Heading into the end of the year, lawmakers around the country were busy this week preparing for 2024 legislative sessions and tackling some issues before the end of the year. Notably, Connecticut’s governor rescinded regulations banning the sale of new gas vehicles, Ohio lawmakers released legislation for marijuana legalization, and Pennsylvania’s governor signed legislation requiring doctors to obtain a patient’s consent before medical students can perform pelvic or rectal exams on anesthetized patients.


Speaker of the House Nathaniel Ledbetter (R) has formed a new committee dedicated to creating new gambling legislation. The proposed legislation is expected to legalize gaming at select locations, enhance regulation, and strengthen laws against illicit gambling activities.

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Arkansas Citizens for Transparency submitted a proposed constitutional amendment to the 2024 ballot. The amendment aims to create the right to government transparency by requiring that laws which make the government less transparent be approved by a statewide vote and allow the state to be sued in state court for failing to comply with state transparency laws. 

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Governor Katie Hobbs (D) signed a petition to encourage getting an abortion measure on the ballot in November 2024.

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Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has signed the Equal Pay and Anti-Retaliation Protection Act.. The new amendment makes it easier for an employee who experienced adverse employment action within 90 days of engaging in protected activity to file a claim of retaliation against their employer. The law takes effect on January 1st, 2024.

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Colorado is set to pass legislation banning weight discrimination. The law would prevent landlords from turning away renters based on weight limits and require them to implement workplace accommodations for overweight Americans. States such as New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Jersey are considering similar laws.

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Facing legislative defeat this week, Governor Ned Lamont (D) withdrew regulations that would prohibit new gas-powered vehicle sales by 2035 (Advanced Clean Cars II).

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Representative Bob Rommel (R) filed legislation that increases penalties for retail theft, making it a third-degree felony for thefts involving five or more people within one or more establishments, as well as for committing three retail thefts within a 365-day period. 

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed a package of climate bills into law this week. The bills address clean energy standards, energy waste and affordability, and provide state regulators authority over permitting clean energy projects.

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New Jersey

Governor Phil Murphy (D) conditionally vetoed a bill that would have removed some restrictions on breweries. While he supports the legislation, he feels that state liquor laws need reform and it should be included in this bill.

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New York

Environmental advocates are advocating for legislation that would make oil companies pay for climate change projects in the Empire State.

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North Carolina

North Carolina is set to implement 26 new laws this week. They address issues such as abortion, elections, K-12 education, parental rights, transparency for high school athletics and more.

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House lawmakers introduced a bill that could restrict marijuana use despite the recent passage of Issue 2, a ballot measure which calls for allowing adults 21+ to buy and possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and cultivate marijuana plants at home. The new bill would give local governments the opportunity to prevent cannabis usage and allocate a 10% tax on all cannabis sales.

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Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality is working on implementing the Recycling Modernization Act. The act aims to create a statewide list of acceptable recycling materials to reduce confusion about what can and cannot be recycled. Producer responsibility organizations will also be required to provide separate recycling services for certain items. As well as become members of a producer responsibility organization by 2025.

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A new law in Pennsylvania will require doctors to obtain a patient’s consent before medical students can perform pelvic or rectal exams on anesthetized patients. The legislation, which will go into effect in January, is part of a national effort to require informed consent for procedures.

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South Carolina

The Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services along with Lieutenant Governor Pamela Evette are launching a campaign to educate parents on substance abuse, vaping, and fentanyl dangers. The campaign aims to reduce the negative consequences of substance use and addictions, particularly among students in grades 9-12.

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With just over a week left in the Fourth Special session, school choice legislation has yet to be passed. However, Governor Greg Abbott (R) has stated that he will continue to call special sessions until the legislation is passed.

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Capital and Capitol Happenings: New Positions, Promotions, and More

  • Matthew Welsh: new Government Affairs Director, Lundbeck 
  • Mike Pepe: new Director External Affairs Coalitions and Grassroots, Philip Morris International 
  • Ann Marie Walp: new President, Tennessee Cable and Broadband Association
  • Mallory Nugent: new Senior Director of Advocacy Campaigns, Everytown for Gun Safety
  • Danny Fitzpatrick: new Director of Communications, Pet Advocacy Network
  • Andy Briscoe: new Director of Government Relations, the Missouri Bar 
  • Jordan See: new Head of Government Relations, Qualtrics 

Happy Birthdays This Week

  • Alex Baloga: President and CEO, Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association
  • Chloe Mandara: Legislative Director, Pennsylvania State Senate
  • Michael Smith: Government Relations, Walgreens
  • John McCord: Executive Director, Texas Retailers Association
  • C. Brett Johnson: State Government Affairs Director, Amgen
  • Tim Casey: Senior Director of Government Affairs & Policy, Fresenius Kabi 

Want to wish someone a happy birthday or recognize their new job or promotion? Email future suggestions to rjstevens@dmgs.com.

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