JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – State legislatures across the country will be convening in 2021 with a common theme at the center of their work. The COVID-19 pandemic is expected to shape both their budget and policy debates. The executive director of the National Conference of State Legislatures says he expects lawmakers in over half the states to push back against the executive powers of governors and health officials who have imposed restrictions during the pandemic. Lawmakers also will consider increased spending on social services and public health initiatives because of the virus, although revenue has weakened in a number of states.