Happy Holidays from the Pierce Atwood Government Relations Team!
Winter is officially upon us, and while the 128th Legislature is set to resume a busy schedule on January 3, 2018, the first day of this Legislature’s Second Regular Session, we wanted to take this opportunity to reflect briefly on the past year and project what we anticipate next year.
In the First Regular Session, the Legislature: began work on implementing retail marijuana sales; sought a judicial opinion on ranked choice voting; restored the tip credit to the minimum wage law; repealed the 3% income tax surcharge on high income earners; and passed a bipartisan budget after a contentious government shutdown. In the fall, the Legislature convened for a Special Session to resolve a food sovereignty law issue and to continue work on marijuana implementation and ranked choice voting.
Going into this Second Regular Session, the Legislature has more than 400 bills on its plate, including 319 carry-overs. This number is expected to increase with the submission of legislation from the executive branch during the session. Two of the more complex issues to be resolved include funding the recently-approved Medicaid expansion program and developing a regulatory scheme for recreational marijuana sales. The session will also be impacted by the fact that 2018 is an election year when all 186 legislative seats are up for election and four legislators are among the 27 registered candidates running for Governor. The Session has a statutory adjournment date of April 18, which can be extended twice by five legislative days each time.
The Second Regular Session promises to be complex and challenging, and we will continue to bring you highlights from Under the Dome throughout the session. Until that time, we wish you a wonderful holiday season and a happy New Year!