State Legislative Tracker: Georgia passes concealed weapons bill

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April 28, 2014

Edited by Joel Williams
This week’s tracker includes a look at a new gun law in Georgia.

Weekly highlight

Last week, Alaska and Arizona adjourned their legislative sessions, while California began a special session concurrent with its regular session. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • Georgia: On April 23, 2014, Gov. Nathan Deal (R) signed into law House Bill 60, known as the "Safe Carry Protection Act of 2014." The bill allows all Georgia citizens with a concealed weapons permit to take guns into bars, churches, schools and into certain areas of government buildings and airports. Last month, HB 60 passed the House by a 112-58 vote and a 37-18 vote in the Senate. The law allows guns into bars and churches as long as the owner has not banned them. Citizens that bring a gun into a prohibited area face a $100 fine. Permit holders will be free to bring guns into government buildings that do not have metal detectors and into the areas of airports that are not beyond the security checkpoints. In response to the 2012 school shooting in Connecticut, House Bill 60 will also allow school administrators and teachers who have permits to carry weapons to work. Deal said about the bill that "[p]eople who follow the rules can protect themselves and their families from people who don't follow the rules. The Second Amendment should never be an afterthought. It should reside at the forefronts of our minds." The law takes effect on July 1.[1][2][3][4]
  • Missouri: The House Judiciary Committee began consideration of three articles of impeachments against Gov. Jay Nixon (D) in a hearing held last Wednesday. The primary article, authored by Rep. Nick Marshall (R), accuses Nixon of violating the state constitution when he signed an executive order allowing same-sex couples married outside of the state to file joint tax returns. Another article by Rep. Mike Moon (R) charges Nixon with violating election law by not quickly scheduling special elections to fill legislative vacancies. The third article, submitted by Rep. Rick Brattin (R), argues that Nixon did little to hold accountable executive employees who released the names of over 163,000 holders of concealed-carry gun permits to a Social Security Administration representative last year. The hearing, which dealt mainly with Marshall's bill, lasted for about an hour; the committee will revisit the articles on Wednesday. The movement is considered unlikely to succeed, even with Republicans decidedly controlling both houses. Nixon has called the hearings "some sort of show," and Rep. Mike Colona (D) framed the controversy as "just a disagreement over legal theory and legal philosophy." Should the articles move past the House, a seven-member panel of judges appointed by the Senate would then decide on their validity; removing Nixon from office would require five votes. The impeachment process has resulted in the expulsion of a state official only once, when legislators removed Secretary of State Judith Moriarty in 1994.[5][6][7][8][9]
  • West Virginia: Republicans in the House of Delegates are facing an important election in 2014. A four-seat swing would make them the majority in the house for the first time in 85 years. The GOP suspects that their rise in power partly comes from state Democrats disagreeing with Pres. Barack Obama, who "remains unpopular with West Virginians for policies on coal, social issues and gun rights." The issues with the Democratic president have played a role in causing state Democrats to "jump ship" and switch parties. One of the most notable converts is Sen. Evan Jenkins (R), who switched affiliation in July 2013. Some Democrats might face former colleagues in the November general election. If Sen. Sam Cann (D) wins the May 13 primary, he will face Mike Queen (R), a former Democratic Delegate, in November. Of the 100 House seats and 17 Senate seats up for election this year, Republican candidates have filed for 116 of the total 117 seats. Twenty of these seats are unopposed, guaranteeing a Republican win.[10][11]

Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of April 21, 2014
See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2014 session information.

Currently 19 out of 50 state legislatures are meeting in regular session. One state, Virginia, is in special session. California is in special session concurrent with its regular session.

The following states have convened their 2014 regular session:[12]

The following states have adjourned their 2014 regular session:[13]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Sunday, January 25, 2015
There are 7,383 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,175 (43%)
Total Republican state legislators 4,089 (55.4%)
There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers
Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers 41
Total Republican Party-controlled chambers 57
Total tied or nonpartisan chambers 1
2014 Session Information
Total Special Elections 25
Total Special Sessions 3

The California State Legislature is meeting in a special session concurrent with its regular session to discuss a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) to change the state's rainy day fund. Brown's proposal would require the state to save some of the revenue from capital gains taxes. He hopes to have his proposal approved by the legislature and on the 2014 ballot. California's rainy day fund has existed since 2004 but has been empty for a majority of that time.[14]


The Virginia State Legislature is meeting in special session to try and pass an estimated $96 billion budget for the next two years. The session is not expected to end quickly, as Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and the Republican-led House disagree over whether the state should accept further Medicaid funding from the federal government. This special session is required as the legislature failed to pass a budget during the yearly regular session. Should no agreement be reached by July 1, Virginia's government could shut down.[15]

In recess

As of today, April 28, there are six state legislatures currently in recess:[16]

See also: State legislative elections, 2014

A total of 87 of the 99 chambers will hold state legislative elections on November 4, 2014.

The 87 chambers with elections in 2014 are in 46 states. They are:

The Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico and South Carolina senates also typically hold elections in odd years. However, senators are elected to 4-year terms in those states and those will not be up for election again until 2015.

1090 of the country's 1,972 state senate seats are up for re-election in November 2014, and 4,958 of the country's 5,415 state house seats are up for re-election. Altogether, 6,048 of the country's 7,387 state legislative seats are up for re-election on November 4, 2014.

Primary Information

See also: Signature requirements and deadlines for 2014 state legislative elections

The state legislative filing deadlines and primary dates are as follows:

Note: Ballot access is a complicated issue. The dates in the table below are primarily for candidates filing for access to the primary. For more detailed information about each state's qualification requirements -- including all relevant ballot access dates for the primary and general election -- click to our detailed pages in the state column.

2014 State Legislative Primary Information
State Filing Deadline Primary Date Days from Deadline to Primary
Alabama Red padlock.png 2/7/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 116
Alaska Red padlock.png 6/2/2014[17] Red padlock.png 8/19/2014 78
Arizona Red padlock.png 5/28/2014[18] Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 90
Arkansas Red padlock.png 3/3/2014[19][20] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 78
California Red padlock.png 3/7/2014[21][22][23] Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 88
Colorado Red padlock.png 3/31/2014[24][25] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 85
Connecticut Red padlock.png 6/10/2014[26] Red padlock.png 8/12/2014 90
Delaware Red padlock.png 7/8/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 63
Florida Red padlock.png 6/20/2014[27][28] Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 67
Georgia Red padlock.png 3/7/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 74
Hawaii Red padlock.png 6/3/2014[29] Red padlock.png 8/9/2014 67
Idaho Red padlock.png 3/14/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 78
Illinois Red padlock.png 12/2/2013 Red padlock.png 3/18/2014 106
Indiana Red padlock.png 2/7/2014 Red padlock.png 5/6/2014 88
Iowa Red padlock.png 3/14/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 81
Kansas Red padlock.png 6/2/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 65
Kentucky Red padlock.png 1/28/2014[30][31] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 112
Maine Red padlock.png 3/17/2014[32] Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 85
Maryland Red padlock.png 2/25/2014[33] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 119
Massachusetts Red padlock.png 6/3/2014[34] Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 98
Michigan Red padlock.png 4/22/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 105
Minnesota Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 Red padlock.png 8/12/2014 70
Missouri Red padlock.png 3/25/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 133
Montana Red padlock.png 3/10/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 85
Nebraska Red padlock.png 3/3/2014[35] Red padlock.png 5/13/2014 85
Nevada Red padlock.png 3/14/2014 Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 88
New Hampshire Red padlock.png 6/13/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 88
New Mexico Red padlock.png 2/4/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 119
New York Red padlock.png 7/10/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 61
North Carolina Red padlock.png 2/28/2014 Red padlock.png 5/6/2014 67
North Dakota Red padlock.png 4/7/2014 Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 64
Ohio Red padlock.png 2/5/2014 Red padlock.png 5/6/2014 90
Oklahoma Red padlock.png 4/11/2014 Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 74
Oregon Red padlock.png 3/11/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 70
Pennsylvania Red padlock.png 3/11/2014 Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 70
Rhode Island Red padlock.png 6/25/2014 Red padlock.png 9/9/2014 76
South Carolina Red padlock.png 3/30/2014 Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 72
South Dakota Red padlock.png 3/25/2014 Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 70
Tennessee Red padlock.png 4/3/2014 Red padlock.png 8/7/2014 126
Texas Red padlock.png 12/9/2013 Red padlock.png 3/4/2014 85
Utah Red padlock.png 3/20/2014 Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 96
Vermont Red padlock.png 6/12/2014 Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 75
Washington Red padlock.png 5/17/2014 Red padlock.png 8/5/2014 80
West Virginia Red padlock.png 1/25/2014 Red padlock.png 5/13/2014 108
Wisconsin Red padlock.png 6/2/2014 Red padlock.png 8/12/2014 71
Wyoming Red padlock.png 5/30/2014 Red padlock.png 8/19/2014 81

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See also: State legislative special elections, 2014

There is one special election scheduled this week in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts House of Representatives Fifth Suffolk District

See also: Massachusetts state legislative special elections, 2014

Evandro C. Carvalho defeated Karen A. Charles-Peterson, Jennifer Anne Johnson, Barry Lawton and Roy Owens in the Democratic primary and was unopposed in the special election, which took place on April 29.[36]

The seat was vacant following Carlos Henriquez's (D) expulsion from the chamber on February 6.

A special election for the position of Massachusetts House of Representatives Fifth Suffolk District was called for April 29, with a primary on April 1. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was February 24.[37][38]

Massachusetts House of Representatives, Fifth Suffolk District Special Election Democratic Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngEvandro C. Carvalho 50.3% 961
Karen A. Charles-Peterson 27.2% 521
Barry Lawton 9.9% 190
Jennifer Anne Johnson 7.9% 151
Roy Owens 4.7% 89
Total Votes 1,912

April 29 Special election candidates:

Democratic Party Evandro C. Carvalho

Recent election results

April 24, 2014

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Connecticut House of Representatives District 94

See also: Connecticut state legislative special elections, 2014

Robyn Porter (D) defeated Berita Rowe-Lewis (D), Reynaud Harp (D), Charles Ashe (D), Jerome Dunbar (D) and Len Caplan (R) in the special election, which took place on April 24.[39][40][36][41]

The seat was vacant following Gary Holder-Winfield's (D) election to the Connecticut State Senate.[39]

A special election for the position of Connecticut House of Representatives District 94 was called for April 24. Candidates were supposed to be nominated by their party rather than chosen through a primary. Because the district's Democratic committee did not endorse a candidate, a number of them appeared on the special election ballot.[39]

Connecticut House of Representatives, District 94, Special Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngRobyn Porter 50.4% 255
     Democratic Charles Ashe 34% 172
     Democratic Berita Rowe-Lewis 8.1% 41
     Democratic Reynaud Harp 5.5% 28
     Republican Len Caplan 2% 10
Total Votes 506

Note: Jerome Dunbar did not appear on the list of certified results.

April 24 Special election candidates:
Democratic Party Berita Rowe-Lewis
Democratic Party Reynaud Harp
Democratic Party Charles Ashe
Democratic Party Robyn Porter Green check mark transparent.png
Democratic Party Jerome Dunbar
Republican Party Len Caplan

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • May 10: Texas State Senate District 4
  • August 5: Missouri House of Representatives Districts 67, 120 and 151

See also


  1. Independent, "Georgia's new 'carry anywhere' law could mean guns in schools, bars and churches," accessed April 24, 2014
  2., "Nathan Deal signs broad gun rights expansion," accessed April 24, 2014
  3., "Georgia law allows guns in some schools, bars, churches," accessed April 24, 2014
  4., "Gov. Nathan Deal signs bill expanding Georgia gun rights," accessed April 24, 2014
  5. Springfield News-Leader, "Nixon impeachment effort faces skepticism," April 23, 2014
  6. The Washington Post, "Missouri legislature will begin impeachment proceedings against governor," April 23, 2014
  7. Kansas City Star, "Missouri lawmakers debate impeaching Gov. Jay Nixon," April 23, 2014
  8. Associated Press, "Mo. House panel to consider impeaching governor," April 23, 2014
  9. The Huffington Post, "Missouri Republicans Advance Effort To Impeach Governor Jay Nixon," April 23, 2014
  10. The Washington Times, "Some W.Va. state Dems flip to GOP for midterms," April 19, 2014
  11. Westport News, "Some W. V. state Dems flip to GOP for midterms," April 19, 2014
  12. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed April 28, 2014
  13. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed April 28, 2014
  14. Los Angeles Times, "Jerry Brown calls legislative special session to debate reserve plan," April 16, 2014
  15., "Virginia General Assembly returns for special session," March 23, 2014
  16. StateNet, " Daily Session Summary," accessed April 28, 2014
  17. Alaska Statutes, "Section 15.25, Nomination of Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  18. Secretary of State Website, "2014 Election Important Dates," accessed November 4, 2013
  19. Running for Public Office, "A 'Plain English' Handbook for Candidates," 2012 Edition, accessed October 21, 2013 (dead link)
  20. Arkansas Code of 1987, "Title 7, Elections," accessed October 30, 2013
  21. Summary of Qualifications and Requirements for the Office of State Senator, Member of the Assembly, "June 3, 2014, Primary Election," accessed October 21, 2013
  22. California Elections Code, "Section 8100-8107," accessed October 28, 2013
  23. California Secretary of State Website, "Key Dates and Deadlines," accessed October 21, 2013
  24. Colorado Secretary of State Website, "Major Political Parties FAQs," accessed October 31, 2013
  25. Colorado Revised Statutes, "Title 1, Elections," accessed October 31, 2013
  26. Connecticut Secretary of State Website, "Frequently Asked Questions, Nominating Papers," accessed October 31, 2013
  27. Florida Department of State Division of Elections, "2013-2014 Dates to Remember," accessed November 6, 2013
  28. 2013 Florida Statutes, "Section 99.061," accessed December 2, 2014
  29. Hawaii State Legislature, "HRS §12-6 Nomination papers: time for filing; fees", accessed May 22, 2013
  30. 2014 Kentucky Election Calendar, accessed November 12, 2013
  31. Kentucky State Board of Elections "Candidate Qualifications and Filing Fees" accessed November 26, 2011
  32. Maine Secretary of State "State of Maine 2014 Candidate's Guide to Ballot Access," accessed February 11, 2014
  33. The State Board of Elections, "Candidacy," accessed November 5, 2013
  34. 2014 Massachusetts State Primary and State Election Schedule, accessed December 2, 2013
  35. Official Election Calendar for the State of Nebraska, accessed November 18, 2014
  36. 36.0 36.1 "Carvalho wins Democratic primary in Fifth Suffolk race to replace Henriquez," April 1, 2014
  37. Massachusetts Secretary of State "Special Election Calendar," accessed April 3, 2014
  38. Massachusetts Secretary of State "Official candidate list," accessed April 3, 2014
  39. 39.0 39.1 39.2, "Six scramble to replace Holder-Winfield," April 21, 2014
  40. "Len Caplan selected as Republican candidate for special election," March 26, 2014
  41. City of New Haven, "Official special election results," accessed May 7, 2014