ICYMI: Top stories of the week


Maryland voters to decide marijuana legalization amendment in November

On April 1, the Maryland General Assembly referred a constitutional amendment to the ballot that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 or older beginning in July 2023. If voters approve the amendment, Maryland would join 18 states and Washington, D.C., in legalizing marijuana for recreational use.

Read more

The margin of victory in districts with retiring incumbents

Fifty-four members of Congress have announced they will not seek re-election. Seven U.S House incumbents retiring this year won election in 2020 with a margin of victory of less than 10%, all of them Democrats. No retiring Republican incumbents had narrow victory margins in 2020. 

Read more

Across 11 states, PACs raised $1.2 billion in 2021

Ballotpedia published 2021 fundraising reports for state-level PACs in 11 states in partnership with Transparency USA. A PAC is defined as a group that spends money on elections. Across those 11 states, PACs collectively raised more than $1.2 billion. Florida PACs raised the most, accounting for $394 million.

Read more

Certified ballot measures lag prior even years at this point in the cycle

Eighty-four statewide measures have been certified for the ballot in 31 states so far this year, five less than the average number certified at this point in other even-numbered years from 2010 to 2020. 

Here’s an update on the latest ballot measure activity:

Three new measures were certified for the ballot last week:

  1. Alabama County and Municipality Economic and Industrial Development Financing Amendment (2022)
  2. Alabama Notice to Victim’s Family Required for Commutation or Reprieve of Death Sentences Amendment (2022)
  3. Maryland Requiring Howard County Circuit Court Judges to Serve on Orphan Court Amendment (2022)

Enough signatures were verified for five initiatives in Alaska, Massachusetts, and Ohio to certify them to the legislature: 

  1. Alaska State Recognition of American Indian Tribes Initiative (2022)
  2. Massachusetts App-Based Drivers as Contractors and Labor Policies Initiative (2022)
  3. Massachusetts Changes to Alcohol Retail Licensing Initiative (2022)
  4. Massachusetts Medical Loss Ratios for Dental Insurance Plans Initiative (2022)
  5. Ohio Marijuana Legalization Initiative (2022)

Read more

The number of state legislators is increasing

On March 25, Wyoming became the first state to add new seats to its legislature in the current redistricting cycle when its new legislative districts became law. These maps create one new Senate seat and two new House seats. This means that after the 2022 elections, Wyoming will have 31 state Senators and 62 state Representatives.

Nationwide, there are currently 1,971 state Senators and 5,411 state Representatives. After the 2022 elections, there will be at least 1,972 Senators and 5,413 Representatives.

In Wyoming, the Republican-controlled legislature passed the maps 17-12 in the Senate and 44-12 in the House. Gov. Mark Gordon (R) allowed the maps to go into effect without his signature. 

Read more