This week saw plenty of action in various state capitals around the country. Notably, lawmakers in Florida are working to advance a controversial abortion ban bill, California lawmakers are proposing legislation to require online platforms to disclose how their algorithms work, and Michigan lawmakers are proposing legislation to allow speed cameras in construction zones.
Learn about these issues, and many more, in this week’s DMGS State Capital Recap!
A proposal floated this week by a California lawmaker, which still is being finalized, would require online platforms such as Facebook to publicly disclose how their algorithms work and how they promote user content, including which data sets are used and how they rank the prominence of user posts.
Members of the state’s Judiciary Committee agreed this week to consider a bill ending the prison system’s use of solitary confinement, picking back up on a conversation that ended last year with a gubernatorial veto.
Confused over how medical marijuana research is funded at Louisiana universities that grow medical marijuana, lawmakers grilled administrators Wednesday because they mistakenly believed the state was paying millions for work that private sector partnerships actually finance.
With a goal of returning for the first in-person budget speech by Governor Phil Murphy since 2020 due to the pandemic, New Jersey lawmakers voted earlier this week to delay the legally required address by two weeks.
Legislation moving through the South Dakota legislature would “increase a tax on the gross receipts of all sales of marijuana,” and essentially sets the framework for how cannabis would be taxed in the state if it becomes legal.
Governor Glenn Youngkin signed SB 739 into law this week that allows parents to choose whether or not their child wears a mask while on school property regardless of any mandates issued by local school boards or state agencies.
With overall vaccination levels continuing to creep higher and COVID cases declining in the last 30 days, many states are lifting their public indoor mask requirements. At least 11 states – mostly with Democratic governors – have announced rescinding some mask requirements, whether outdoor, indoor, in schools, or some combination of all three.
Since 2016, at least 22 states have passed automatic voter registration legislation, and the list could keep growing. In the current 2022 legislative session, lawmakers in additional states hope to implement an automatic voter registration process.
Capital and Capitol Happenings: Staff on the Move, Promotions, and More
Abby Chiumento: new Research Analyst, Senate of Pennsylvania
Holly Yanai: new Program Manager – Science Policy, Divert
Amanda De Palma: new Director of Communications and Outreach (North America), Streetworks Development
Helena Schwarz: new Director of Government Affairs, NOVONIX
Happy Birthdays This Week
Nicholas Bibby: Government Affairs Representative, Duquesne Light Company
John Frick: Regional Manager, US Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA)
Matthew Macedo: Policy and Budget Analyst, California Department of Finance
Mark Stine: Executive Vice President, PA Automotive Association
Matt Vermeire: Government Affairs Director, REALTORS Association of Metropolitan Pittsburgh