ICYMI: Top stories of the week

Each week, we bring you a collection of the most viewed stories from The Daily Brew, condensed. Here are the top stories from the week of April 24-April 28.

Pennsylvania to hold special elections to—once again—determine control of state House

Two special elections on May 16 will determine partisan control of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives following the resignations of Lynda Schlegel Culver (R) and Michael Zabel (D). Culver has run unopposed in every election since 2018, including most recently in her 2022 re-election bid, while Zabel won re-election in 2022 with 64.3% of votes.  

Democrats currently have a one-seat majority in the House, with 101 members to Republicans’ 100.

Regular readers of The Brew will know that we’ve written a lot about Pennsylvania House over the last six months (see here, here, and here, for example). That’s because control of the narrowly divided chamber has shifted between Republicans and Democrats since the November 2022 elections thanks to a series of vacancies and special elections

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Florida voters will decide whether to make their school board elections partisan

Next year, Florida voters will decide on a constitutional amendment that would allow for partisan school board elections.

On April 19, the Florida Senate gave final approval to House Joint Resolution 31 (HJR 31), a constitutional amendment that would establish partisan elections for seats on the state’s 67 school boards.

All 28 Republicans and Sen. Linda Stewart (D) voted in favor of the proposal. The chamber’s remaining 11 Democrats voted against it.

We told you about HJR 31 earlier this month after the House approved the proposal 79-34 along party lines.

The amendment will need at least 60% voter approval to pass. The amendment would take effect for the 2026 school board elections if approved.

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Ohio Senate passes measure requiring 60% vote to approve constitutional amendments

On April 19, the Ohio Senate passed Senate Joint Resolution 2 (SJR 2), an amendment that would raise the threshold for voters to approve amendments to the Ohio Constitution from a simple majority to 60%. The vote was 26-7 along partisan lines. If the House passes the bill, it could go to voters in August 2023.

Illinois and Florida require a 60% supermajority to approve constitutional amendments.

Click here to read more about supermajority requirements for constitutional amendments. 

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