In light of the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak during the peak of states' legislative sessions, some state capitols have made the difficult decision to shutdown and many others are considering following suit. As a result of these closures, and because legislatures will most likely be prioritizing health and economic issues resulting from COVID-19 upon reconvening, many bills important to NAIFA members are likely to fall by the wayside.
The National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) has been tracking the impact that COVID-19 is having on state legislatures, including suspension or postponement of legislative sessions.
As of March 17, 2020, 17 legislatures (California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Vermont and Virgin Islands) have postponed their legislative sessions. Three additional chambers –the Missouri Senate, the Ohio House and the Wisconsin Senate– have also postponed their legislative sessions.
Real-time updates on the status of state legislatures can be found on the NCSL website HERE.
Once state legislatures resume regular operations, NAIFA will need to act quickly to move important legislation. As we await normal opportunities to resume, it is imperative that NAIFA members ensure that they are following the Center for Disease Control's (CDC) guidelines for protecting themselves, their family and their friends, as well utilizing this downtime as an opportunity to report any relationships they may have with a state legislator. Doing so will ensure that NAIFA is fully prepared hit the ground running once legislatures reconvene.