We’re back with a mid-May legislative roundup! Don’t miss the updates on your state!
Colorado General Assembly
- The Colorado General Assembly’s work wrapped up this week, as they adjourned on May 9.
- Legislators failed to pass one of the governor’s top priorities: a comprehensive housing bill.
- The legislature passed two tax bills, both of which voters will see on their ballots this fall.
- Guns were another major topic of the session, as lawmakers passed multiple different measures including a red flag law, repealing a law shielding manufacturers from liability, and increasing the purchase age from 18 to 21.
Illinois General Assembly
- With just a couple weeks left in the legislative session, a criminal justice proposal regarding re-issuing valid photo ID’s has gained steam.
- Following other states restricting some books in schools, Illinois became the first state to legislate against removing books by threatening to pull funding.
- The legislature passed a housing bill which would build upon Gov. Pritzker’s 2021 executive order and establish the Office to Prevent and End Homelessness.
Maryland General Assembly
- Maryland’s legislative session wrapped up on April 10, and it was a successful one for new Gov. Wes Moore, who saw several of his priorities cross the finish line.
- After last election’s ballot initiative on recreational marijuana proved successful, lawmakers ironed out details to implement the policy, including tax rate, equity licenses, and possession amounts.
- Lawmakers also passed police reform, giving the state AG independent authority to criminally charge officers upon investigation of deaths in which they’re involved.
- The Nevada Legislature is set to finish on June 5, and lawmakers have to decide on some high-profile bills before then.
- Lawmakers are considering a Baby Bonds program where the state would deposit $3,200 into a trust fund for babies that they could claim when they turn 18. Some stipulations to the program include that their birth must be covered under state medical insurance, and that they must use the funds to buy a home, start a business, pay for college, or invest.
- Both chambers have also passed some gun safety legislation, raising the age to buy an assault rifle to 21 and a bill that prevents someone from owning a gun if they are convicted of committing or attempting a hate crime.
Pennsylvania General Assembly
- The session has been productive despite split partisanship between the two chambers, with bipartisan bills passing on topics ranging from education, home health care, and more.
- The legislature has been focused on rail safety this session, following the derailment in East Palestine, Ohio.
- Several representatives are interested in a voting rights and criminal justice initiative that would allow incarcerated people to vote with absentee ballots.
Ohio General Assembly
- Republicans and Democrats in the state are at odds about how to update social studies curriculum in public schools.
- Lawmakers are considering reforming the medical marijuana program in the state, ahead of a potential ballot initiative to legalize it recreationally.
- Major action of the session involves an August special election and a ballot measure.
- Lawmakers planned an August special election to vote on a ballot measure that, if approved, would raise the threshold for a constitutional amendment from 50% to 60%.
- Opponents say the August special election is illegal, based on legislation Gov. DeWine signed earlier in the year.
- The actions are in anticipation of a November ballot measure that, if approved, would enshrine abortion rights into the state’s constitution.