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The state is the nation’s fourth-largest producer of marketed natural gas, but it powered just 4 percent of the state’s net electricity generation in 2021. The legislation would designate suitable sites for natural gas electric generation projects.
The bill would impose a new tax on the state’s “extremely wealthy” at rates of 1.5 percent and 1 percent for those worth more than $1 billion and $50 million, respectively. If passed, it could generate $21.6 billion for the state.
Democratic state lawmakers have asked Gov. Hochul to allot $10 billion for climate projects and proposed legislation that would require fossil fuel companies to pay for major storm-related issues and climate resiliency projects.
The state Senate passed two bills on Thursday, Jan. 12, just moments after they were introduced, giving the public only seconds to review them. Many are concerned the Republican majority is abusing their constitutional power.
The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules voted along party lines to strike down the rule that labeled conversion therapy as an unprofessional intervention to change a person’s sexual orientation or gender identity.
The bills and five proposed constitutional amendments cover a range of topics, including establishing Filipino American History Month, blocking low-level marijuana conviction records from public view and repealing ranked-choice voting.
State lawmakers convene this week and will tackle a variety of issues this session, including amending the state’s near-total abortion ban, relieving urban traffic congestion and gender reassignment surgery.
State coffers are overflowing, but inflation could put a pinch on spending plans and tax cuts. The labor market remains tight just when the demand for more teachers is skyrocketing. And then there are the ongoing culture wars. Welcome to 2023.
Nabeela Syed and Brad Fritts will be sworn in as state representatives this month and both will be just 23 years old, marking the advent of Gen Z into the Legislature. Syed is a Democrat and Fritts is a Republican.
The state’s one Democratic and seven Republican members are also focused on local issues, such as a new Veterans Administration facility in Baton Rouge, reallocating infrastructure funds to traffic reduction projects.
Last month, the former representative was found guilty of 12 felony charges for lying on federal COVID aid applications while he served in the Kansas House. Capps defrauded banks and government agencies out of $355,550.
The average age of the 181 state lawmakers will be 57 years old compared to 2021’s average, which was 54. Despite some female gains in 2022, there will still be twice as many men as women in the statehouse.
Prosecutors will no longer be able to use rap lyrics as evidence; it will not be a crime to loiter for the purpose of sex work; courts will be barred from disclosing someone’s immigration status; and inmates will be allowed to make free phone calls.
A handful of new state labor laws will go into effect on Jan. 1. With the new laws, employers will be required to include salary and wage ranges on job postings, minimum wage will rise and millions will receive greater paid family leave.
If pay simply kept pace with inflation since the most recent raise in 1988, state senators would now make more than $30,000. Experts say that increasing pay could help diversify the Legislature, making it more like the people they represent.
Lawmakers passed nearly 120 bills this past legislative session and some of the highest-profile bills have already gone into effect. But 20 new laws, from workers’ compensation to victim restitution, start on Jan. 1.