It was a busy week for legislators and governors around the country as we shift into fall-mode. Arizona’s governor spoke out this week on the state’s school voucher program, while California is banning red dye No. 3, and a Wisconsin lawmaker is standing up for ‘real’ maple syrup. Other issues covered this week include collective bargaining, energy, gun reform, and more.


Governor Kay Ivey (R) announced a $600,000 grant to ensure protection and aid to victims of sexual violence. The Alabama Coalition Against Rape Inc. will be using the funds for advocacy, training, and education to prevent sexual violence and assist victims.

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A nonpartisan state advocate group has proposed a ballot initiative to help protect the state’s Freedom of Information Act laws. Senator Clarke Tucker (D) believes the constitutional amendment will help maintain transparency in the state government.

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Governor Katie Hobbs (D) has spoken out against the state’s school voucher program, calling it “unaccountable and unsustainable.” Hobbs was speaking in reaction to a report showing the number of students receiving school vouchers exceeded the 68,000+ expected recipients in the FY24 budget. 

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Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation banning the sale of red dye No. 3, among other chemicals. Red dye No. 3 is found in over 3,200 food products including mixed fruit, ice cream, yogurt, and candy. 

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Connecticut has required its cities and towns to offer property tax relief to veterans since the Civil War, but some lawmakers are hoping to increase that relief up to $2,000 per veteran.

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New legislation sponsored by Senator Lori Berman (D) would make the definition of ‘antisemitism’ apply to all areas of policy and life in Florida, as Florida law only defines the term currently in an education-specific section of state statutes. The bill defines ‘antisemitism’ as “a certain perception of Jewish individuals which may be expressed as hatred toward such individuals.”

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Leaders in Hawaii’s House and Senate are responding to the recent wildfires on Maui in different ways, with the House acting quickly while the Senate has taken a slower approach and offered more individual actions. 

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Lawmakers this week voice their opposition to the proposal by Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson to create so-called “winterized base camps” that would shelter thousands of migrants. 

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Governor Laura Kelly (D) this week announced Kansas will become the 29th state to officially designate Juneteenth as a state holiday.

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A republican member of the state House is set to introduce legislation to restrict the sale or transfer of fetal remains.

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The Senate Finance Committee met earlier this week to discuss the landscape of collective bargaining for state employees and what opportunities may exist to address the issue in next year’s legislative session.

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A public hearing was held earlier this week by the  Massachusetts House to address a redrafted bill that would change the state’s gun laws. A vote on the bill, which is designed to close certain loopholes and strengthen the state’s assault weapons ban, could happen later this month. 

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This week, a House committee began discussion over a package of legislation that would give a state commission authority over site permits for large solar and wind farm projects – and remove local governments from the process. 

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The Secretary of State this week announced that a petition effort to get a question on the 2024 ballot to allow voters to decide whether or not public money can go towards private school tuition, has exceeded the number of signatures needed. 

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New York

Two new bills were introduced this week to help protect the mental health of children online by changing how they are served content on social media and limiting how companies use that data.

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North Carolina

This week, Republican majorities in the House and Senate enacted vote-count restrictions and weakened the governor’s ability to oversee elections through a series of veto-overrides. 

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Ohio voters are set to vote on Issue 1 in next month’s General Election. Issue 1 would “establish an individual right to one’s own reproductive medical treatment, including but not limited to abortion.”

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Federal funding has been secured for the Mid-Atlantic Clean Hydrogen Hub for Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware. 

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Lawmakers have approximately $6 billion to spend in the legislature’s third special session, which Governor Greg Abbott (R) has called to address school choice, border security, and restrict COVID mandates.

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One lawmaker in Wisconsin loves real maple syrup so much that she introduced legislation aimed at preventing restaurants from labeling artificial syrup as ‘real.’

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

  • Justin Fiore: new Deputy Director, Advocacy and Public Affairs, Maryland Municipal League
  • Mitchell Albers: new Legal Counsel, Michigan Association for Justice
  • Bill Young: new External Affairs Lead, EDF Renewables North America
  • Allyson Finch Wilson: new Director of Communications, Prince George’s County, Maryland

Happy Birthdays This Week

  • Ron Boston: Senior Government Affairs Manager, Duane Morris Government Strategies
  • Patrick MacFarlane: Government Relations Manager, Child Care Resource Center
  • Jose Asuna: Director of External Affairs, Brilliant Corners
  • Talar Alexanian: Senior Government Affairs Manager, Pallet
  • Michael Hogg: Manager, State Affairs, NAMA

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