Author

Janie Valentine

Janie Valentine is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

Rep. Mary Miller defeats Rep. Rodney Davis in IL-15

U.S. Rep. Mary Miller defeated Rep. Rodney Davis in the Republican primary for Illinois’ 15th Congressional District on June 28, 2022. With 91% of precincts reporting, Miller had received 57.2% of the vote to Davis’ 42.8%.

This race was one of six U.S. House incumbent-vs.-incumbent primaries occurring in 2022 as a result of congressional redistricting.

The Herald & Review‘s Brenden Moore wrote that the race was “among the most contentious incumbent-versus-incumbent primaries in the country” and said the candidates “traded barbs over who [was] the true conservative candidate in the race.” As of election day, the primary had the second most satellite spending of all 2022 U.S. House races.

Miller said she was the “only Republican member of Congress from Illinois who’s fighting every aspect of the Biden agenda and putting America first,” saying on her campaign website that she had opposed “the disgraceful January 6th ‘witch hunt’ Commission, President Biden’s ‘red-flag’ gun confiscation measures, COVID vaccine mandates and databases, and taxpayer-funded chemical abortion.” She criticized Davis for a bill he cosponsored in 2019 that would have provided grants for states to enact extreme risk protection order laws, or red flag laws. Miller said, “I am the only candidate with an A rating from the NRA and Gun Owners of America because I support our Second Amendment! Everyone is tired of Red Flag Rodney Davis, who stabbed conservatives in the back by supporting federal gun confiscation.”

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller in January 2022. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Club for Growth, the Conservative Political Action Coalition, and the House Freedom Fund also endorsed Miller.

Davis said, “I stick with my core values and principles. I have always been pro-life and will continue to stick by those values and principles. I’ve always stood up for the Second Amendment. I will continue to do that. But what separates me from my opponent is I have a record of actually governing. When people put Republicans in charge, at any level of government, they actually expect them to do the job.” Davis criticized Miller for voting against the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, saying, “All Mary Miller has to show for her time in Congress is quoting Hitler and voting with Democrats like [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and the far left squad to defund our military and block a pay raise for our troops. That’s shameful. It’s clear that Mary Miller is all talk, no action.”

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Illinois Farm Bureau, and Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge endorsed Davis, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.).

Davis has represented Illinois’ 13th Congressional District since 2013, and Miller has represented the 15th Congressional District since 2021. According to data from Daily Kos, 28% of the new 15th District’s population came from the old 13th District (represented by Davis), and 31% came from the old 15th District (represented by Miller). Illinois lost one congressional district following the 2020 census.

Major independent observers rate the general election as solid or safe Republican.



U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Mary Miller compete for re-election in Illinois’ 15th Congressional District

U.S. Reps. Rodney Davis and Mary Miller are running in the Republican primary for Illinois’ 15th Congressional District on June 28, 2022. This race is one of six incumbent-vs.-incumbent primaries occurring in 2022 as a result of congressional redistricting after the 2020 census.

Davis has represented Illinois’ 13th Congressional District since 2013. Miller has represented the 15th Congressional District since 2021. According to data from Daily Kos, 28% of the new 15th District’s population came from the old 13th District (represented by Davis), and 31% came from the old 15th District (represented by Miller). Illinois lost one congressional district following the 2020 census.

The Herald & Review‘s Brenden Moore wrote, “The race has been among the most contentious incumbent-versus-incumbent primaries in the country. … Davis and Miller have traded barbs over who is the true conservative candidate in the race.” According to OpenSecrets, the primary currently comes in second in total satellite spending out of all 2022 U.S. House races, with over $7.5 million spent as of June 15.

Davis said, “I stick with my core values and principles. I have always been pro-life and will continue to stick by those values and principles. I’ve always stood up for the Second Amendment. I will continue to do that. But what separates me from my opponent is I have a record of actually governing. When people put Republicans in charge, at any level of government, they actually expect them to do the job.” Davis criticized Miller for voting against the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act, saying, “All Mary Miller has to show for her time in Congress is quoting Hitler and voting with Democrats like [Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez] and the far left squad to defund our military and block a pay raise for our troops. That’s shameful. It’s clear that Mary Miller is all talk, no action.”

The Illinois Farm Bureau, Illinois Fraternal Order of Police State Lodge, and Illinois AFL-CIO endorsed Davis, along with U.S. Reps. Mike Bost (R-Ill.) and Darin LaHood (R-Ill.).

Miller said, “I’m the only Republican member of Congress from Illinois who’s fighting every aspect of the Biden agenda and putting America first. I’m fighting for real election security so that voters decide elections, not the ballot counters. And I’m proud to be the only Republican from Illinois to vote against the Biden-Pelosi gun confiscation bill which would have allowed firearms to be seized by the federal government.” Miller criticized Davis for a bill he cosponsored in 2019 that would have provided grants for states to enact extreme risk protection order laws, or red flag laws. Miller said, “I am the only candidate with an A rating from the NRA and Gun Owners of America because I support our Second Amendment! Everyone is tired of Red Flag Rodney Davis, who stabbed conservatives in the back by supporting federal gun confiscation.”

Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Miller on January 1, 2022. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Club for Growth, the Conservative Political Action Coalition, and the House Freedom Fund also endorsed Miller.

Major independent observers rate the general election as solid or safe Republican.



Illinois judge denies petition to have collective bargaining amendment removed from ballot

UnionStationHeader.png

On May 26, an Illinois judge denied a petition to have the Illinois Right to Collective Bargaining Amendment (Amendment 1) removed from the November general election ballot. 

Background

The Illinois General Assembly referred a constitutional amendment to the Nov. 8, 2022, ballot that would guarantee employees the right to organize and bargain collectively.

The proposed amendment would add the following language to Article I of the Illinois Constitution:

  1. “Employees shall have the fundamental right to organize and to bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing for the purpose of negotiating wages, hours, and working conditions, and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work. No law shall be passed that interferes with, negates, or diminishes the right of employees to organize and bargain collectively over their wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment and work place safety, including any law or ordinance that prohibits the execution or application of agreements between employers and labor organizations that represent employees requiring membership in an organization as a condition of employment.”
  2. “The provisions of this Section are controlling over those of Section 6 of Article VII.”

In Illinois, a legislatively referred constitutional amendment requires three-fifths of the members of both houses of the General Assembly to vote to put it on the ballot. Amendment 1 was introduced as Senate Joint Resolution 11 on May 7, 2021. The resolution passed the Senate 49-7 on May 21, 2021, and passed the House 80-30 on May 26. No Democrats voted against the resolution. Eleven Republicans in the Senate and nine Republicans in the House supported the resolution. 

For the amendment to be ratified, the ballot measure must be approved by three-fifths of voters, or by a majority of voters who cast a ballot in the election. In most states, voters can pass a legislatively referred constitutional amendment with a simple majority vote on the question.  

About the petition

On April 21, 2022, petitioners Sarah Sachen, Ifeoma Nkemdi, Joseph Ocol, and Alberto Molina filed a petition and complaint in the Seventh Judicial Circuit Court in Sangamon County against the Illinois State Board of Elections, the Illinois Secretary of State, and the Illinois State Comptroller, seeking to remove the amendment from the ballot. Attorneys from the Liberty Justice Center and the Illinois Policy Institute represent the petitioners, who are Chicago Public School teachers or parents.  

The petitioners alleged that the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) “preempts Amendment 1’s attempt to provide a state-law right to collective bargaining” and that “Amendment 1 conflicts with the NLRA.” The petitioners asked the court to declare that the amendment would violate the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution and to block the defendants from using public funds to put the amendment on the ballot. The petition said, “Petitioners have standing to bring their claim as taxpayers. Taxpayers are injured when the state uses its general revenue funds for an unconstitutional purpose because they are liable to replenish improperly used funds. … Thus, the Illinois Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized that taxpayers have standing to seek an injunction to prevent the state from using public funds to place an unconstitutional proposal on the ballot.” 

A hearing was held on May 20. 

The court’s decision

On May 26, Circuit Judge Raylene Grischow denied the petition, writing that “the Court has no power to restrain a referendum on the grounds that, if the proposed law were enacted, its enforcement would be unconstitutional” and that the petitioners “offer no basis for preventing the Amendment’s submission to the voters merely because some anticipated applications may be preempted by federal law.” 

Grischow wrote:

“At most, federal preemption would merely render the Workers’ Rights Amendment dormant, not invalid, because it would still apply to situations not covered by the NLRA and would become enforceable even as to preempted applications in the event the NLRA were ever repealed. … 

“Thus, the proposed Amendment would serve at least three permissible purposes. First, it would create rights for public employees, which Petitioners concede is not preempted by the NLRA. Second, it would restrain the power of the General Assembly to pass laws restricting union security agreements, a subject left open to the states. Third, it would act as a state-law failsafe to preserve rights for private-sector employees in the event the federal government ever decided to abandon the NLRA. … 

“Accordingly, the Petition states no reasonable grounds for filing suit. The Illinois constitution requires the amendment to be put to the voters because it complies with the requirements in Article XIV, section 2 of the Illinois constitution. The Court has no power to pass on the validity of the proposed Amendment unless and until it is adopted by the voters. To do so would constitute an improper advisory opinion. … Moreover, even if the Court could entertain Petitioners’ challenges to the anticipated enforcement of the proposed Amendment, Petitioners plainly concede it has substantial applications unaffected by any federal preemption. Petitioners are therefore not entitled to an order prohibiting the placement of the proposed Amendment on the ballot.”

The case name and number are Sachen v. Illinois State Board of Elections (22-CH-34).

What happens next

Representatives from the Liberty Justice Center and the Illinois Policy Institute say they plan to appeal the circuit court’s decision.  

Illinois Policy Institute attorney Mailee Smith said, “We are committed to pursuing our claims in court and ensuring Illinois voters are not forced to vote on an unconstitutional amendment. The law is clear that Amendment 1 would do more than the state is allowed to do. Illinoisans deserve to have this addressed now. Not later. Not after their tax dollars have been wasted putting an unconstitutional measure on the ballot. We look forward to our next opportunity to argue on behalf of taxpayers.”

According to NPR Illinois’ Hannah Meisel, Amendment 1 “will have a full-scale campaign behind it beginning later this spring, orchestrated by labor-backed independent expenditure committee Vote Yes for Workers Rights.” A representative for the committee said, “Frankly, we aren’t surprised that big money special interest groups are trying to keep workers in Illinois from being able to vote yes for workers rights in a fair and free election. … We’re confident that this amendment will be on the ballot in November…And I think that it’s very telling that [the opposition] knows voters have this opportunity to make this choice and they’re doing everything that they can to remove that choice from the hands of working Illinoisans.”

At least three state constitutions—in Hawaii, Missouri, and New York—provide a right to collective bargaining. Unlike in those states, the Illinois Right to Collective Bargaining Amendment would also preempt right-to-work laws prohibiting collective bargaining agreements requiring union membership as a condition of employment. 

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 144 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s) 

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.

  • California AB1577: This bill would allow state legislative employees to organize and bargain collectively.
    • Bipartisan sponsorship.
    • Referred to Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee June 8.
  • California AB1714: This bill would allow unions representing excluded state employees to request arbitration with the Department of Human Resources in certain circumstances.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Referred to Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee and Senate Judiciary Committee June 8. Senate Labor, Public Employment, and Retirement Committee hearing set for June 13.
  • California SB931: This bill would allow a union to bring a claim before the Public Employment Relations Board against a public employer allegedly in violation of California Government Code Section 3550 and sets civil penalties for violations. Section 3550 prohibits public employers from discouraging union membership.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Assembly Judiciary Committee hearing set for June 14.
  • Pennsylvania HB844: This bill would ban public employee social security numbers and personal contact information as subjects of collective bargaining.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Removed from the table June 7, laid on the table again June 8.
  • Pennsylvania HB845: This bill would require any proposed public employee collective bargaining agreement to be published on the public employer’s website at least 14 days before the agreement is accepted. It would also make documents from the collective bargaining process into public records subject to the state’s right-to-know law.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Removed from the table June 7, laid on the table again June 8.
  • Pennsylvania HB2042: This bill would require public employers to provide non-union members with an annual notification that they are not required to make payments to a union and to provide new and returning employees with a notification that they do not have to join a union.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Removed from the table June 7, laid on the table again June 8.
  • Pennsylvania HB2048: This bill would prohibit collective bargaining agreements from authorizing the deduction of political contributions from public employee wages.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Removed from the table June 7, laid on the table again June 8.


Nunn wins IA-03 Republican primary

Zach Nunn defeated Nicole Hasso and Gary Leffler in the Republican primary for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District on June 7, 2022. With more than 95% of precincts reporting, Nunn had received 66% of the vote to Hasso’s 19% and Leffler’s 15%.

Heading into the primary, Nunn and Hasso led in endorsements and fundraising. Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), and Americans for Prosperity Action endorsed Nunn. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) endorsed Hasso. Nunn and Hasso both reported six-figure fundraising to the Federal Elections Commission, while Leffler did not report any contributions.

Nunn, an Iowa state senator and Air Force veteran, said he is running for Congress to “stand up for our brave men and women in uniform, fight for safe neighborhoods and to secure our border.” According to KCCI‘s Amanda Rooker, “[Nunn] says his mission is to strengthen the economy and national defense.”

Hasso, a financial services professional, said she ran “to support our police, protect innocent life, defend our right to keep and bear arms, fight for lower taxes, smaller government, and better opportunities for all Americans.” Rooker wrote, “[Hasso said] her top priorities are tackling inflation and securing the border.”

Democratic incumbent Cindy Axne was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, defeating incumbent David Young (R) 49.3%-47.1%. In a 2020 rematch, Axne defeated Young 48.9% to 47.5%.

As of May 31, major independent observers rated the general election as a toss-up. After Nunn won the Republican primary, Dave Wasserman—U.S. House editor for the Cook Political Report—and Kyle Kondik—managing editor of Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball—tweeted that their publications would change the rating of the general election in Iowa’s 3rd District from toss-up to lean Republican.

After redistricting, Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District gained nine counties that voted for former President Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 election. The district voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020.



Three candidates running for Republican nomination in Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District

Nicole Hasso, Gary Leffler, and Zach Nunn are running in the Republican primary for Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District on June 7, 2022. Hasso and Nunn lead in endorsements and fundraising.

According to the Des Moines Register’s Brianne Pfannenstiel, “It’s been a relatively low-key primary race ahead of what is expected to be one of the hottest general election contests in the country. The three Republicans have been quietly campaigning across the newly configured 3rd Congressional District and raising money, preferring to focus their ire on [Democratic incumbent Cindy Axne] than each other.”

Hasso, a financial services professional, said she is running “to support our police, protect innocent life, defend our right to keep and bear arms, fight for lower taxes, smaller government, and better opportunities for all Americans.” According to KCCI’s Amanda Rooker, “[Hasso] says her top priorities are tackling inflation and securing the border.” U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) endorsed Hasso in August 2021, calling her an “outsider who will take on the Washington swamp and will help fight back against the left’s extremist agenda.”

Nunn is an Iowa state senator and Air Force veteran who owns a marketing business and commands an intelligence squadron in the Iowa Air National Guard. Nunn said he is running to “stand up for our brave men and women in uniform, fight for safe neighborhoods and to secure our border.” According to Rooker, “[Nunn] says his mission is to strengthen the economy and national defense.” Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas), and Americans for Prosperity Action endorsed Nunn. Crenshaw said, “I’m supporting Zach because I know that he’ll continue to defend our freedom and liberties as we both have done on the battlefield and now in public service.”

Axne was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, defeating incumbent David Young (R) 49%-47%. In a 2020 rematch, Axne won re-election with 49% of the vote to Young’s 48%.

Major independent observers rated the general election as a toss-up. After redistricting, Iowa’s 3rd Congressional District gained nine counties that voted for former President Donald Trump (R) in the 2020 election. The district voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020.



Department of Justice says National Guard members can unionize while on state active duty

UnionStationHeader.png

On May 17, the U.S. Department of Justice settled a lawsuit four unions filed asking a federal court to declare that a federal law prohibiting members of the armed forces from unionizing did not apply to members of the National Guard on state active duty. 

About the case

Four unions representing workers in Connecticut—American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 4, the Connecticut Police and Fire Union, the National Association of Government Employees, and Civil Service Employees International Union Local 2001—filed a lawsuit on Nov. 15, 2021, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut against U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Attorneys from Yale Law School’s Veterans Legal Services Clinic and Livingston, Adler, Pulda, Meiklejohn & Kelly represented the unions. 

A union representative said at the time, “We are bringing this lawsuit because Guard members on state orders should have the same opportunity to have a voice in their state workplace as the public employees with whom they work shoulder to shoulder.”

The unions’ lawsuit said

“While serving under the command of the Governor and pursuant to state law, Guard members work alongside other state and local employees. Yet unlike firefighters, healthcare workers, law enforcement, emergency medical technicians, and other state and local employees, members of the Connecticut National Guard have no labor organization that can represent them or advocate for their interests when in state status.

Section 976 of Title 10 of the U.S. Code makes it a felony for members of the armed forces—including members of the National Guard when activated to federal status—to join or attempt to form a labor organization. The same federal statute makes it a felony for unions such as Plaintiffs to support labor organizing in the armed forces, including by Guard members when activated to federal status.

“The plain language of this federal criminal statute, confirmed by its legislative

history, does not apply to members of the National Guard when they are mobilized by state governors under state law. 

“However, the statute’s serious criminal penalties—combined with the lack of

historical and legal precedent confirming that a Guard member in state service who joins or forms a labor organization will not be subjected to federal prosecution—has chilled the speech and associational activity of Guard members in state service, and of unions that they might otherwise seek to join.”

The unions asked the court to either declare the statute did not apply to Connecticut National Guard members attempting to organize while serving on state active duty, or to block the statute from being enforced against National Guard members on state active duty as a violation of the First and Tenth Amendments.

In January 2022, Garland and the DOJ sought to dismiss the case. Justice Department lawyers said, “Plaintiffs seek a declaration that ‘members of the armed forces’ does not include members of the Connecticut National Guard on state active duty or in the Inactive National Guard. But by its own terms, § 976 does not apply to Guard members on state active duty or in the Inactive National Guard. Indeed, at no point in the history of § 976 has any government entity ever interpreted the statute as such. Plaintiffs’ suit is thus not a case or controversy within the meaning of Article III of the United States Constitution.” 

Two settlement conferences were held in March, and Garland and the DOJ reached a settlement with the unions on May 17. According to a news release from Yale Law School, “As part of the settlement … the Department of Justice’s position on the ability of National Guard members on state orders to organize has been distributed to all 54 National Guard Human Resources departments.”

The case name and number are AFSCME Council 4 et al. v. Garland et al. (3:21-cv-01524).

What happens now

According to the Associated Press’s Dave Collins, “Connecticut Guard members were waiting for the agreement to be finalized before beginning unionizing efforts,” and National Guard officials said they were reviewing the case. 

However, Collins said, the DOJ’s statement in January encouraged a group of Texas National Guard members to join the Texas State Employees Union months before the case was settled. Jacobin’s Steve Early and Suzanne Gordon wrote, “Union goals include a guaranteed end date for all Guard members on state active duty, full restoration of tuition assistance slashed by [Gov. Greg Abbott (R)], and immediate access to the same health care coverage as other state employees, along with state subsidized coverage ‘for our families while on Texas Military state mobilization.’”  

According to Collins, “[A Connecticut National Guard spokesman] said he did not think the lawsuit settlement would have a major impact on the state Guard, because active duty state deployments are not common. But it could have a significant effect on other state Guards with ongoing state deployments, including Texas …” 

Perspectives

Support

A news release from Yale Law School said, “[U]nions around the country can now support National Guard members on state orders in organizing for better conditions of employment without fear of prosecution under federal law.” 

Opposition

The Freedom Foundation, which calls itself a “battle tank that’s battering the entrenched power of left-wing government union bosses,” said, “Unionization is fundamentally incompatible with military service of any kind. Unionizing National Guard units could erode discipline, dilute the chain of command, and undermine unit readiness.” 

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 143 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s) 

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.

  • California AB1577: This bill would allow state legislative employees to organize and bargain collectively.
    • Bipartisan sponsorship.
    • Senate read second time, amended, and sent back to Senate Appropriations Committee May 24. Sent to Senate Rules Committee May 25.
  • California SB931: This bill would allow a union to bring a claim before the Public Employment Relations Board against a public employer allegedly in violation of California Government Code Section 3550 and sets civil penalties for violations. Section 3550 prohibits public employers from discouraging union membership.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate read third time, passed, ordered to the Assembly May 24. Assembly read first time, held at desk May 25.
  • California SB1313: This bill would prohibit Los Angeles County from discriminating against union members by limiting employee health benefits.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate read third time, passed, ordered to the Assembly May 24. Assembly read first time, held at desk May 25.
  • California SB1406: This bill would allow unions representing excluded state employees to request arbitration with the Department of Human Resources in certain circumstances.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate read third time, passed, ordered to the Assembly May 25.
  • Pennsylvania HB844: This bill would ban public employee social security numbers and personal contact information as subjects of collective bargaining.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Removed from the table May 24, laid on the table again.
  • Pennsylvania HB845: This bill would require any proposed public employee collective bargaining agreement to be published on the public employer’s website at least 14 days before the agreement is accepted. It would also make documents from the collective bargaining process into public records subject to the state’s right-to-know law.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Removed from the table May 24, laid on the table again.
  • Pennsylvania HB2042: This bill would require public employers to provide non-union members with an annual notification that they are not required to make payments to a union and to provide new and returning employees with a notification that they do not have to join a union.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Removed from the table May 24, laid on the table again.
  • Pennsylvania HB2048: This bill would prohibit collective bargaining agreements from authorizing the deduction of political contributions from public employee wages.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Removed from the table May 24, laid on the table again.


Anaheim mayor Harry Sidhu resigns

Anaheim Mayor Harry Sidhu announced on May 23 that he would resign after information about an ongoing federal corruption investigation was made public earlier this month. Sidhu’s resignation was effective May 24.

According to a May 12 affidavit, the purpose of the FBI investigation is to determine whether Sidhu “shared privileged and confidential information with the [Los Angeles Angels] during stadium sale negotiations, actively concealed same from a Grand Jury inquiry, and expects to receive campaign contributions as a result.”

Sidhu’s attorney, Paul Meyer, said Sidhu resigned to “allow [Anaheim] to move forward without distraction.” Meyer said a “fair and thorough investigation will prove [Sidhu] did not leak secret information in hopes of a later political campaign contribution.”

Mayor Pro Tem Trevor O’Neil and members of the Anaheim City Council asked Sidhu to resign on May 18. A timeline of the city’s responses can be viewed here.

The city council has 60 days to fill the vacancy by appointment. Otherwise, the city charter requires a special election to be held. Anaheim is holding a regular general election for mayor on Nov. 8. A news release from the city said, “Given proximity to November’s election, where the mayor’s seat is set to go before voters, an election to fill the seat could be held at the same time.”

Municipal elections in Anaheim are nonpartisan. Sidhu previously ran for state office as a Republican.

Twenty-four of the 100 largest U.S. cities, including Anaheim, are holding mayoral elections in 2022. In the four elections that have taken place so far, no partisan changes have occurred.

The mayors of 62 of the country’s 100 largest cities are affiliated with the Democratic Party. Republicans hold 25 mayoral offices, independents hold four, and seven mayors are nonpartisan. One mayor’s partisan affiliation is unknown, and following Sidhu’s resignation, there is one vacancy.

Ballotpedia uses one or more of the following sources to identify each officeholder’s partisan affiliation: (1) direct communication from the officeholder, (2) current or previous candidacy for partisan office, or (3) identification of partisan affiliation by multiple media outlets.

Additional reading:



CMS rule allows states to deduct union dues, benefits from Medicaid payments

UnionStationHeader.png

On May 12, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a rule allowing states to make Medicaid payments to third parties, such as for union dues or benefits, on behalf of individual home care providers.

About the rule

The final rule “explicitly authorizes States to make payments to third parties on behalf of individual practitioners, for individual practitioners’ health insurance and welfare benefits, skills training, and other benefits customary for employees, if the individual practitioner consents to such payments on their behalf.” The rule was published in the Federal Register on May 16.

The rule “reinterprets the scope” of Section 1902(a)(32) of the Social Security Act, which says, “[N]o payment under the plan for any care or service provided to an individual shall be made to anyone other than such individual or the person or institution providing such care or service,” with certain exceptions.

According to Bloomberg Law‘s Christopher Brown, “Medicaid has become increasingly reliant on the home health workforce in recent years as federal health-care policy has shifted to encourage care in the home and community rather than in institutions. Over 50% of Medicaid spending on long-term care now takes place in the home and communities, up from less than 10% in the 1980s.” Brown said that of the 3.4 million individual practitioners in the country, at least 800,000 belong to a union. 

The backstory 

In a final rule document published in 2014, during the Obama administration, CMS said the goal of the statute in question was “not to preclude a Medicaid program that is functioning as the practitioner’s primary source of revenue from fulfilling the basic responsibilities that are associated with that role.” The 2014 rule made an exception allowing states to “enter into third party payment arrangements on behalf of individual practitioners for health and welfare benefit contributions, training costs, and other costs customary for employees.” 

In 2019, during the Trump administration, CMS published a final rule that removed the 2014 exception, saying, “[T]his provision [§ 447.10(g)(4)] is neither explicitly nor implicitly authorized by the statute, which identifies the only permissible exceptions to the rule that only a provider may receive Medicaid payments.“ 

Six states—California, Connecticut, Illinois, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Washington—challenged the 2019 rule with a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. In November 2020, the court struck the rule and sent it back to CMS for further assessment. The defendant, then-HHS Secretary Alex Azar, appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The case was temporarily suspended following the change in administrations and is currently on administrative hold through June 2022. 

In the May 2022 final rule document, CMS said

“Presently, as a result of the district court decision, the 2019 final rule is nullified and the 2014 final rule implementing § 447.10(g)(4) represents current policy. When the district court vacated the 2019 final rule and remanded the case to HHS for further proceedings, we had broad discretion as to how to address the remand. Because the vacatur reestablished the policy from the 2014 rule, we could have simply published a final rule in the Federal Register waiving notice of proposed rulemaking and public comment and informing the public that § 447.10(g)(4) was in effect due to the district court’s decision … We initially appealed, then chose to review the statute anew, eventually determining that the payments to third parties addressed in this rulemaking fall outside the scope of the statute.”

To read more about the rulemaking process and see comments CMS received about the most recent rule, click here.

About CMS

Part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), CMS administers public healthcare programs including Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), and the health insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act.  

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 142 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Number of relevant bills by partisan status of sponsor(s) 

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of relevant legislative actions taken since our last issue.

  • California AB1714: This bill would allow unions representing excluded state employees to request arbitration with the Department of Human Resources in certain circumstances. 
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Assembly Appropriations Committee hearing May 19. 
  • California AB2556: This bill would change the time frame for a local public agency employer to implement a final offer after a factfinders’ recommendation has been submitted in the case of a dispute between the employer and employee organization. 
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Referred to Senate Labor, Public Employment and Retirement Committee May 18. 
  • California SB931: This bill would allow a union to bring a claim before the Public Employment Relations Board against a public employer allegedly in violation of California Government Code Section 3550 and sets civil penalties for violations. Section 3550 prohibits public employers from discouraging union membership.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate Appropriations Committee hearing May 19. 
  • California SB1313: This bill would prohibit Los Angeles County from discriminating against union members by limiting employee health benefits. 
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate Appropriations Committee hearing May 19.
  • California SB1406: This bill would allow unions representing excluded state employees to request arbitration with the Department of Human Resources in certain circumstances.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate Appropriations Committee hearing May 19.
  • Colorado SB230: This bill would give county employees the right to organize and bargain collectively beginning in 2023.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Speaker of the House and president of the Senate signed May 18. Bill sent to the governor.
  • Louisiana HB663: This bill would allow public employees to resign from union membership and revoke dues deduction authorizations at any time. It would require employees to annually renew dues deduction authorizations by signing a form described in the bill. The public employer would be required to confirm the authorization by email.
    • Republican sponsorship. 
    • House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee hearing May 19. 
  • Missouri HB2121: This bill would establish the “Public Employee Janus Rights Act.” It would require public employees to give written, informed consent before union dues or fees may be withheld from their paychecks. Employees must also give written, informed consent for unions to use fees or dues for political purposes.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Referred to House Workforce Development Committee May 13.
  • Missouri HB2122: This bill would bar employers from requiring employees to become, remain, or refrain from becoming members of a union as a condition of employment.    
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Referred to House Workforce Development Committee May 13.


Little wins Republican primary for governor of Idaho

Incumbent Gov. Brad Little defeated seven other candidates in the Republican primary for governor of Idaho on May 17, 2022. With over 95% of precincts reporting, Little had received 53% of the vote to Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin’s 32%.

According to the Idaho Press‘s Betsy Russell, an incumbent Idaho governor had not been challenged in a primary by the lieutenant governor since 1938. Idaho is one of 17 states where the lieutenant governor is nominated in a separate primary and elected in a separate general election from the governor.

Steven Bradshaw, Ben Cannady, Ed Humphreys, Ashley Jackson, Lisa Marie, and Cody Usabel also ran in the primary.

Little ran on his record, saying that his first term was “marked by historic tax relief, unparalleled red tape reduction, extraordinary economic growth, and unprecedented investments in education.” He said, “During my first term, together, we achieved billions in historic tax relief, record investments in transportation, and continued our strong support for education in Idaho.”

McGeachin said she ran for governor “to restore the principles that have Made Idaho Great — individual liberty, state sovereignty, and traditional conservative values.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed McGeachin in November 2021. McGeachin said, “My campaign has been endorsed by President Trump because I stand for America First policies including individual liberty, election integrity, a strong and secure border, school choice, energy independence, reducing taxes and regulations, and supporting American businesses.”

Major independent observers rate the general election as Solid or Safe Republican. Republicans have had trifecta control of Idaho state government since 1995.



Incumbent Merriweather defeats Emry in Mecklenburg County district attorney race

Incumbent Spencer Merriweather defeated Tim Emry in the May 17 Democratic primary for district attorney of North Carolina’s 26th Prosecutorial District in Mecklenburg County. Merriweather received 71% of the vote to Emry’s 29%.

No Republicans ran for the office.

Merriweather said that under his leadership, the district attorney’s office had “focused on the most serious and violent offenses” and that he had “implemented new strategies to confront violent crime … creating special units that prioritize the prosecution of gun crimes, sexual assault, and intimate partner violence.” The Charlotte Observer’s Michael Gordon wrote, “Asked what distinguishes him from Emry, Merriweather describes himself as a proven reformer who remains committed to the law, a safer community and building on what he describes as ‘a career of experience serving victims.'”

The Charlotte Post, which endorsed Merriweather, described him as a “thoughtful pragmatist who has balanced policy reforms and alternatives to prosecution with efforts to keep a growing urban community safe.” The Black Political Caucus of Charlotte-Mecklenburg also endorsed Merriweather.

Emry, a criminal defense attorney and former Mecklenburg County assistant public defender, said, “The number one pillar of our campaign is holding the police accountable when they break the law.” Emry said another priority would be to “immediately stop the mass incarceration policies of the current DA’s office and begin to pursue racial justice.” He also said he would “never seek the death penalty,” saying, “Too often in this country, we have sentenced the wrong people to death. … Well, my opponent supports the death penalty.”

Real Justice PAC, which says it “has been at the forefront of local elections, ushering in prosecutors who have promised to transform a criminal legal system that is racist, oppressive, and preys on the poor and marginalized,” endorsed Emry. The group’s endorsement said Emry ran “as a progressive challenge to the left of the incumbent” and that he ran to “bring genuine change to the criminal justice system in Mecklenburg and to end the failed status quo policies.”