State Legislative Tracker: North Carolina convenes legislative session

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May 19, 2014

Edited by Joel Williams
This week’s tracker includes a look at North Carolina's latest legislative session.

Weekly highlight

Last week, North Carolina convened its legislative session, while Minnesota adjourned its legislative session. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • Minnesota: Last week, Minnesota became the first state to require new smartphones sold in the state to have the ability to be disabled remotely, known as a "killswitch." Gov. Mark Dayton (D) signed Senate Bill 1740 on Wednesday. The previous week, the bill passed by final votes of 73-58 and 43-21 in the House and Senate, respectively. State Sen. Katie Sieben (D), the bill's author, commented after the signing, "This legislation, which is the first of its kind in the country, will help reduce the likelihood that people will be robbed of their smart phones." The governor's office cited data from the Federal Communications Commission in noting that one out of three robberies in the United States involves a cellular phone and legislative testimony from the University of Minnesota Police Department put the rate of on-campus robberies over cell phones at over 60 percent. The Minnesota law also prevents second-hand retailers from paying for used phones with cash and requires them to maintain video security, keep records of such sales and request sellers to vow that the devices being sold are not stolen. Second-hand retailers would instead pay in the form of a check, electronic funds transfer or store credit. Violation of those requirements is punishable as a misdemeanor. A similar bill, which does not contain conditions for retailers and requires the killswitch function to be set as default unlike the Minnesota law, passed the California State Senate May 8, but the Assembly remains to act on it. Opponents including device manufacturers have been wary of the killswitch requirement, arguing that the function could be exploited for malicious ends and that the industry had already moved to provide anti-theft protection. Jamie Hastings, an executive with industry association CTIA, has additionally argued that should the killswitch requirement be adopted on a state-by-state basis, innovation would be compromised in the interest of compliance. The killswitch requirement in Minnesota becomes effective July 1, 2015.[1][2][3][4][5][6]
  • North Carolina: On May 14, 2014, the North Carolina General Assembly convened this year's legislative session. Major issues expected to be addressed in the 2014 session are the state budget, teacher pay, coal ash ponds and Medicaid. The primary responsibility of lawmakers in the legislative session will be spent on fixing the $445 million state budget shortfall for the current budget year. Much of the revenue shortfall comes from cuts made last year to personal and corporate income taxes. Gov. Pat McCrory's (R) proposed $21 billion budget includes $262.9 million in raises for teachers and state employees, but cuts $49 million from universities and $122 million from proposed spending on health and human services. The legislature is expected to hear over one hundred bills during the short session. Two bills that were filed on opening day included Senate Bill 729 and Senate Bill 730. Senate Bill 729, or the "Governor’s Coal Ash Action Plan," would gradually close coal-ash basins and would impose a moratorium on how coal ash is used in other products. Senate Bill 730 would make everyone that is younger than 65 and below a certain income threshold eligible for Medicaid. The legislative session is expected to end on July 1.[7][8][9][10]
  • West Virginia: The week of April 28, the State Legislative Tracker reported on a projected increase of Republican members in the House of Delegates following the November elections. One of these members may be 17 year old Saira Blair following her victory over incumbent Larry Kump in the Republican primary election for District 59 on May 13. The high school student's campaign themes focus on being "pro-family, pro-2nd Amendment, pro-business, pro-jobs, and pro-West Virginia." According to the state finance reporting system, Blair spent $4,800 on her campaign, which was $3,000 more than Kump.[11] Kump, "gracious in defeat," said that Blair did a better job of campaigning. She is familiar with politics as her father, State Sen. Craig Blair (R), served in the House for eight years and was elected as a senator two years ago. Saira plans to attend West Virginia University this fall, but will take a semester off if she wins the election for the legislative session that meets from January to March. West Virginia is one of eighteen states that allows for citizens to run for office if they will be 18 before election day; most states have an age minimum of 21. Since 1998, only six teenagers have been elected to state legislatures out of about 50,000 elections -- five of those six elected were in New Hampshire. Unofficial results from the Secretary of State show that Blair defeated Kump 872 - 728 in the primary.[12] She is favored to win over Democratic opponent Layne Diehl in November.[13][14][15][16]

Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of May 19, 2014
See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2014 session information.

Currently 13 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:[17]

The following states have adjourned their 2014 regular session:[18]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Sunday, May 3, 2015
There are 7,383 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,171 (43%)
Total Republican state legislators 4,115 (55.7%)
There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers
Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers 30
Total Republican Party-controlled chambers 68
Total tied or nonpartisan chambers 1
2015 Session Information
Total Special Elections 37
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.[19]


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.[20]

In recess

As of today, May 19, there are three state legislature currently in recess:[21]

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[22] Red padlock.png 8/19/2014 78
Arizona Red padlock.png 5/28/2014[23] Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 90
Arkansas Red padlock.png 3/3/2014[24][25] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 78
California Red padlock.png 3/7/2014[26][27][28] Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 88
Colorado Red padlock.png 3/31/2014[29][30] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 85
Connecticut Red padlock.png 6/10/2014[31] 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[32][33] 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[34] 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[35][36] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 112
Maine Red padlock.png 3/17/2014[37] Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 85
Maryland Red padlock.png 2/25/2014[38] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 119
Massachusetts Red padlock.png 6/3/2014[39] 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[40] 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 are no special elections scheduled this week. The next special election will be the Texas State Senate District 4 runoff in August. The date is unannounced as of today.

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • November 4: Louisiana House of Representatives District 97

See also


  1. USA Today, "Minnesota signs first smartphone 'kill switch' law," May 15, 2014
  2. Washington Post, "Minnesota passes nation’s first smartphone ‘kill switch’ law," May 15, 2014
  3. CNET, "Cell phone 'kill switch' bill signed into law in Minnesota," May 14, 2014
  4. [ Minnesota Daily, "Dayton signs kill switch bill into law," May 15, 2014
  5. Christian Science Monitor, "Minnesota passes first-in-nation smart phone 'kill switch' law," May 15, 2014
  6. Engadget, "Minnesota beats California to the punch, signs smartphone kill-switch into law," May 14, 2014
  7., "NC state budget shortfall projected to be $445 million," accessed May 16, 2014
  8., "McCrory's $21B budget proposal raises NC teacher pay, cuts from universities," accessed May 16, 2014
  9., "N.C. Legislature returns to work, as do GOP critics," accessed May 16, 2014
  10., "State legislature reconvenes for short session," accessed May 16, 2014
  11. West Virginia Secretary of State, "Candidate Contributions," accessed May 19, 2014
  12. West Virginia Secretary of State, "Unofficial 2014 Primary election results," accessed May 19, 2014
  13. The Week, "High school senior unseats incumbent West Virginia state legislator," May 14, 2014
  14. Washington Post, "This West Virginia 17-year old just beat an incumbent state delegate," May 14, 2014
  15. Texas Public Radio, "Meet The High School Student Who Took Down A State Lawmaker," May 15, 2014
  16. NBC News, "West Virginia Teen Wins Shot at State Legislature," May 15, 2014
  17. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed May 19, 2014
  18. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed May 19, 2014
  19. Los Angeles Times, "Jerry Brown calls legislative special session to debate reserve plan," April 16, 2014
  20., "Virginia General Assembly returns for special session," March 23, 2014
  21. StateNet, " Daily Session Summary," accessed May 19, 2014
  22. Alaska Statutes, "Section 15.25, Nomination of Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  23. Secretary of State Website, "2014 Election Important Dates," accessed November 4, 2013
  24. Running for Public Office, "A 'Plain English' Handbook for Candidates," 2012 Edition, accessed October 21, 2013 (dead link)
  25. Arkansas Code of 1987, "Title 7, Elections," accessed October 30, 2013
  26. Summary of Qualifications and Requirements for the Office of State Senator, Member of the Assembly, "June 3, 2014, Primary Election," accessed October 21, 2013
  27. California Elections Code, "Section 8100-8107," accessed October 28, 2013
  28. California Secretary of State Website, "Key Dates and Deadlines," accessed October 21, 2013
  29. Colorado Secretary of State Website, "Major Political Parties FAQs," accessed October 31, 2013
  30. Colorado Revised Statutes, "Title 1, Elections," accessed October 31, 2013
  31. Connecticut Secretary of State Website, "Frequently Asked Questions, Nominating Papers," accessed October 31, 2013
  32. Florida Department of State Division of Elections, "2013-2014 Dates to Remember," accessed November 6, 2013
  33. 2013 Florida Statutes, "Section 99.061," accessed December 2, 2014
  34. Hawaii State Legislature, "HRS §12-6 Nomination papers: time for filing; fees", accessed May 22, 2013
  35. 2014 Kentucky Election Calendar, accessed November 12, 2013
  36. Kentucky State Board of Elections "Candidate Qualifications and Filing Fees" accessed November 26, 2011
  37. Maine Secretary of State "State of Maine 2014 Candidate's Guide to Ballot Access," accessed February 11, 2014
  38. The State Board of Elections, "Candidacy," accessed November 5, 2013
  39. 2014 Massachusetts State Primary and State Election Schedule, accessed December 2, 2013
  40. Official Election Calendar for the State of Nebraska, accessed November 18, 2014