State Intelligence Digest 2/25

From the Membership and Engagement Team at ALEC, this week’s breakdown of top stories and policy action. While not an exhaustive list of current events, we hope this glimpse into developments across the country will be of interest to members of our organization and relevant as we seek to engage with the states.

While a myriad of proposals are naturally being debated across the country, one common theme is the ongoing push to legalize marijuana, argued as a necessity in order to compete with nearby states that have already done so. At both ends of the country, Governors in the Golden State and the Empire State continue to facing backlash over their handling of the Coronavirus outbreak, while many legislatures in are crafting bills to solidify their place at the table for future emergencies.

  • Connecticut
    • Lamont’s proposed agenda, with no new or increased taxes, is putting him at odds with progressives in the Democratic-controlled legislature.
    • Age-based rollout continued for the Coronavirus vaccine; teachers, child care providers and staff will be eligible in March.
    • ACCE: State Legislature aiming for $100 million in new aid to municipalities.
  • Delaware
  • Florida
    • Education priorities in this legislative session.
    • ACCE: Palm Beach County won’t lower flags to honor Rush Limbaugh despite DeSantis order.
  • Georgia
    • 45 states are doing a better job than Georgia when it comes to vaccine distribution.
    • US Supreme Court heard arguments on the water wars case between FL and GA today.
    • Georgia becomes a top-10 exporter state.
  • Hawaii
    • $12 minimum wage and various affordable housing bills being considered in the Hawaii legislature. Meanwhile, SB 1321, to legalize gambling in the state, failed in the committee.
    • House Bill 103 being considered to reign in executive emergency authority.
    • ACCE: As Oahu looks to move into the less-restrictive Tier 3 this week, after case counts remain low on the island, the mayor plans to petition Gov. Ige to include recreational sports.
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
    • Illinois just became the first state to end cash bail after Gov. Pritzker signed bill this week.
    • ACCE: Tension remains in Chicago even after agreement between Mayor Lightfoot and teacher’s unions opens K-8 schools to in-person learning.
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
    • Iowa Senate files bill putting social media companies on watch regarding online censorship. Senate President and ALEC member, Jake Chapman, notes that Facebook and Google have data centers, so-called server farms, in Iowa. and those companies were awarded valuable tax credits and property tax exemptions.
    • Election reform bills looking to land on floor of both chambers, shortening window for early voting and more aggressively cleaning the voting rolls.
    • Legislature passes 4% increase in K-12 funding.