Here you will find information about the Legislative Coalition’s Agenda for 2021, contact information for your legislators, information about testifying, and finally information about the bills that have been proposed. Some of the information is not complete due to the fact that there are many new legislators and offices as well as committee assignments have not been made. This information will be updated as it becomes available.
WHAT TO EXPECT FOR THE 2021 LEGISLATIVE SESSION
The pandemic is a constantly evolving situation, but based on what we know now, we will move forward with a hybrid plan for the legislative session. The main goal of this plan to allow members of the House and Senate to execute our constitutional responsibilities to the fullest extent possible, in the safest way possible, for the full 90 days of the regular session.
They have made accommodations to allow us to meet in-person for floor sessions socially distanced and with masks with extra precautions for any immuno-compromised members. All House proceedings will be livestreamed (improvements have been made to address livestream issues from last session).
Bills will be sponsor-only bill introduction, to avoid unnecessarily passing bill drafts around to multiple members for co-sponsorship. Expect also to see fewer bills, with a focus on legislation critical to the pandemic and related issues from this year.
As a result of these changes, after Opening Day, I do not anticipate that we will be on the floor daily for the first third of session. I also do not anticipate that we will be on the floor on Monday nights until March. We will consolidate the work schedule of the House to minimize the number of people who need to be on campus each day.
House Committees will operate virtually this year, with bill hearings beginning on the second day of session. We have been given the option to participate in committee hearings virtually but we must remain on camera while doing so. Other committee changes are as follows:
- Committees will provide at least 48-hour notice as to which bills will be heard during which time slot on which day via the MGA website.
- Online Testimony Submission: They have designed a system to allow the public to upload written testimony.
- Online Bill File Availability: The testimony file for each bill will be posted on the MGA website after a bill is voted out of the relevant standing committee. Any bill file not up on the website by Sine Die will be publicly released after session.
- Online Sign Up: They have also designed an online testimony sign-up system through the MGA website. Each Committee will provide time slots per bill for the public to sign-up the day before the bill is scheduled to be heard.
- Subcommittee meetings: All subcommittee meetings will be live-streamed through the MGA website.
- Voting Sessions: All voting sessions will be live-streamed through the MGA website.
While they are discouraging in-person meetings for public health reasons, they recognize that such meetings may occasionally need to occur. Any in-person meetings can only occur by appointment only, and guests will have to be escorted to and from the main entrance to the House Office Building and our office.
Additionally, each legislator’s MGA webpage will have a section listing office hours and the best way to contact them (by Zoom, by appointment etc.). Please check the website between now and session for updates to our schedules. In order to pare down on-campus staff to the extent possible in order to minimize the number of people on campus, they have allowed for us to be able to forward our office lines so that our staff may answer calls and work remotely.
All in-person events such as district nights or legislative receptions are cancelled.