Digital collage by Ryan Stevens; image source by 1778011 from Pixabay

This week, lawmakers around the country continued to stay busy on a myriad of topics. Some of these topics, such as COVID-19 related issues, are impacting numerous states, while others are more unique to each state, such as the growing deficit in Vermont’s pension fund. Growing trends we’ve explored previously continue to crop up in different states, including automated speed enforcement in Indiana, banning Native American mascots in New Hampshire, and police reform in Washington. Texas, whose legislature does not meet in 2022, even made headlines for the work they plan to take up when they return to Austin in 2023.


Mountain towns across Colorado are trying to figure out the best way to regulate short-term rentals and state lawmakers are exploring legislative options to address the issue as well.

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Governor Ned Lamont and state lawmakers are trying to figure out what to do after Lamont’s COVID-19 emergency powers expire on February 15. The governor wants lawmakers to take action and codify his executive orders, which have been extended six times throughout the pandemic.

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Hawaii’s legislative session began this week and lawmakers are prioritizing more tax breaks for working families and more efforts to preserve Hawaii’s drinking water.

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An Indiana House Committee on Wednesday approved House Bill 1035, making highway work zones safer with a speed enforcement pilot program.

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29 of 171 school districts in Kentucky don’t have any school nurses, but the the Kentucky Nurses Association is hoping to change that. The Association is asking lawmakers to allocate $18 million over the next two years to help schools that don’t have nurses to hire one, and boost part-time school nurses up to full-time.

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The Maine Legislature ordered a report, led by the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry, which has come out saying the state continues to have a real problem with hunger and households don’t have enough food.

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Lawmakers in Nebraska advanced a bill this week that would require collecting DNA samples from suspects arrested — but not convicted of a violent crime.

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New Hampshire

New Hampshire state lawmakers introduced a bill that would outlaw the use of Native American mascots in public schools, including colleges and universities.

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New Jersey

A New Jersey lawmaker is set to introduce a bill that would require the governor to periodically ask the Legislature for permission to continue a state of emergency or public health emergency.

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New York

New Yorkers will not be able to purchase beer and wine at movie theaters after the New York State Liquor Authority unanimously approved it. Alcohol has traditionally been only allowed at movie theaters if the movie theater was deemed a restaurant and sold alcohol at bars for consumption before movies started, or servers would be able to deliver alcohol to tables inside the theater.

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Even in an off-year, Texas state lawmakers are still hard at work looking ahead to what their priorities for next year’s legislative session will be.

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Utah state lawmakers have kicked off their 2022 legislative session and the agenda includes a few people to take the power to enact COVID-19 measures by city and county officials and give it to the state legislature.

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Vermont’s Senate Committee on Government Operations held a public hearing earlier this week to hear recommendations from a state task force on addressing a growing deficit in the state’s pension fund.

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Virginia lawmakers are debating of the wording of Governor Glenn Youngkin’s executive order on masks in schools, which House and Democrats say violates state law.

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Washington state lawmakers are considering fixes to controversial police reform laws that were passed last year.

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

  • Abigail Reynolds: new Associate Partner, Southern Strategy Group (Louisiana)
  • Jennifer LaTourette: new President and Chief Operating Officer, Van Scoyoc Associates
  • Chanell Autrey: new Director of Government Affairs, Target
  • Jesse Monoski: new Policy Development & Research Specialist, Pennsylvania Senate Minority Leader Jay Costa’s Office
  • Sarah Steenhausen: new Deputy Director of Aging Policy, Research and Equity, California Department of Aging
  • Nicole Bunce: new Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, Office of Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin
  • Parker Beene: new Senior Policy Analyst, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials

Happy Birthdays This Week

  • Addison McDowell: Lobbyist, North Carolina League of Municipalities
  • Jay Wiederhold: President, PA Beer Alliance
  • Nate Spade: Vice President, External Affairs, UnitedHealth Group
  • Anne Baloga: Executive Director, Pennsylvania House Appropriations Committee

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