racial equity in the criminal legal system. Lawmakers are scheduled to begin their 60 day session on January 10th.

Learn more here.

This Week’s DMGS Posts

  • Virtual Snow Day Legislation: Could the Future of Snow Days be in Jeopardy?
    • With many schools across the country switching to virtual or hybrid learning due to the pandemic, some are pushing for such learning to replace traditional snow days where students have “off” for the day due to inclement weather.
  • In the Loop: What’s in the Build Back Better Act
    • On November 19, 2021, the House passed a $2 trillion reconciliation bill—the Build Back Better Act—to implement key elements of President Joe Biden’s economic agenda. 
  • Happy Holidays: State Lawmakers Introduce Various Bills Related to the Holidays
    • December brings the holiday season, with various Christmas and other holiday decorations, including trees, lights, and more.  However, some lawmakers are hoping to play a role in addressing various issues surrounding these myriad decorations. Others hope to extend certain sales tax exemptions related to the holidays and holiday organizations.  One lawmaker even plans to introduce legislation to provide tax credits to address the shortage in Santa Clauses this year.

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

  • Brandon Marchy: new Senior Legislative Advocate, California Medical Association
  • Joseph Foskett: new Director of Government Affairs (New York), Invenergy LLC
  • Gregory Snyder: new Senior Government Relations Associate, Bellamy Genn Group

Happy Birthdays This Week

  • Glenn Grell: Executive Director, PA Public School Employees Retirement System
  • George Ivanov: Head of International Policy and Government Affairs, Waymo
  • C. Mitch Taylor: Director, Government Affairs, SHRM
  • Jordan Layson: Director, U.S. Government Affairs, Amgen
  • Meredith Beeson: Director of State Government Affairs, Global Business Alliance
  • Richard Romer: Manager, Association Governance & Public Policy, AAA National
  • Samar Jha: Senior Legislative Representative, AARP

Email future suggestions to