Digital collage by Ryan Stevens; image source by RJA1988 from Pixabay 

This week saw plenty of action by lawmakers and governors across the country on various issues, notably COVID-19, special sessions, redistricting, marijuana, and more. This year has seen a flurry of activity related to COVID-19 powers and this week alone we saw Connecticut’s legislature extend Governor Ned Lamont’s emergency powers for the sixth time, and Kansas lawmakers announcing the creation of a special committee on government overreach and the impact of COVID mandates. Outdoor dining has also become a popular fixture during the pandemic, and some California lawmakers want it to be permanent and exist beyond the pandemic.


Alabama lawmakers convened on Monday for a special session to address prisons – specifically on a $1.3 billion plan to build two large prisons, including an overhaul of the state’s correctional system.

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Some California lawmakers are urging Governor Gavin Newsom to extend outdoor dining in the state past the pandemic.

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Lawmakers in Connecticut this week approved extending Governor Ned Lamont’s emergency powers for the 6th time (through February 15th) and to keep the state under a pandemic emergency for COVID-19.

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Kansas lawmakers this week announced the creation of a special committee on government overreach and the impact of COVID mandates.

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Nebraska lawmakers gave final approval to redistricting legislation this week setting new boundaries for the state’s congressional districts.

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New York

Despite passing legislation legalizing recreational marijuana about six months ago, New York is violating the law’s deadline for home cannabis cultivation rules.

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Legislation limiting Ohio employers’ ability to mandate workers receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment appears to face a slower legislative route than anticipated.

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A pair of Pennsylvania lawmakers this week introduced legislation that would make it legal for anyone age 21 and older to purchase and consume cannabis for recreational purposes in Pennsylvania. 

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South Dakota

Lawmakers in South Dakota are scheduled to convene for a special session in early November to consider opening an impeachment inquiry into Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg. The special session will be after, and separate from, a redistricting session.

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Vermont lawmakers and Governor Phil Scott’s administration are seeking a compromise on a bill that would create a rental registry for landlords.

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

  • Emily Hoffman: new Government Affairs Associate, SoftBank Group International
  • Sharon Lamberton: new Deputy Vice President of State Policy and External Outreach, PhRMA
  • Nikki Dostoomian: new Senior Policy Advisor and Counsel, the Brennan Group
  • Britton Burdick: new Communications Director, Rep. Donald Norcross (D-NJ-1)
  • Allegra Smith: new Legislative Correspondent, Sen. Bob Casey (D-PA), Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families
  • Renee Gamela: new Deputy Chief of Staff, Rep. G. T. Thompson (R-PA-15)
  • Tyler Ladzinski: new Staff Assistant, Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ-4)
  • Mabintou Ouattara: new Staff Assistant, Rep. Marcy Kaptur (D-OH-9)

Happy Birthdays This Week

  • Danielle Scoggins: Vice President of Public Policy at Florida Realtors
  • Sharon Seyler: Deputy Director of Government Affairs, Duane Morris Government Strategies
  • Jon O’Brien: Executive Director, Keystone Contractors Association
  • Djibril V. Diop: Director Of Government Relations, Washington Education Association
  • Dorian Almaraz: Lobbyist, Prime Strategies of California
  • Aaron Pickrell: Principal, Remington Road Group

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