As September comes to an end, lawmakers and governors around the country took action on a myriad of issues. Alabama appears set to get a new Statehouse, while California’s governor signed a law requiring gender-neutral bathrooms in K-12 schools and Oklahoma’s governor announced the creation of a task force to study and make recommendations on artificial intelligence.


State lawmakers voted this week to construct a new Statehouse to replace their current one, citing mold in the current Statehouse, among other issues. 

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The state is set to receive more than $10 million in federal funding in an attempt to help bolster electric grids statewide. The funding will go towards preventing electric outages and creating a more resilient electric grid. 

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Governor Gavin Newsom (D) signed legislation that will require K-12 schools to provide gender-neutral bathrooms by 2026. 

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Govern Jared Polis (D) announced the state is funding a statewide apprenticeship program that aims to fill the workforce gap and assist the younger generation in joining the workforce. The program will contribute $2.5 million in grants in the hopes of expanding career opportunities. 

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During a special session this week, lawmakers voted to add a monitor to watch over the City of Bridgeport’s elections for the next two years while they find out what happened in a video that appeared to show a City employee stuffing absentee ballots into a drop box. 

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A democratic lawmaker prefiled legislation for the 2024 session that would see Florida join the National Popular Vote Compact, which is an agreement among states where the winner of a presidential election would be whoever receives the most popular votes, not electoral votes. 16 states and Washington, D.C. have enacted the Compact, which needs 65 more electoral votes to go into effect.

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Governor Kim Reynolds (R) announced the state ended the fiscal year with a $1.83 billion surplus. Reynolds plans on using the surplus to cut taxes in the upcoming legislative session.

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GOP lawmakers this week proposed a so-called “three-strikes law” to keep people locked up after they are convicted of a third violent felony. 

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Lawmakers have revealed a new tax relief plan that would deliver around $561 million in relief. The plan contains over a dozen specific tax proposals, including estate tax changes and increasing the child tax credit.

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Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed legislation this week that ends child marriage in the state. Michigan is now one of nine states to ban child marriage. Michigan previously allowed 16 and 17 year olds to get married with parental consent and those under 16 could get married with parental consent and a judge signing off.

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Earlier this week, State Treasurer Zach Conine announced Nevada’s Rainy Day Fund reached its highest level in history, $1.23 billion.

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New Jersey

The minimum wage in New Jersey is set to exceed $15 an hour by January 2024. Governor Phil Murphy (D) set a goal in early 2019 to raise the minimum wage and has finally reached it.

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New York

Governor Kathy Hochul (D) announced the state will deploy 150 National Guard troops to address the ongoing migrant issue and to to assist asylum seekers in New York City. There are currently 1,900 National Guard troops assisting with this crisis. 

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North Carolina

Governor Roy Cooper (D) vetoed a bill that would have restructured the state and county election boards to be split evenly between Democrat and Republican members. The bill would have taken away power from the governor to appoint members of those boards.

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Lawmakers in Ohio are introducing legislation to help with the nursing shortage crisis in the state. The bill would address minimum staffing standards as well as patient safety. 

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This week, Governor Kevin Stitt (R) announced the creation of a task force to study and research the benefits, potential uses, and security issues of artificial intelligence (AI). The task force will be charged with developing recommendations for AI policy. 

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Governor Tina Kotek (D) directed state police to devise new strategies to combat fentanyl use across the state, specifically to hold sellers accountable.

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Governor Josh Shapiro (D) announced the state’s first comprehensive economic development strategy in over 20 years. The plan aims to make the state more competitive in attracting businesses to the Commonwealth

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Governor Gregg Abbott (R), who previously indicated a special session would be happening in October, has indicated the session will begin “in two weeks” and address not only school choice, but border security as well.

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

  • Zach Messersmith: new Director of Government Relations, Western Illinois University
  • Jeannie Morris: new Vice President, Government Affairs, Vicinity Energy
  • Tracey Hester: new State and Local Government Affairs Manager, bp
  • Erika Hoffman: new Deputy Legislative Director, State and Federal Programs, California School Boards Association
  • Mark Solano: new Engagement Manager, Southeast, Cruise 
  • Jenna McCarthy: new Budget Analyst, Pennsylvania House of Representatives
  • Ross Eisenberg: new President, America’s Plastic Makers, American Chemistry Council

Happy Birthdays This Week

  • Sharon Seyler: Deputy Director of Government Affairs, Duane Morris Government Strategies
  • Kristen Rapp: Executive Director, Free Clinic Association of Pennsylvania
  • Conor Gillis: Government Affairs Field Representative, New York State Association of REALTORS, Inc.
  • Jon O’Brien: Executive Director, Keystone Contractors Association
  • Braden Stover: Director of Legislation, Tennessee Department of Economic Development
  • Kiley Smith: Manager, State Government Affairs, TikTok

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