This week governors and state lawmakers across the country responded to the leaked Supreme Court draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade, with some states taking actions to restrict abortions at the state level, while other states reaffirmed their opposition to such actions. Additionally, New York Governor Kathy Hochul chose a new Lieutenant Governor, Hawaii lawmakers passed legislation raising the minimum wage, and marijuana again dominated headline across the country.
Governor Gavin Newsom and legislative leaders in California announced this week they will look to voters on the ballot this November to place permanent abortion rights protections in the state constitution.
Governor Kathy Hochul chose Representative Antonio Delgado as her new Lieutenant Governor earlier this week, replacing former Lt. Gov. Brian Benjamin who resigned last month. Delgado is expected to serve as Hochul’s running mate this year too.
The U.S. annual inflation rate increased to 8.5% for the 12 months ending with March of 2022, the highest since December 1981. In addition, as of May 2, the national average gas price had risen to $4.19 per gallon for regular gas, up from $2.90 a year ago. With inflation, gas prices, and the costs of many other goods and supplies elevated, some state lawmakers are hoping to send direct relief checks to residents to help them with their expenses.
An open primary is a primary election where a voter does not have to affiliate themselves with a political party to vote in that party’s primary election. At least one political party conducts open primaries for statewide and congressional offices in at least 21 states. In contrast, a closed primary is one where only political party members are allowed to vote. There has been a growing push in some states, via open primary legislation, to expand and allow additional states to conduct open primary elections.
Capital and Capitol Happenings: Staff on the Move, Promotions, and More
Heather Hallman: new Director of Government Relations, UPMC Health Plan
Darrin Youker: new Government Affairs Officer, Mid Atlantic Farm Credit
Matt Seaholm: new CEO, Plastics Industry Association
Brian Rosen: new Director, State Government Affairs, East, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
Leah Robinson: new Director of Legislative Affairs and Leadership Programming
Happy Birthdays This Week
Rob Karr: President and CEO, Illinois Retail Merchants Association
Av Harris: Director of Communications, the Concord Coalition
Robert Ribic: Director of Government Relations & Community Engagement, PA Options for Wellness Inc.
MoReno Taylor: Field Director, Dana Nessel for Attorney General
Shelby Rexrode: Policy Officer, PA Housing Finance Agency