Friday, June 10, 2011

What's been happening on Jones Street?

The past two weeks have been extremely busy at the legislative building. Last Saturday morning, the House approved the final budget after the Senate, sending the $19.7billion budget to the Governor's desk. The Governor has until Tuesday at midnight to sign the budget bill into law, veto or leave it on her desk. If she vetoes the bill, the House can override her veto because of the 5 democrats that sided with the Republicans on the budget bill. Because of this, the Governor can leave it on her desk and not sign it or veto it and legislators can maintain the budget they've worked through.

This past week, legislators have been scrambling to meet crossover. Any bills that have not passed at least one chamber, have died. Thursday was the deadline for legislators to get their bills passed and this was then rescheduled for no later than Sunday, June 12th. There are a few exceptions to crossover of bills that have been assigned to particular committees.

So what have we been seeing this week?
Legislators debated HB 854, Abortion- Women's Right to Know Act that requires 24 hours waiting period, mandatory 72-4 hours before the procedure ultrasound and receiving printed material and other information that is termed counseling in the bill.
HB 351 Restore Confidence in Government, this is the photo ID to vote bill that was on the Republican platform during elections. Voters would have to show one of 8 acceptable forms of ID to vote. The State Board of Elections can issue a voter ID to those without an ID. The bill also includes that if you do not have ID, you can vote a provisional ballot and show ID later.
HB 650, Amend Various Gun Laws, at the beginning of session, several gun bills were filed. All were placed in this new bill including the Castle Doctrine bill that we have gone after. This bill also reduces the level of crime from a felony to a misdemeanor.
HB 659, Capital Procedure/Severe Mental Disability, those with severe mental disability to be exempt from the death penalty when prosecuted.
HB 799, Licensure by Endorsement/Military/Spouses, we have been working on this bill with our licensure board. The bill allows for a temporary license to practice if an active military spouse. This is to aid in the time it takes to obtain licensure when moving frequently in the military. Licensure boards are given discretion when issuing these licenses to look at training and background of those applying.
SB 597, Behavioral Health Services for Military/Funds, we have been active with this bill as it is to ensure that the behavioral health needs of military members and their families are met.

While there are many other bills we are following and tracking, these are a few updates. Please let us know if there are others you are watching and concerned about!

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