Legislative Days 13 – 16
February 8, 2021, to February 11, 2021
Starting the week off, both chambers met in the afternoon to resume this legislative session. Committee meetings are up and running, and I've been spending a lot of time in different committees tracking the bills that may impact community banking. The new adjournment schedule came out on Tuesday (S.R. 82). We now know that session will continue for another four weeks taking us to Legislative Day 25. This week's theme is clear; our Legislators are pushing toward the finish line whenever that may be. They are making the most of the time we have in session this year.
Committee meetings have been going at a flurry's pace, hearing bills across the board to try and receive input or a pass to the next committee. Last week, we saw a heavy load of Health and Election-related bills drop. This week, the theme seemed to be Law Enforcement reform bills. We will continue to monitor the bills for any involvement with community banking.
The big-ticket item that occurred on the floor was the passage of the Appropriations General Budget. The Senate passed the bill (as amended) with a vote of 52-0. The bill is on its way to the Governor to be signed into law.
We did get some good news this week; the Rules committee is finally submitting bills to the floor. I witnessed a heated deliberation on the House floor over H.B. 112--COVID-19 Immunities from Liabilities, before it passed with a vote of 99-68. Our legislators' passion for taking care of constituents has been more present than ever because of this continued pandemic. Both sides had much to say, and it will be interesting to see if this will become a trend for the many bills coming to both floors we will see very soon.