Welcome to the Thursday, June 3, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:
- Illinois voters will decide ballot measure in 2022 to make collective bargaining a state constitutional right
- Stansbury wins special election in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District
- Redistricting review: Illinois lawmakers approve state leg., supreme court maps
Illinois voters will decide ballot measure in 2022 to make collective bargaining a state constitutional right
On May 26, the Illinois House of Representatives voted in favor of placing a constitutional amendment that would make collective bargaining a right on the 2022 ballot. The House’s vote followed a May 21 Senate vote to place the amendment on the ballot. The measure would also prohibit a future right-to-work law in Illinois. This is the first measure placed on the 2022 ballot in the state.
During committee hearings, representatives from the Associated Fire Fighters of Illinois, Chicago Teachers, and Illinois AFL-CIO advocated for the constitutional amendment. Representatives from the Illinois Association of School Boards, Illinois Chamber of Commerce, and National Federation of Independent Business advocated against it.
Currently, 27 states have right-to-work laws, which mandate that no person can be required to pay dues to a labor union or join a labor union as a condition of employment.
In 2018, Missouri voters repealed the right-to-work law through a veto referendum. Missouri was the last state in which voters directly voted on a right-to-work law. In 2022, Tennessee voters will decide a measure to put a right-to-work provision into the state’s constitution. Tennessee enacted a right-to-work law in state statute 1947.
Since 1995, Illinois voters have decided seven constitutional amendments, approving five of them. The most recent defeated measure was in 2020, when 53% of voters opposed a constitutional amendment to repeal the requirement that the state personal income tax be a flat rate and instead allow the state to enact legislation for a graduated income tax. The 2020 tax amendment saw more than $123 million in contributions, with supporters and opponents evenly split in terms of campaign cash.
The Illinois General Assembly adjourned on May 31. Additional constitutional amendments can be referred to the 2022 general election ballot during the remainder of this year’s legislative session or during next year’s legislative session.
Stansbury wins special election in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District
Melanie Ann Stansbury (D) defeated Mark Moores (R) and four other candidates in New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District special election on June 1. Stansbury received 63% of the vote to Moore’s 33%.
The election took place after the U.S. Senate confirmed incumbent Debra Haaland (D) as secretary of the on March 15, 2021. In the 2020 general election, Haaland defeated Michelle Garcia Holmes (R), 58% to 42%.
Stansbury has served in the New Mexico House of Representatives since 2019. She led the race in fundraising and spending. According to reports filed with the Federal Election Commission, she had $1,348,453 in receipts and $874,861 in disbursements as of May 12. Moores had raised $595,423 and spent $469,868.
Christopher Manning (L), Aubrey Dunn (I), write-in Laura Olivas (I), and write-in Robert Ornelas (I) also ran.
Leading up to the election, Democrats had a 219-211 majority over Republicans. When Stansbury is sworn in, Democrats will have expanded their majority to 220-211.
So far, seven special elections have been called during the 117th Congress. This year, voters have decided two such elections—in Louisiana’s Second and Fifth Districts—with the special election in Texas’ Sixth District being decided in a July 27 runoff. From the 113th Congress to the 116th Congress, 50 special elections were held.
Redistricting review: Illinois lawmakers approve state leg., supreme court maps
Speaking of Illinois, let’s start there with our latest review of redistricting news from this week.
Last week, Illinois lawmakers approved revised maps for the Illinois state Senate, the Illinois House of Representatives, and the Illinois Supreme Court. The votes were as follows:
- State legislative redistricting plan (HB2777):
- House vote: 70-45
- Senate vote: 40-18
- In both chambers, the vote split along party lines, with all Democrats voting ‘yea’ and all Republicans present voting ‘nay.’
- Supreme court redistricting plan (SB0642):
- House vote: 71-45
- Senate vote: 40-18
- In both chambers, the vote split along partisan lines, with all Democrats voting ‘yea’ and all Republicans present voting ‘nay.’
State supreme court districts in Illinois were last redrawn in 1964. The state is divided into five supreme court districts. Cook County (home to Chicago) forms a single district, but it is allocated three seats on the seven-member court. Downstate Illinois is divided into four districts, each with one seat on the court. The Illinois Constitution specifies that those four districts should have substantially equal population. The 2019 Annual Report of the Illinois Courts estimated that these downstate state supreme court districts ranged from a population of 1.28 million to 3.19 million.
The state constitution allows state lawmakers to redraw supreme court districts at any time. However, according to The Chicago Tribune, “lawmakers have traditionally used boundaries for the circuit, appellate and Supreme Court laid out in a 1964 overhaul of the state’s court system.”
Ballotpedia’s study of partisanship on state supreme courts identified three justices we classified as strong Democrat and three classified as mild Republican. The court’s seventh justice, Robert Carter, was appointed by the other members of the Illinois Supreme Court to replace Thomas Kilbride, who lost a retention election in November 2020. Carter was first elected as a circuit court judge as a Democrat.
In Illinois, the General Assembly is responsible for redistricting. Maps are subject to gubernatorial veto. Illinois is a Democratic trifecta, meaning that Democrats control the governorship and majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly. Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) has not indicated whether he intends to sign HB2777 and SB0642 into law.
To stay up-to-date on developments in election policy at the federal, state, and local levels, click here to subscribe to our Ballot Bulletin newsletter. And to explore our study of partisanship of state supreme courts in Illinois and across the country, click here to read the full study.