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The committee behind a Massachusetts app-based driver initiative reported over $17.8 million in contributions

Massachusetts voters could decide on an initiative in November to classify app-based drivers as independent contractors similar to California’s 2020 Proposition 22.

Flexibility and Benefits for Massachusetts Drivers, the committee registered to support the app-based driver initiative, reported receiving $17.8 million in 2021. The committee’s largest donor was Lyft, which contributed nearly $14.4 million in cash and in-kind contributions. Other contributors included Instacart ($1.2 million), Door Dash ($1.2 million), and Uber ($1 million).

The campaign submitted over 200,000 signatures for two versions of the initiative in early December and was certified to the legislature by the secretary of state late last month. 

Both versions of the Massachusetts initiative would classify app-based drivers as independent contractors and enact several labor policies. The versions are identical except Version A would require paid occupational safety training before drivers could access a company’s platform or mobile application. 

There is one ballot measure committee, Coalition to Protect Workers’ Rights, registered in opposition to the initiative. It reported over $1 million in contributions. The top donors to the committee include Omidyar Network, Massachusetts AFL-CIO General Fund, Local 103 I.B.E.W., Open Society, and The Grand Lodge – International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers.

On Jan. 18, opponents of the Massachusetts initiative filed a lawsuit with the Massachusetts ​​Supreme Judicial Court arguing that the initiative violates the state’s constitutional requirement that subjects of an initiative are “mutually dependent,” and therefore it should not appear on the 2022 ballot.

The initiative is modeled after California Proposition 22, which was approved by ​​58.63% of voters in 2020. However, it was ruled unconstitutional by an Alameda County Superior Court judge in 2021. The judge ruled that Proposition 22 unconstitutionally limited the power of the legislature and that it violated the state’s single-subject rule.

California Proposition 22 had the most expensive ballot measure campaigns in California’s history according to available records. The support reported $202.9 million in contributions, with Uber, Doordash, Lyft, InstaCart, and Postmates as top donors. The opposition reported $19.7 million in contributions, with unions as the top donors.

In Massachusetts, the power of initiative is indirect, which means the state legislature must consider the proposal before it appears before voters. The Massachusetts app-based driver initiative is one of three proposals that was certified to the legislature. One of the initiatives would change the number of alcohol retail licenses granted per establishment from no more than 12 in 2023 to no more than 18 by 2031 and prohibit in-store automated self-checkout sales of alcohol. The third initiative would establish a medical loss ratio for dental insurance plans at 83% and require the insurer to refund the excess premium to its covered individuals and covered groups.

If the legislature does not adopt the proposals by May 4, 2022, the campaigns will have until July 6, to submit an additional round of 13,374 signatures in order to qualify for a place on the November 2022 ballot.

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Kentucky adopts new congressional map after legislature overrides gubernatorial veto

Kentucky enacted new congressional districts on Jan. 20 when the general assembly overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) veto of legislation establishing the state’ new congressional map. Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 3 —the congressional redistricting legislation —on Jan. 19. Kentucky was apportioned six seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census. This map will take effect for Kentucky’s 2022 congressional elections.

The vote to override the governor’s veto was 26-8 in the state Senate with 23 Republicans and three Democrats in favor and five Democrats and three Republicans opposed. The override vote was 64-24 in the state House, with all votes in favor by Republicans and 21 Democrats and three Republicans voting to sustain Beshear’s veto. Republicans have a majority in both chambers of the Kentucky General Assembly. 

Senate Bill 3 was introduced in the Kentucky State Senate on Jan. 4. The Senate voted 28-4 in favor of the map on Jan. 6 followed by the House voting 65-25 in favor on Jan. 8. 

Greg Giroux of Bloomberg Government wrote that the “congressional map [is] designed to preserve a 5–1 Republican advantage in Kentucky’s U.S. House delegation.” Giroux added, “The map most notably boosts Rep. Andy Barr (R), whose central 6th District in and around Lexington will become more Republican-friendly in part by transferring the state capital of Frankfort to the western 1st District of Rep. James Comer (R).”

As of Jan. 21, 25 states have adopted congressional district maps, two states have approved congressional district boundaries that have not yet taken effect, one state’s map was struck down by its state supreme court, six states were apportioned one congressional district (so no congressional redistricting is required), and 16 states have not yet adopted new congressional maps. As of Jan. 21 in 2012, 32 states had enacted congressional redistricting plans.

States have completed congressional redistricting for 274 of the 435 seats (63.0%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Kentucky adopts new legislative district boundaries

Kentucky adopted new state House district boundaries on Jan. 20 after the general assembly overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) veto of the plan. The vote to override the governor’s veto was 24-10 in the state Senate with all votes in favor by Republicans and eight Democrats and two Republicans voting against. The override vote was 69-23 in the state House, with all votes in favor by Republicans and 22 Democrats and one Republican voting to sustain Beshear’s veto.

Gov. Beshear allowed the redistricting proposal for new state Senate districts to become law without his signature on Jan. 21. That legislation had passed the state Senate on Jan. 6, 28-4, and the state House on Jan. 8, 67-23. The maps for both chambers will take effect for Kentucky’s 2022 state legislative elections.

Ryland Barton of National Public Radio affiliate WFPL wrote that “The House map further divides several urban areas in the state and connects them with rural districts in surrounding areas.” Steve Rogers of WTVQ wrote that “During debate on the legislative districts, especially the 100 House districts, Democrats objected that the GOP-drawn map unfairly split urban areas to the benefit of Republicans. The bill recasting the Senate’s 38 districts easily cleared the Senate, with a handful of lawmakers objecting.”

As of Jan. 21, 28 states have adopted legislative district maps for both chambers, one state has adopted maps that have not yet gone into effect, one state’s enacted maps were overturned by its state supreme court, and 20 states have not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. As of Jan. 21, 2012, 34 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 1,187 of 1,972 state Senate seats (60.2%) and 2,715 of 5,411 state House seats (50.2%).

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Two U.S. House members make endorsements in TX-28 Democratic primary

On Jan. 20, 2022, U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) endorsed Jessica Cisneros in the Democratic primary for Texas’ 28th Congressional District. On Jan. 19, House Majority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) endorsed incumbent Henry Cuellar.

Cuellar, Tannya Benavides, and Cisneros are running in the primary election on March 1. If no candidate receives a majority of the vote, the top-two vote-getters will advance to a primary runoff on May 24.

In the 2020 Democratic primary, Cuellar defeated Cisneros 51.8% to 48.2%. In that primary, Cisneros received endorsements from Justice Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Rep. Pramila Jayapal, and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Cuellar received endorsements from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the chair of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Political commentators expect endorsements in this year’s race to continue to reflect this divide between the wings of the Democratic Party.

The general election will take place on Nov. 8, 2022. As of January 2022, the three race rating outlets considered the general either to be either Solid Democratic or Likely Democratic. The district is one of three in the state announced as targets by the National Republican Congressional Committee in February 2021. In the 2020 general election. Cuellar defeated Sandra Whitten (R) 58.3% to 39.0%.



President Biden nominates eight to Article III courts

President Joe Biden (D) nominated eight individuals to Article III judgeships with lifetime terms on Jan. 19:

To date, Biden has nominated 81 individuals to federal judgeships. Forty-one of the nominees have been confirmed.

As of his inauguration in January 2021, Biden inherited 46 Article III vacancies: two vacancies in the U.S. courts of appeal, 43 vacancies in the U.S. district courts, and one vacancy on the U.S. Court of International Trade. Biden announced his first federal judicial nominees on March 30.

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Redistricting map updates: proposals, advancements, and enactments between Jan. 12 and Jan. 19

Between Jan. 12 and Jan. 19, officials in at least seven states either proposed, advanced, or enacted new redistricting maps.

Proposed

Connecticut: On Jan. 18, Nathaniel Persily, the special master who the state supreme court appointed to handle redistricting, submitted his proposed map and report for the state’s congressional districts. The state supreme court chose Persily, a law professor at Standford University, to manage congressional redistricting after the Connecticut Reapportionment Commission did not meet its court-ordered deadline to finish redrawing the congressional map. The court has until Feb. 15 to approve new congressional district lines.

The Connecticut General Assembly is responsible for redistricting every cycle but has not produced new maps since 1981. In 1991, 2001, 2011, and 2021, the legislature missed its mid-September deadline to enact maps, passing authority to the commission each cycle. The commission itself has missed its deadlines three cycles in a row: 2001, 2011, and 2021. In each cycle, the supreme court granted a three-week extension. The commission adopted maps before the extended deadline in 2001 but missed the extension in 2011 and 2021, at which point authority passes to the supreme court. Persily served as the redistricting special master during the 2010 redistricting cycle, as well.

Florida: On Jan. 16, Ryan Newman, general counsel to Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), submitted a proposed congressional map on the governor’s behalf. Politico’s Gary Fineout wrote that this was the first time in recent history that the governor has proposed a map during Florida’s redistricting process. Fineout added that the proposal would halve the number of majority-minority districts from four to two and increase the number of likely Republican districts to 18 from 16.

On Jan. 18, WKMG’s Christie Zizo wrote that the Senate Redistricting Committee had not considered DeSantis’ proposed map. Zizo added, “Once the Florida House and Senate agree on a final new Congressional district map, it will go to DeSantis for his signature. The DeSantis statement indicates he may veto the map if he does not agree with it.”

Advanced

Arizona: On Jan. 18, the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission met to finalize the congressional and legislative maps the commission approved on Dec. 22, 2021. This meeting was held to address administrative edits that towns and counties requested on issues like aligning precinct boundaries. The commission voted 3-2 to finalize the congressional map. Members began to discuss the legislative map but had to adjourn the meeting before holding a final vote after Chairwoman Erika Neuberg left the meeting for unknown reasons and did not return. The commission was set to meet again on Jan. 21 to finish the certification. These maps will not go into effect until the commission transmits them to the secretary of state.

Pennsylvania: The Pennsylvania House of Representatives voted 110-91 in favor of a proposed congressional map on Jan. 12, sending the plan to the Senate for approval. On Jan. 18, a Senate committee voted to advance the map to the full Senate for a vote. If the Senate approves the map, it will go to Gov. Tom Wolf (D) for final approval. Wolf has indicated that he opposes the map on partisan lines but has not said whether he will veto it if it arrives at his desk. Pennsylvania has a divided government with Republicans controlling both chambers of the legislature and Democrats holding the governorship. 

Rhode Island: The Rhode Island Special Commission on Reapportionment voted 13-4 in favor of new legislative maps and 15-2 in favor of congressional lines on Jan. 12. While the commission may endorse district lines, its decisions are not binding. The maps will now advance to the Democratic-controlled General Assembly, which may “adopt, modify, or ignore the commission’s proposals.”

South Carolina: On Jan. 19, the Republican-controlled Senate Judiciary Committee voted 13-8 along party lines in favor of a congressional map plan. The Post and Courier’s Nick Reynolds wrote that the map would give Republicans a 6-1 advantage in U.S. House seats and that the plan would create no competitive districts. This map originated in the House and passed there with a 74-35 vote on Jan. 13. It will next advance to the full Senate for a vote. If the Senate supports the proposal, it will go to Gov. Henry McMaster (R) for final approval.

Enacted

One state—Arkansas—enacted a congressional map between Jan. 12 and Jan. 19. As of Jan. 19, 24 states have enacted congressional districts maps and 27 have enacted legislative district lines.

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Election rematches

Welcome to the Monday, January 24, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Rematches in the 2021 general elections
  2. Kentucky statewide filing deadline is Jan. 25
  3. President Biden nominates eight to Article III courts

Rematches in the 2021 general elections

When the same candidates run against each other in consecutive election cycles, we call that an election rematch. In the 2021 general elections, we covered 10 rematches—five state legislative races and five local races. The 10 rematches represented about 1.2% of all 830 general election races in Ballotpedia’s 2021 coverage scope.

Overall, Republicans won one of those races, while Democrats won four. At the local level, all races were nonpartisan. In all but one of those 10 elections, the candidate who won in 2019 also won in 2021.

All five state legislative rematch elections happened in Virginia, which held regularly scheduled elections in the Virginia House of Delegates. In all five races, the incumbent won re-election. Democrats won four of those races, while a Republican won one. 

Five local races in Ballotpedia’s coverage scope were rematches in the 2021 general election. In both 2019 and 2021, all winning candidates were nonpartisan. One race was decided by less than 10 percentage points in 2019, and two races were decided by less than 10 percentage points in 2021. In one case, the candidate who won in 2019 was defeated in 2021. In 2019, Kathleen Kelley Arnold defeated Sean Parr in the general election for Manchester Board of School Committee Ward 2, in New Hampshire. Arnold won 54.9% of the vote to Parr’s 44.7%. However, in 2021, Parr defeated Arnold, winning 50.7% to Arnold’s 49.3%. 

In 2020, 402 elections in Ballotpedia’s coverage scope were rematches between the same candidates who ran for office in 2018. In 92% of those rematches, the candidate who won in 2018 also won in 2020.  

Here’s a breakdown of those 402 rematches:

  • 56 races for the U.S. House.
  • One state executive race.
  • 342 state legislative races.
  • Three local races in our coverage scope.

What will 2022 look like? Here’s an early example of a 2022 rematch. In 2020, Jerry Bollig, a member of the Dane County Board of Supervisors in Wisconsin, defeated challenger Todd Kluever in the District 31 general election. In 2022, Kluever is once again challenging Bollig for the seat. The election is scheduled for April 5.

Find out more about election rematches at the link below!

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Kentucky statewide filing deadline is Jan. 25

Kentucky’s statewide filing deadline for primary candidates is tomorrow, Jan. 25! The deadline applies to candidates running in U.S. Senate and House races, as well as state Senate and state House races. Primaries are scheduled for May 17.

Kentucky’s deadline was originally scheduled for Jan. 7, but Gov. Andy Beshear (D) and the Kentucky General Assembly pushed back the date to give themselves more time to enact new state legislative and congressional maps

The only state whose filing deadline has passed is Texas, where candidates had until Dec. 13 to file. Texas will be holding the earliest primaries of the 2022 election season, scheduled for March 1. Kentucky, Alabama, and West Virginia are among the 12 states holding primaries in May.

After Kentucky, the next deadline for candidates running in state and federal offices will be in Alabama, on Jan. 28, followed by Jan. 29 for candidates in West Virginia. 

The next five filing deadlines for statewide and federal office will be:

  • February 1 (New Mexico)
  • February 2 (Ohio, state-level candidates only)
  • February 4 (Indiana)
  • February 15 (Nebraska)
  • February 22 (Maryland)

Keep reading 

President Biden nominates eight to Article III courts

On Jan. 19, President Joe Biden (D) nominated eight individuals to Article III judgeships with lifetime terms:

  1. Arianna Freeman, to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  2. Tiffany Cartwright, to the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  3. Ana de Alba, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
  4. Nusrat Choudhury, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  5. Robert Huie, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
  6. Natasha Merle, to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  7. Jennifer Rearden, to the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  8. Nina Y. Wang, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado

There are 77 current Article III vacancies in the federal judiciary of 870 total Article III judgeships. Article III judges serve on courts authorized by Article III of the Constitution, which created and enumerated the powers of the judiciary. They are appointed for life terms. A vacancy occurs when a judge resigns, retires, takes senior status, or passes away. In the event of a scheduled upcoming vacancy, the president may submit a nomination to the U.S. Senate prior to the vacancy taking effect.

To date, Biden has nominated 81 individuals to federal judgeships. Forty-one of the nominees have been confirmed.
Keep reading



New Hampshire Secretary of State retirement triggers triplex status change

Ballot Measures Update

Sixty-four statewide measures have been certified for the 2022 ballot in 30 states so far. No new measures were certified for the ballot last week.

Signatures have been submitted and are pending verification for six additional initiatives in Alaska, Florida, Massachusetts, and Ohio:

States in session

Thirty-eight state legislatures—Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin—are in regular session.

Special Elections

Thirty state legislative special elections have been scheduled in 15 states so far this year. Seven specials have taken place already. Heading into those races, Democrats had previously controlled six of the seats, and Republicans previously controlled one.

  • In special elections between 2011 and 2021, one party (either Republicans or Democrats) saw an average net gain of four seats nationally each year.
  • An average of 57 seats were filled through special elections in each of the past six even years (2010: 30, 2012: 46, 2014: 40, 2016: 65, 2018: 99, 2020: 59).
  • An average of 85 seats were filled through special elections in each of the past six odd years (2011: 95, 2013: 84, 2015: 89, 2017:98, 2019: 77, 2021: 66).

Upcoming special elections include:

Jan. 25

Feb. 8

Feb. 15

New Hampshire Secretary of State retirement triggers triplex status change

On Jan. 10, 2022, New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner (D), the longest-serving secretary of state in U.S. history, retired. The New Hampshire legislature first elected Gardner to the position in 1976. 

Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan (R) was sworn in after Gardner resigned. According to the New Hampshire Constitution, the deputy secretary of state replaces the secretary until a new secretary is appointed. Scanlan will serve the remainder of Gardner’s term, which ends in December 2022. 

Scanlan’s swearing-in created a Republican triplex in New Hampshire, meaning that Republicans control the executive offices of governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. In New Hampshire, a joint session of the state legislature chooses the secretary of state.

In 2022, 27 states are holding an election for secretary of state. Click here to read more about those elections. There are 21 Democratic secretaries of state and 26 Republican secretaries of state. The position does not exist in Alaska, Hawaii, or Utah. 

Marijuana policy could be on numerous statewide ballots this year

Ballotpedia is tracking 20 citizen-initiated measures in nine states related to marijuana that could appear before voters in 2022. As of 2022, recreational marijuana is legal in 18 states and Washington, D.C., and medical marijuana is legal in 36 states and D.C.

In Ohio, sponsors of an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana submitted an additional 29,918 signatures on January 13, after the secretary of state verified their initial petition contained 119,825 valid signatures–13,062 less than the number required. If enough of the additional signatures are found to be valid, the initiative will go before the state legislature. If the state legislature does not enact it outright, sponsors will have to collect a second round of 132,887 signatures to place it on the 2022 ballot. In 2015, Ohio voters defeated Issue 3 with a margin of 63.65% to 36.35%.

In Arkansas, voters could decide on two marijuana initiatives. One initiative would decriminalize marijuana, give limited immunity to cannabis businesses, and create regulations on the cannabis industry. The other would legalize marijuana use for individuals 21 years of age and older regardless of residency. Both campaigns have until July 8, 2022, to collect 89,151 valid signatures.

Florida voters could decide changes to the state’s medical marijuana amendment approved by voters in 2016 with two separate initiatives. Initiative #18-02 would add nine mental health disorders to the list of qualifying conditions to purchase and use medical marijuana. Initiative #18-05 would redefine medical use under the measure to include growing up to nine marijuana plants.

Nebraska has four initiatives cleared for circulation related to marijuana. Three of the initiatives would establish a state medical marijuana program and are sponsored by State Senators Anna Wishart (D) and Adam Morfeld (D). One initiative is a constitutional amendment, and the other two are state statutes. ​​The Nebraska Hemp Company filed a constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana. The Nebraska signature deadline is July 7, 2022.

In North Dakota, an initiative was cleared for signature gathering that would legalize marijuana use for residents 21 years of age and older and allow a person to possess, grow, process, or transport up to 12 cannabis plants for personal use. In 2018, North Dakota voters defeated Measure 3, an initiative that would have legalized marijuana, in a vote of 59.45% to 40.55%.

Kind Idaho filed an initiative to establish a state medical marijuana program. Sponsors attempted to qualify an identical initiative for the 2020 Idaho ballot but suspended their signature-gathering campaign in April 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. Voters could also decide on an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana. The initiative is sponsored by The Idaho Way. The campaigns need to submit 64,945 valid signatures by May 1, 2022.

In Missouri, there are three initiatives cleared for circulation that would legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. The initiatives were filed by three different sponsors. A constitutional amendment to change the state’s medical marijuana program approved by voters in 2018 was also cleared for circulation. It would allow medical marijuana patients to grow marijuana for personal use, decrease the cost of a patient identification card from $100 to $25, and allow up to three primary caregivers for a medical marijuana patient. The signature requirement for constitutional amendments is 160,199 signatures by May 8, 2022.

Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action filed three initiatives. Two initiatives would (1) amend the state constitution to legalize marijuana for persons 21 years old and older and (2) impose a 15% excise tax on marijuana sales for purchases by an individual without a medical marijuana license. The third initiative would make changes to the state’s medical marijuana program to create the State Cannabis Commission to replace the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

In South Dakota, an initiative to legalize marijuana was cleared for signature gathering. In 2020, 54.18% of voters approved Amendment A, which would have legalized marijuana, but it was later overturned by a supreme court ruling that found the initiative violated the state’s single-subject rule and constituted a revision of the constitution rather than an amendment. The 2022 initiative was filed by New Approach South Dakota, which also sponsored the 2020 amendment.

Click here to keep up-to-date on marijuana-related statewide ballot measures in 2022.

Ohio Redistricting Commission meets to develop new legislative maps

The Ohio Redistricting Commission met Jan. 18 and 20 ahead of a court-established Jan. 22 deadline to create new legislative maps. The Ohio Supreme Court ruled on Jan. 12 that state legislative district maps approved by the commission were partisan gerrymanders in violation of the state constitution. The Republican-controlled commission voted 5-2 along party lines to approve the maps on Sept. 16, 2021.

In its ruling, the court cited a constitutional amendment approved by Ohio voters in 2015 that revamped the state’s redistricting process by creating the bipartisan commission responsible for drawing state legislative maps without partisan bias. Voters approved the amendment with 71% of the vote.

The amendment also included a proportionality requirement, which directed the commission to try to match districts with statewide vote totals over the past decade. During the redistricting process, it was determined that Republicans had won 54% of the statewide vote since 2010 and Democrats had won 46%. The court said the commission’s maps favored Republicans in 68% of the House districts and 70% of the Senate districts, in violation of the amendment.

Kentucky adopts new legislative district boundaries

Kentucky adopted new legislative district boundaries this week after the General Assembly overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) veto of legislation establishing new state House districts on Jan. 20. The vote to override the governor’s veto was 24-10 in the state Senate with all votes in favor by Republicans and eight Democrats and two Republicans voting against. The override vote was 69-23 in the state House, with all votes cast in favor by Republicans and 22 Democrats and one Republican voting to sustain Beshear’s veto.

In his veto statement, Gov. Beshear said he felt the redistricting plan split counties for partisan reasons. He also said, “Moreover, according to the demographic data the House released after it passed this bill, this plan appears to dilute the voices of certain minority communities.”

After the House voted to override the governor’s veto, state Representative Jerry Miller (R) said, “This is constitutional, it fully meets the voting [rights act]. And I think he was foolish to veto it.”

Gov. Beshear allowed the redistricting proposal for new state Senate districts to become law without his signature on Jan. 21. That legislation passed the state Senate on Jan. 6, 28-4, and the state House on Jan. 8, 67-23.

Kentucky statewide filing deadline is Jan. 25

Kentucky’s filing deadline for candidates seeking to run for office this year is Jan. 25. The deadline was originally Jan. 7, but Gov. Andy Beshear (D) and the Kentucky General Assembly pushed back the date to give themselves more time to enact new state legislative and congressional maps

The deadline applies to candidates running in U.S. Senate and House races, as well as state Senate and state House races. 

The only state whose filing deadline has passed is Texas, where candidates had until Dec. 13 to file. Texas will be holding the earliest primaries of the 2022 election season, scheduled for March 1. Kentucky, Alabama, and West Virginia are among the 12 states holding primaries in May.

After Kentucky, the next deadline for candidates running in state and federal offices will be in Alabama, on Jan. 28, followed by Jan. 29 for candidates in West Virginia. 

The next five filing deadlines for statewide and federal office will be:

  • February 1 (New Mexico)
  • February 2 (Ohio, state-level candidates only)
  • February 4 (Indiana)
  • February 15 (Nebraska)
  • February 22 (Maryland)


Arizona redistricting commission approves new congressional districts

Congress is in session

Both the House and Senate are in session next week. Click here to see the full calendar for the second session of the 117th Congress.

Forty-seven members of Congress—six members of the U.S. Senate and 41 members of the U.S. House—have announced they will not seek re-election. Thirty-two members—six senators and 26 representatives—have announced their retirement. Five retiring Senate members are Republicans and one is a Democrat, and of the retiring House members, 20 are Democrats and six are Republicans.

SCOTUS is out of session

The Supreme Court will not hear oral arguments next week. To learn about the 2021-2022 term, click here.

Where was the president last week?

On Monday, Biden traveled from New Castle, Delaware, to the White House.

On Tuesday, Biden received the Weekly Economic Briefing.

On Wednesday, Biden held a press conference.

On Thursday, Biden met with members of the Infrastructure Implementation Task Force to discuss delivering results from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

On Friday, Biden did not have any events scheduled.

Federal Judiciary

  • 79 federal judicial vacancies
  • 32 pending nominations
  • 33 future federal judicial vacancies

Upcoming Article III Judicial Vacancies

According to the latest vacancy data from the U.S. Courts, there were 33 total announced upcoming vacancies for Article III judgeships. The earliest vacancy announcement was on Jan. 22, 2021, when U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland Judge Ellen Hollander announced she would assume senior status upon the confirmation of her successor. The most recent was on Jan. 12, 2022, when U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit Judge Gregg Costa announced that he would retire on Aug. 5, 2022. Twenty-two vacancy effective dates have not been determined because the judge has not announced the date they will leave the bench. The next upcoming vacancy will occur on Feb. 14, 2022, when U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Judge Virginia Phillips assumes senior status. 

For historical comparison, on Jan. 23, 2021, there were 49 federal judicial vacancies and five upcoming vacancies in the federal judiciary reported by the U.S. Courts.

Arizona redistricting commission approves new congressional districts

The Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission voted 3-2 in favor of the state’s new congressional district boundaries. The commission’s nonpartisan chairwoman joined the group’s two Republican members in voting in favor of the map, and the commission’s two Democratic members were opposed. The commission previously voted in favor of the congressional map by a 5-0 vote on Dec. 22, 2021, which was followed by a period for counties to request administrative changes before the final vote on Jan. 18.

The commission is responsible for drawing both congressional and state legislative district lines and is composed of five members. Of these, four are selected by the majority and minority leaders of each chamber of the state legislature from a list of 25 candidates nominated by the state commission on appellate court appointments. The fifth member of the commission must belong to a different political party than the other commissioners.

At the time of the map’s enactment, Democrats held five U.S. House seats in Arizona, and Republicans held four. The Arizona Republic‘s Ray Stern wrote, “The new map, should it withstand legal challenges, favors Republicans in five — and possibly six — of the state’s nine districts.”

Kentucky adopts new congressional map after legislature overrides gubernatorial veto

Kentucky adopted new congressional district boundaries on Jan. 20 after the general assembly overrode Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) veto of legislation establishing the state’s new congressional map. Beshear vetoed Senate Bill 3 —the congressional redistricting legislation —on Jan. 19. The vote to override the governor’s veto was 26-8 in the state Senate, with 23 Republicans and three Democrats voting in favor and five Democrats and three Republicans opposing it. The override vote was 64-24 in the state House, with all votes in favor cast by Republicans. Twenty-one Democrats and three Republicans voted to sustain Beshear’s veto.

In his veto statement, Gov. Beshear wrote, “I am vetoing Senate Bill 3 because it was drafted without public input and reflects unconstitutional political gerrymandering…Plainly, this map is not designed to provide fair representation to the people of Kentucky and was not necessary because of population changes.”

After Beshear’s veto, Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne (R) issued a statement that said, in part, “We are disappointed that the Governor has chosen to again veto lawfully enacted legislation. He is wrong on the facts, wrong on the law, and he knows it. This proposal meets all legal considerations. We will use our legislative authority to override this veto.”

Senate Bill 3 was introduced on Jan. 4 with the Senate voting in favor, 28-4, on Jan. 6 and the House approving, 65-25, on Jan. 8.

Twenty-eight U.S. senators running for re-election, six retiring

With Sens. Ron Johnson’s (R-Wis.) and John Thune’s (R-S.D.) recent announcements that they will seek re-election, all incumbent senators up for re-election in 2022 have made their decisions. Twenty-eight senators are seeking re-election—15 Republicans and 13 Democrats. Six senators are retiring—five Republicans and one Democrat. This is the highest number of Republicans not seeking re-election since at least 2012. 

In every election cycle within that time until the current one, either two or three Republican senators did not seek re-election. The number of retiring Democrats has ranged from zero to six.

The six open races in 2022 are in Alabama, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Vermont. Republicans hold the Senate seat in all states except Vermont. Three of the open Senate races—in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio—have at least one competitive rating (Toss-up, Tilt Republican, or Lean Republican) from three election forecasters.

Our battleground Senate races list currently consists of eight states: Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Democrats and Republicans each hold four of the battleground seats going into the elections.

Democrats have an effective majority in the Senate, with each party holding 50 seats and Vice President Kamala Harris (D) serving as the tie-breaking vote.

Looking back at Joe Biden’s first year in office

One year ago, Joe Biden (D) assumed office as the 46th president of the United States. Here’s a closer look at the first year of his administration:

  • Biden issued 77 executive orders, 46 presidential memoranda, 195 proclamations, and 26 notices. Biden’s 77 executive orders issued in his first year is higher than the average number of executive orders issued each year by other recent presidents. Donald Trump (R) issued 55 on average each year, Barack Obama (D) issued 35, and George W. Bush (R) issued 36.
  • We tracked five pieces of key legislation proposed before Congress during Biden’s first year, two of which he has signed into law. Biden signed the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 into law on March 11, 2021. The bill aimed to provide economic relief in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The second key bill that became law was the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021, which provided funds to build new infrastructure, invest in Amtrak, and repair and replace bridges, among other things. Biden signed the bill into law on November 15, 2021.
  • Since taking office, Biden has nominated 81 individuals to federal judgeships on Article III courts. As of January 20, 2022, 42 of the nominees have been confirmed. The monthly federal vacancy count report from January 1 said 11 of Biden’s confirmed judges were for the U.S. Court of Appeals, while 29 were for the U.S. District Courts. At the same point during previous presidential administrations, Trump had appointed 19 federal judges, Obama had appointed 13, and W. Bush had appointed 28.
  • During Biden’s first year, he issued no presidential pardons or commutations. During fiscal year 2017, Trump issued one pardon and no commutations. Obama and W. Bush issued no pardons or commutations during the first fiscal year of their presidencies.


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