January 11 NF Legislative Roundup

Happy new year! 2023 is here, and state legislatures will be back in session soon if they haven’t already started. We’re picking up legislative roundups again, and this week will be an overview of key issues to watch across several states.

Arizona State Legislature

  • It should be an interesting year in the Arizona Legislature after the state elected a Democratic governor and Republican-controlled Legislature.
    • Will lawmakers waive the spending cap on public schools or the new school voucher system?
    • Will there be a bipartisan effort on affordable housing, election issues, or water legislation?

California State Legislature

  • California lawmakers, the most diverse legislature in state history, have a number of priorities, but must first resolve the potential $24 million budget deficit.
    • In 2023, Californians can expect implementation of several new programs. The state is ready to roll out programs to expand access to mental health care and overhaul the Medi-Cal system.
    • Lawmakers will continue to place priority on improving inventory of affordable housing and lowering the homelessness rate.

Connecticut General Assembly

  • According to CT Insider, Connecticut lawmakers are likely focused on several different legislative topics.
    • After voter approval of the ballot measure, watch for lawmakers to debate regulations on early voting.
    • Housing reform has been another major focus in Connecticut over the last year. Hot topics include zoning reform, housing voucher reform, and more protections for renters.

Georgia General Assembly

  • Axios Atlanta reported several key issues for Georgia lawmakers this session.
    • After runoffs in back-to-back elections, reform initiatives might be on the table such as ranked choice voting or lowering the runoff threshold to 45%.
    • On EVs, lawmakers may implement new policies to encourage usage but protect the state from lost gas tax revenue.

Minnesota Legislature

  • Democrats in Minnesota will try to take advantage of their first trifecta in eight years. Minnesota Public Radio expects a number of priorities from the DFL party.
    • A tax proposal could be on the governor’s desk by Friday.
    • A bill to legalize marijuana for adults 21+ and expunge records is another priority.
    • DFL party members also hope to deliver on other initiatives – ensure access to contraception and abortion, paid family leave, inflation plan, mental health, and more.

Missouri General Assembly

  • Missouri’s Republican trifecta is laser-focused on a few issues, some of which Democrats are expected to help with.
    • Lawmakers on both sides are ready to legalize sports betting.
    • Education will likely be a hot topic, as legislators weigh proposals to implement curriculum guidelines, raise teacher wages, and potentially expand funding for school choice.

New York State Legislature

  • It’s Gov. Hochul’s first elected term, and Democrats still have supermajorities in both chambers despite a rocky 2022 election for the party.
    • Like California, housing will be a top priority this session for New York Democrats. Lawmakers want rent caps, eviction reform, and more affordable housing.
    • The assembly may also focus on criminal justice issues, including but not limited to, sentencing, parole, and bail reform.
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