Welcome back to our third legislative roundup of the year! Legislative sessions are in full swing across the county, and much has happened since we last updated. Check out this blog for updates on important topics, and we’ll be back soon to cover more states!
Arizona State Legislature
- On education, Arizona lawmakers waived the spending cap for public schools, preventing schools from being forced to make budget cuts.
- State Sen. Catherine Miranda is leading efforts to establish a Black caucus in the Arizona Legislature.
- The Arizona Senate passed a bill to ban taxes on essential food purchases.
California State Legislature
- Worker’s rights is a major theme in the California Legislature this year; many labor bills have been introduced, from raising the healthcare worker minimum wage to labor protections for independent in-home workers, and more.
- The legislature is looking to repeal an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment that was implemented over 15 years ago.
- In other interesting news, San Francisco Democrat Matt Haney proposed a bill to open cannabis cafes.
Connecticut General Assembly
- Housing is a priority for Democrats in Connecticut this session. Bills introduced aim to address evictions, homelessness, fair housing, and workforce housing. Republicans also have proposed a bill to expand the definition of affordable housing.
- After approving early voting in the last election, lawmakers are debating bills affording either 10, 14, or 18 days of early voting.
- Lawmakers are considering applying statewide minimum wage protections to restaurants, where servers currently have a minimum wage of $6.38.
Georgia General Assembly
- The Georgia House passed a bill expanding need-based aid for college students.
- The runoff system in Georgia will continue, after lawmakers instead decided to focus on other election-related initiatives like banning drop boxes and allowing challenges to voters’ eligibility.
- The Georgia House passed HB 404, which would expand renters’ protections in the state.
- Walz signed a bill into law allowing undocumented immigrants to apply for a driver’s license, a policy considered in the state for the last 20 years.
- The Minnesota House approved an almost $2 billion infrastructure bill, which the Senate has yet to pass.
- Legislators are considering expanding upon last year’s mental health care legislation.
Missouri General Assembly
- House lawmakers passed a bill to move the Louis Metropolitan Police Department under the jurisdiction of the state, similar to Kansas City Police.
- The House also passed a bill to allow students to open enroll into or away from the public school district in which they reside.
- A bill being considered in the House would allow all school employees to concealed-carry a firearm if the district approves the proposal.
New York State Legislature
- Lawmakers are considering simplifying the way cannabis is taxed in the state.
- Hochul’s agenda includes a large housing package that would spur housing development and expand tenant protections.
- Also in the governor’s budget plan might be some various criminal justice reforms.