Nearly six months ago, Arizona and Washington became the sixth and seventh states to enact PSL laws. Since then, more than a dozen PSL bills have been introduced into state legislatures. None has been enacted, as yet.
Maryland was a front-runner to be State Number Eight. The General Assembly, with Democratic majorities in both chambers, passed a PSL bill. But Republican Governor Hogan has called it a “job killer” and said it was “dead on arrival.” If he vetoes the bill, the General Assembly cannot vote to overturn it until January 2018, when it reconvenes. That’s a long wait for a State Number Eight.
Rhode Island was another front-runner. With much fanfare, a cadre of legislators announced support for the PSL as part of their Fair Shot Agenda. With a Democratic Governor, overwhelming Democratic majorities in both the House and the Senate, and Connecticut and Massachusetts as PSL neighbors, the only issue seemed to be wheher Rhode Island or Maryland would pass a PSL bill first. The Rhode Island bill has been in committee since being introduced in February. Unless the PSL bill moves, the PSL aspect of the “Fair Shot” could become “No Shot.”
Hawaii and Nevada are also possibilities for State Number Eight. The Senate of each state has passed a PSL bill and sent it to the House, where it sits in committee.
Beyond these four states, any of the many other states with PSL bills in the legislative hopper could become State Number Eight. I cannot discern any other obvious or potential front-runner.
Waiting for State Number Eight is becoming much like waiting for Beckett’s Godot. When Godot continually fails to arrive, Estragon and Vladimir lament that he did not come today, he might come tomorrow.