Weekend recap – state legislative measures across the nation

The weekend recap is the place to find out what happened last week and what’s ahead in state legislatures across the nation. Read on to learn about what you might have missed between between brunch and waking up to the cruel realization that it’s Monday. Want to call out something happening in your statehouse? Email us at civsource {at} civsourceonline.com.

Key Points:

  • Governor John Kitzhaber will be rallying with the AFL/CIO in support of the Wisconsin protest and collective bargaining for unions.
  • A tax credit showdown is shaping up as democrats push for tuition breaks for students in the 2010 tax year and republicans push for accelerated depreciation write-offs for business in the 2011 tax year.

Key Points:

  • A major budget battle is heating up as the points of contention in California’s extended fiscal crisis appear to be coming to a head.
  • Lawmakers in the state were also urged to put up fewer bills. So far the state’s legislature has put up 2,323 bills this session a number that many feel is far too high to deal with in light of more serious financial concerns the state faces.

Key Points:

  • The legislature has passed a controversial immigration reform bill that appears to be similar to Arizona’s law which gives law enforcement the right to ask for immigration papers if the officer has reasonable suspicion of an individual being illegally in the country.

Key Points:

  • The legislature is expected to take up the issue of civil unions.

Key Points:

  • A budget measure in this state proposes cuts to health care and education.
  • The legislature is also looking at a slate of additional bills that push against federal mandates.

Key Points:

  • Passed measure that will require disclosure of campaign contributions made by corporations
  • Focused on education reform despite several attempts to move the agenda toward social issues like same-sex marriage and abortion.

North Dakota
Key Points:

  • The legislature is looking at two different cuts to the state income tax.

Key Points:

  • The legislature is moving forward on several measures including their budget bill.
  • A measure is currently being considered that would exempt local munitions manufacturers from income, property and corporate taxes.
  • The legislature is also pushing to join the mutli-state challenge against federal health care reform and exempt the state from establishing a health insurance exchange.

South Dakota
Key Points:

  • Debate is shaping up over state revenues at the budget with competing measures that include tax increases and closure of some of the state’s $500 million in tax exemptions.  The legislature is considering putting al the options up for a special popular vote later this year.
  • Proposed cuts to K-12 education and Medicaid are also making waves.
  • The legislature also added penalties to its existing open records law.

Key Points:

  • Governor Kasitch gained the legislative support he needed to go after collective bargaining rights for public employees with a bill that passed the Ohio House last week.

Key Points:

  • The legislature is set to take up redistricting.

West Virginia
Key Points:

  • The state legislature is about to end its session and has 9 days to work through a slate of high priority measures including pension reform and establishing a state health care exchange.

Key Points:

  • Virginia wrapped its legislative session with a set of tax credits and new rules that are designed to make their high-tech and bio-tech sectors more competitive against other states with similar economic goals.

Key Points:

  • A budget battle is heating up as the Governor pushes for public employee wage reductions, pension reform, merit pay for teachers and sweeping cuts to entitlement programs.
  • The state will also set up its own oil spill claims processing body to oversee and potentially expedite the claims process.

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