State Legislative Tracker: Campaign finance the hot topic

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April 15, 2013

Edited by Joel Williams
This week's tracker takes a look at campaign finance issues making headlines this week.

Weekly highlight

As of today, all 50 states have kicked off their 2013 sessions. Here is a brief look at how some states are addressing campaign finance reform:

  • Arizona: The Arizona State Senate passed a campaign finance bill 17-13 along party lines, which was previously passed in the house by a single vote. The legislation would increase campaign contribution limits for donors from $488 to $5,000 should Gov. Jan Brewer (R) sign the bill into law. The bill allows for separate contribution limits for primary and general elections, allowing candidates to now receive up to $10,000 from a single source.[1]
  • Maryland: On the final day of its 2013 session, Maryland's legislature passed a campaign finance reform bill to close a number of loopholes and set up a system for public funding of local elections. One such loophole, dubbed the "LLC loophole," allowed groups to bypass campaign contribution limits by funneling the money through a number of limited liability corporations. Local governments will also be able to control public funding for elections. The bill leaves decisions about how the campaign is financed, how candidates qualify for public financing, and how much money is available to the individual municipalities.[2]
  • Missouri: Lawmakers in Missouri are pushing to get campaign finance reform work done prior to the session ending but may not get an opportunity with other issues taking the spotlight. In his January State of the State speech, Gov. Jay Nixon (D) called for a cap on campaign spending, and said if work was not done in this legislative session he would push to get it on the ballot. House Democrats are currently backing a proposal that would enforce a $5,000 donations cap on candidates for the legislature and statewide offices, but it has not yet been referred to a committee.[3]




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Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of April 15, 2013
See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2013 session information.

Currently 36 out of 50 state legislatures are meeting in regular session. One state, California, is meeting in special session concurrent with their regular session.

As of April 8, all states states have convened their 2013 legislative sessions.[4]

The following states have ended their regular session:[5]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
April 15, 2013
There are 7,384 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,460 (46.9%)
Total Republican state legislators 3,822 (51.7%)
There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers
Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers 40
Total Republican Party-controlled chambers 57
Total tied or nonpartisan chambers 2
2013 Session Information
Total Special Elections 30
Total Special Sessions 1

There is one special session ongoing this week in California.

California

During his State of the State address on January 24, Gov. Jerry Brown (D) called for the Legislature to hold a special session concurrent with the regular session in order to bring the state in compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act. The special session began January 28 and is expected to last for several months.[6][7]

In recess

As of today, April 15, 2 states' sessions are currently in recess:

Redistricting Roundup.jpg

State news

Redistricting Facts
Maps submitted for vote: 138 out of 142 (97.2%)** No votes on initial maps in the following: ME (2), MT (2)
States that have completed Congressional Maps 42/43 (Maps ordered redrawn: TX)
States that have completed State Legislative Maps 45/50 (Maps unfinished: ME, MT; Maps ordered redrawn: AK, KY, TX)
**With 50 states, there are 142 possible maps. 50 State Senate, 49 State House (No House in Nebraska), and 43 Congressional (7 states have 1 seat)
See also: Status of redistricting maps after the 2010 census

While the great majority of states have completed their redistricting following the 2010 census, the issue still remains for a handful of states. Maine and Montana are not required to have their maps completed until 2014. Alaska, Kentucky and Texas, however, saw their maps rejected for legal reasons and will have to take up the drawing of maps once again.

Redistricting in North Carolina

See also: Redistricting in North Carolina

The North Carolina State Legislature is currently considering a plan to create a nonpartisan redistricting committee in time for the 2020 census. Redistricting would be modeled after Iowa's system and require districts to be drawn by population, with "reasonably compact" boundaries and with respect to political boundaries. The nonpartisan group could submit three redistricting plans to the legislature for approval, but lawmakers cannot amend them in any way. Should the three plans be rejected by the legislature, the old process for reapportionment would begin.[9]

Redistricting in Pennsylvania

See also: Redistricting in Pennsylvania

A Latino group's lawsuit was thrown out by a federal district court on April 5 because the reapportionment plan is still being considered by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. Judge Richard Surrick wrote that “[j]udicial intervention by this court as this juncture would be inappropriate.”[10]

See also: State legislative elections, 2013

A total of 3 of the 99 chambers will hold state legislative elections on November 5, 2013.

The 3 chambers with elections in 2013 are in 2 states. They are:

Louisiana and Mississippi also typically hold elections in odd years. However, legislators are elected to 4-year terms in those states and those will not be up for election again until 2015.

40 of the country's 1,972 state senate seats are up for re-election in November 2013, and 180 of the country's 5,411 state house seats are up for re-election. Altogether, 220 of the country's 7,383 state legislative seats are up for re-election on November 5, 2013.

Signature filing deadlines

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2013 state legislative elections

The state legislative filing deadlines are as follows:

  • New Jersey:
  • April 1, 2013 (Major party)
  • June 4, 2013 (Independent)

Nomination petitions must contain the signatures of at least 100 voters in the legislative district. Candidates are required to disclose any criminal convictions.[11]

  • Virginia:
  • March 28, 2013 (Major party)
  • June 11, 2013 (Independent)

Nomination petitions must contain the signatures of at least 125 qualified voters in the legislative district. Major party candidates are required to submit a primary filing fee equal to 2% of the annual salary for the office sought in effect in the year in which the candidate files. In 2013, the primary filing fee was $352.80.[12]

Primaries

The state primaries are as follows:

  • New Jersey:
  • June 4, 2013
  • Virginia:
  • June 11, 2013

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See also: State legislative special elections, 2013

There is one special election place this week in Mississippi.

Mississippi House of Representatives District 1

Rep. Joe Gardner (D) died in office on February 4, 2013. A special election to fill the vacancy was held March 26, 2013. As no candidate took more than 50 percent of the vote, the top two vote-getters - Anderson Boothe and Lataisha M. Jackson - will meet in a runoff election on April 16. Special elections in Mississippi are non-partisan.[13][14]

Independent General election candidates:
Independent April 16 Runoff Election Candidates:

Recent results

April 9, 2013

UncheckedBox.jpgRunoffArrow.jpg Alabama House of Representatives District 97
Yvonne Kennedy (D) died on December 8, 2012. Gov. Robert Bentley (R) scheduled a special election for May 21 to fill the vacancy, with a primary on February 26, 2013. As no candidate took over 50 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, the top two vote-getters - Karlos Finley and Adline C. Clarke - met in a runoff on April 9, which Clarke won.[15][16][17][18]

April 9 Runoff Election Candidates
Democratic Party Karlos Finley
Democratic Party Adline C. Clarke Approveda
May 21 General Election Candidates
Democratic Party Adline C. Clarke
Independent David Blunt
Independent Burton LeFlore

Links/References

  1. huffingtonpost.com, "Arizona Legislature Approves Increase To Campaign Contribution Limit," April 10, 2013
  2. baltimoresun.com, "A rare win for good government in Annapolis," April 15, 2013
  3. semissourian, "Time running short for campaign finance issues," April 15, 2013
  4. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed April 15, 2013
  5. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed April 15, 2013
  6. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  7. Sacramento Business Journal, " Healthcare reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 State Scape, "Session schedules," accessed April 15, 2013
  9. charlotteobserver.com, "Bipartisan bill would take politics out of redistricting," April 10, 2013
  10. delcotimes.com, "Judge throws out redistricing lawsuit," April 8, 2013
  11. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," accessed January 14, 2013
  12. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," accessed January 16, 2013
  13. SunHerald.com, "5 on ballot in House District 11 election," March 1, 2013
  14. wjtv.com, "2 in runoff in House District 11 election," March 27, 2013
  15. AL.com, "Alabama state House District 97: Adline Clarke will face Karlos Finley in runoff," February 26, 2013
  16. AL.com, "Gov. Bentley sets special election for House District 97 seat," December 18, 2012
  17. Alabama Secretary of State, " Certification of candidates for District 97," accessed January 17, 2013
  18. blog.al.com, "Adline Clarke appears to have narrowly beaten Karlos Finley in House District 97 race (updated x2)," April 9, 2013

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • April 16: Mississippi House of Representatives District 11
  • May 7: Alabama House of Representatives District 11
  • May 7: Michigan State Senate District 27
  • May 14: California State Senate District 32

See also

References

  1. huffingtonpost.com, "Arizona Legislature Approves Increase To Campaign Contribution Limit," April 10, 2013
  2. baltimoresun.com, "A rare win for good government in Annapolis," April 15, 2013
  3. semissourian, "Time running short for campaign finance issues," April 15, 2013
  4. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed April 15, 2013
  5. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed April 15, 2013
  6. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  7. Sacramento Business Journal, " Healthcare reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  8. 8.0 8.1 State Scape, "Session schedules," accessed April 15, 2013
  9. charlotteobserver.com, "Bipartisan bill would take politics out of redistricting," April 10, 2013
  10. delcotimes.com, "Judge throws out redistricing lawsuit," April 8, 2013
  11. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," accessed January 14, 2013
  12. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," accessed January 16, 2013
  13. SunHerald.com, "5 on ballot in House District 11 election," March 1, 2013
  14. wjtv.com, "2 in runoff in House District 11 election," March 27, 2013
  15. AL.com, "Alabama state House District 97: Adline Clarke will face Karlos Finley in runoff," February 26, 2013
  16. AL.com, "Gov. Bentley sets special election for House District 97 seat," December 18, 2012
  17. Alabama Secretary of State, " Certification of candidates for District 97," accessed January 17, 2013
  18. blog.al.com, "Adline Clarke appears to have narrowly beaten Karlos Finley in House District 97 race (updated x2)," April 9, 2013