March 24 Legislative Roundup
Did you catch last week’s legislative roundup? If not, go read it! We’re covering more states this week – read it here!
Colorado General Assembly
- On criminal justice reform, Colorado House lawmakers passed a bill that would reduce non-violent offenders’ sentences if they complete higher education while incarcerated.
- Sentence reductions range from six months for a certificate, one year for an associate or bachelor’s, a year and a half for a master’s and two years for a doctorate.
- On housing, House Democrats passed a bill to create more protections for renters, barring landlords from evicting tenants without proper justification.
- As expected, legislators in both chambers are tackling a number of gun reform initiatives: three day waiting period, expanding the state’s red flag law, increasing age requirements for some guns, expanding the ability for gun violence victims to sue manufacturers.
Illinois General Assembly
- This week, Illinois House lawmakers are focused on sending bills to the Senate before the deadline on Friday. The house sent 41 bills to the Senate on Tuesday.
- An antidiscrimination proposal passed by the House would allow Illinois residents to sue in state court for federal violations.
- Multiple bills remove gendered language from current laws, in an effort for the state to become more gender inclusive.
- Tackling voting rights, two bills to implement ranked choice voting are being considered in a House committee.
Maryland General Assembly
- Monday was “Crossover Day,” the deadline for each respective chamber to send approved bills to the other chamber. Bills on a plethora of topics are now being considered by both chambers.
- The Senate passed SB555, a bill to expedite the adoption of a $15 minimum wage statewide.
- Both chambers passed a version of a bill requiring the state DOT to consider equity when making transportation reports, goals, and plans.
- A popular move by other state legislatures, and one which the federal government is considering, House lawmakers passed a bill banning the app TikTok from state-owned devices.
- In Nevada, this is the final week for lawmakers to introduce any bills. Lawmakers have several prioritiesincluding education, healthcare, criminal justice, and more.
- Between the Republican governor and Democratic-controlled legislative chambers, debates will continue on school funding allocation (public vs. charter) and teacher raises, among other education initiatives.
- Legislators are considering joining interstate compacts to address the nurse shortage and allow those professionals to be licensed in more than one state.
- Both sides are expected to come to address a couple criminal justice items: fentanyl deaths and catalytic converter thefts.
Pennsylvania General Assembly
- The state’s first independent Speaker of the House John Rozzi resigned, making way for Democrat Joanna McClinton to be elected; she is the first woman to do so.
- With Democrats holding the majority in the House and Republicans with the Senate majority, the legislative session in the state could be marked by gridlock.
- So far, lawmakers held a hearing with Norfolk Southern’s CEO after the large train derailment and subsequent chemical burn in February this year.
- Education is at the forefront of lawmakers’ minds this year also, as state universities requested a larger funding increase than Gov. Josh Shapiro proposed.
Ohio General Assembly
- On education, Ohio lawmakers are considering a bill to expand the private school voucher program. Senate legislators are considering a bill with several higher education reforms, including an attempt to eliminate social “bias” and employee strikes.
- Transportation safety reforms are on Ohio lawmakers’ minds this session, especially after the East Palestine derailment last month.
- Lawmakers may pass a bill increasing requirements for citizens to put a constitutional amendment on the ballot.