State Legislative Tracker: Despite optimism last week, Minnesota shut down continues

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July 18, 2011

By Jackie Arthur

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Current sessions capture as of July 18, 2011

In this week's State Legislative Tracker there are 7 states still in regular session.

Sessions

So far this year, 43 out of 50 state legislative sessions have officially adjourned their regular session. This week, no states are scheduled to adjourn their 2011 regular session.

Special sessions

Special sessions are expected to be a widespread occurrence in the state legislatures in 2011, in particular due to the necessity of states to conduct the redistricting of state legislative and congressional districts.

As of this week, California, Virginia and Wisconsin continue their special sessions. North Carolina continues a special redistricting session that began July 13 and ends July 21.[1]

Special sessions beginning this week:

  • Wisconsin - Extraordinary session to discuss redistricting[2]

Regular sessions

The following 5 states remain in regular legislative sessions:

Note: California and Wisconsin are both convened in ongoing special sessions, but are still considered to be in regular session. California began its summer recess on July 15. The legislature will adjourn again on August 15.
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2011 session information.

Sessions spotlight

This week, our spotlight focuses on Wisconsin where tomorrow, recall elections and primaries continue, as well as the opening of a second extraordinary session. Also, an update on Minnesota's governmental shutdown.[3]

District 30 Republican Candidate David VanderLeest
District 30 incumbent Dave Hansen

Wisconsin: The first Wisconsin recall election takes place tomorrow, in senate District 30, along with 2 Republican primaries.

In the first recall election of the year, District 30 Incumbent Dave Hansen (D) will face off with Republican candidate David VanderLeest. Originally, July 19 was scheduled to be the primary election date for VanderLeest and John Nygren, who was removed from the ballot for not having enough valid signatures on his nominating petition. VanderLeest was the organizer behind the "Recall Dave Hansen" campaign.[4]

Below are tomorrow's matchups:

District 12

Republican Party July 19 Republican primary:

District 22

Republican Party July 19 Republican primary:

District 30

July 19 recall election:
Republican Party David VanderLeest, Wind farm developer
Democratic Party Dave Hansen, Incumbent Hansen has served District 30 since 2001.

Recall campaigns directed against 16 Wisconsin state senators were launched in the wake of events surrounding the introduction of Wisconsin Assembly Bill 11, the "Scott Walker Budget Repair Bill" in February 2011, including the union protests in Madison, Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker's Budget Repair Bill.[5][6]

Six Republican and three Democratic state senators have been targeted by active recall campaigns. Recall sponsors filed signatures on petitions targeting the senators. Challenges were filed in all 9 of those campaigns, and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board approved the six campaigns against Republicans at meetings on May 23 and May 31, and approved the three campaigns against Democrats on June 8.

Recalls against the six Republicans were all certified on June 3, which set the date for the recall election for July 12, 2011. However, since multiple candidates filed to run against the incumbents, a primary was held on July 12, while the actual recall will be August 9, 2011.

2011 Wisconsin Recall Campaigns
District State senator Winning % in 2008 Recall papers filed Recall signatures required Recall signatures submitted Recall signatures validated Percentage of signatures validated Opponent Recall primary date Recall election date
12
Jim Holperin 51.2% February 19 15,960 23,300[7] 19,255[8] 82.63% Kim Simac[9] July 19 August 16
22
Robert Wirch 66.7% February 24 13,537 18,300[10] 17,138[8] 93.65% Jonathan Steitz[11] July 19 August 16
30
Dave Hansen 66.1% February 25 13,852 18,872[12] 15,540[8] 82.34% David VanderLeest[13] N/A July 19
2
Robert Cowles Unopposed March 2 15,960 26,000[14] 23,959[15] 92.15% Nancy Nusbaum[16] July 12 August 9
8
Alberta Darling 50.5% March 2 20,343 30,000[17] 22,243[15] 74.14% Assemblywoman Sandy Pasch[18] July 12 August 9
10
Sheila Harsdorf 56.4% March 2 18,816 23,000[19] 23,685[15] 102.97% Shelly Moore[20] July 12 August 9
14
Luther Olsen Unopposed March 2 14,733 24,000[21] 22,207[15] 92.52% Assemblyman Fred Clark[22] July 12 August 9
18
Randy Hopper 50.05% March 2 15,269 22,500[23] 22,953[15] 102.01% Jessica King[24] July 12 August 9
32
Dan Kapanke 51.4% March 2 15,588 30,000[25] 21,776[15] 72.58% Assebmlywoman Jennifer Shilling[26] July 12 August 9


In addition to the recall election, the legislature will reconvene for the second extraordinary session of the year. The session is expected to start tomorrow and continue through July 29, and was called to discuss redistricting bills and other items.[2]

Updates
Minnesota: Today, the Minnesota government enters its 17th day of shutdown, with no sign of a resolution in sight. Republican Representative Larry Howes told the Minneapolis Star that he "doesn't see a quick conclusion" to the closure, and that his gut tells him that if it is not resolved by the time the state fair rolls around, it could be as long as next year before it is over.[27] Last week, reports emerged that a compromise was rapidly approaching. However, whatever goodwill was there appears to have vanished, as now both sides are hinting at a continued divide.[28]

On Friday, July 1, the Minnesota government officially entered "shut down," as lawmakers were not able to overcome the budget stalemate. Most fireworks, picnics and celebrations were called off as all government services except those deemed essential were cut off for the immediate future. Campgrounds, state parks, highway rest stops, golf courses, and zoos will remain closed until a budget agreement can be reached. Thousands of workers face layoffs, a cessation of state issued drivers licenses and road construction screeched to a halt.[3] Roughly 23,000 of approximately 36,000 state employees will be furloughed, and all but the most critical state functions suspended.[29] Some of the services spared from the shutdown are police patrols, prison staffing, the executive and legislative branches of state government and the courts, and programs such as food stamps, Medicaid and temporary assistance to needy families.[29]

The Republican controlled Legislature and Democratic Governor Mark Dayton have been at odds since early January over spending. Earlier this year, Dayton vetoed the Legislature's proposed budget, largely because it did not contain the revenue he had anticipated.[30]

Elections

A total of 578 seats will be up for general election in state legislatures in 2011.

Three state legislative primaries remain in Louisiana, Mississippi and Virginia. New Jersey held statewide primaries on June 7, 2011. The next primary will be in Mississippi on August 2, 2011.

The next state with a signature filing deadline is Louisiana on September 8. Virginia's signature filing deadline was June 15, however a full and comprehensive candidate list has not yet been released. Virginia's primary has been rescheduled to August 23, 2011 instead of its usual date of June 14, 2011[31] after delays and uncertainty in the redistricting process.[32].[33]

Special elections

There are three special election this week in Georgia, as well as two Republican recall primary races tomorrow in Wisconsin. Additionally, one recall will occur of a Democratic incumbent -- Dave Hansen.

Georgia

Georgia Senate District 26
Robert Brown (D) announced his resignation in May, 2011 in order to seek the office of Macon Mayor.[34] The special election for State Senate District 26 will occur in Twiggs County and portions of Bibb, Houston and Wilkinson Counties. The election is a nonpartisan special election with an open primary. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, a runoff election will be held on Tuesday, August 16, 2011.[35]

Democratic Party Democratic Candidates:
Republican Party Republican Candidate:

Georgia House District 113, Runoff Election
On April 29, Hank Huckaby (R) resigned to become the new University of Georgia Chancellor.[36] The special election for State House District 113 will occur in Oconee County and portions of Clarke, Morgan and Oglethorpe counties. The election is a nonpartisan special election with an open primary. Candidates Charles Williams (R) and Dan Matthews (D) were the top two vote-getters. Since neither received a majority of the vote, a runoff election will be held on Tuesday, July 19, 2011.[37][38]

Democratic Party Democratic Candidate:
Republican Party Republican Candidates:


Georgia House District 139
David Lucas, Sr. (D) resigned in order to run in the special election for Senate District 26.[39] The special election for State House District 139 will occur in a portion of Bibb County. The election is a nonpartisan special election with an open primary. Since only two candidates have qualified, a runoff election will not be necessary.[40]

Democratic Party Democratic Candidates:
Republican Party Republican Candidates:
  • No Republicans have filed.

Wisconsin recalls

July 19 Republican primaries
Tomorrow, there will be two Republican primaries (Districts 21 and 22), and one recall election (District 30) of a Democratic state senator. The candidates running in those races are:

District 12

Republican Party July 19 Republican primary:

District 22

Republican Party July 19 Republican primary:

District 30

July 19 recall election:
Republican Party David VanderLeest, Wind farm developer
Democratic Party Dave Hansen, Incumbent Hansen has served District 30 since 2001.

July 12 Democratic primary results
All six senate recall primaries resulted in the Democratic Party candidate defeating a "fake" Democrat. The stage is now set for recall elections of 6 Republican incumbents on August 9.

Most of the primaries were not close, with 5 of the 6 winners garnering more than 60% of the vote. However, one race was close, between Shelly Moore and Isaac Weix. Moore led 54%-46% with 97% of precincts reporting.

In all six districts, the total number of votes cast surpassed the total votes cast in the 2008 senate primary contests in the same districts.

Special elections generally garner far fewer voters than a general election. In most of the special elections that have taken place in state legislatures this year, the actual election receives about 20-30% of the total voters from the previous regular election. Yet in Wisconsin, even the primary itself captured voters enough to reach or eclipse that level -- likely setting up a possibility that voter turnout in the recall election could equal that of a general election.

Here are the six districts and the winners with vote totals:

District 2

July 12 Democratic primary[41]
Candidates Votes Percent
Nancy Nusbaum Approveda 14,197 65.04%
Otto Junkermann 7,578 34.72%
Scattering 54 0.25%
  • Mert Summers Note: Summers filed nomination papers with sufficient signatures but did not file final papers to be on the ballot.[42]

Nusbaum will face incumbent Republican Robert Cowles on August 9, 2011.[43]

Seal of Wisconsin.svg.png
2011 Wisconsin Senate Recalls

Senators Facing Recall
Robert CowlesAlberta DarlingSheila HarsdorfDave HansenJim HolperinRandy HopperDan KapankeLuther OlsenRobert Wirch

Other Recall Information
Recalls by YearRecall Law in WisconsinRecall laws in other statesRecalls in Wisconsin2011 Scott Walker Budget Repair BillProtests over Budget Repair BillWisconsin Government Accountability BoardRecall timelineElection Results

District 8

July 12 Democratic primary[44]
Candidates Votes Percent
Sandy Pasch Approveda 21,657 64.13%
Gladys Huber 11,865 35.14%
Scattering 246 0.73%
  • Nicholas Brehm Note: Brehm filed nomination papers with sufficient signatures but did not file final papers to be on the ballot.

Pasch will face incumbent Republican Alberta Darling on August 9, 2011.[45]

District 10

July 12 Democratic primary[46]
Candidates Votes Percent
Shelly Moore Approveda 19,300 53.98%
Isaac Weix 16,029 44.83%
Scattering 427 1.19%

Moore will face incumbent Republican Sheila Harsdorf on August 9, 2011.[47]

District 14

July 12 Democratic primary[48]
Candidates Votes Percent
Fred Clark Approveda 15,052 66.7%
Rol Church 7,346 32.55%
Scattering 169 0.75%
  • Robert Forseth Note: Forseth filed nomination papers with sufficient signatures but did not file final papers to be on the ballot.

Clark will face incumbent Republican Luther Olsen on August 9, 2011.[49]

District 18

July 12 Democratic primary[50]
Candidates Votes Percent
Jessica King Approveda 19,562 68.21%
John Buckstaff 8,995 31.37%
Scattering 120 0.42%

King will face incumbent Republican Randy Hopper on August 9, 2011.[51]

District 32

July 12 Democratic primary[52]
Candidates Votes Percent
Jennifer Shilling Approveda 25,340 70.19%
James Smith 10,664 29.54%
Scattering 98 0.27%

Shilling will face incumbent Republican Dan Kapanke on August 9, 2011.[53]

Utah House District 30

Brian Doughty was chosen by the House caucus to replace Jackie Biskupski, who retired earlier this year.[54]

Arkansas House District 54

Arkansas Representative Fred Smith (D) was convicted of theft for failing to repay a school district a duplicate payment of over $29,000. Smith resigned, but has promised to appeal the decision.[55] A special election was held to replace him on July 12, 2011.[56]

Republican Party Republican Candidate:
Democratic Party Democratic Candidate:
Independent Independent Candidate:

Upcoming special elections include:

References

  1. North Carolina General Assembly, Legislative Calendar, accessed July 11, 2011
  2. 2.0 2.1 Wisconsin Legislative Reference Bureau, Wisconsin Legislative Spotlight, accessed July 15, 2011
  3. 3.0 3.1 CBSNews, Pawlenty: Minnesota shutdown could be a good thing, July 1, 2011
  4. WTAQ, "'Recall Dave Hansen' organizer running for Senate," May 22, 2011
  5. CNN, "Wisconsin battle shifts to recall votes," June 15, 2011
  6. Wall Street Journal, "Wisconsin Fight Moves to Recalls," June 16, 2011
  7. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Jim Holperin Recall Committee," accessed on June 9, 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 WisPolitics, "Dem recalls certified," June 8, 2011
  9. Simac defeated Robert Lussow in a primary on July 19
  10. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Taxpayers to Recall Robert Wirch," accessed on June 9, 2011
  11. Steitz defeated Fred Ekornaas in a primary on July 19
  12. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Recall Dave Hansen," accessed on June 9, 2011
  13. John Nygren was removed from the ballot by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board for insufficient signatures, on June 27, 2011
  14. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Committee to Recall Cowles," accessed on June 9, 2011
  15. 15.0 15.1 15.2 15.3 15.4 15.5 Wisconsin Government Accountability Board Chart detailing recall signatures, accessed on May 23, 2011
  16. Nusbaum defeated Otto Junkermann in a primary on July 12
  17. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Committee to Recall Darling," accessed on June 9, 2011
  18. Pasch defeated Gladys Huber in a primary on July 12
  19. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Committee to Recall Harsdorf," accessed on June 9, 2011
  20. Moore defeated Isaac Weix in a primary on July 12
  21. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Committee to Recall Olsen," accessed on June 9, 2011
  22. Clark defeated Rol Church in a primary on July 12
  23. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Committee to Recall Hopper," accessed on June 9, 2011
  24. King defeated John Buckstaff in a primary on July 12
  25. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "Committee to Recall Kapanke," accessed on June 9, 2011
  26. Shilling defeated James Smith in a primary on July 12
  27. UPI.com, Minnesota shutdown still going strong, July 11, 2011
  28. Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Chance for quick budget deal fades," July 17, 2011
  29. 29.0 29.1 Reuters, UPDATE 2-Minnesota government shutdown begins after talks fail, July 1, 2011
  30. Stateline.org, Shutdowns loom in Iowa, Minnesota, June 27, 2011
  31. Ballot Access News, "Virginia House Passes Bill Moving 2011 Primary from June to August," January 20, 2011
  32. Virginia General Assembly, "History of House Bill 1507 (2011)"
  33. Virginia Public Access Project, "Update:Primaries to be held August 23," January 30, 2011
  34. Macon Examiner, "James Beverly, Anissa Jones qualify for Macon's House District 139 seat," June 20, 2011
  35. Secretary of State News, "Secretary of State Kemp Sets Qualifying Dates for the Special Elections in State Senate District 26 and State House District 139," June 10, 2011
  36. OnlineAthens, Rep. Huckaby resigns Georgia House, April 29, 2011
  37. Georgia Secretary of State, "Unofficial Results of the Tuesday, June 21, 2011 Special Election," accessed June 22, 2011
  38. Secretary of State News, Secretary Kemp Announces the Close of Qualifying for the Special Election in State House District 113, May 18, 2011
  39. Macon Examiner, "James Beverly, Anissa Jones qualify for Macon's House District 139 seat," June 20, 2011
  40. Secretary of State News, "Secretary of State Kemp Sets Qualifying Dates for the Special Elections in State Senate District 26 and State House District 139," June 10, 2011
  41. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "July 12 primary election results District 2," accessed August 11, 2011
  42. WisPolitics, "WisDems: Dems to end placeholder candidacies in recall elections," June 17, 2011
  43. WAOW "Democrat Nusbaum defeats fake Democrat," July 12, 2011]
  44. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "July 12 Primary Election Results District 8," accessed August 11, 2011
  45. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Pasch tops fake Democrat to face Darling," July 12, 2011
  46. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board "July 12 Primary Election Results District 10," accessed August 11, 2011
  47. Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Moore advances to face Harsdorf," July 12, 2011
  48. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "July 12 Primary Election Results District 14," accessed July 11, 2011
  49. NBC 15 "State Senate District 14: Democrat Clark Defeats Fake Democrat," July 12, 2011
  50. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "July 12 Primary Election Results District 18," accessed July 11, 2011
  51. Channel 3000.com, "Democrat King defeats 'Fake' Democrat," July 12, 2011
  52. Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, "July 12 Primary Results District 32," accessed August 11, 2011
  53. WISN "State Rep. Shilling Wins 32nd Dist. Primary," July 12, 2011
  54. Salk Lake Trbune, "Dems pick new legislator -- for a district that may disappear," July 16, 2011
  55. Arkansasmatters.com, "Arkansas State Rep. Fred Smith Resigns," January 26, 2011
  56. Arkansasmatters.com, "Special Election in District 54," February 14, 2011
  57. Today's TVH, "Hudson Hallum wins special election for E. Ark. House seat" July 12, 2011