State Legislative Tracker: Filibuster in Texas

From Ballotpedia
Jump to: navigation, search
SLP badge.png

Donate.png

July 1, 2013

Edited by Joel Williams
This week’s tracker takes a look at the partisan breakdown of state legislatures.

Weekly highlight

Last week, Delaware and New Hampshire ended their legislative sessions. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • Minnesota: State Representative Ryan Winkler (D-46) sparked controversy last week after referring to a Supreme Court justice derogatorily. Following the U.S. Supreme Court's 5-4 decision last Tuesday to strike down Section 4(b) of the Voting Rights Act, which determined which states are subject to pre-clearance of changes in voting laws under Section 5, Winkler took to Twitter, saying the ."..majority is four accomplices to race discrimination and one Uncle Thomas." The latter was a reference to Clarence Thomas, the high court's lone African-American member. Winkler later deleted the tweet and apologized for his variation on the phrase 'Uncle Tom,' saying that he "did not understand" it to be racist, but rather synonymous with "turncoat." In a statement released by the House Democratic caucus, he again apologized for "hastily [using] a loaded term that is offensive to many." Winkler told the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that he would not run for Secretary of State in 2014 as he had considered, but said that his decision preceded the Thomas controversy. He also said that he is not certain if the controversy will affect his future political career, hoping that people will consider his efforts in office over "the firestorm of a term that is used hastily but with no malintent."[1][2][3]
  • New Hampshire: New Hampshire became the nineteenth state to approve the use of medical marijuana this week by passing House Bill 537. The measure passed by a wide margin in the house and by a voice vote in the senate. People with "serious health conditions" as defined by the law will be allowed to possess up to two ounces of the drug with a doctor's prescription. Conditions that qualify for a medical marijuana prescription include: cancer, HIV, AIDS, ALS, muscular dystrophy, Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease, among others. An earlier version of the bill would have allowed patients or their caregivers to grow their own marijuana, but that provision was removed when Gov. Margaret Hassan (D) threatened to not sign the bill because of it. Four dispensaries are scheduled to open across the state in 2015 in order to provide the medical marijuana. The legislature passed a similar bill previously but it was vetoed by former Gov. John H. Lynch (D) and the legislature failed their override.[4][5][6]
  • Texas: State Senator Wendy Davis (D) led a one-woman filibuster last week to block a measure put forth by Republicans that would greatly restrict abortions in the state. Opponents of the measure estimate that the bill would shutdown 37 of 42 clinics in Texas because the clinics lack the resources to undergo expensive upgrades to comply with new regulations.[12] Thirteen hours after Davis began the filibuster, she committed her third rule violation, ending the filibuster before the midnight deadline.[13] A vote finally took place with the Texas State Senate voting 19-10 in favor of the measure, but the vote was not legal because the midnight deadline had passed. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst (R) pushed for a vote before the deadline, but it was unable to be completed in time because of a large crowd made up of pro-choice supporters that filled the senate gallery. Upset about the filibuster and its result, Governor Rick Perry (R) has ordered the Texas State Legislature into another special session on July 1st to discuss the measure on abortion restrictions again. The abortion bill will have to be voted on and passed by the Texas House of Representatives for a second time before Democrats and Republicans in the Senate each have another opportunity to defend their viewpoints.[14]
[edit]

As of today, July 1, 2013, the following figures represent the cumulative partisan breakdown of the 50 state senates and 49 state houses. In the 50 states, Republicans currently control 51.2% of all seats while Democrats hold 47.5%. All told, Republicans control 57 chambers while Democrats are the majority in 40 chambers. One chamber is tied, while one is non-partisan.


Representation in 50 State Legislatures
Party Number of Percentage
Democratic state legislators 3,552 47.5%
Republican state legislators 3,827 51.2%
Independent (and non-partisan) state legislators 66 0.88%
Third party (and non-voting) legislators 11 0.15%
Vacancies 19 0.25%

State Senates

The partisan composition of state senates refers to which political party holds the majority of seats in the state senate. Altogether, in the 50 state senates, there are 1,975 state senators.

As of July 1, 2013, the breakdown of chamber control by party is as follows:

See also: Partisan composition of state houses

Cumulative numbers

As of July 7, 2014, 1,905 state senators are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties.

Party Number of Percentage
Democratic state senators 875 44.4%
Republican state senators 1,030 52.2%
Nonpartisan state senators 49 2.48%
Independent state senators 4 0.2%
Third Party state senators 2 0.1%
Vacancies 12 0.61%

Vacancies

As of July 7, 2014, there are 12 vacancies in 8 states.

State Vacancies
Missouri 2
New Hampshire 1
New York 2
South Carolina 1
Texas 2
Virginia 2
Wisconsin 1
Wyoming 1

Independents

As of July 7, 2014, there are 6 state senators in 5 states identifying as independents or parties other than Democratic and Republican.

State Independents/Third Party
Alabama 1 (Independent)
Kentucky 1 (Independent)
Maine 1 (Independent)
Rhode Island 1 (Independent)
Vermont 2 (Vermont Progressive)

State Houses

The partisan composition of state houses refers to which party holds the majority of seats in the state house or the lower level of each state legislature. Altogether, in the 49 state houses, there are 5,383 state representatives.

As of July 1, 2013, the breakdown of chamber control by party is as follows:

  • Democratic Party 20 chambers
  • Republican Party 29 chambers

Cumulative numbers

As of July 7, 2014, 5,347 state representatives are affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic parties.

Party Number of Percentage
Democratic state representatives 2,554 47.2%
Republican state representatives 2,793 51.6%
Independent state representatives 13 0.24%
Third party (and nonvoting) representatives 10 0.18%
Vacancies 43 0.79%

Vacancies

As of July 7, 2014, there are 43 state house vacancies in 12 different states.

State Vacancies
Alabama 1
California 1
Connecticut 1
Georgia 1
Illinois 2
Louisiana 1
Massachusetts 5
Missouri 3
Nevada 1
New Hampshire 14
New York 11
Virginia 2

Independents

As of July 7, 2014, there are 23 state representatives in 9 states identifying as independents or parties other than Democratic and Republican.

State Independents/Third Party
Alabama 1 (Independent)
Arkansas 1 (Green)
Georgia 1 (Independent)
Louisiana 2 (Independent)
Maine 7 (3 non-voting Native American representatives, 4 Independent)
Michigan 1 (Independent)
Tennessee 1 (Carter County Republican)
Vermont 9 (5 Vermont Progressive Party, 4 Independent)

Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of July 1, 2013
See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2013 session information.

Currently 9 out of 50 state legislatures are meeting in regular session. Three states: California, Texas, and Washington are meeting in special session.

As of April 8, all states states have convened their 2013 legislative sessions.[15]

The following states have ended their regular session:[16]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Sunday, July 13, 2014
There are 7,384 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,429 (46.4%)
Total Republican state legislators 3,823 (51.8%)
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 43
Total Special Sessions 9

There are three special sessions ongoing this week in California, Texas and Washington. The West Virginia State Legislature held a one-day special session on April 17 to finish remaining business from the regular session.[17] The Mississippi State Legislature held a one-day special session on April 26 to approve incentives for a foreign tire maker to open a plant in the state.[18] The Arizona State Legislature held a brief special session this week concurrently with the end of their regular session, primarily to pass a budget that included Medicaid expansion.[19][20] Mississippi held a two-day special session to approve Medicaid funding and reauthorization.[21]

California

During his State of the State address on January 24, Governor 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 until May 30.[22][23] As of June 11, 2013, four of the six major bills being considered by the legislature have not been finalized.[24]

Texas

Governor Rick Perry (R) called the legislature back into special session to work on an abortion bill after Sen. Wendy Davis (D) led an 11-hour filibuster to prevent its passing in time for the close of the first special session. Also affected by the filibuster and expected to be discussed are bills relating to transportation and juvenile justice.[25]

Washington

On May 13, the Washington State Legislature reconvened for a 30-day special session to pass a budget. Governor Jay Inslee (D) suggested that while the budget was the most important piece of legislation to pass during this special session, he wanted lawmakers to consider a number of bills that stalled during the regular legislation session, such as drunk driving and gun control laws.[26] The Washington State Legislature had to reconvene for a second 30-day special session after the first session failed to produce a budget agreement.[27]

In recess

As of today, June 17, there are 2 state legislatures currently in recess:[28]

Redistricting Roundup.jpg

State news

Redistricting Facts
Maps submitted for vote: 140 out of 142 (98.6%)** No votes on initial maps in the following: 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 Alaska

See also: Redistricting in Alaska

Alaska's Redistricting Board created three rough drafts of maps as the first step of a court-mandated process to complete the redistricting process. It is set to begin public hearings this week in Alaska's major cities where it will also allow submissions of maps created by third parties for consideration in the process.[29]

Redistricting in Kentucky

See also: Redistricting in Kentucky

Gov. Steve Beshear (D) has called the Kentucky State Legislature to convene a special session on August 19 to settle the matter of redistricting. The session is scheduled to last only five days and will only address state legislative and judicial district boundaries.[30]

Redistricting in Texas

See also: Redistricting in Texas

Gov. Rick Perry (R) signed off on maps for Texas' congressional and state legislative districts, completed during their first special session last week. Some questioned whether or not Perry would veto the state senate maps and attempt to have Wendy Davis drawn into a Republican-leaning district as punishment for her filibuster of an abortion bill, though he did not. This does not end the redistricting process in Texas, as the state still faces legal challenges from several groups over discrimination against minorities.[31]

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 were 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.[32]

  • 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.[33]

Primaries

The state primaries were as follows:

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

Results

New Jersey had a quiet election, with all competing incumbents winning their primaries.

There were only three hotly contested races, all in the Senate, but none resulted in the ousting of an incumbent:[34]

Republican PartyDistrict 13: Incumbent Joe Kyrillos, Jr. defeated challenger Leigh-Ann Bellew.
Democratic PartyDistrict 20: Incumbent Raymond Lesniak defeated challenger Donna Obe.
Democratic PartyDistrict 34: Incumbent Nia H. Gill defeated challengers Mark C. Alexander and Vernon Pullins, Jr..

Virginia experienced two upsets in an otherwise quiet day of primaries for the House of Delegates. Voter turnout was expected to fall below 5 percent based on projections at polling locations.[35]

Virginia's legislative primaries yielded a pair of defeats for incumbent legislators. The defeated incumbents were supporters of a recently passed transportation bill that increases sales and gas taxes to improve roadways.[36][37] The successful challengers lodged primary challenges in part to protest the bill's passage, which they called the biggest tax increase in the state's history.[38]

Republican Party Mark J. Berg defeated Beverly Sherwood in District 29.
Republican Party Dave A. LaRock defeated Joe T. May in District 33.

Five incumbents were able to fend off primary challenges in Tuesday's primaries:

Republican Party C. Todd Gilbert defeated Mark W. Prince in District 15.
Republican Party Bill Howell defeated Craig E. Ennis in District 28.
Republican Party Bobby Orrock defeated Dustin R. Curtis in District 54.
Democratic Party Roz Dance defeated Evandra D. Thompson in District 63.
Democratic Party Algie Howell defeated Richard James in District 90.

SLP badge.png
See also: State legislative special elections, 2013

There is no special election taking place this week. The next one is scheduled for July 23 in California.

Recent results

June 25, 2013

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Massachusetts House of Representatives 8th Suffolk
Shortly after being sworn in for a 5th term, Martha Walz (D) announced she was resigning to head the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. A special election was called for June 25.[39] A primary took place on May 28, which Jay D. Livingstone won. Livingstone was unopposed in the special election on June 25. Candidates had until April 23 to file certified nomination papers with the Secretary of the Commonwealth.[40][41][42]

June 25 Special election candidates:

Democratic Party Jay D. Livingstone Green check mark transparent.png

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Kentucky House of Representatives District 56
Rep. Carl Rollins, II (D) resigned on April 24 to take a job with the Kentucky Higher Education Assistance Authority. A special election was called for June 25. Candidates were chosen by party leaders instead of in primaries.[43][44][45][46]

June 25 General election candidates:

Democratic Party James L. Kay II Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Lyen Crews
Independent John-Mark Hack

Links/References

  1. Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "DFL Rep. Winkler tweets and deletes "Uncle Thomas" referencing Supreme Court Justice," June 25, 2013
  2. Yahoo! News, "Lawmaker apologizes for calling Clarence Thomas ‘Uncle Thomas’ on Twitter," June 25, 2013
  3. MinnPost, "Rep. Winkler tweets, deletes and apologizes for 'Uncle Thomas' reference to Supreme Court justice," June 25, 2013
  4. concordmonitor.com, " House, Senate cut deals on voter ID reform, medical marijuana, CHINS and more ," June 21, 2013
  5. sentinelsource.com, " New Hampshire Legislature passes medical marijuana bill; overwhelming support in region," June 27, 2013
  6. unionleader.com, "NH medical marijuana OK’d by legislature," June 26, 2013
  7. WLTX, "Rep. Harry Ott to Resign from State House," June 26, 2013
  8. The State, "Former SC House Democratic leader accepts Obama Administration job," June 26, 2013
  9. The Times and Democrat, "Ott resigning House to head S.C. Farm Service Agency," June 26, 2013
  10. The Associated Press, "St. Matthews Democratic Rep. Ott to leave South Carolina House for federal farm agency job," June 26, 2013
  11. South Carolina Radio Network, "Senior Democrat resigns from SC House to take federal job," June 26, 2013
  12. "news.yahoo.com," "Perry, filibuster star clash over Texas abortions, "June 27, 2013
  13. "naplesnews.com," "After abortion setback, Texas GOP set to try again, " June 26, 2013
  14. "cnn.com," "Perry renews Texas abortion battle with special session," June 27, 2013
  15. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed July 1, 2013
  16. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed July 1, 2013
  17. West Virginia Legislature, "2013 1st Special Session," accessed June 1, 2013
  18. sunherald.com, "Mississippi lawmakers pass incentives for tire maker," April 26, 2013
  19. Arizona Capitol Times, "Lawmakers prepare to adjourn as Medicaid expansion moves toward approval," June 11, 2013
  20. The Associated Press, "Arizona Senate ends special session after passing GOP Gov. Brewer’s budget, Medicaid expansion," June 12, 2013
  21. clarionledger.com, "Bryant calls Medicaid special session for Thursday (updated)," June 24, 2013
  22. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  23. Sacramento Business Journal, " Healthcare reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  24. California Medical Association, "Special session bills continue to work through Legislature," June 11, 2013
  25. star-telegram.com, "Perry calls lawmakers back to work on abortion bill," June 27, 2013
  26. oregonlive.com, "Washington Legislature special session: 5 things to watch," April 29, 2013
  27. The Associated Press, "State lawmakers resigned to 2nd special session," June 10, 2013
  28. Statenet.com, "Daily Session Summary," accessed June 24, 2013
  29. newsminer.com, " Alaska Redistricting Board makes rough drafts of new map," June 21, 2013
  30. sets special session in August to finish redistricting," June 20, 2013
  31. statesman.com, "Perry signs redistricting maps," June 26, 2013
  32. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," accessed January 14, 2013
  33. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," accessed January 16, 2013
  34. NJ.com, "Polls close in 2013 N.J. primary elections as votes are tallied," June 4, 2013
  35. Washington Post, "Voter turnout sparse for down-ticket races in Virginia," June 11, 2013
  36. CBS DC, "Virginia Primary Results Roll In," June 11, 2013
  37. Fredericksburg.com, "Howell’s transportation PAC helping candidates," June 7, 2013
  38. WRIC, "Virginia Primary Round Up," June 11, 2013
  39. Boston Globe, "State Rep. Martha Walz to lead Planned Parenthood," January 30, 2013
  40. Boston.com, "Dates set for special election to replace state Rep. Marty Walz," February 7, 2013
  41. sec.state.ma.us, "Special State Primary Candidates - Eighth Suffolk State Representative District," accessed May 14, 2013
  42. beaconhill.patch.com, " Where Do I Vote on Beacon Hill Today?," June 25, 2013
  43. lex18.com, "Special Election First Test Of Military Voting Law," April 28, 2013
  44. kentucky.com, "Democrats choose Woodford party leader to run for vacant Central Kentucky House seat," April 29, 2013
  45. kentucky.com, "Kentucky Republicans choose Lyen Crews to run in special election for House 56th District seat," May 1, 2013
  46. kentucky.com, "Democrat wins special House election in Kentucky," June 25, 2013

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • July 23: California State Senate District 16
  • July 23: California State Assembly District 52
  • August 6: Virginia State Senate District 14
  • August 6: New York House of Representatives District 86

See also

References

  1. Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "DFL Rep. Winkler tweets and deletes "Uncle Thomas" referencing Supreme Court Justice," June 25, 2013
  2. Yahoo! News, "Lawmaker apologizes for calling Clarence Thomas ‘Uncle Thomas’ on Twitter," June 25, 2013
  3. MinnPost, "Rep. Winkler tweets, deletes and apologizes for 'Uncle Thomas' reference to Supreme Court justice," June 25, 2013
  4. concordmonitor.com, " House, Senate cut deals on voter ID reform, medical marijuana, CHINS and more ," June 21, 2013
  5. sentinelsource.com, " New Hampshire Legislature passes medical marijuana bill; overwhelming support in region," June 27, 2013
  6. unionleader.com, "NH medical marijuana OK’d by legislature," June 26, 2013
  7. WLTX, "Rep. Harry Ott to Resign from State House," June 26, 2013
  8. The State, "Former SC House Democratic leader accepts Obama Administration job," June 26, 2013
  9. The Times and Democrat, "Ott resigning House to head S.C. Farm Service Agency," June 26, 2013
  10. The Associated Press, "St. Matthews Democratic Rep. Ott to leave South Carolina House for federal farm agency job," June 26, 2013
  11. South Carolina Radio Network, "Senior Democrat resigns from SC House to take federal job," June 26, 2013
  12. "news.yahoo.com," "Perry, filibuster star clash over Texas abortions, "June 27, 2013
  13. "naplesnews.com," "After abortion setback, Texas GOP set to try again, " June 26, 2013
  14. "cnn.com," "Perry renews Texas abortion battle with special session," June 27, 2013
  15. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed July 1, 2013
  16. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed July 1, 2013
  17. West Virginia Legislature, "2013 1st Special Session," accessed June 1, 2013
  18. sunherald.com, "Mississippi lawmakers pass incentives for tire maker," April 26, 2013
  19. Arizona Capitol Times, "Lawmakers prepare to adjourn as Medicaid expansion moves toward approval," June 11, 2013
  20. The Associated Press, "Arizona Senate ends special session after passing GOP Gov. Brewer’s budget, Medicaid expansion," June 12, 2013
  21. clarionledger.com, "Bryant calls Medicaid special session for Thursday (updated)," June 24, 2013
  22. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  23. Sacramento Business Journal, " Healthcare reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  24. California Medical Association, "Special session bills continue to work through Legislature," June 11, 2013
  25. star-telegram.com, "Perry calls lawmakers back to work on abortion bill," June 27, 2013
  26. oregonlive.com, "Washington Legislature special session: 5 things to watch," April 29, 2013
  27. The Associated Press, "State lawmakers resigned to 2nd special session," June 10, 2013
  28. Statenet.com, "Daily Session Summary," accessed June 24, 2013
  29. newsminer.com, " Alaska Redistricting Board makes rough drafts of new map," June 21, 2013
  30. sets special session in August to finish redistricting," June 20, 2013
  31. statesman.com, "Perry signs redistricting maps," June 26, 2013
  32. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," accessed January 14, 2013
  33. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," accessed January 16, 2013
  34. NJ.com, "Polls close in 2013 N.J. primary elections as votes are tallied," June 4, 2013
  35. Washington Post, "Voter turnout sparse for down-ticket races in Virginia," June 11, 2013
  36. CBS DC, "Virginia Primary Results Roll In," June 11, 2013
  37. Fredericksburg.com, "Howell’s transportation PAC helping candidates," June 7, 2013
  38. WRIC, "Virginia Primary Round Up," June 11, 2013
  39. Boston Globe, "State Rep. Martha Walz to lead Planned Parenthood," January 30, 2013
  40. Boston.com, "Dates set for special election to replace state Rep. Marty Walz," February 7, 2013
  41. sec.state.ma.us, "Special State Primary Candidates - Eighth Suffolk State Representative District," accessed May 14, 2013
  42. beaconhill.patch.com, " Where Do I Vote on Beacon Hill Today?," June 25, 2013
  43. lex18.com, "Special Election First Test Of Military Voting Law," April 28, 2013
  44. kentucky.com, "Democrats choose Woodford party leader to run for vacant Central Kentucky House seat," April 29, 2013
  45. kentucky.com, "Kentucky Republicans choose Lyen Crews to run in special election for House 56th District seat," May 1, 2013
  46. kentucky.com, "Democrat wins special House election in Kentucky," June 25, 2013