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Welcome to the Friday, June 7, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. There’s a special reason to contribute on the final day of our membership drive
  2. Louisiana to decide abortion-related constitutional amendment in 2020
  3. Dallas, San Antonio mayoral runoffs headline Saturday Texas elections

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Louisiana to decide abortion-related constitutional amendment in 2020

The Louisiana legislature approved a bill last month designed to ban abortion when a fetal heartbeat is present, except in certain medical emergencies. The measure had bipartisan support, as seven Democrats joined all 24 Republicans to pass the bill in the state Senate and 17 Democrats and 59 Republicans voted in favor in the state House. It was signed into law by the state’s Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards.

Next year, voters will decide a state constitutional amendment stating “To protect human life, nothing in this constitution shall be construed to secure or protect a right to abortion or require the funding of abortion.”

The state Senate approved the amendment 33-5. All 25 Senate Republicans and eight Senate Democrats voting in favor of the amendment. Five Democrats voting against it. The state House approved the measure 78-21 with 59 Republicans, 16 Democrats, and three Independents voting in favor and 20 Democrats and one Independent opposed. A two-thirds vote is required in both chambers to refer a constitutional amendment to the ballot.

According to the Louisiana Pro-Life Amendment Coalition, which is campaigning in support of the ballot measure, the constitutional amendment would preclude a state court from ruling that the Louisiana Constitution provides a right to abortion.

Alabama and West Virginia voters approved ballot measures in 2018 declaring their state constitutions did not secure or protect a right to abortion. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey (R) signed a bill into law May 15 prohibiting all abortions in the state except those necessary to prevent a serious health risk to the woman. A West Virginia law in existence since 1882 that includes jail time for performing or receiving an abortion has been ruled unconstitutional by a federal court.

Learn more

Dallas, San Antonio mayoral runoffs headline June 8 Texas elections

We’re in a busy election period, with statewide elections in New Jersey on June 4 and Virginia’s state legislative primaries June 11. And as a bonus, there are even more elections across Texas on Saturday.

Two cities that are among the 10 largest in the country—Dallas and San Antonio—are holding runoff elections for mayor. Dallas’ runoff is an open-seat race while San Antonio’s incumbent mayor is seeking re-election.

In Dallas, the race is between state Rep. Eric Johnson and city councilmember Scott Griggs, who were the top two finishers among nine candidates in the May 4 general election. Johnson won 20.3% of the vote and Griggs 18.5%. Johnson has served in the state House since 2010 and Griggs was first elected to the Dallas City Council in 2011.

San Antonio’s mayoral runoff election features incumbent Ron Nirenberg and City Councilmember Greg Brockhouse. Nirenberg—who defeated incumbent Mayor Ivy Taylor in 2017—finished first in the May 4 general election with 48.7% of the vote. Brockhouse—who was first elected to the city council in 2017—finished second in the general with 45.5%.

We’re also covering runoff elections in Texas on June 8 for one seat on the Arlington City Council, two seats on the Plano City Council, and one seat on the Dallas Independent School District Board of Trustees.

Click here for more information on Dallas’ mayoral race    

Click here for more information on San Antonio’s mayoral race




About the author

Dave Beaudoin

Dave Beaudoin is a project director at Ballotpedia and can be reached at dave.beaudoin@ballotpedia.org

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