Highlights and lowlights from the General Assembly as lawmakers pass 2021 “crossover deadline”

Last week marked the state legislature’s “crossover”, a self-imposed deadline in which bills must pass at least one chamber, either the state House or Senate, in order to have a chance of becoming law this session. In total, 336 House bills and 156 Senate bills cleared the crossover deadline. 

Among the flurry of bill filing, there were some notable highs like House Bill 608 which would limit use of shackles on pregnant incarcerated women and several lows with bills relaxing rules on guns, including a bill that allows concealed carry in churches on school grounds, restricting abortion access for individuals and limiting a governor’s powers in a state of emergency just to name a few. 

  • Yet, a host of common sense bills spearheaded by Democrats were left on the table, with several not able to get through before the deadline. Those included legislation dealing with maternal health among women of color, Medicaid expansion and bail reform.

What’s Next? In the aftermath of the crossover deadline, bills that have to do with taxing, or spending that can be placed in the state budget are still eligible to advance this year and next, even if it hasn’t been passed in one chamber by the crossover week deadline. 

Most notably, several Democrat-sponsored bills in both the House and Senate that propose decriminalization, legalization of medical marijuana or full legalization, haven’t passed but remain eligible for consideration due to possible financial changes within the state budget surrounding courts and prisons.

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Alanna Joyner

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