State legislative news
Edited by Greg Janetka
Note: The Tracker is going on vaction over the holidays and will return on January 9. Happy holidays and a very merry 2012 to all our readers!
HELENA, Montana: Jason Christ, a Missoula businessman, is challenging Montana's 2011 medical marijuana law. S.B. 423 , which became law on May 14, 2011 without the signature of Governor Brian Schweitzer, restricted the sale of medical marijuana in Montana. The law repealed Montana's 2004 voter-passed law that allowed the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Christ helped Montanans sign up for medical marijuana cards prior to the passage of S.B. 423. He claims the law violates his constitutional rights to equal protection, due process, dignity and his right to pursue life's basic necessities.
Montana voters will have the opportunity to reinstate the provisions of the 2004 medical marijuana initiative in 2012. By October 2011, Initiative Referendum-124 obtained enough signatures to appear on the 2012 statewide ballot. A spokeswoman for the IR-124 campaign stated, "This new program does not work. ... Montanans agree that patients with serious conditions should have access to medical marijuana and that government has no business interfering in medical decisions between those patients and their doctors."
LANSING, Michigan: Michigan lawmakers passed a bill that would set up guidelines for dividing up the $25 million in state film and movie incentives for the next fiscal year. The bill passed on December 15 with a 35-3 vote in the Senate and a 92-15 vote in the House. The incentives in the bill are not as plenty as they once were, but supporters of the bill say the incentives would still stay competitive.
Michigan's film industry boomed in 2008 after legislation passed under former Governor Jennifer Granholm that provided rebates of up to 42 percent of a production's expenses to film studios. The result of the film incentive program was a flocking of television and movie studios to Michigan. The original incentive program did not cap the rebates, and in 2010, Michigan approved $115 million. However, the state budget capped the program at $25 million in October 2011.
OMAHA, Nebraska: Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman said on December 12 that he supports efforts to accelerate federal approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. The U.S. State Department has said it plans to delay their decision until 2013, after the presidential election. The delay has prompted Congressional Republicans to pressure the Obama administration to expedite the Keystone permit. On December 13, the House voted 234 to 193 to accelerate the permitting decision. Obama has vowed to veto the bill if it makes it through the Senate.
The pipeline is a $7 billion, 1,700 mile pipeline that would span between the oil sands of Alberta to Gulf Coast refineries. TransCanada have been working on the route for several years. Opposition to the project say the pipeline, which would be built over the Ogallala Aquifer, could put the natural resources of Nebraska at risk if an oil spill were to occur. Heineman called a special election in early November to resolve the Keystone XL issue. Shortly after the special election and international attention, TransCanada agreed to work with Nebraska in finding a suitable route for the pipeline.
After sweeping victories in the 2010 legislative elections, Republicans had the votes to enact their legislation. Among other things, the law requires schools to report students and parents who are not legal residents, and forbids illegal immigrants from engaging in any government contracts -- including paying a water bill to the public utilities company.
Now, after recent controversies surrounding two arrests, some Republicans have expressed a desire to alter some of the bill.
- Governor Robert Bentley (R) said the law is too complicated and needs to be simplified.
- Speaker of the House Mike Hubbard (R) and Senate President Pro Tempore Del Marsh committed to making tweaks to the legislation.
- The 12 Democratic state senators want to repeal the bill while at least 13 Republican senators want to tweak aspects of the legislation.
- Attorney General Luther Strange (R) sent a letter to the legislature recommending that certain sections of the bill be repealed.
Some groups have called for Bentley to call a special session to address the bill, but the governor says the legislature should address the issue in February 2012 when the regular session commences.
Honolulu, Hawaii: The Hawaii Campaign Spending Commission has released its analysis of 2010 state legislative campaign spending. The report, which includes data from 1994 onward, tracks the cost of mounting a campaign for the Hawaii State Legislature. The following is a breakdown of the key figures.
- In 1994, the average House candidate spent $17,090. In 2010, the average House candidate spent $20,474. However, this figure is down from 24,237 in 2008 and $25,649 in 2006.
- In 1994, the average Senate candidate spent $40,716. In 2010, the average Senate candidate spent $34,607. This figure is down from $72,537 in 2008 and $54,388 in 2006.
- In 2010, the average House winner spent $39,880. The average House loser spent $10,165.
- In 2010, the average Senate winner spent $$78,823. The average Senate loser spent $13,212.
Following the results of the 2010 Census, Delaware's congressional district lines have been redrawn to reflect the higher population growth in the southern, more conservative, part of the state. The party sees the potential to re-establish itself in Delaware politics and has set sights on regaining control of the state Senate.
As the race for the newly drawn 6th District shows, however, Republicans in southern Delaware are wary of too much northern influence. Some are suspicious of candidate Ernesto Lopez, who has ties to the GOP establishment. South Delaware Republican committeeman Christian Hudson sees Lopez as a candidate "upstate politicians... [are] cramming... down our throat."
Previous U.S. House candidate and current Sussex County GOP Chair Glen Urquhart, who won a bitter 2010 primary thanks to support from Delaware's southern districts, quickly responded by announcing his candidacy to represent the 6th District.
The south Delaware Republicans tend to be more conservative than their northern counterparts, and they flexed their muscles in the 2010 primaries, helping Urquhart upset Michele Rollins and putting Christine O'Donnell over the establishment candidate Mike Castle in the U.S. Senate race. Both Urquhart and O'Donnell ultimately lost in the general election.
Former Sussex County GOP Chair Bruce Rogers says Urquhart's campaign is "certainly not helpful to the Republican Party," as it creates a fight in a solidly Republican district. Nevertheless, he says, the redistricting is overall "a huge opportunity to get closer to striking distance, if not control of the Delaware state Senate."
By Greg Janetka
The session begins on January 24, with a constitutional requirement to adjourn by May 21. Republicans, however, are aiming for an early end to the session on April 30. The last time the legislature finished in April was back in 1998.
With a court panel scheduled to release new redistricting maps on February 21, it is believed many legislators are pushing for an earlier end in order to become familiar with their new districts and raise campaign funds, which they cannot do while in session.
The calendar may still change, but current key dates are as follows:
- January 12: pre-introduction of bills begins.
- January 24: session convenes.
- February 2-7: recess for precinct caucuses.
- February 21: new district maps released.
- February 29: new budget forecast released.
- April 6-13: Easter-Passover break.
- April 30: planned end of legislative session for the year.
- May 21: Constitutionally required end of the session.
Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is renewing his push for expanded gambling. He hopes to get a constitutional amendment passed by the Kentucky General Assembly in time to put on the November 6, 2012 ballot.
With strong conservative opposition to gambling, however, some Democrats worry that placing the issue on the ballot will increase conservative turnout in a critical election. In November 2012, all state House seats and half of the Senate seats are up for election.
Church leaders have objected to the move and intend to fight any efforts to expand gambling in Kentucky. Nationally known evangelist Rev. Jeff Fugate said, ""We've got plans in place to fight against it... if legislators are going to vote for it in the majority of districts, they'll be gambling their seat away,"
Beshear, whose 2007 campaign platform included a pledge to expand gambling, hopes the amendment would increase state revenue. Kentucky currently allows betting on horse races, lotteries, and charity games, but not casinos and slot machines.
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah: A minor battle over education funding occurred Tuesday in Utah. Democratic legislators pushed for $41 million in order to pay for new students entering Utah's schools, but the measure was defeated by Republicans, saying the measure was premature.
Governor Gary Herbert recommended $111 million to cover public education next year, including the $41 million proposed to cover growth. Senate President Michael Waddoups said that the legislative committees should get a chance to make needed recommendations before any such measure is passed. He said, "I’m convinced that this is a piker’s motion. I’m not going to settle for that much in there. I’m going to put more into it." He also accused Democrats of "election-year electioneering, saying I’m a bigger friend to this group than someone else is."
Morgan said, "I don’t think there’s anything premature about this. There’s absolutely no electioneering going on here. That’s not what this is about and that’s a demeaning comment."
NASHVILLE, Tennessee: Tennessee's Republican leaders in the General Assembly plan to move forward with their efforts to reduce the Hall income taxes and the inheritance tax. Governor Bill Haslam has expressed concern that the state's increased revenues may not be enough to make up for the losses that this would cause.
Senate Speaker Ron Ramsey has stated a desire to implement an incremental approach toward doing away with the Hall tax on income from dividends and interest. He said, "I think it is doable. Obviously I think we should wait a little longer before we say ‘no’ to something like this."
Speaker of the House Beth Harwell stated that she wanted to concentrate on reducing the current inheritance tax. She has said, "I respect that the governor has concerns about filling potential budget gaps, but House Republicans have wanted to address this issue for a long time." She also said, "The fact that we don’t have an income tax has done wonders for the state. "The Republican caucus just wants to move that ball down a little bit further and work on specifically the death tax."
The state's inheritance tax only applies to estates worth over $1 million, and it earned the state roughly $107 million in revenue last year. Tennessee collected around $189 million in revenue from the Hall taxes. This totaled about 2.8% of the state's revenue in the 2010-2011 budget year.
Harwell states that the reason for these tax cuts is the following: "There’s no doubt that these taxes chase away retirees, and break up family farms and family businesses."
Democrats have criticized Republicans for focusing on these specific taxes instead of the state's 5.5% tax on groceries. "Democrats are proposing a tax cut on groceries that helps working and middle class families, while Republicans are cooking up tax giveaways for Tennessee’s millionaires," Democratic Party Chairman Chip Forrester said.
SANTA FE, New Mexico: In the 2010 state house election in New Mexico, Speaker of the House Ben Lujan, Sr. was nearly defeated in the Democratic Primary, winning by only 84 votes. His opponent, Carl Trujillo, has announced he will once again seek election to District 46 of the New Mexico House of Representatives.
Lujan said he will make his decision once the redistricting process is completed. Currently, the courts are holding hearings on maps. The legislature was unable to complete new maps during the 2011 session.
|New Mexico House of Representatives District 46 Primary Democratic Primary, 2010|
|Ben Lujan, Sr. Incumbent||51%||2,140|
RALEIGH, North Carolina: Last week, the House Committee on the State's Role in Immigration Policy met to consider tougher laws targeting illegal immigrants in the state. The meeting drew a standing-room only crowd of supporters from both sides.
The issue of illegal immigration came to the forefront this year following the 2010 Republican wave that took control of the House. Legislation in past years focused mainly on limiting illegal immigrants' access to public services, but to limited success.
No specific bills were addressed at the meeting, but legislation is pending that would prohibit use of consular and other embassy documents as official identification, specify documents required to receive public benefits, and add an identifying mark to the driver's licenses of people who are not permanent citizens. A bill similar to the controversial Arizona law has been filed but not yet considered by either chamber.
Edited by Greg Janetka
By Tyler Millhouse
On Tuesday, Georgia held four special elections, two for the House of Representatives and two for the State Senate. Three of the special elections, House District 25 and Senate Districts 28 and 50, were runoff elections triggered by the special elections held on November 8 to replace recent political appointees. The fourth race, House District 68, was triggered by another appointment by Governor Nathan Deal (R). Notably, former Rep. Rick Austin (R), who resigned to seek the District 50 Senate seat, was defeated by fellow Republican John Wilkinson. Wilkinson is the Executive Secretary of the Georgia FFA.
So far in 2011, 91 special elections have been held (runoffs excluded) and one more is scheduled. Political appointments are the primary reason for special elections--37.4% of this year's special elections were triggered by appointments. The complete results from Tuesday are as follows:
- Georgia House District 68, Open Primary: Dustin Hightower (R) and Alan Martinez (R) were the top two vote-getters, receiving 41.8% and 21.3% of the vote, respectively. They will now proceed to a January 3 runoff election. The winner will replace Tim Bearden (R) who resigned to accept an appointment as Director of the Georgia Law Enforcement Training Center.
Edited by Greg Janetka
This week's tracker features a spotlight on legislative attempts to curb the influence of unions, set to be a major issue in 2012.
The current attorney general, Linda Kelly, was appointed by Gov. Tom Corbett in February 2011, after Corbett himself vacated the office to assume the governorship. Following a long-standing tradition for mid-term appointees, Kelly agreed, when she was appointed, not to run for re-election in 2012.
Rafferty earned his J.D. from Temple Law School in 1988 and worked in the state attorney general's office for 3 years. He entered private practice in 1991 and continues to practice law when the senate is not in session. If elected, Rafferty has said he would vigorously fight crime and use the grand jury system to prosecute cases involving sexual abuse of children, political corruption and Meidcaid fraud."
SANTA FE, New Mexico: Next week a series of redistricting hearings will begin to decide the fate of new maps for New Mexico's congressional, state legislative and Public Regulation Commission districts.
First up will be the congressional hearings, from December 5-8.
Meanwhile, earlier this week a district court judge told lawyers for Governor of New Mexico Susana Martinez and Republicans that they could obtain emails, notes and other correspondences relating to the redistricting process that involved consultant Brian Sanderoff and legislators. Democratic legislative leaders had contended that such communication would be confidential and protected under state law.
HELENA, Montana: Dee Brown, a former Montana District 3 Representative, has announced her candidacy for District 2 of the Montana State Senate in 2012. Brown represented the 3rd District of the Montana House of Representatives from 2008 to 2011 and 2000 to 2007. State term limits disqualified her from running for re-election in 2010.
Brown and her husband are the owners of Canyon RV and Campground. She earned her Bachelor's in elementary education from the University of Montana-Missoula and her Master's in guidance and counseling from Montana State University-Northern. She currently the president of the Columbia Falls Area Chamber of Commerce and a past president of the Montana Tourism Coalition.
- States to begin legislative sessions in 2011
- Texas gains four congressional seats from 2010 Census
- Mike Gatto introduces bills to clamp down on voter initiatives
- 60 Minutes report highlights growing issues with state budgets nationwide
- Will Californians vote for higher taxes to close budget deficit?
- Republicans clinch supermajority in Texas House
- Wisconsin state employee contracts fail in lame duck session
- Michigan legislature wraps up lame duck session
- New Mexico state agencies asked to cut budgets 10 percent
- Federal official rejects voter fraud in South Dakota
- Despite party control over redistricting, Massachusetts governor promotes depoliticizing process
- Gov. Daniels approves of plan for "smarter incarceration"
- Delaware Senate leader DeLuca re-elected despite challenge
- Wyoming legislators prepare for 2011 session
- North Carolina Republicans hold power over redistricting for the first time in over a century
- Jeff Stone to run for Milwaukee County Execuctive
- Mississippi set for special elections in January 2011
- New census population figures to be released next week
- Candidates Ernst and Smith contend for District 48
- Nebraska sees progress for women in politics
- Kentucky Legislature looks ahead to redistricting
- Midwest states are focus of a new push for Right-To-Work in 2011
- Republican victories reshape Ohio redistricting
- Spring 2011 internships available with Ballotpedia
- New California redistricting commission starts its work
- Unions urge contract approval before Walker steps into office as Governor
- Creigh Deeds will run for another State Senate term in 2011
- Illinois Senate Approves Expanded Casino Gambling
- Illinois civil unions bill clears final hurdle, awaits Gov. Quinn's signature
- Illinois State House passes civil unions in a emotionally charged debate
- Tennessee House GOP selects first female speaker in state history
- With control of both chambers in New Hampshire, Republicans nominate new leadership
- After nearly losing House on election night, Democrats in New Mexico elect leadership
- Rhode Island Senate holds December session to consider judicial nominees
- Thirteen legislators in five states leave Dems for the GOP
- Hawaiians elect Board of Education members for the last time
- Gov. Elect-Walker and GOP Legislators want lame duck session stopped
- Tea Party founder fights for additional Republican seat
- Change is on the way for Massachusetts legislative leadership
- Pennsylvania Governor-elect Corbett plans to hit the ground running
- GOP chooses new leadership for North Carolina Senate, House
- Majority of Delaware legislative leadership to remain in same positions
- Lame Duck session may await the Wisconsin Legislature
- Nebraska narrows budget gap
- Montana maintains party leadership
- Illinois lawmakers urged to pass gay marriage legislation in lame duck session
- Maine Republicans to drown Dirigo
- Rhode Island Democrats lose some seats to Republicans but maintain legislative control
- Wyoming Republicans increase legislative control
- Republicans win big in Texas House
- Republicans in Pennsylvania gain a state government trifecta
- Democrats gain seats in seven state legislative chambers
- Recount requests filed in 3 Wisconsin Legislative Races
- Republicans gain control of the Alabama state legislature for the first time in 136 years
- Montana GOP takes State House
- Sweeping gains give Republicans control of North Carolina's state legislature
- Republicans break Nevada Democratic supermajorities
- Most states which saw legislative chambers switch to Republican were won by Obama in 2008
- Thursday a.m. webinar available on Tuesday's historic state government elections
- Republican trifecta gains create recipe for powerful impact on redistricting
- State governments set to shift toward Republicans in today's vote
- Strong tea party support amongst Utah voters
- Two Kentucky House candidates ruled ineligible
- Absentee vote fraud alleged in Bucks County, Pennsylvania
- GOP inroads projected in Tuesday's state legislative elections
- Quorum within reach of Indiana Senate Republicans
- What to expect from Ballotpedia election coverage on November 2
- Illinois state lawmakers discuss election trends
- Investigation of alleged voter fraud in Kentucky
- Pennsylvania Senate wraps up last work day before the election
- Wyoming legislative elections likely to be uneventful in 2010
- Early voting begins in North Carolina
- Supreme Court case to affect Mississippi immigration law
- Marijuana may boost turnout for Democrats
- Rhode Island board of elections lowers candidate fine
- SC Election Officials Seek Uniform Schedule
- So-called GOP candidate challenges Illinois House Speaker
- Special session is on, McDonnell's ABC privatization plan approved
- Competitiveness in national elections does not trickle down to state level
- Early voting begins in Wyoming
- Mississippi legislators hold hearings on proposed immigration laws
- NC state senator to resign, take position as secretary of revenue
- As registration deadlines loom, new state website gains traffic
- Third parties win key victory in Tennessee
- Voting machines may entrench parties, confuse voters
- Only 19 state senate challengers topple incumbents in 2010
- New polling data predicts Republicans to gain 623 state legislative seats in election
- Rhode Island incumbents struggle in state legislative primary
- Eight senate incumbents run unopposed in November
- Kentucky House Republicans put forth 2011 agenda
- Delaware House Republicans reveal "Pledge to Delaware"
- Higher turnout in Hawaii, but few upsets
- Early voting starts Tuesday for Ohioans
- ABC News elections expert sees voter discontent as key to elections
- Schweitzer says marijuana law is far off track
- GOP could gain redistricting powers in Michigan
- Former Illinois GOP Leaders Predict 2010 Repeat of 1994
- Colorado Secretary of State ponders options on "cure" provision
- One MA House incumbent loses in primary
- Lack of candidates leaves Texas voters with little choice in November
- State legislative commission studies the death penalty in New Hampshire
- Final day of multi-state primaries awaits voters in 7 states and DC
- Wyoming Governor says state law does not allow for regulation of greenhouse gases
- ACLU threats Hawaii Senate with lawsuit over invocation practice
- PA Supreme Court to rule on residency requirement for collecting ballot signatures
- NC Supreme Court to determine governor's powers during a fiscal emergency
- State legislative elections come into national focus
- Governor McDonnell announces ABC privatization plan
- As Voter Registration Month Begins in Ohio, Absentees Express Concerns
- In Arkansas House of Representatives, more Democrats than Republicans feel impact of term limits
- In Arkansas State Senate, more Democrats than Republicans feel impact of term limits
- Kevin Joyce resigns Illinois state house seat
- PA state senator seeks to standardize ballot access requirements
- Federal lawsuit challenges Wyoming marriage law
- KY Senate President Williams expected to announce run for Governor
- Keever recommended to fill vacant North Carolina House seat
- Mississippi legislators ban synthetic marijuana in special session
- NH House subcommittee studies marijuana legalization
- Liquor privatization battle brewing in Virginia
- Missouri state representative files lawsuit after losing the primary
- Hawaii legislators use $16 million from emergency 911 fund to balance the budget
- Virginia still clings onto one-term limit policy for Governors
- Nationally, state legislative term limits impact 6% of seats up in 2010
- California lawmakers race to the finish to get initiative bills passed
- New Hampshire representative resigns over comments about Palin
- In Michigan House of Representatives, more Democrats than Republicans feel impact of term limits
- Michigan State Senate facing heavy turnover due to term limits
- In Nevada House of Representatives, more Democrats than Republicans feel impact of term limits
- In California State Legislature, Democrats are more impacted by term limits than Republicans
- In Nevada State Senate, more Democrats than Republicans feel impact of term limits
- In Missouri State House of Representatives, more Republicans than Democrats feel impact of term limits
- Is the tea party movement impacting state legislative elections? Study announced
- In Missouri State Senate, more Republicans than Democrats feel impact of term limits
- Alabama senate incumbents: can they find a challenger?
- Arizona House term limits create vacancies
- Arizona State Senate Republicans feel impact of term limits
- Pennsylvania house incumbents dominate ballot
- Iowa house incumbents dominate ballot
- Nevada assembly incumbents dominate ballot
- Iowa senate incumbents dominate ballot
- Pennsylvania senate incumbents dominate ballot
- Nevada senate incumbents face challengers on ballot
- All but 7 South Dakota state reps face opposition
- Many open seats but only one primary challenge in South Dakota state senate elections
- In Colorado House elections, most races include incumbents
- Massachusetts House incumbents dominate ballot
- Massachusetts senate incumbents dominate ballot
- In Colorado Senate elections, incumbents play a significant role
- In Maine House of Representatives, term limits impact Democrats and Republicans equally
- South Dakota term limits create 8 open state representative seats
- In Maine State Senate, term limits impact Democrats and Republicans equaly
- In Colorado House of Representatives, Democrats are hit by term limits
- In Florida House, Republicans are more affected by term limits than Democrats
- Term limits affect 4 South Dakota state senators
- In Colorado State Senate, term limits spare most incumbents
- In Florida State Senate, Republicans are more affected by term limits than Democrats
- In Montana House, term limits affect more Republicans than Democrats
- In Montana Senate, term limits affect more Republicans than Democrats
- Maine lawmaker proposes voter ID bill
- Alaska senate incumbents dominate ballot
- Massachusetts Lawmakers end session without passing initiative legislation
- Kentucky state workers file lawsuit to stop mandatory furloughs
- Wyoming incumbents criticized for using state vehicles for campaigning
- Immigration law shaping up to be a big issue of Mississippi's 2011 elections
- Hawaii same-sex couples sue Governor for equal rights
- New Hampshire commission meets to discuss selling state assets
- Minor-party candidates in Pennsylvania meet with difficulties
- North Carolina Governor signs ethics reform bill into law
- Governor McDonnell looks to sell off ABC stores to fix roads
- Term limits proposition qualifies for February 2012 ballot in California
- Alabama lawmakers do not pass any initiative bills
- Maine legislators approve three initiative bills
- Nearly all Washington State initiative bills die in committee
- California state senators feel impact of term limits
- Utah lawmakers approve one initiative bill during session
- Tennessee legislators stop three initiative bills
- Legislators stop initiative legislation in Hawaii
- Florida legislators do not pass initiative legislation during a short session
- Delaware legislators do not pass initiative legislation
- W. Virginia legislators approve special election reform bill before deadline
- West Virginia House passes special election reform
- In Oklahoma State Senate, more Democrats than Republicans feel impact of term limits
- Democratic majorities in state senates at greater risk than Republican majorities, analyst says
- Wyoming Governor threatens to sell national park land
- NH Governor orders all state departments to cut budgets by 5 percent
- Vermont legislators fail to pass initiative legislation
- Mississippi Legislators do not pass recall law
- Oregon legislators approve two initiative bills during special session
- Lawmakers in Oklahoma do not approve initiative bills
- W. Virginia special election draft legislation released
- Report shows Mississippi Legislature cut expenses by about $3 million dollars
- Wyoming excise tax initiative stopped in the Senate
- W. Virginia legislative special session set for July 15th
- KY Governor announces plan to furlough state workers, saving $24 million
- BREAKING: Governor Manchin's legal counsel calls W. Virginia legislators into special session
- Gov. Lingle vetoes civil unions bill, legislature won't challenge
- Gov. Rendell signs budget, some key details still remain
- NC state budget approved on schedule for the first time since 2003
- Hawaii to experiment with publicly funded elections
- New Hampshire legislators end session without passing initiative legislation
- Connecticut legislators defeat campaign finance legislation for referendum groups
- New Mexico legislators do not pass recall during legislative session
- No initiative legislation passes on the last day of session in Delaware
- New York Legislators end session with no initiative bills passed
- Stalled Medicaid funds determine shape of Mississippi budget
- South Dakota legislators end session with initiative reform bill approved
- Iowa legislators end session without passing initiative legislation
- Indiana legislators wrap-up session with no initiative legislation passed
- Tennessee Legislature enacts Immigration law, ACLU urged veto
- KY Governor warns of possible $240 million budget shortfall
- WY Governor turns down $1 million federal health care grant
- Rhode Island legislators end session without approving inititative legislation
- NH Legislature considers selling state assets to fill budget gap
- Gov. Lingle adds civil unions bill to potential veto list
- New Jersey lawmakers reach budget deal, avoid government shutdown
- NC Senate unanimously passes Susie's Law
- Former PA representative sentenced for corruption
- West Virginian legislators end session without passing initiative reforms
- Nebraska legislators did not approve any initiative bills
- Colorado Governor signs two initiative bills into law
- Arizona lawmakers wrap up session with two initiative bills passed
- Governor Parnell signs initiative legislation into law
- NC legislators seek to remove cap on oil spill damages
- Constitution Party seeks to be fourth ballot qualified party in Wyoming
- Mississippi House holds hearings on oil spill, BP doesn't show
- Pennsylvania House approves two bills targeting illegal workers
- New Jersey legislators try to avert government shutdown
- Minnesota Legislators end session without passing initiative amendment
- Office of Hawaiian Affairs goes to court seeking $200 million from legislature
- NH Governor calls legislature into special session to deal with budget shortfall
- Kentucky Legislature agrees to budget in special session
- Wyoming legislators to study prison alternatives
- Maryland sees change in laws governing initiative process
- Gov. Barbour signs bill banning public funding for most abortions
- Grand jury releases report, points to corruption in Pennsylvania legislature
- NC Senate passes budget, sends it to the House
- Gov. Lingle signs anti-"birther" bill into law
- West Virginia legislators end special session
- Kentucky Governor calls special session to seek a budget compromise
- Longest serving NH state senator to retire
- Virginia legislators block recall proposal
- Missouri legislators end session without passing any initiative proposals
- Illinois General Assembly adjourns session without passing any initiative legislation
- Colorado legislators end session with only two initiative bills approved
- Pennsylvania State Sen. Leach introduces medical marijuana bill
- Colorado Senate passes bill to re-order initiatives
- Mississippi State Representative switches parties
- New Hampshire Senate revisits unenforced laws - keeps adultery, repeals "blue laws"
- Wyoming first lady confirmed as first female federal judge in state history
- Five NC House incumbents lose in primaries
- West Virginia Senate Minority Leader dies from battling cancer
- Hawaii legislature approves civil unions
- Wisconsin issue ad bill dies in last day of legislative session
<ref> tags exist, but no
<references/> tag was found