State Legislative Tracker: New Mexico session ends with no Congressional redistricting map

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September 26, 2011

Edited by Geoff Pallay

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This week's tracker features an update on the conclusion of the special session in New Mexico.


So far this year, 43 out of 50 state legislatures have officially adjourned their regular session. However, several special sessions remain on tap for the rest of the year.[1] This week, no states are scheduled to adjourn their 2011 regular session.

Current sessions capture for the week of September 26, 2011

Regular sessions

The following 7 states remain in regular legislative sessions:

* Wisconsin is convened in an ongoing special session, but is still in regular session. It held a one-day session on September 13 and although no upcoming meetings are scheduled, it is still technically in special session.
** New Jersey and Pennsylvania were in recess until today. New Hampshire is in recess until October 12.
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2011 session information.

While most state legislatures are not currently in session, a good number of legislators remain active this fall with redistricting hearings and meetings.

Special sessions

Special sessions have been and 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. This week Maine State Legislature will convene a special session on redistricting.

Last week the New Mexico Legislature adjourned its special session (See spotlight below for more details). The Missouri State Legislature remains in special session to address an economic development plan.[2] North Carolina is scheduled to convene another special session on November 7.[3]

So far this year, there have been 30 special sessions in 20 states.

State Legislative Tracker: A glance at state legislatures
Number of special elections this year 84
Number of special sessions this year 30
Number of states that held special sessions this year 21
Number of seats up for general election this year 578

The following states have special sessions scheduled:

  • Utah: To begin on October 3 to conduct redistricting
  • Rhode Island: October 2011 to discuss pensions issues
  • Maryland: To begin on October 17 to conduct redistricting
  • South Dakota: To begin on October 24 to conduct redistricting
  • North Dakota: To begin on November 7 to conduct redistricting

In recess

As of September 26, 17 states' sessions are currently in mid-term recess:

  • Alaska - Mid-term recess April 18 through January 16, 2012[4]
  • California - Mid-term recess September 9 through January 4, 2012.[5]
  • Delaware - July 1, 2011 through January 10, 2012[4]
  • Georgia - Mid-term recess April 15 through January 8, 2012[4]
  • Hawaii - Mid-term recess May 6 through January 7, 2012[4]

  • Illinois - June 23 through October 24, 2011 (est.)[4]
  • Iowa - Mid-term recess June 30 through January 8, 2012[4]
  • Kansas - Mid-term recess June 1 through January 8, 2012[4]
  • Minnesota - Mid-term recess May 24 through January 23, 2012[4]

  • Tennessee - Mid-term recess May 22 through January 9, 2012[4]
  • Vermont - Mid-term recess May 7 through January 3, 2012[4]
  • Washington - Mid-term recess April 23 through January 8, 2012[4]

Sessions spotlight

Last week, New Mexico adjourned a special session. The Democrat-controlled legislature battled with Republican governor Susana Martinez (R) regarding agenda items and state direction.[6]

Notably, the session ended with the following resolutions (or lack thereof):

  • A new state senate and state house map were drawn and approved. But Martinez has vowed a veto, which will send the process over to the courts.[6]
  • No congressional map was approved, which means it will also likely be drawn by the court system.[6]
  • The House approved an $86 million capital improvements package.[6]
  • Gov. Martinez wanted legislators to eliminate the issuing of driver's licenses to illegal immigrants. The matter was not addressed.[6]
  • Gov. Martinez wanted legislators to require schools to hold back legislators if they could not read proficiently. No vote was taken.[6]

Both sides blamed the other for any stalemates that occurred along the way.

"I think we wasted a lot of money that we didn't have to waste, and we're going to spend more money because now it's going to go to court and ultimately the courts will decide the outcome," said Donald Bratton (R), House Minority Whip.

Meanwhile, Ben Lujan, Sr., Speaker of the House, said "Republican procedural maneuvering and game playing" was the culprit for some issues going unfinished.

The 19-day session officially adjourned on Saturday, September 24. There are no plans for the legislature to be called back into another special session.


See also: State legislative elections, 2011
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A total of 578 seats will be up for general election in state legislatures in 2011.

In this year's 2011 election cycle, one legislative primary remains in Louisiana on October 22, 2011. New Jersey held statewide primaries on June 7, 2011, Mississippi held statewide primaries on August 2, and Virginia held primaries on August 23.

The signature filing deadline for candidates in Louisiana was Tuesday, September 8. A total of 39 state senate and 105 state house seats will be up for election in 2011. Louisiana uses a blanket primary system. Because Louisiana uses a blanket primary system, a candidate can be declared the overall winner of the seat by garnering 50 percent +1 of the vote in the primary on October 22, 2011. However, if no candidate reaches this threshold, then a general election will take place on November 19, 2011.

Additionally, there are six states holding special elections on November 8, 2011.

  • Iowa
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Special elections

See also: State legislative special elections, 2011

There is one state holding a special election tomorrow, South Carolina House District 100. C. David Umphlett, Jr. (R) Umphlett died on May 29, 2011 after a battle with pancreatic cancer.[7]

Democratic Party Democratic Candidate:
Republican Party Republican Candidate:

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • October 11: Oklahoma Senate District 43
  • October 18: Florida Senate District 1
  • October 18: Massachusetts House District 3rd Berkshire
  • October 18: Minnesota Senate Districts 46, 61