January kicks off busy legislative year

A look at every legislature’s schedule for the year.
The Louisiana state Capitol in Baton Rouge, La., is pictured on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. (AP Photo/Stephen Smith)

Legislators in 37 states return to capitols this month to kick off election-year sprints to tackle unfinished business, major policy and a rapidly changing budget environment.

Lawmakers in Mississippi, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island begin meeting on Tuesday. California, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont kick off legislative sessions on Wednesday, and another 18 states begin work next week.

In some states, even-year legislative sessions are traditionally brief. Lawmakers in Arkansas, New Mexico, Oregon and Wyoming will meet for about a month before adjourning. Montana, Nevada, North Dakota and Texas have no regularly scheduled legislative sessions at all.

California legislators are scheduled to meet until the end of August. Pennsylvania legislators are in session through the end of November. Michigan, New Jersey and Ohio legislators will stay in session throughout the year, a schedule that usually leads to back-loaded priorities that advance only after voters have cast their ballots.

Here’s when legislators are meeting in 2024: