IV. Legislative Updates
Colorado: The Voter Registration Individuals Criminal Justice Act passed the House Committee on State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee last week by a 4-3 vote. Under the bill, parolees would be pre-registered and automatically be able to vote upon completion of their sentences.
Delaware: House Majority Whip John Viola has introduced HB 400 which would allow residents of Delaware to register and vote on the same day.
Hawaii: A bill creating a pilot vote-by-mail program on the island of Kauai for the 2020 election cycle passed out of a state Legislature conference committee.
Kansas: Rep. Russ Jennings (R-Lakin) has introduced a bill that would prohibit the use any state money for defense or penalties involved in a finding of contempt of court by state elected officials. "You pay your own bills if you get yourself in that kind of trouble," Jennings told the Kansas City Star. The bill was approved 103-16. The provision was removed from the budget during negotiations with the Senate.
Kentucky: Gov. Matt Bevin (R) has vetoed House Bill 274 that would have altered the time to request an absentee ballot. Bevin’s veto message said it cuts in half the time to request an absentee ballot and he doesn’t support any additional burden on the right to vote.
Massachusetts: The Northampton city council is debating a resolution that, if approved, would have the council petition the state Legislature to officially lower the voting age in Northampton to 16.
New Hampshire: House Bill 1264 has been approved by the Senate. The bill attempts to clear up state residency clauses in order to register to vote.
Washington: Sens. Joe Fain (R-Auburn) and Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) plan to introduce legislation ahead of the 2019 session that would make the state pay for return postage on all ballots. A similar bill was introduced in the 2017-2018 session and died in the Senate Ways and Means committee. That bill had an estimated price tag of almost $3 million.