Ballot measure updates in Florida and Massachusetts

Welcome to the Tuesday, February 1, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Ballot measure updates in Florida and Massachusetts
  2. Republicans outraise Democrats by 44% in Florida state legislative races
  3. Last week had the highest weekly document total added to the Federal Register so far this year

Ballot measure updates in Florida and Massachusetts

Organizers of a sports betting initiative announced it would not qualify for the Florida ballot last week. Meanwhile, we have campaign finance totals and a lawsuit over an income tax amendment in Massachusetts. Here’s a closer look at last week’s ballot measure developments:

In Florida, Florida Education Champions, the sponsors of an initiated constitutional amendment that would authorize sports betting in the state, announced on Jan. 28  it would not have enough signatures to appear on the 2022 ballot.

The amendment would have permitted Native American tribes and entities that have existed for at least one year and conducted sports betting in at least 10 other states to operate online sports betting with additional opportunities presented to other entities in the future. The Educational Enhancement Trust Fund in the state’s Department of Education would have received all online sports betting tax revenue.

Florida Education Champions reported $37.2 million in contributions with the largest donations coming from existing sports betting platforms DraftKings ($22.7 million) and FanDuel ($14.5 million). The group reported $36.0 million in expenditures, including $23.8 million paid to Advanced Micro Targeting for petition gathering services.

Sponsors needed 891,589 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot. As of Jan. 30, the Florida Division of Elections showed that elections officials had validated 495,537 signatures. 

In Massachusetts, campaigns for and against an additional income tax amendment reported a combined $1.6 million in contributions. 

The amendment would create an additional income tax of 4% for income over $1 million—in addition to the existing 5% flat-rate income tax—and dedicate revenue to education and transportation. Massachusetts voters will decide on the amendment in November.

Raise Up Massachusetts, the campaign backing the amendment, reported $1.2 million in total contributions in 2021. The top donors included the Massachusetts Teachers Association, the state AFL-CIO, and 1199 SEIU MA PAC.

Coalition for a Strong Massachusetts Economy, which opposes the amendment, raised $437,486. The top donors included three individuals: Robert Reynolds, Nino Micozzi, and Jeffrey Markley. 

The state legislature referred the amendment to the November ballot after approving it by a 147-48 vote in 2019 and a 159-41 vote in 2021. Both votes were primarily along party lines with Democrats in the majority and Republicans in the minority.

As of Jan. 30, 64 statewide ballot measures have been certified in 30 states for the 2022 ballot. This is the largest number of certified ballot measures we have tracked through the fourth week of January since at least 2012. The next closest year, 2014, had 62 certified measures at this point.

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Republicans outraise Democrats by 44% in Florida state legislative races

Since the 2020 campaign cycle, Ballotpedia has partnered with Transparency USA to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections in 10 states, including Florida.

New campaign finance filings for Florida’s state legislative races show that between July 1, 2021, and Dec. 31, Republican candidates outraised Democratic candidates by 44 percent.

Ahead of the primaries this summer, 27 Republican candidates have raised $1.8 million compared to the $1.2 million 33 Democratic candidates have raised.

These figures are driven primarily by the largest five fundraisers in each party. For Democrats, the top five fundraisers accounted for 75% of the party’s total. For Republicans, the top five made up 67%.

Overall, the three candidates who raised the most money were Blaise Ingoglia (R) in Senate District 10 ($459,648), Ed Hooper (R) in Senate District 16 ($458,995), and Reggie Gaffney (D) in Senate District 6 ($447,959).

Ingoglia and Hooper are incumbent legislators, with Ingoglia seeking to move from the House to the Senate, and Hooper running for re-election in his current district. Gaffney is a member of the Jacksonville City Council.

Republicans currently hold a 24-15 majority in the state Senate and a 78-40 majority in the House. All 160 seats are up for election in November.

Florida’s state legislative primary elections are scheduled for Aug. 23. In some cases, party nominees may be chosen earlier.

We’ll provide updates throughout the year on state campaign finance reports through our partnership with Transparency USA.

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Last week had the highest weekly document total added to the Federal Register so far this year

From Jan. 24 through Jan. 28, the Federal Register added 614 documents, the most so far this year and the sixth-highest weekly total during President Joe Biden’s (D) administration. 

The Federal Register is a daily journal of federal government activity that includes presidential documents, proposed and final rules, and public notices. It is a common measure of an administration’s regulatory activity accounting for both regulatory and deregulatory actions.

The 614 documents in last week’s Federal Register included:

  • 509 notices
  • 40 proposed rules
  • 65 final rules

These 614 documents accounted for 1,342 pages setting the register’s year-to-date page total at 4,762. 

Of these documents, five proposed rules and seven final rules were deemed significant under Executive Order 12866, meaning they have the potential to have large effects on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments. This includes a final rule withdrawing an emergency temporary standard that mandated employers of more than 100 employees to require COVID-19 vaccinations.

The Biden administration has issued 16 significant proposed rules and 24 significant final rules as of Jan. 28.

Ballotpedia maintains page counts and other information about the Federal Register as part of its Administrative State Project. Use the link below to find more information about weekly additions to the Federal Register since 2017.

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