The Finish Line
We are down to the final hectic days of the 2019 legislative session. The divide between the House, elected in the recent progressive sweep, and the more conservative Senate is readily apparent. We see this in the ethics legislation, where the House has proposed a relatively transparent set of rules and the Senate is poised to pass a version more protective of lawmakers. The minimum wage is going up, but not by the amount the House wanted. And the proposal to tap the Trust Fund for early childhood education is being blocked in the Senate Finance Committee by John Arthur Smith as many foresaw from the beginning of the session. The recreational marijuana bill is also headed to Finance, where its fate is uncertain. I haven’t seen any evidence that it is scheduled. If there is a lesson to be learned here, it is that we must work in 2020 to remake the Senate, as we did the House in 2018.
The Health Security Act SB279 was supposed to get a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee. I have not heard yet what happened. The companion bill HB295 has been sent to House Appropriations and Finance. We need to push the HSA over the finish line!
The National Popular Vote bill will be introduced on the floor of the Senate. This bill is a work-around to avoid the presidential candidate with fewer votes from taking office, as has occurred in two recent elections. Hopefully we will see it move to the Governor’s desk this week.
The good news is that the House is ready to vote on SB489 which will move the state to 100% carbon free energy by 2045. There has been a lot of misinformation about this bill, but it it is the best path available. Herrera and Sanchez should both be both on board here, but it wouldn’t hurt to check in with them. Susan Herrera’s bill to limit predatory lending is up for a floor vote in the House. We are also very close to banning coyote killing contests. SB76 is scheduled for a third and final reading tomorrow. the bill is #53 out of 116 on the House calendar, so there is a chance they will get to it.
I know there is more to report and I will send some information tomorrow. Continue to stay in contact with on our representatives on these vital issues. We can make a difference.