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State Legislative Tracker: More controversy in New York

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May 20, 2013

Edited by Joel Williams
This week's tracker takes a look at more controversy in the New York State Legislature and some interesting legislation.

Weekly highlight

Last week, Missouri and Vermont ended their legislative sessions. Here is a brief look at issues making headlines across the country:

  • Illinois: A bill lowering the voting age in primaries to 17 years old was approved 43-9 by the Illinois State Senate. This bill sponsored by Senator Terry Link (D) would still require voters to be 18 years old by general elections. A similar bill passed the House in April and Governor Pat Quinn supports the legislation.[1]
  • Louisiana: Sen. Fred Mills, Jr. (R) has sponsored legislation that would allow Louisiana residents to add the line "I'm a Cajun" on their driver's license for a nominal fee if they are of Cajun descent. The $5 fee would go to the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana to help fund scholarships across the state. The bill has already passed the senate and a house committee, leaving it in the hands of the house.[2]
  • Minnesota: The Minnesota State Senate approved a bill allowing same-sex marriage by a 37-30 vote on May 13. The House voted 75-59 for approval on May 9 and Governor Mark Dayton signed the bill into law a day after Senate approval. Same-sex couples can legally marry in Minnesota starting on August 1, 2013.[3]
  • New York: Rep. Vito Lopez (D) announced his resignation at the end of the session on June 20 following accusations that he sexually harassed a number of women. Speaker Sheldon Silver (D) announced plans to start the expulsion process to immediately remove Lopez from the chamber.[4]
  • Vermont: The Vermont House of Representatives voted 75-65 to approve legal protections for physicians who prescribe medications that aid the deaths of terminally ill patients. This bill was passed 17-13 in the Senate and Governor Peter Shumlin will sign the legislation. Vermont becomes the first state to approve “aid in dying” measures through legislation.[5]
  • Wisconsin: Both chambers of the Wisconsin State Legislature are scheduled to vote on a measure that would forgive state taxes of dead soldiers. Fifteen other states and the federal government offer such forgiveness already, and Gov. Scott Walker (R) has endorsed the bill.[6]






[edit]

Regular sessions

Current sessions capture for the week of May 20, 2013
See also: Dates of 2013 state legislative sessions
Click here to see a chart of each state's 2013 session information.

Currently 24 out of 50 state legislatures are meeting in regular session. Two states, California and Washington, are meeting in special session.

As of April 8, all states states have convened their 2013 legislative sessions.[7]

The following states have ended their regular session:[8]

Special sessions

Snapshot of State Legislatures:
Thursday, April 17, 2014
There are 7,384 Total State Legislators
Total Democratic state legislators 3,439 (46.6%)
Total Republican state legislators 3,831 (51.9%)
There are 99 Total State Legislative Chambers
Total Democratic Party-controlled chambers 40
Total Republican Party-controlled chambers 57
Total tied or non-partisan chambers 2
2013 Session Information
Total Special Elections 48
Total Special Sessions 3

There are two special sessions ongoing this week in California and Washington. 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.[9] Washington opened a special session on May 13 to address the budget and other issues.[10]

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.[11][12]

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.[13]

In recess

As of today, May 20, 3 states' sessions are currently in recess:[14]


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 Texas

See also: Redistricting in Texas

Greg Abbott (R), Attorney General of Texas, has called for Gov. Rick Perry to call a special session on redistricting. Abbott is hoping for the legislature to adopt the interim maps used in the 2012 election so that judicial intervention is unnecessary. The current interim maps were created by the legislature and then tweaked by a 3-judge federal panel in San Antonio.[15]






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.[16]

  • 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.[17]

Primaries

The state primaries are as follows:

  • New Jersey:
  • June 4, 2013
  • Virginia:
  • June 11, 2013

See also: State legislative special elections, 2013

There are five special elections taking place this week: one in Alabama and two each in California and Pennsylvania.

Alabama House of Representatives District 97

Yvonne Kennedy (D) died on December 8, 2012. Gov. Robert Bentley (R) scheduled a special election for May 21 to fill the vacancy, with a primary on February 26, 2013. As no candidate took over 50 percent of the vote in the Democratic primary, the top two vote-getters - Karlos Finley and Adline C. Clarke - met in a runoff on April 9, which Clarke won.[18][19][20][21]

May 21 General Election Candidates
Democratic Party Adline C. Clarke
Independent David Blunt
Independent Burton LeFlore

California State Senate District 16

Michael J. Rubio (D) resigned his seat on February 22, 2013, to take a job with Chevron. A special election has been called for May 21. Although the district boundaries have changed due to redistricting, because Rubio resigned midway through his term, the old boundaries will be used.[22] Candidates had until March 29 to file nomination papers.[23]

May 21 blanket primary candidates:
Democratic Party Paulina Miranda
Democratic Party Leticia Perez
Democratic Party Francisco "Frank" Ramirez
Republican Party Andy Vidak
Peace and Freedom Party Mohammad Arif

California State Assembly District 80

Ben Hueso (D) won election to the California State Senate on March 12, 2013. A special election has been called for May 21, with a runoff election taking place on July 30 if necessary.[24] Candidates had until March 29 to file nomination papers.[25]

May 21 blanket primary candidates:
Democratic Party Steve Castaneda
Democratic Party Lorena Gonzalez

Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 42

Matthew Smith (D) was elected to the Pennsylvania State Senate on November 6, 2012, and resigned from his seat in the House. A special election has been called for May 21. Nominees were chosen by parties, not through a primary.[26][27]

May 21 Special election candidates:

Democratic Party Dan Miller
Republican Party Dan Remely
Libertarian Party George Brown

Pennsylvania House of Representatives District 95

Eugene DePasquale (D) was elected as Pennsylvania Auditor on November 6, 2012, and resigned from his seat before he was sworn-in in January 2013. A special election has been called for May 21. Nominees will be chosen by parties, not through a primary.[27][28][29][30]

May 21 Special election candidates:

Democratic Party Kevin Schreiber
Republican Party Bryan Tate
Green Party Bill Swartz

Recent results

May 14, 2013

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg RunoffArrow.jpg California State Senate District 32
Gloria Negrete McLeod (D) was elected to the 35th Congressional District of California on November 6, 2012. A special election to fill the vacancy has been scheduled for March 12, 2013. Because no candidate received 50 percent of the vote the top two vote-getters - Norma Torres (D) and Paul Leon (R) - met in a runoff election on May 14, which Torres won.[31][32][33][34][35]

March 12 blanket primary candidates:
Democratic Party Paul Vincent Avila
Democratic Party Joanne Gilbert
Democratic Party Norma Torres Approveda Endorsed by state Democratic Party[36]
Democratic Party Larry Walker
Republican Party Kenny Coble
Republican Party Paul Leon Approveda
May 14 Runoff candidates
Democratic Party Norma Torres Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Paul Leon

Links/References

  1. The Chicago Tribune, “Illinois poised to let 17-year-olds vote in primaries,” May 16, 2013
  2. nola.com, "House committee passes bill allowing Louisiana residents to put 'I'm a Cajun' on ID cards," May 13, 2013
  3. Politics in Minnesota, “Minnesota Senate passes gay marriage 37-30,” May 13, 2013
  4. nytimes.com, "State Legislator Facing Expulsion Says He’ll Resign," May 17, 2013
  5. The New York Times, “Vermont Passes ‘Aid in Dying’ Measure,” May 14,2013
  6. host.madison.com, "State bill would forgive dead soldiers' taxes," May 14, 2013
  7. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 20, 2013
  8. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 20, 2013
  9. sunherald.com, "Mississippi lawmakers pass incentives for tire maker," April 26, 2013
  10. nwprogressive.org, "Special session to begin on May 13th; Inslee says budget negotiations will continue," April 28, 2013
  11. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  12. Sacramento Business Journal, " Health care reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  13. oregonlive.com, "Washington Legislature special session: 5 things to watch," April 29, 2013
  14. Statenet.com, "Daily Session Summary," accessed May 20, 2013
  15. trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com, "Abbott to GOP lawmakers: “Don’t pack your bags”," May 16, 2013
  16. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," Accessed January 14, 2013
  17. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," Accessed January 16, 2013
  18. AL.com, "Alabama state House District 97: Adline Clarke will face Karlos Finley in runoff," February 26, 2013
  19. AL.com, "Gov. Bentley sets special election for House District 97 seat," December 18, 2012
  20. Alabama Secretary of State, " Certification of candidates for District 97," accessed January 17, 2013
  21. blog.al.com, "Adline Clarke appears to have narrowly beaten Karlos Finley in House District 97 race (updated x2)," April 9, 2013
  22. KBPS.org, "Special Election Set To Fill State Senate Vacancy," March 8, 2013
  23. sos.ca.gov, "Senate District 16 Special Primary Election - May 21, 2013," accessed April 8, 2013
  24. ktvu.com, "Special election set to fill state Assembly seat," March 26, 2013
  25. sos.ca.gov, "Assembly District 80 Special Primary Election - May 21, 2013," accessed April 8, 2013
  26. Post-Gazette, "May 21 special election set to fill state House seat," January 18, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 WITF, "Awaiting special elections announcement for two House seats," November 25, 2012
  28. Politics PA, "GOP Taps Tate for DePasquale Seat," January 16, 2013
  29. GP.org, "Green Party Endorses Bill Swartz in Special Election," February 25, 2013
  30. ydr.com, "If elected, Bryan Tate would be the third openly gay state lawmaker in Pennsylvania," March 2, 2013
  31. KPCC, "Gov. Brown schedules special election for 2 vacant SoCal state Senate seats," January 7, 2013
  32. Champion Newspapers, "Three declare plans to seek vacated State Senate seat," November 20, 2012
  33. Daily Bulletin, "Six Inland Empire politicians plunge into special election for seat in state Senate," January 18, 2013
  34. SCPR.org, "32nd Senate District race heads to a May runoff to represent Pomona, Fontana and Ontario," March 13, 2013
  35. pe.com, "SENATE ELECTION: Norma Torres beats Paul Leon for Inland seat," May 14, 2013
  36. Daily Facts, "Assemblywoman Norma Torres wins Democratic Party's endorsement in special election," January 26, 2013

Looking ahead

Upcoming special elections include:

  • 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
  • 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

See also

References

  1. The Chicago Tribune, “Illinois poised to let 17-year-olds vote in primaries,” May 16, 2013
  2. nola.com, "House committee passes bill allowing Louisiana residents to put 'I'm a Cajun' on ID cards," May 13, 2013
  3. Politics in Minnesota, “Minnesota Senate passes gay marriage 37-30,” May 13, 2013
  4. nytimes.com, "State Legislator Facing Expulsion Says He’ll Resign," May 17, 2013
  5. The New York Times, “Vermont Passes ‘Aid in Dying’ Measure,” May 14,2013
  6. host.madison.com, "State bill would forgive dead soldiers' taxes," May 14, 2013
  7. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 20, 2013
  8. Stateside Associates, " Session Calendar 2013," accessed May 20, 2013
  9. sunherald.com, "Mississippi lawmakers pass incentives for tire maker," April 26, 2013
  10. nwprogressive.org, "Special session to begin on May 13th; Inslee says budget negotiations will continue," April 28, 2013
  11. Los Angeles Times, "Gov. Jerry Brown calls for special session of Legislature on healthcare," January 24, 2013
  12. Sacramento Business Journal, " Health care reform special session starts," January 28, 2013
  13. oregonlive.com, "Washington Legislature special session: 5 things to watch," April 29, 2013
  14. Statenet.com, "Daily Session Summary," accessed May 20, 2013
  15. trailblazersblog.dallasnews.com, "Abbott to GOP lawmakers: “Don’t pack your bags”," May 16, 2013
  16. New Jersey Department of State, "Petition filing instruction sheet," Accessed January 14, 2013
  17. Virginia State Board of Elections, "Candidacy Requirements for House of Delegates," Accessed January 16, 2013
  18. AL.com, "Alabama state House District 97: Adline Clarke will face Karlos Finley in runoff," February 26, 2013
  19. AL.com, "Gov. Bentley sets special election for House District 97 seat," December 18, 2012
  20. Alabama Secretary of State, " Certification of candidates for District 97," accessed January 17, 2013
  21. blog.al.com, "Adline Clarke appears to have narrowly beaten Karlos Finley in House District 97 race (updated x2)," April 9, 2013
  22. KBPS.org, "Special Election Set To Fill State Senate Vacancy," March 8, 2013
  23. sos.ca.gov, "Senate District 16 Special Primary Election - May 21, 2013," accessed April 8, 2013
  24. ktvu.com, "Special election set to fill state Assembly seat," March 26, 2013
  25. sos.ca.gov, "Assembly District 80 Special Primary Election - May 21, 2013," accessed April 8, 2013
  26. Post-Gazette, "May 21 special election set to fill state House seat," January 18, 2013
  27. 27.0 27.1 WITF, "Awaiting special elections announcement for two House seats," November 25, 2012
  28. Politics PA, "GOP Taps Tate for DePasquale Seat," January 16, 2013
  29. GP.org, "Green Party Endorses Bill Swartz in Special Election," February 25, 2013
  30. ydr.com, "If elected, Bryan Tate would be the third openly gay state lawmaker in Pennsylvania," March 2, 2013
  31. KPCC, "Gov. Brown schedules special election for 2 vacant SoCal state Senate seats," January 7, 2013
  32. Champion Newspapers, "Three declare plans to seek vacated State Senate seat," November 20, 2012
  33. Daily Bulletin, "Six Inland Empire politicians plunge into special election for seat in state Senate," January 18, 2013
  34. SCPR.org, "32nd Senate District race heads to a May runoff to represent Pomona, Fontana and Ontario," March 13, 2013
  35. pe.com, "SENATE ELECTION: Norma Torres beats Paul Leon for Inland seat," May 14, 2013
  36. Daily Facts, "Assemblywoman Norma Torres wins Democratic Party's endorsement in special election," January 26, 2013