The Golden State’s 46 local ballot measures of 2021

Welcome to the Wednesday, January 12, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. California voters decided 46 local ballot measures last year
  2. The 68 state legislators who ran for a different office in 2021
  3. U.S. Supreme Court adds three more cases to its 2021-2022 calendar

California voters decided 46 local ballot measures last year

California voters decided 46 local ballot measures on seven different election dates and ultimately approved 35 (76.1%) of them in 2021. Altogether, there were 57% fewer local measures in California last year than the average number of measures during the last three odd-year election cycles. In 2019, California voters decided 78 local measures, approving 62 (79.5%) of them. 

Let’s take a look at the issues California voters decided through local ballot measures last year. Most of California’s local measures—80%—dealt with taxes

  • 37 measures were related to taxes.
    • Parcel taxes (27 measures)
    • Sales taxes (3 measures)
    • Utility taxes and fees (3 measures)
    • Hotel taxes (2 measures)
    • Marijuana taxes (1 measure)
    • Real estate transfer taxes (1 measure)
  • Six were related to city governance, such as spending limits and election administration. 
  • One measure related to property and housing.
  • Two measures addressed other miscellaneous topics, like marijuana revenue. 

Eighteen of California’s 58 counties voted on at least one measure. Los Angeles County had the most measures of any county with seven.

To read more of our analysis of 2021 local ballot measures in California, click the link below. 

Keep reading

Sixty-eight state legislators ran for a different office in 2021 

Since 2018, we’ve compiled data on state and federal elected officials who run for other elected offices.  Last year, we tracked 68 state legislators across 18 states who ran for a different office than the one to which they were elected. Of those 68 legislators, 34% were elected to a new position. In 2019, 46% of the 69 state legislators who ran for other elected positions won their elections.

Democratic state legislators were more likely than Republicans to seek a different office. They were also more likely to lose. Overall, 47 Democrats and 21 Republicans ran for a different office, with 32% of Democrats and 38% of Republicans winning election to a new position. 

State representatives were more likely than state senators to run for a different office, and they were also more likely to win—12% of the 17 state senators and 41% of 51 state representatives who ran for another office were successful.

Legislators ran for a different office in 18 states, with a plurality (12) coming from New York. Eleven ran in Virginia and eight ran in both New Mexico and New Jersey (New Jersey and Virginia held regularly scheduled state legislative and state executive elections in 2021). 

The following table shows the positions that state legislators ran for in 2019 and 2021 and the results of those elections.

 In New York, the 12 legislators who sought a different office ran for a local office, all of which were concentrated in New York City (such as the New York City Council, the New York City Comptroller, or a borough president position). In Virginia, all 11 of the state legislators who sought a different office ran for a state executive office, like governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.

To learn more about state legislators who sought a different office in 2021, click below. 

Keep reading 

U.S. Supreme Court accepts three cases for argument on Jan. 10

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) accepted three additional cases for argument during its 2021-2022 term on Jan. 10. Let’s walk through a short summary of each of those cases.

  • United States v. Washington: This case concerns state workers’ compensation laws and intergovernmental immunity. The question presented to the court is: “Whether a state workers’ compensation law that applies exclusively to federal contract workers who perform services at a specified federal facility is barred by principles of intergovernmental immunity, or is instead authorized by 40 U.S.C. 3172(a), which permits the application of state workers’ compensation laws to federal facilities ‘in the same way and to the same extent as if the premises were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State.’” Washington originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
  • Kemp v. United States: This case concerns the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure governing court procedures in civil cases. The court will decide: “Whether Rule 60(b)(1) authorizes relief based on a district court’s error of law.” Kemp came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
  • Siegel v. Fitzgerald: This case concerns the constitutionality of a law imposing different fees on Chapter 11 debtors based on the district in which the bankruptcy is filed. The court will decide: “Whether the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act violates the uniformity requirement of the Bankruptcy Clause by increasing quarterly fees solely in U.S. Trustee districts.” Siegel came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

Thus far, the court has agreed to hear 59 cases during its 2021-2022 term. Four cases were dismissed, and one case was removed from the argument calendar. Eleven cases had not yet been scheduled for argument.

Keep reading