The Daily Brew: Highlights from April’s State Ballot Measure Monthly

Ballotpedia's Daily Brew

Welcome to the Monday, April 26, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Highlights from our latest State Ballot Measure Monthly newsletter
  2. Troy Carter wins Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District special election
  3. COVID-19 policy changes and events one year ago this week

Highlights from our latest State Ballot Measure Monthly newsletter

In case you don’t receive our State Ballot Measure Monthly newsletter, the most recent issue hit inboxes on Friday—April 23—and it’s a great one. The April edition of SBMM covers 19 new 2022 certified ballot measures as well as initiative restrictions. We’ve also updated the numbers below to include two new measures in Montana that were certified in recent days.

Twenty-one statewide measures were certified for the 2022 ballot from March 16 through April 22 in 12 states. This brought the total number of 2022 statewide measures certified so far up to 30 in 17 states. An average of 22 measures were certified for even-year ballots by this point from 2011 through 2019. No new 2021 measures were certified.

Here are a few highlights from the April edition of SBMM:

  • After gaining the supermajority required in November 2020, Republican lawmakers in West Virginia put a constitutional amendment on the 2022 ballot that would say that no state court has any authority over impeachment proceedings or judgments. 
    • The amendment is in response to impeachment proceedings against supreme court justices in 2018 that temporary supreme court justices blocked from going to trial.
  • Arkansas, Idaho, and Kentucky voters will decide in 2022 whether to give their legislatures the power to call themselves into special session. These measures were proposed partially in response to COVID-19.
  • In Idaho, the legislature passed and Gov. Brad Little (R) signed Senate Bill 1110 to increase signature distribution requirements for ballot initiatives.
  • Arkansas, South Dakota, and Utah legislators also passed ballot measure restrictions. Arkansas voters will decide a constitutional amendment in 2022 that would require 60% supermajority voter approval for any future constitutional amendments or initiated state statutes.

Click below to read the full April edition of SBMM.

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Troy Carter wins Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District special election

Troy Carter (D) won the special election for Louisiana’s 2nd Congressional District on Saturday—April 24. Carter received 55.2% of the vote, and fellow Democrat Karen Peterson received 44.8%. The two advanced to the general election from the March 20 all-party primary. Carter was elected to the state Senate in 2015 and has previously served in the Louisiana House of Representatives and the New Orleans City Council.

Former incumbent Cedric Richmond (D) and several U.S. House members endorsed Carter, a state senator. Peterson, who is also a state senator, had endorsements from 2018 Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams (D) and Gary Chambers (D), who finished third in the primary. 

Richmond resigned in January to become a senior adviser to President Joe Biden (D) and director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. He was first elected in 2010 and won re-election last year with 63.9% of the vote. Since 2000, the seat has been occupied by a Democrat in all years except 2009-2011, when it was occupied by Joseph Cao (R).

Carter and Peterson both supported legalizing marijuana, ending cash bail, forgiving student debt loans for up to $50,000, and a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land and waters. They also supported increasing the federal minimum wage but disagreed on what it should be raised to. Carter supported a $15 per hour minimum wage, while Peterson said she would support raising it to $20 per hour. The candidates also differed on healthcare policy, with Carter supporting a public option and Peterson supporting a Medicare for All plan.

This was the second special election decided for the 117th Congress. On March 20, voters in Louisiana’s 5th Congressional District elected Julia Letlow (R) in a special election to fill the vacancy left by Luke Letlow (R), who died before being seated in the 117th Congress from complications related to COVID-19.

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COVID-19 policy changes and events one year ago this week

We continue our Monday series highlighting policy changes and events related to the coronavirus pandemic from one year ago this week. Five major events are below. 

  • On April 27, 2020, Mississippi’s stay-at-home order became the fourth to expire. Alaska’s stay-at-home order expired first on April 24, while Montana’s and Colorado’s each ended on April 26. 
  • On April 27, the New York State Board of Elections canceled the Democratic presidential preference primary, which had been scheduled for June 23, 2020.
  • On April 28, President Donald Trump (R) signed an executive order aimed at keeping meat processing plants open throughout the country. Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to designate meat processing plants as critical infrastructure.
  • On April 29, Wyoming Gov. Mark Gordon (R) extended the statewide closure of schools to in-person instruction from April 30 to May 15.
  • On April 30, stay-at-home orders in Texas, Tennessee, Idaho, Georgia, and Alabama expired. Thirty-four stay-at-home orders remained in place.  

Click the link below for more policy changes and events from one year ago this week.

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