State Legislative Tracker: New Jersey candidate removed from ballot

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April 22, 2013

Edited by Joel Williams
This week's tracker takes a look at issues in state legislatures making headlines this week.

Weekly highlight

Last week one state, Tennessee, ended its session. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • Michigan: The Michigan State Legislature is considering a bill that would allow employers and insurance companies to opt out of paying for medical services to which they morally or religiously object. Michigan law has protected health care providers in a similar way for the past 35 years, giving hospitals or doctors the right to refuse to perform abortions, provide medicinal marijuana, or take patients off life support without facing legal repercussions. Though the Michigan State Senate could vote on the bill as early as this week, similar pieces of legislation have been considered as early as 2001 with none having reached the governor's desk.[1]
  • New Jersey: Carmelo Garcia (D), executive director of the Hoboken Housing Authority, has been prohibited by a judge from seeking office in the 2013 election. Hudson County Assignment Judge Peter Bariso ruled that because Garcia's organization received federal funds, he was not allowed to run for public office. Garcia plans to appeal the decision, stating that the federal Hatch Act overrides the state regulation cited in the decision. The lawsuit seeking his removal from the ballot was initially filed by five Hoboken residents.[2]
  • Washington: The Washington State Senate killed a bill that would have required those placed under a restraining order to surrender their guns. Though the legislation passed the house by a vote of 61-37, the senate did not bring the bill up for consideration. This is the second piece of gun control legislation this session to pass in one chamber and not the other.[3]




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Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of April 22, 2013
See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2013 session information.

Currently 34 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 22, 2013
There are 7,384 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,461 (46.9%)
Total Republican state legislators 3,824 (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 22, 3 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 Texas

See also: Redistricting in North Carolina

The Senate State Affairs Committee is considering a bill by Sen. Kel Seliger (R) to adopt the current redistricting maps drawn by a San Antonio court. These maps were used in the 2012 election after the redistricting plan created by the legislature were thrown out for intentionally discriminating against minorities.[9]

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.[10]

  • 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.[11]

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 are no special elections taking place this week. The next special election is scheduled for May 7.

Recent results

April 16, 2013

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 - met in a runoff election on April 16, which Jackson won. Special elections in Mississippi are non-partisan.[12][13][14]

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

Links/References

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • May 7: Alabama House of Representatives District 11
  • May 7: Michigan State Senate District 27
  • May 14: California State Senate District 32
  • May 21: Alabama House of Representatives District 97
  • May 21: California State Senate District 16
  • May 21: California State Assembly District 80
  • May 21: Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 42
  • May 21: Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 95

See also

References