It was a busy week for lawmakers and governors around the country. California’s governor reflected on his recent visit to China and the future of autonomous and potentially flying vehicles, a lawmaker in Georgia is trying to codify the definition of “anti-semitism,” Texas lawmakers are advancing funding for a border wall, and Pennsylvania lawmakers this week heard testimony related to the potential legalization of recreational marijuana.


Arizona’s Attorney General Kris Mayes (D) plans to propose a “red flag” bill, which would allow courts to remove guns from individuals who they believe pose a threat to schools. The bill would require a judge to obtain “compelling evidence” to issue an extreme risk protection order. Through the order, the gun owner would be required to temporarily surrender their weapons until a hearing is conducted. Over 20 states have already passed such laws.

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Last week, Governor Gavin Newsom (D) visited Tesla’s Gigafactory in China and shared his thoughts on the future of motor vehicles, namely that humans may not be driving much longer as cars become autonomous. 

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A temporary legislative committee tasked with addressing the opioid crisis passed four proposals but turned down a plan to establish safe injection sites where people could use illegal substances under medical supervision. Concerns about Governor Jared Polis’ (D) possible veto had an impact on the decision, which was in line with the conclusion of a similar attempt in a Senate committee earlier this year. 

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Delaware implemented new regulations to prevent consumer fraud by home improvement contractors. The new regulations prevent contractors from claiming a signed contract was an estimate or not binding. It also requires contracts to include an approximate completion date, required materials and costs, contractor contact information, and installation or delivery fees.

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Students for Justice in Palestine groups in Florida’s public university system were recently ordered to dissolve by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R), who cited a federal law that forbids providing “material support to terrorist organizations.”

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Esther Panitch (D), Georgia’s only Jewish legislator, is renewing a push to define “antisemitism” in Georgia law. Panitch has asked Governor Brian Kemp (R) to add a bill to the upcoming special session that would codify an anti-semitism definition. 

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Kansas lawmakers this week discussed internet security, following a “security incident” that shut down the online operations for most courts in the state.

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For the first time ever, Louisiana will have a GOP governor, a GOP supermajority in the Senate, and likely a supermajority for the GOP in the House. 

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A new bill introduced by Rep. Matt Koleszar (D) aims to publicize how much public funding charter schools spend on education and private management companies. The bill is among several others pushing for greater transparency with charter schools.

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Amid calls for House Speaker Dean Plocher (R) to resign after alleged campaign finance violations, a group of state lawmakers met last week behind closed doors to discuss a “personnel issue.”

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New Jersey

In a major blow to Gov. Phil Murphy’s (D) clean energy agenda, the Danish company behind two major offshore wind projects off the New Jersey coast announced it was scrapping both projects. 

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New York

Governor Kathy Hochul (D) signed legislation to expand the rights of homeowners in manufactured home parks. The legislation expands the right of first refusal for homeowners, requires homeowners to notify owners of manufactured home parks within 60 days of making an offer to purchase the park, and requires homeowners to make the offer within 140 days.

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State Senator Andrew Brenner (R) proposed a bill to revise the state’s franchise law. The bill aims to grant small craft brewers more flexibility when dealing with wholesalers. 

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Ten new laws impacting drivers and vehicle registration in Oklahoma went into effect this week. Some of the new laws include allowing for an optional two-year motor vehicle registration, allowing more time for customers to pay their tag, title, and tax on a new vehicle, and more.

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State Representative Ben Bowman (D) is drafting a bill for the 2024 session to ensure that medical practices are run by physicians. The bill would ban management services organizations from using non-compete agreements with physicians and from prohibiting physicians from speaking out about their practices. 

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A state House committee this week discussed potential adult-use cannabis legalization in Pennsylvania, hearing from experts on the potential pros and cons of legalizing non-medicinal cannabis.

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Lawmakers this week advanced a proposal that allocates $1.5 billion to construct a border barrier between Texas and Mexico. 

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

  • Melanie Donnelly: new Executive Director, PA House Children & Youth Committee (R)
  • Ben Utley: new Government Affairs, Texas-New Mexico Power (TNMP)
  • Daniel Carey: new Director of Government Relations, Polaris Inc.
  • Katie McLaughlin: new OTO Coordinator, Office of the Governor, Office of Transformation & Opportunity (Pennsylvania)
  • Kristen Hildreth: new AVP, Government Relations & Strategic Partnerships, ISRI 

Happy Birthdays This Week

  • Marvin Deon: Chief Legislative Representative, County of Los Angeles
  • Altmann Pannell: Director of Government Relations, Coca-Cola
  • Matthew O’Donnell: Senior Director, State Government Affairs, Alexion Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
  • Nick D’Andrea: Vice President and Managing DIrector, State Public Affairs, UPS
  • Kristine Bush: District Director, Pennsylvania State Senate
  • Laura Manion: President and CEO, Chester County Chamber of Business & Industry
  • Cody Lyon: Managing Director, Advocacy and Political Affairs, American Farm Bureau Federation
  • Annie Haury Larson: Assistant Vice President of Federal Relations & Outreach, University of Colorado 

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