2019 State Legislative Session Previews

January 8, 2019

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McGuireWoods Consulting has prepared reports for the 2019 legislative session in our footprint states — Georgia, Illinois, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia.

These analyses discuss what to expect in the 2019 legislative session for each state, as well as how the midterm election results may affect policy. Read each report below, as well as thought leadership pieces on trends crossing state boundaries.

McGuireWoods Consulting’s state government relations practice has a presence in seven state capitals, in addition to our multistate capabilities reaching across all 50 states. 

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South Carolina Legislative Session Preview
In 2019, expect the South Carolina legislature to address the Virgil C. Summer Nuclear Generating Station abandonment, the state’s ailing retirement system, and education policy.

Texas Legislative Session Preview
The Texas Legislature will convene Jan. 8, 2019, for its 140-day regular session. The political makeup of the Texas Senate remains heavily Republican.
Georgia Legislative Session Preview
Lawmakers in Georgia will convene at the State Capitol on Jan. 14, 2019, for the first session of the 155th General Assembly. In addition to adopting a budget for the 2020 fiscal year, which is the only constitutionally required duty of the Georgia General Assembly, much of the activity during the 40-day legislative session likely will take place behind the scenes.


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Illinois Legislative Session Preview
Following the 2018 election, Illinois will be the bluest it has ever been in modern history. With incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner resoundingly losing his re-election bid to Democrat J.B. Pritzker, all statewide elected offices are held by Democrats.
Virginia Legislative Session Preview
The 2019 session of the Virginia General Assembly is a “short session,” meeting for 45 days to address thousands of pieces of legislation and amendments to the governor’s biennial budget.
North Carolina Legislative Session Preview
The 2019-20 session will feature a shift in the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans, and more political leverage for Gov. Roy Cooper (D). During the November 2018 election, Democrats made significant gains across the state and broke the Republican veto-proof supermajority in the House and the Senate.

Following ABC Precedent: States Expected to Determine Future Cannabis Policy, Business Opportunity
While Congress may not be able to make up its mind on whether and how to permanently deal with cannabis legalization, the American people have clearly done so. In virtually every state with any kind of significant urban presence and direct voter access to the ballot, marijuana is in some stage of decriminalization.

Trends in Medicaid in 2019
Medicaid remains dynamic and evolving, and 2019 is likely to see many changes in the program. Some of the trends include expansion, work requirements, inclusion of the use of institutions for mental diseases (IMDs) for behavioral health, telemedicine, and states’ attempts to control drug costs.