Monday is day 73 of the 2021 legislative session. The latest word around the Capitol is that the General Assembly hopes to finish its work by Memorial Day and either recess or adjourn sine die. If they recess it would leave about two weeks in the 120-day limit that they could use later this year to allocate the $3.9 billion the state anticipates receiving under the American Rescue Plan. The legislature is waiting for guidelines from the U.S. Treasury on how it can spend those dollars. If they adjourn sine die, the Governor or the legislature through a two-thirds vote could call a special session to allocate the monies.
On Monday, the House Finance Committee postponed indefinitely HB 1246 that would have directed PERA to divest from fossil fuel companies. The CSPA opposed HB 1246 because PERA should maximize returns for the benefit of its members. Although the bill is done for this session, I anticipate seeing it again next year.
On Wednesday, the House Judiciary Committee passed HB 1250 concerning measures to address law enforcement accountability. HB 1250 makes changes to last year’s SB 217, including expanding the peace officer personal liability components to state troopers. Law enforcement groups still have concerns about the changes HB 1250 makes to use of force standards and will continue seeking to amend the bill as it works its way through the legislative process. The bill will be heard next in the House Appropriations Committee.
SB 174 concerning peace officer credibility disclosures is also working its way through the process. The CSPA is now monitoring SB 174 after it was amended to address our concerns about allegations. On Friday, the Senate Appropriations Committee referred it to the Senate floor. The entire Senate will likely vote on the bill sometime this week. Only 48 days until the General Assembly is required to adjourn sine die.