State Legislative Tracker: New state senator in Washington

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June 10, 2013

Edited by Joel Williams
This week’s tracker takes a look at a new state legislator, a restriction on texting and other interesting legislation .

Weekly highlight

Last week, Connecticut, Louisiana, Nebraska and Nevada ended their legislative sessions. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • New Mexico: Citing a recent Supreme Court ruling, Governor Susana Martinez (R) suggested that she would ask the legislature to require those arrested for misdemeanors to submit to DNA testing. Martinez noted that the ruling reaffirmed the constitutionality of New Mexico's existing laws, which require DNA samples from adults arrested on felony charges.[2]
  • New York: Lawmakers passed a bill, heavily promoted by Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), that increases the penalties for young people talking or texting on cellular phones while driving. In the wake of an approximate doubling of New York's phone-related automobile deaths between 2005 and 2011, legislators voted to suspend the licenses of those caught operating phones while driving for two to six months, depending on the level of license and number of previous offenses.[3]
  • North Carolina: The House voted 70-33 to approve permitting requirements for gas and oil companies starting in 2015. This bill differs from a Senate bill by increasing safety and environmental protection standards for permit applicants using hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" techniques. The bill returns to the Senate for a vote though Senate leaders have voiced opposition to amendments introduced in the House.[4]
  • Pennsylvania: The Senate passed a $2.5 bill transportation bill with a 45-5 vote. Senate Bill 1 increases vehicle registration fees, adds a $100 fee to traffic tickets and removes a cap on gas taxes. The House will take up the bill, which aims to improve public transportation, airports and roadways using the increased revenue.[5]
  • Washington: Representative Steve O'Ban (R) was sworn in to the Washington State Senate last week, filling the seat left vacant by the late Senator Mike Carrell. Senator O'Ban's entry into the chamber restores the balance of power in the senate to the Majority Caucus of Republicans and moderate Democrats. The senate seat will be up for election again in November 2014. Local Republican officials will nominate candidates to fill the vacant House seat that O'Ban left behind.[6][7]






[edit]

Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of June 10, 2013
See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2013 session information.

Currently 14 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.[8]

The following states have ended their regular session:[9]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
There are 7,384 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,435 (46.5%)
Total Republican state legislators 3,830 (51.9%)
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 38
Total Special Sessions 5

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.[10] 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.[11]

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 until May 30.[12][13]

Texas

Gov. Rick Perry (R) called a special session to address redistricting shortly after the regular legislative session ended on May 24. The session began on May 27 and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott (R) hopes that the current interim maps drawn by the court in San Antonio will be adopted.[14]

Washington

On May 13, the Washington State Legislature reconvened for a 30-day special session to pass a budget. Gov. 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.[15]

In recess

As of today, June 10, there are 4 state legislatures currently in recess:[16]

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

The Alaska Redistricting Board are working toward a new redistricting plan by July 12 after an order from the Alaska Superior Court. Two residents brought suit against the board due in part to the slow pace of deliberations. Board members delayed deliberations on a new map until the U.S. Supreme Court rendered judgement on a case dealing with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The Alaska Redistricting Board will meet on June 28 to review submitted maps, tour the state for public hearings and reconvene on July 12 for a final vote on a new map.[17]

Redistricting in Delaware

See also: Redistricting in Delaware

The Senate voted 13-7 to shift responsibility for drawing legislative maps from the legislature to an independent commission. This legislation creates an 11-member commission with 10 members appointed by House and Senate leaders and a chairman selected by the commissioners. Prospective members of the redistricting commission could not be elected officials, have served in public office in the past two years or worked as a lobbyist in the previous year. The proposal heads to the House, where a similar proposal was rejected in 2012.[18]

Redistricting in Maine

See also: Redistricting in Maine

A redistricting plan was passed unanimously by the Maine Redistricting Commission on May 31, 2013.[19] The Senate unanimously approved the redistricting plan and the House followed by voting 133-11 to pass the plan. Governor Paul LePage has until June 11, 2013 to sign the plan or districts will be drawn by the Maine Supreme Court.[20]

Redistricting in Texas

See also: Redistricting in Texas

The Texas State Legislature is currently in special session to debate new legislative maps. The Senate Select Committee on Redistricting began hearings on new maps on May 30 while the House committee began work on May 31. Eight redistricting bills have been proposed since the special session convened with House Bill 2 and Senate Bill 2 receiving the least opposition from legislators and witnesses.[21]

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.[22]

  • 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.[23]

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 special elections taking place this week in Connecticut and Florida.

Connecticut House of Representatives District 53

Rep. Bryan Hurlburt (D) resigned on April 16, 2013 to take a position in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Services Bureau. A special election has been called for June 11. Major parties had until May 6 to endorse a candidate for this special election.[24][25]

June 11 Special election candidates:

Democratic Party Anthony J. Horn
Republican Party Samuel Belsito

Florida House of Representatives District 2

Rep. Clay Ford (R) passed away on March 18, 2013 after a battle with cancer.[26] A special election has been called for June 11. A primary took place on May 14, which Mike Hill won. Candidates had until April 23 to file certified nomination papers with the Secretary of State.[27][28][29]

June 11 Special election candidates:

Democratic Party Jeremy Lau
Republican Party Mike Hill

Recent results

June 4, 2013

CheckedBoxOffset.jpgNew Hampshire House of Representatives Sullivan District 4

Thomas Donovan (D) resigned due to his health on February 20, 2013.[30] A special election was initially called for July 23, with a primary June 4. Because only one candidate filed from each party, the special election was held on June 4 instead, which Joe Osgood won. Candidates had until April 12 to file certified nomination papers with the Secretary of State.[31][32][33]

June 4 special election candidates:
Democratic Party Larry Converse
Republican Party Joe Osgood Green check mark transparent.png

Links/References

  1. NBC Connecticut, "Connecticut Senate Approves Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants," May 30, 2013
  2. The Associated Press, "NM governor may seek to expand DNA testing law," June 4, 2013
  3. CBS New York, "New York State Lawmakers Pass Crackdown On Teen Texting And Driving," June 5, 2013
  4. News Observer, "NC House approves more moderate fracking bill," June 6, 2013
  5. WHTM, "Pennsylvania Senate passes $2.5 billion transportation bill," June 5, 2013
  6. The Associated Press, "Steve O'Ban sworn as Washington state senator," June 5, 2013
  7. The Olympian, "Rep. O’Ban takes over as Carrell's successor," June 5, 2013
  8. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 20, 2013
  9. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 26, 2013
  10. West Virginia Legislature, "2013 1st Special Session," Accessed June 1, 2013
  11. sunherald.com, "Mississippi lawmakers pass incentives for tire maker," April 26, 2013
  12. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  13. Sacramento Business Journal, " Healthcare reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  14. keyetv.com, "Gov. Perry Calls Special Session on Redistricting," accessed May 28, 2013
  15. oregonlive.com, "Washington Legislature special session: 5 things to watch," April 29, 2013
  16. Statenet.com, "Daily Session Summary," accessed June 9, 2013
  17. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, "Alaska Redistricting Board sets schedule for new map," June 7, 2013
  18. Washington Post, "Delaware state Senate approves bill to take legislative redistricting away from lawmakers," June 6, 2013
  19. pressherald.com, "Maine commission unanimously approves redistricting," May 31, 2013
  20. Bangor Daily News, "Redrawn Maine legislative districts easily win House, Senate endorsements," June 5, 2013
  21. Blanco County News, "Special Session on Redistricting Begins," June 6, 2013
  22. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," accessed January 14, 2013
  23. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," accessed January 16, 2013
  24. journalinquirer, "June 11 special election to fill Hurlburt’s House vacancy," April 27, 2013
  25. connecticut.cbslocal.com, "Special Election Tuesday In Tolland, Willington, Ashford," accessed June 10, 2013
  26. tampabay.com, "Florida State Representative Clay Ford dies," March 19, 2013
  27. weartv.com, "Special Election to be held to fill Representative Clay Ford's District Seat," April 4, 2014
  28. election.dos.state.fl.us, "Candidate Listing for 2013 Special Election - State House 2," Accessed April 24,2013
  29. sunshinestatenews.com, "Mike Hill Wins Florida House District 2 Republican Primary," May 14, 2013
  30. Concord Monitor, "2 Democrats resign from N.H. House, citing health and other reasons," February 20, 2013
  31. unionleader.com, "Filing period for special election for Claremont House seat opens today," April 7, 2013
  32. sos.nh.gov, "New Hampshire Secretary of State," Accessed April 15, 2013
  33. vnews.com, "Osgood Wins Claremont Seat," June 5, 2013

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • June 11: Florida House of Representatives District 2
  • June 11: Connecticut House of Representatives District 53
  • June 25: Massachusetts House of Representatives 8th Suffolk
  • June 25: Kentucky House of Representatives District 56
  • July 23: California State Senate District 16
  • July 23: California State Assembly District 52

See also

References

  1. NBC Connecticut, "Connecticut Senate Approves Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants," May 30, 2013
  2. The Associated Press, "NM governor may seek to expand DNA testing law," June 4, 2013
  3. CBS New York, "New York State Lawmakers Pass Crackdown On Teen Texting And Driving," June 5, 2013
  4. News Observer, "NC House approves more moderate fracking bill," June 6, 2013
  5. WHTM, "Pennsylvania Senate passes $2.5 billion transportation bill," June 5, 2013
  6. The Associated Press, "Steve O'Ban sworn as Washington state senator," June 5, 2013
  7. The Olympian, "Rep. O’Ban takes over as Carrell's successor," June 5, 2013
  8. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 20, 2013
  9. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 26, 2013
  10. West Virginia Legislature, "2013 1st Special Session," Accessed June 1, 2013
  11. sunherald.com, "Mississippi lawmakers pass incentives for tire maker," April 26, 2013
  12. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  13. Sacramento Business Journal, " Healthcare reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  14. keyetv.com, "Gov. Perry Calls Special Session on Redistricting," accessed May 28, 2013
  15. oregonlive.com, "Washington Legislature special session: 5 things to watch," April 29, 2013
  16. Statenet.com, "Daily Session Summary," accessed June 9, 2013
  17. Fairbanks Daily News-Miner, "Alaska Redistricting Board sets schedule for new map," June 7, 2013
  18. Washington Post, "Delaware state Senate approves bill to take legislative redistricting away from lawmakers," June 6, 2013
  19. pressherald.com, "Maine commission unanimously approves redistricting," May 31, 2013
  20. Bangor Daily News, "Redrawn Maine legislative districts easily win House, Senate endorsements," June 5, 2013
  21. Blanco County News, "Special Session on Redistricting Begins," June 6, 2013
  22. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," accessed January 14, 2013
  23. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," accessed January 16, 2013
  24. journalinquirer, "June 11 special election to fill Hurlburt’s House vacancy," April 27, 2013
  25. connecticut.cbslocal.com, "Special Election Tuesday In Tolland, Willington, Ashford," accessed June 10, 2013
  26. tampabay.com, "Florida State Representative Clay Ford dies," March 19, 2013
  27. weartv.com, "Special Election to be held to fill Representative Clay Ford's District Seat," April 4, 2014
  28. election.dos.state.fl.us, "Candidate Listing for 2013 Special Election - State House 2," Accessed April 24,2013
  29. sunshinestatenews.com, "Mike Hill Wins Florida House District 2 Republican Primary," May 14, 2013
  30. Concord Monitor, "2 Democrats resign from N.H. House, citing health and other reasons," February 20, 2013
  31. unionleader.com, "Filing period for special election for Claremont House seat opens today," April 7, 2013
  32. sos.nh.gov, "New Hampshire Secretary of State," Accessed April 15, 2013
  33. vnews.com, "Osgood Wins Claremont Seat," June 5, 2013