Governors in the news: Martinez, O'Malley, and Quinn have their own styles with legislators

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January 28, 2011

By Eileen McGuire-Mahony

Illinois on the cusp of recognizing civil unions

SB1716, the Illinois Religious Freedom Protection and Civil Union Act, may have found its most important backer – the man who can sign it into law. Democratic Governor Pat Quinn pledged to sign the bill, sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris and passed late last year.[1] The ceremony took place January 31st, with the new legal benefits for same sex couples taking effect on June 1, 2011.[2] SB1716 also recognizes the right of religious institutions to define marriage as they choose and to decline to perform religious ceremonies.[3]

Martin O'Malley's right hand man is taking over healthcare bills

Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony G. Brown is spearheading efforts to pass a set of bills centered around implementing healthcare reform. Brown's 2011 legislative agenda includes setting up a healthcare exchange, banning insurers from considering preexisting conditions, creating a Health Quality and Cost Council. Each item already has a joint designation in both the House and the Senate.[4]

New Mexico Supreme Court orders Governor to publish environmental rules

Republican Susana Martinez has been ordered by the state's Supreme Court to maintain the original schedule for publishing new pollution control measures in the state register. Rules do not become take the force of law until published and Martinez had requested the state record's administrator to delay publication in line with an executive order ordering state agencies to review existing rules for instances of regulations that harmed New Mexico's economy.[5]

Siding with the environmental groups who brought the lawsuit, Chief Justice Charles Daniels order the rules published in the next available register, citing the administrator's duty to publish all material in a timely manner. Remnants of the final days of Bill Richardon's administration, pending legislation may still role back the laws.