Tracking state vaccine mandates for healthcare workers

Welcome to the Wednesday, October 6, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. A look at statewide COVID vaccine mandates for healthcare workers
  2. An update on the Cincinnati city council’s emergency ordinance changing the text of Issue 3
  3. A preview of Ballotpedia’s state-level Virginia campaign finance analysis

Fifteen states have issued a COVID-19 vaccine mandate for healthcare workers

Since August, 15 states have announced COVID-19 vaccine requirements for healthcare workers.

Thirteen of those states have a Democratic trifecta. In Maryland and Massachusetts, the governor is a Republican but Democrats control the state legislature.

Twelve of the 15 states do not allow healthcare workers to choose between getting a vaccine and getting regularly tested. Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey, however, allow healthcare workers to undergo regular testing in lieu of a vaccine.

New Mexico imposed the earliest deadline—Aug. 27—for workers to get at least one dose of a vaccine. However, New Jersey required healthcare workers to be fully vaccinated or undergo regular testing no later than Sept. 7. Nevada’s Nov. 1 deadline is the latest of the 15 states with vaccine requirements.

As of Oct. 8, the deadline to have received at least one dose of a vaccine had passed in 10 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, and New York.

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Cincinnati city council fixes error that would have made Issue 3 increase city council salaries instead of decrease them

On Sept. 30, the Cincinnati City Council passed an emergency ordinance to fix an error in the legal text of Issue 3 on the Nov. 2 ballot. Here’s how we got here: 

  • Issue 3, a citizen initiative, was designed to decrease city council pay to the median household income ($46,260 in 2021), among six other changes to provisions governing the city council and mayor. As of the beginning of 2021, the salary of a city council member was $60,000. 
  • After proponents submitted enough valid signatures for the initiative, the city council approved an ordinance on Sept. 1 officially putting Issue 3 on the ballot that said median family income ($62,941 in 2021) instead of median household income.  
  • The error would have made Issue 3 increase city council pay instead of decreasing it.

According to City Solicitor Andrew Garth, the error occurred when a draft of the initiative text sent to his office had the word family instead of household. City staff wrote the initial ordinance based on that draft of the initiative text. However, initiative proponents had edited the petition text to change the word “family” to “household” before collecting signatures for the initiative. Initiative sponsors, city staff, and the board of elections did not notice the one-word difference until after the language was approved for the ballot on Sept. 16. A proposal to send a mailer out to voters explaining the discrepancy was voted down Oct. 4.

State Representative and city council candidate Tom Brinkman (R) sponsored the initiative. In addition to the change to city council pay, the measure would: 

  • require the city council to approve any lawsuits filed on behalf of the city;
  • establish a one-year residency requirement for mayoral and city council candidates;
  • make it so the runner-up in the last election fills city council vacancies instead of city council members designating a successor;
  • require the mayor to assign legislative proposals to the relevant committees within 30 days and to put proposals on the city council agenda within 30 days of them being reported out of committee;
  • make the mayor and city council members liable for purposeful or reckless violations of state open meeting laws; and 
  • provide for the removal of the mayor.

Local Ohio voters in Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Toledo, Hamilton County, and Lucas County will decide nine local ballot measures on Nov. 2.

In 2021, Ballotpedia is covering local measures that appear on the ballot for voters within the top 100 largest cities in the U.S. and all state capitals, including those outside of the top 100 largest cities. we’re also covering a selection of notable police-related and election-related measures outside of the top 100 largest cities. We are also covering all local measures in California and all statewide ballot measures.

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Ballotpedia to release article series giving readers a deep-dive into Virginia House campaign finance

Ballotpedia, in partnership with Transparency USA, will publish a series of articles analyzing candidate fundraising in the 2021 Virginia House of Delegates elections. Democrats have a 55-45 majority in the House. There are 93 districts with both a Democratic and Republican candidate on the ballot. This is the first election cycle since 1999 with Democrats defending a majority in the chamber.

Throughout October, Ballotpedia will publish three articles a week analyzing candidate fundraising in the lead-up to the Nov. 2 election. Among the questions we will answer are:

  • What are the five races where the two general election candidates raised the most and least money?
  • Which five candidates who lost in the primary stage raised the most money?
  • Did committee chairs raise more money than the average chamber member?
  • Have incumbents raised more money on average than non-incumbents?
  • What are the most expensive battleground races?
  • How does fundraising this cycle compare to the last cycle?

Keep your eyes open for these stories and more as they appear on a regular basis on both Ballotpedia News and in the Brew. Our first article, covering the districts with the most fundraising, can be found here.

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