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State Legislative Tracker: Recall petition filed against Arizona legislator

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April 14, 2014

Edited by Joel Williams
This week’s tracker includes a look at the recall attempt against an Arizona lawmaker.

Weekly highlight

Last week, Maryland adjourned its legislative session. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • Arizona: Senator Kimberly Yee (R) has become a target for recall by supporters of medical marijuana research after she refused to hold a committee hearing on HB 2333, effectively killing the bill in the Senate. Because she blocked the bill, Yee is being accused of a "callous abuse of power" in the recall statement. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Ethan Orr (R), would allow for some of the revenue from medical marijuana users and dispensaries to partially fund a study at the University of Arizona on the use of the drug to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder in military veterans. The bill passed the House in a 52-5 vote on March 10. Secretary of Arizona Veterans Assistance Committee, Kathy Inman, said that Yee killed the measure by using her position as chair of the Senate Education Committee and refusing to give it a hearing. Yee said that she is "not opposed to university research to assist veterans" but disagrees with any state money being used for research of marijuana and would rather use state money to raise awareness about the negative effects the drug has on children's health. A total of 18,297 signatures will need to be collected in Senate District 20 by August 2 to force a recall election.[1][2][3][4]
  • Pennsylvania: On April 9, 2014, the Pennsylvania State Senate passed SB 1327, which punishes lawmakers and other government officials in state and local government for accepting cash gifts from people seeking to influence public policy. The bill bans cash gifts, but it still allows lawmakers and other government officials to accept non-cash gifts of any value. The bill was passed unanimously, 49-0, and will now go before the Pennsylvania House of Representatives for consideration. Sen. Lloyd Smucker (R) and Sen. Lisa Baker (R) introduced Senate Bill 1327 after an article came out in the Philadelphia Inquirer alleging that Tyron B. Ali, a lobbyist, gave cash to Democrats Rep. Ronald Waters ($7,650), Rep. Vanessa Lowery Brown ($4,000), Rep. Louise Williams Bishop ($1,500) and Rep. Michelle Brownlee ($3,500) in 2010 while wearing a wire for the state attorney general's office. "It is our responsibility to take direct and decisive action to change the culture, to strengthen ethical standards, and to make certain that enforcement follows infractions and that meaningful penalties are applied. This is our chance to strengthen ethical standards, and we must seize the opportunity," Smucker said of the bill. The law would make it a felony to accept cash gifts of $250 or more and face up to five years in prison, while gifts under $250 constitute a misdemeanor.[5][6][7][8][9]
  • Tennessee: The Tennessee legislature approved legislation blocking United Nations representatives from monitoring state elections. By a vote of 75-20 last month, the House approved HB2410, which in its original form required election officials to verify documents and petitions before accepting and filing them. However, sponsor Rep. Micah Van Huss (R) successfully submitted an amendment that did away with the verification premise and substituted the current language. Van Huss said he was spurred to pass the legislation after two U.N.-affiliated representatives were sent to Tennessee to watch over elections in 2012, the first year the state required photo identification at the polls. Rep. Mike Turner (D) was the only member of the General Assembly to take to the floor in opposition, arguing that "Tennessee should be at the forefront of promoting democracy around the world [by allowing observers from] emerging countries." Van Huss countered that he did not oppose a country sending a delegation to "observe" elections rather than "monitoring" by the U.N. Under the amendment's language, only the U.S. Senate can override the block by ratifying an appropriate treaty. The Senate version of the bill, sponsored by Sen. Frank Niceley (R) and amended in a similar fashion by Sen. Ken Yager (R), passed 23-2 last Tuesday with no floor debate. Gov. Bill Haslam (R) now must sign the bill for it to become law. This is not the first time Van Huss and Niceley have attempted to pass bills preventing such monitoring; last year, the House bill, which would have made such monitoring a Class C misdemeanor, failed in a subcommittee and the Senate version died after a subcommittee did not take action. The U.N. sent 44 election monitors to the U.S. in 2012.[10][11][12][13]

Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of April 14, 2014
See also: Dates of 2014 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2014 session information.

Currently 19 out of 50 state legislatures are meeting in regular session. One state, Virginia, is in special session.

The following states have convened their 2014 regular session:[14]

The following states have adjourned their 2014 regular session:[15]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Sunday, March 1, 2015
There are 7,383 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,168 (42.9%)
Total Republican state legislators 4,097 (55.5%)
There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers
Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers 41
Total Republican Party-controlled chambers 57
Total tied or nonpartisan chambers 1
2014 Session Information
Total Special Elections 24
Total Special Sessions 2

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.[16]

In recess

As of today, April 14, there are 11 state legislatures currently in recess:[17]

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[18] Red padlock.png 8/19/2014 78
Arizona Red padlock.png 5/28/2014[19] Red padlock.png 8/26/2014 90
Arkansas Red padlock.png 3/3/2014[20][21] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 78
California Red padlock.png 3/7/2014[22][23][24] Red padlock.png 6/3/2014 88
Colorado Red padlock.png 3/31/2014[25][26] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 85
Connecticut Red padlock.png 6/10/2014[27] 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[28][29] 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[30] 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[31][32] Red padlock.png 5/20/2014 112
Maine Red padlock.png 3/17/2014[33] Red padlock.png 6/10/2014 85
Maryland Red padlock.png 2/25/2014[34] Red padlock.png 6/24/2014 119
Massachusetts Red padlock.png 6/3/2014[35] 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[36] 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 take place on April 24.

Recent election results

April 8, 2014

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Florida House of Representatives District 44

See also: Florida state legislative special elections, 2014

Eric Eisnaugle (R) defeated Shaun Raja (D) in the special election, which took place on April 8.[37][38] Raja was unopposed in the March 11 Democratic primary, while Eisnaugle defeated Stephen Vincent Facella in the March 11 Republican primary.[39][40]

Eisnaugle, a state representative from 2008-2012, chose not to run for re-election in 2012 when redistricting drew him against fellow Rep. Stephen Precourt (R). With Precourt term-limited in 2014, Eisnaugle planned to run for the seat again. Several Republicans, including Speaker Steve Crisafulli (R), backed Eisnaugle. "Eric’s track record of leadership will allow him to serve his Orange County constituents well. It is obvious that his message of job growth and fiscal responsibility resonated with the voters of his district." Crisafulli said.[41]

The seat was vacant following Stephen Precourt's (R) appointment as the head of the Orlando-Orange County Expressway Authority.[42]

A special election for the position of Florida House of Representatives District 44 was called for April 8, with a primary if necessary on March 11. The filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was January 23.[43]

Florida House of Representatives, District 44, Special Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngEric Eisnaugle 74.2% 6,983
     Democratic Shaun Raja 25.8% 2,429
Total Votes 9,412

April 8 Special election candidates:

Democratic Party Shaun Raja
Republican Party Eric Eisnaugle Green check mark transparent.png
April 11, 2014

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Connecticut House of Representatives District 61

See also: Connecticut state legislative special elections, 2014

Tami Zawistowski (R) defeated Pete Hill (D) in the special election, which took place on April 11.[39][37][44]

The seat was vacant following Elaine O'Brien's (D) death.[45]

A special election for the position of Connecticut House of Representatives District 61 was called for April 11. Candidates were nominated by their party rather than chosen through a primary.[45]

Connecticut House of Representatives, District 61, Special Election, 2014
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngTami Zawistowski 58% 1,975
     Democratic Pete Hill 42% 1,428
Total Votes 3,403

April 11 Special election candidates:

Democratic Party Pete Hill
Republican Party Tami Zawistowski Green check mark transparent.png

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • April 24: Connecticut House of Representatives District 94
  • April 29: Massachusetts House of Representatives Fifth Suffolk District
  • May 10: Texas State Senate District 4

See also


  1., "Medical-pot advocates launch recall effort vs. Sen. Yee," April 7, 2014
  2. Phoenix New Times, "Marijuana Advocates File Petition to Recall Senator Kimberly Yee," April 7, 2014
  3. ABC15, "Pro-marijuana group files to recall Arizona Sen. Kimberly Yee," April 7, 2014
  4. East Valley Tribune, "State Sen. Yee faces recall over medical marijuana funding bill," April 8, 2014
  5. Patch, "Bill Banning Cash Gifts to Legislators Clears Pa. Senate," accessed April 11, 2014 (dead link)
  6. Philadelphia Business Journal, "PoliticsPA: Pa. Senate passes ban on public officials receiving cash gifts," accessed April 11, 2014
  7., "Pennsylvania Senate moving quickly to stop cash gifts," accessed April 11, 2014
  8., "Pennsylvania state Senate passes bill banning cash gifts," accessed April 11, 2014
  9. The Morning Call, "PA Senate passes bill banning cash gifts to elected officials," accessed April 11, 2014
  10. National Journal, "Tennessee Wants to Ban the U.N. From Monitoring Its Elections," April 9, 2014
  11. International Business Times, "Tennessee To United Nations: Stay Out Of Our Elections," April 9, 2014
  12. Chattanooga Times Free Press, "Bill barring UN observers during Tennessee elections goes to governor," April 8, 2014
  13. Knoxville News Sentinel, "House votes to ban United Nations election monitors from Tennessee," March 20, 2014
  14. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed April 14, 2014
  15. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2014," accessed April 7, 2014
  16., "Virginia General Assembly returns for special session," March 23, 2014
  17. StateNet, " Daily Session Summary," accessed April 14, 2014
  18. Alaska Statutes, "Section 15.25, Nomination of Candidates," accessed October 31, 2013
  19. Secretary of State Website, "2014 Election Important Dates," accessed November 4, 2013
  20. Running for Public Office, "A 'Plain English' Handbook for Candidates," 2012 Edition, accessed October 21, 2013 (dead link)
  21. Arkansas Code of 1987, "Title 7, Elections," accessed October 30, 2013
  22. Summary of Qualifications and Requirements for the Office of State Senator, Member of the Assembly, "June 3, 2014, Primary Election," accessed October 21, 2013
  23. California Elections Code, "Section 8100-8107," accessed October 28, 2013
  24. California Secretary of State Website, "Key Dates and Deadlines," accessed October 21, 2013
  25. Colorado Secretary of State Website, "Major Political Parties FAQs," accessed October 31, 2013
  26. Colorado Revised Statutes, "Title 1, Elections," accessed October 31, 2013
  27. Connecticut Secretary of State Website, "Frequently Asked Questions, Nominating Papers," accessed October 31, 2013
  28. Florida Department of State Division of Elections, "2013-2014 Dates to Remember," accessed November 6, 2013
  29. 2013 Florida Statutes, "Section 99.061," accessed December 2, 2014
  30. Hawaii State Legislature, "HRS §12-6 Nomination papers: time for filing; fees", accessed May 22, 2013
  31. 2014 Kentucky Election Calendar, accessed November 12, 2013
  32. Kentucky State Board of Elections "Candidate Qualifications and Filing Fees" accessed November 26, 2011
  33. Maine Secretary of State "State of Maine 2014 Candidate's Guide to Ballot Access," accessed February 11, 2014
  34. The State Board of Elections, "Candidacy," accessed November 5, 2013
  35. 2014 Massachusetts State Primary and State Election Schedule, accessed December 2, 2013
  36. Official Election Calendar for the State of Nebraska, accessed November 18, 2014
  37. 37.0 37.1 Orlando Sentinel "Eric Eisnaugle wins special election in Florida House District 44," April 8, 2014
  38. Florida Department of State, "Official special election results," accessed May 7, 2014
  39. 39.0 39.1 Florida Secretary of State, "Official candidate list," accessed January 24, 2014
  40., "Eric Eisnaugle Closer to Tallahassee Return After Big Primary Win," March 11, 2014
  41., "Eric Eisnaugle Breezes Back to Florida House after Stunning Special Election Victory," April 8, 2014
  42. Orlando Sentinel, "Special election set to replace Steve Precourt in Florida House," January 12, 2014
  43. Florida Department of Elections, "H44 Notice of Election," accessed January 21, 2014
  44. Official special election results submitted to Ballotpedia by Pearl Williams from the Connecticut Secretary of State's Office on May 15, 2014
  45. 45.0 45.1, "Special Election Planned for 61st Assembly Seat," February 24, 2014