The 2017 regular legislative session is now in its fourth week, with most of the action happening in committee hearings. To date, 1927 bills have been introduced this session. The cutoff date for policy committees to act on proposed legislation is Feb. 17.
Meanwhile, the makeup of the Senate continues to change.
Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, announced that he had taken a temporary position with the Trump Administration EPA. This position is not a permanent job, and Ericksen has not resigned from the Senate. However, he will be absent from much of the activity in the Senate, leaving the Senate in a 24-24 tie between the Majority Coalition Caucus and Democrats when he is not present.
The resignation of 7th District Sen. Brian Dansel, R-Republic, last week officially left the Senate tied 24-24 for several days. Dansel left the Senate to join the Trump Administration in the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Last Friday, Democrats tried unsuccessfully to take control of the Senate in Dansel’s absence.
This week, Rep. Shelly Short, R-Addy, was tapped to succeed Dansel as senator from the 7th District. Jacquelin Maycumber was appointed to fill the House seat vacated by Short. Maycumber previously served as Rep. Short’s legislative assistant.