Just when we all thought legislative session was over, it has reared its head again. Well technically it’s a new session known as a special session. But I’ve jumped to the end of the story.
On May 21st, the legislature returned for a one-day session to conclude the legislative year. Both chambers went into session at 8 am. We knew that it would be a long day, but because the House is required by their own rules to be done by midnight, we all thought we would be done by then. It turns out we were wrong.
The House wound up suspending their midnight rule and extended their session until 8 AM the next morning. The legislature passed their COVID Relief Bill at 7:54 AM. That’s right, we were in the Capitol for 24 straight hours.
During this all-day session, the legislature worked to pass a bill to place limits on the Governor’s emergency powers and protect the medical and business communities from liability based on actions they have taken to contain the spread of COVID-19. There was also an attempt by Sen. Dinah Sykes to hijack a cable bill and insert Medicaid expansion.
As we have been talking about, without the Value Them Both Amendment, any vote for Medicaid expansion is a vote to allow taxpayer funded abortion. Thankfully, many of our senators stood strong and voted against allowing this bill to be amended. Click here to see how your Senator voted. Ultimately, the amendment failed and showed just how weak the desire for Medicaid expansion is in the Senate.
Then this week, Governor Kelly vetoed the legislature’s relief bill and called the legislature back into a special session next week. She then issued a new emergency declaration, despite many questioning her legal authority to do so. Either way, this new declaration will expire on June 10th.
There is still a lot of discussion about how a special session will play out, and we will update you as we know more.
One thing of note is that every bill that had been working its way through the legislature the last two years is now officially dead. A special session will require every bill to start from scratch – meaning all legislation will have to be reintroduced and go through the committee process.
This means that Medicaid expansion could be brought up again. Please take time today to remind your legislators to vote against taxpayer funded abortion.
As I have said many times over the last several weeks, continue to be in prayer for all those charged with leading during this time. These are important days and will have great consequences for the future of our economy, our legislature, our families, and our state as a whole. Pray that they will lead with wisdom and discernment.
Brittany Jones, Esq.
Director of Advocacy