State Legislative Tracker: New York Senator arrested

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May 6, 2013

Edited by Joel Williams
This week's tracker takes a look at a legislator's arrest and three pieces of interesting legislation.

Weekly highlight

Last week three states, Florida, Hawaii, and North Dakota ended their legislative sessions. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • Maine: Rep. Joe Brooks (I) had his proposal to reduce the size of the Maine State Legislature soundly defeated 113-30 in the house. The bill called for decreasing the number of state representatives from 151 to 101 and state senators from 35 to 25. Only one state, Rhode Island, has reduced the size of its state legislature since 1990, cutting 25% of its legislators in 2002.[1]
  • New York: Sen. John Sampson (D) was arrested following a corruption investigation. Police charged Sampson with embezzlement, obstruction of justice, and witness tampering in an investigation into $440,000 in missing funds from the sale of foreclosed properties. Sampson served as referee in the sale of those properties, and is accused of keeping the money for himself instead of returning it to court officials.[2]
  • New York: Long-time Speaker of the House Sheldon Silver (D) announced that the assembly would pass early voting legislation in the coming days. This bill would allow for early voting in all special, primary, and general elections. General elections would allow for fifteen days of early voting, while special and primary elections would apportion eight days for early voting. Current law requires an excuse from voters in New York seeking to cast their ballot early.[3]
  • Rhode Island: Rhode Island became the tenth state to legalize same-sex marriage as the legislature overwhelmingly approved a bill that Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) signed almost immediately afterwards. Initially passed by the house in January, the senate eventually passed the legislation with the full support of the minority Republican caucus.[4]






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As of today, May 6, 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 51.6% of all seats while Democrats hold 47.0%. 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 3,469 47.0%
Republican state legislators 3,809 51.6%
Independent (and non-partisan) state legislators 69 0.93%
Third party (and non-voting) legislators 11 0.15%
Vacancies 25 0.33%

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 May 6, 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 May 6, 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 May 6, 2013
See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2013 session information.

Currently 28 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.[5]

The following states have ended their regular session:[6]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
May 6, 2013
There are 7,384 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,469 (47.0%)
Total Republican state legislators 3,809 (51.6%)
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 2

There is one special session ongoing this week in California. 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.[7] Washington is scheduled to hold a special session starting May 13 to address a budget and other issues.[8]

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.[9][10]

In recess

As of today, May 6, 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 Kansas

See also: Redistricting in Kansas

Kansas was ordered by a Federal three-judge panel to pay $389,000 in attorney's fees for fifteen state legislators, businessmen, and voters as part of a redistricting lawsuit. The group initially sought over $600,000 in attorney's fees from the state, while Kansas officials refused to pay any of the requested fees. Each party will be rewarded fees based on how successful the panel believed each party was in their individual claims, with caps on hourly rates for different levels of legal professionals.[12]

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.[13]

  • 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.[14]

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 two special elections taking place this week: one in Alabama and one in Michigan.

Alabama House of Representatives District 11

Jeremy Oden (R) was appointed to the Alabama Public Service Commission by Gov. Robert Bentley on November 30, 2012. A special election will be held on May 7 to fill the vacancy. As no candidate received more than 50 percent of the vote in the primary on February 12, 2013, the top two vote-getters - Randall Shedd and Danny Alldredge - met in a primary runoff election on March 26, which Shedd won.[15][16]

May 7 General Election candidates:
Democratic Party Kelly Evans
Republican Party Randall Shedd

Michigan State Senate District 27

John Gleason (D) was elected as Genesee County Clerk on November 6, 2012, and resigned from his seat in the Michigan State Senate in December. Gov. Rick Snyder (R) called for a special election to take place on May 7. A primary took place March 12, with Jim Ananich (D) and Robert J. Daunt (R) advancing to the May 7 general election. On March 18, the Green Party nominated Bobby Jones to run in the general election.[17][18][19][20][21]

General election candidates:

Democratic Party Jim Ananich
Republican Party Robert J. Daunt
Green Party Bobby Jones

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.[22][23][24]

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

Links/References

  1. bangordailynews.com, "Maine House resoundingly votes down proposal to shrink size of Legislature," April 30, 2013
  2. nytimes.com, "State Senator Faces Charges After Corruption Inquiry," May 6, 2013
  3. wnypapers.com, "New York: Assembly to pass early voting legislation," April 30, 2013
  4. reuters.com, "Rhode Island lawmakers pass gay marriage bill; governor signs it," May 2, 2013
  5. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 6, 2013
  6. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 6, 2013
  7. sunherald.com, "Mississippi lawmakers pass incentives for tire maker," April 26, 2013
  8. nwprogressive.org, "Special session to begin on May 13th; Inslee says budget negotiations will continue," April 28, 2013
  9. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  10. Sacramento Business Journal, " Healthcare reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 State Scape, "Session schedules," accessed May 6, 2013
  12. kansas.com, "Kansas ordered to pay $389,000 in fees in redistricting lawsuit," April 30, 2013
  13. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," accessed January 14, 2013
  14. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," accessed January 16, 2013
  15. Alabama's 13, "Al. voters will pick egislators in two special elections," December 5, 2012
  16. Hartselle Enquirer, "Dates, precincts set for election," January 23, 2013
  17. San Francisco Chronicle, "Special election needed to fill state senate seat," November 9, 2012
  18. WKZO, "Special Michigan Senate election scheduled," January 10, 2013
  19. MLive, "Seven candidates run for Flint-area state Senate seat vacated by John Gleason," January 18, 2013
  20. MINBCnews.com, "Rep. Jim Ananich moves forward to special election for state senate," March 12, 2013
  21. gp.org, "Greens Nominate Bobby Jones for 27th District State Senator," March 18, 2013
  22. SunHerald.com, "5 on ballot in House District 11 election," March 1, 2013
  23. wjtv.com, "2 in runoff in House District 11 election," March 27, 2013
  24. therepublic.com, "Lataisha Jackson wins House District 11 runoff in Tate, Panola counties," April 17, 2013

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
  • May 28: Massachusetts State Senate First Suffolk District
  • May 28: Mississippi House of Representatives District 95
  • June 4: New Hampshire House of Representatives Sullivan District 4

See also

References

  1. bangordailynews.com, "Maine House resoundingly votes down proposal to shrink size of Legislature," April 30, 2013
  2. nytimes.com, "State Senator Faces Charges After Corruption Inquiry," May 6, 2013
  3. wnypapers.com, "New York: Assembly to pass early voting legislation," April 30, 2013
  4. reuters.com, "Rhode Island lawmakers pass gay marriage bill; governor signs it," May 2, 2013
  5. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 6, 2013
  6. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 6, 2013
  7. sunherald.com, "Mississippi lawmakers pass incentives for tire maker," April 26, 2013
  8. nwprogressive.org, "Special session to begin on May 13th; Inslee says budget negotiations will continue," April 28, 2013
  9. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  10. Sacramento Business Journal, " Healthcare reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  11. 11.0 11.1 11.2 11.3 State Scape, "Session schedules," accessed May 6, 2013
  12. kansas.com, "Kansas ordered to pay $389,000 in fees in redistricting lawsuit," April 30, 2013
  13. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," accessed January 14, 2013
  14. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," accessed January 16, 2013
  15. Alabama's 13, "Al. voters will pick egislators in two special elections," December 5, 2012
  16. Hartselle Enquirer, "Dates, precincts set for election," January 23, 2013
  17. San Francisco Chronicle, "Special election needed to fill state senate seat," November 9, 2012
  18. WKZO, "Special Michigan Senate election scheduled," January 10, 2013
  19. MLive, "Seven candidates run for Flint-area state Senate seat vacated by John Gleason," January 18, 2013
  20. MINBCnews.com, "Rep. Jim Ananich moves forward to special election for state senate," March 12, 2013
  21. gp.org, "Greens Nominate Bobby Jones for 27th District State Senator," March 18, 2013
  22. SunHerald.com, "5 on ballot in House District 11 election," March 1, 2013
  23. wjtv.com, "2 in runoff in House District 11 election," March 27, 2013
  24. therepublic.com, "Lataisha Jackson wins House District 11 runoff in Tate, Panola counties," April 17, 2013