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Economy and Society: SEC preps businesses for new ESG disclosure standards

Economy and Society is Ballotpedia’s weekly review of the developments in corporate activism; corporate political engagement; and the Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) trends and events that characterize the growing intersection between business and politics.


ESG Developments This Week

In Washington, D.C., and around the world

SEC preps businesses for new ESG disclosure standards

In a speech last month, SEC Commissioner Caroline Crenshaw provided companies under the SEC’s jurisdiction with significant insight as to what they should expect from the SEC’s proposal for new disclosure standards and how they should start planning to meet those expectations. Among other things, Commissioner Crenshaw suggested that the SEC will tacitly, if not overtly change the definition of materiality:

“In March of this year, the Commission sought public comment on climate change disclosure. We received hundreds of responses; many of which also addressed disclosures concerning other ESG risks. An overwhelming number of comment letters state that investors view ESG information as material to financial performance and that investors need consistent and reliable disclosures of ESG information to inform their investment decisions. According to commenters, ESG related information helps investors assess the long-term sustainability or value of an investment. And this makes sense if you think about the position investors are in today.”

Commissioner Crenshaw also discussed the types of issues that might confront companies and how they should work to incorporate their ESG disclosures into their financial statements and internal accounting practices:

“With ESG now front and center, the reliability of corporate ESG risk disclosures, and their potential impact on and connectivity to financial statements, is critical. As you know, corporate internal controls play a crucial role in ensuring such risk disclosures are consistent and reliable. The term “internal accounting controls” refers to an organization’s plan, methods, and procedures related to safeguarding a company’s assets and ensuring the reliability of corporate financial records. These controls broadly include systems designed to ensure transactions are authorized and recorded in a way that maintains accountability for assets and allows for financial statement preparation in conformity with GAAP. They also include procedures that control access to assets and the systems designed to test the effectiveness of internal controls. The concept of accounting controls is intentionally broad, because a company’s system for tracking its assets and recording transactions – regardless of their form – is vital to accurate financial reporting. And it is vital to identifying risks to the financial statements so leadership can manage them and prepare GAAP-compliant financial statements and disclosures accordingly. At the end of the day, management is responsible for establishing and maintaining an effective system of internal controls that reasonably safeguards corporate assets from risk. So as you think about and discuss ESG risks during this conference, I encourage you to think about them in the context of your internal accounting controls and audit functions.”

Finally, Crenshaw addressed climate change and the related matters that should draw companies’ attention:

“I would like to hear how public companies are assessing whether and how climate change risk impacts revenues and expenses, both now and in the foreseeable future. In particular, I am interested in understanding how companies are evaluating whether climate risk impacts their business. Some issues that I would think companies are considering as part of this process include whether assets are at risk of depreciating more quickly or becoming “stranded” in response to climate change; whether supply chain or transportation networks are at greater risk of being impacted by extreme weather events; or whether existing revenue streams depend on the status quo, such that new regulations pertaining to deforestation or carbon emission could potentially reduce income. No matter where public companies come out on these topics – or how they assess climate risk – I would like to understand the underlying internal accounting controls that guide decision making. On a related note, if climate change presents risks to a company, or at least requires disclosure, I’m interested in understanding how that company evaluates climate change risk. For example, do companies rely on third party service providers, and if so, do they evaluate the controls that the service providers have in place over information and disclose to investors the identity of the service provider, in the same way you disclose your auditors and underwriters?” 

ESG in theory and practice

Several weeks after COP26 summit agreements to divest from fossil fuels and push toward a zero-carbon future, Japan appears to be backtracking:

“Government officials have been quietly urging trading houses, refiners and utilities to slow down their move away from fossil fuels, and even encouraging new investments in oil-and-gas projects, according to people within the Japanese government and industry, who requested anonymity as the talks are private.

The officials are concerned about the long-term supply of traditional fuels as the world doubles down on renewable energy, the people said. The import-dependent nation wants to avoid a potential shortage of fuel this winter, as well as during future cold spells, after a deficit last year sparked fears of nationwide blackouts.

Japan joined almost 200 countries last month in a pledge to step up the fight against climate change, including phasing down coal power and tackling emissions. However, the moves by the officials show the struggle to turn those pledges into reality, especially for countries like Japan which relies on imports for nearly 90% of its energy needs, with prices spiking partly because of the world’s shift away from fossil fuel investments….

To achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, the world needs to stop developing new gas, oil and coal fields, the International Energy Agency said in May. Japanese officials are echoing concerns highlighted by Australia last month, which said Europe’s gas supply squeeze is proof that nations need to continue to add more production.

Japan’s trading houses, including Sumitomo Corp. and Marubeni Corp., are aggressively divesting from fossil fuels amid an uncertain future for the energy sources and pressure from shareholders. These companies, formally known as “Sogo Shosha,” have traditionally been among the biggest investors in oil and natural gas assets in order to bring the fuel to resource-poor Japan.”

In the States

Report argues New York City’s ESG tax hits hardest upstate

As part of its push to move toward sustainability (and thus to meet municipal bond investors’ ESG demands), New York City has pledged to go green and recently signed two contracts to make that possible. According to a recent note from the Empire Center for Public Policy, most of the costs of the project, but none of the benefits, will hit upstate:

“A pair of recently inked contracts to fuel more than one-third of New York City’s electricity grid with renewable energy will raise monthly electricity bills for upstate ratepayers up to 9.9 percent once the projects are on-line. 

Both downstate (ConEdison) and upstate (National Grid) customers will bear the project costs equally based on load share, but upstate customers—who tend to have lower electricity bills—are expected to experience roughly double the percentage increase. 

That’s according to a petition just filed by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which is now seeking to have the contracted projects approved by the Public Service Commission. 

The projects seem headed for approval, since Governor Hochul signed off on them and her office issued a press release Tuesday trumpeting their expected contribution….”

The Empire State note also discussed recent refusals by the New York State Climate Action Council to be more transparent about who would pay for further plans to meet sustainability goals and how those goals would be met:

“In related news Tuesday, the New York State Climate Action Council (Council) held a virtual public meeting at which it discussed a strategy to continue dodging — in its long-awaited “draft scoping plan” to be issued later this month—the question of who will pay the hundreds of billions of dollars required to achieve the CLCPA’s climate goals. 

A draft plan circulated in advance to the Council members (but not the public) prompted member concern regarding the need for an analysis of “energy affordability and impacts to consumer pricing.” But the “proposed resolution” to that concern was to point to the Council’s cost-benefit analysis. As we recently noted, however, that analysis makes no attempt to estimate ratepayer impact on the grounds that it’s currently unclear what specific policies will be adopted to achieve the law’s climate goals.”

In the spotlight

ESG and business schools, again

This week, The Financial Times has two stories about ESG at business schools and whether the latest increase is meeting current demand. One story deals with specifically with European Business Schools and the impressions they give with respect to ESG education:

“As environmental, social and governance standards become ever more important criteria by which business schools are judged, the Financial Times’s ranking team analysed how European institutions are faring compared with their global rivals, as well as assessing how students are funding their degrees, alumni seniority and favoured sectors of employment….

Executive MBA and MiM graduates who studied outside Europe rate their business schools’ delivery of environmental, social and governance topics more highly than those from European institutions. Only MBA graduates from European schools rate them higher on the subject than their peers elsewhere.

MBA and executive MBA programmes taught in Europe dedicate a larger part of their courses to ESG compared with schools in the rest of the world. The average proportion of core MBA teaching hours dedicated to ESG in Europe is 75 per cent higher than the rest of the world, where only 12 per cent of the degree is related to ESG topics.”

The second piece made the case that in spite of European business schools’ dedication to ESG education, they are still failing the business community, which needs even more ESG capacity:

“Business is undergoing profound change. Urged on by regulatory reforms proposed by the European Commission, the continent’s executives are at the forefront of promoting purposeful, responsible and sustainable business. European business schools should be at the vanguard but risk being left behind.

Many schools have been slow to recognise the extent of reform required to their curricula. They have introduced electives on topics such as environmental, social and corporate governance and sustainable business but, for the most part, their core courses remain unchanged.

The recent final report from The British Academy Future of the Corporation programme highlights the extent to which business is embracing purposeful profit — making money by solving rather than exacerbating problems for people and planet. It argues that businesses should be supported and held to account, and sets out policies and practices.

Business school research and teaching should be the source of education for the coming generation of managers and entrepreneurs. But shareholder primacy remains at the heart of schools’ programmes, which are focused on economic theories, financial models and management studies. Courses start from the presumption that the purpose of a business is to maximise shareholder wealth and everything — accounting, finance, marketing, operations management, organisational behaviour and strategy — follows from that.”



A sneak peek at 2022 local elections

Welcome to the Wednesday, December 8, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Local elections in 2022—a sneak peek
  2. The Department of Justice sues Texas over its congressional, state legislative maps
  3. Biden’s Article III judicial nominations   

Looking ahead to 2022 local elections

Last week, we looked at 2022 statewide filing deadlines, so today we’re going to take a look at next year’s local elections. Local election dates and deadlines are often unavailable until a few months until the election. Hence, we’re in the process of completing our 2022 local election research, but here’s a sneak peek at a few dates on the horizon: 

  • Oklahoma: The deadline to run in school board elections will pass today, Dec. 8. Nonpartisan primary elections are scheduled for Feb. 8, and general elections will take place Apr. 5. The filing deadline to run in the mayoral election in Oklahoma City also passes on Dec. 8. 
  • Texas: The filing deadline to run in county elections in Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Bend, Harris, Travis, and Tarrant Counties passes on Dec. 13. The filing deadline to run in special city council elections in Houston and Austin passes on Dec. 16.
  • North Carolina: The filing deadline to run for several school districts, the mayor and city council in Charlotte and Greensboro, and county offices in Durham, Forsyth, Guilford, Mecklenburg, and Wake Counties will pass on Dec. 17.
  • Missouri: The deadline to fill to run in school board elections and city council elections in Jefferson City passes on Dec. 28.

In other election news this week, a panel of three judges on the North Carolina Court of Appeals temporarily suspended the start of candidate filing for state legislative and U.S. House elections on Dec. 6. The order came in response to a lawsuit alleging that North Carolina’s newly drawn district maps violate the right to free and fair elections by being gerrymandered in favor of Republican candidates. The court later reversed the suspension, re-opened candidate filing, and ordered that the full 15-member court rehear the case. The decision did not affect candidate filing for local elections.

Keep reading 

Justice Department sues over new district maps in Texas 

In case you missed it, the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit against Texas on Dec. 6, alleging the state’s newly enacted congressional and legislative maps violate Section 2 of the Voting Rights Act. So far, we’ve tracked 34 redistricting-related lawsuits in 16 states. Seven of those lawsuits concern Texas’ redistricting process.  

“The Legislature refused to recognize the state’s growing minority electorate,” the Department of Justice’s complaint states. “Although the Texas congressional delegation expanded from 36 to 38 seats, Texas designed the two new seats to have Anglo voting majorities.”

In a press conference, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “The complaint we filed today alleges that Texas has violated Section Two by creating redistricting plans that deny or bridge the rights of Latino and Black voters to vote on account of their race, color or membership in a language-minority group.”

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) said the lawsuit was the “Biden Administration’s latest ploy to control Texas voters” and he was “confident that our legislature’s redistricting decisions will be proven lawful, and this preposterous attempt to sway democracy will fail.”

The lawsuit is the first legal action the department has taken against a state in the 2020 redistricting cycle. We tracked lawsuits in 37 states related to redistricting following the 2010 census. So far, 22 states have adopted legislative district maps and 18 states have adopted congressional district maps.

Keep reading 

Biden has nominated 62 judges to Article III judgeships

President Joe Biden has nominated 62 judges to Article III judgeships, as of Dec. 1, 2021—316 days in office. Here’s how his predecessors stacked up at this point in their presidencies: 

  • President Donald Trump (R) had nominated 60 individuals, 35 of which were ultimately confirmed to their positions.
  • President Barack Obama (D) had nominated 29 individuals, 27 of which were confirmed. 
  • President George W. Bush (R) had nominated 104 individuals, 51 of which were confirmed.

Through Dec. 1, there were 890 authorized federal judicial posts and 78 vacancies. Seventy-four of those vacancies were for Article III judgeships. In the past month, no new judges have been confirmed and 11 new judges have been nominated.

The following data visualization tracks the number of Article III judicial nominations by president by days in office during the Biden, Trump, Obama, and W. Bush administrations (2001-present). This chart is limited to successful nominations, where the nominee was ultimately confirmed to their respective court:

The chart below counts all Article III nominations, including unsuccessful nominations (for example, the nomination was withdrawn or the U.S. Senate did not vote on the nomination), renominations of individuals to the same court, and recess appointments. A recess appointment is when the president appoints a federal official while the Senate is in recess.

 Click below to learn more about federal judicial vacancies!

Keep reading



Revisiting the 2015 SCOTUS decision allowing redistricting commissions

Welcome to the Tuesday, December 6, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. In 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that voters could use initiatives to create redistricting commissions
  2. Kshama Sawant recall today in Seattle, Wash.
  3. 54.2% of the nation’s state legislators are Republicans

In 2015, U.S. Supreme Court ruled voters could use initiatives to create redistricting commissions

With so much in the news (and in The Brew!) lately about redistricting, you may have heard the terms “independent redistricting commission” or “non-politician commission” quite a bit. Both refer to third-party commissions that draft maps instead of a state’s legislature. Nine states currently use redistricting commissions at the congressional level.

It wasn’t until 2015 that the U.S. Supreme Court weighed in on their constitutionality. That year, SCOTUS ruled in Arizona State Legislature v. Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission that such commissions were constitutional. Arizona voters had approved a commission to handle legislative and congressional redistricting through Proposition 106 in 2000. The commission produced maps during the 2010 redistricting cycle. The Arizona Legislature filed suit against the congressional maps on July 7, 2012.

Article 1, Section 4, of the U.S. Constitution says, “the Times, Places and Manner of holding Elections for Senators and Representatives shall be prescribed in each State by the Legislature thereof.” The Arizona Legislature argued the use of the word legislature in this context was literal, meaning only a state legislature may redraw congressional lines. The commission argued the word legislature ought to be interpreted more broadly to mean “the legislative powers of the state,” which includes things like voter initiatives and referenda.

The Supreme Court ultimately ruled that “redistricting is a legislative function, to be performed in accordance with the state’s prescriptions for lawmaking, which may include the referendum and the governor’s veto.”

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote in the court’s majority opinion: “The people of Arizona turned to the initiative to curb the practice of gerrymandering and, thereby, to ensure that Members of Congress would have an habitual recollection of their dependence on the people.” Justices Anthony Kennedy, Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor joined Ginsburg in the majority opinion.

Chief Justice John Roberts and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas, and Samuel Alito dissented. In his dissent, Roberts wrote the word legislature in Article 1 of the U.S. Constitution ought to be interpreted to mean the “representative body which makes the laws of the people.” Roberts wrote: “For better or for worse, the Elections Clause of the Constitution does not allow [the people of Arizona] to address those concerns by displacing their legislature.”

At the time of the Court’s decision, six states had commissions responsible for congressional redistricting: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, New Jersey, and Washington. Since then, two states—Colorado and Virginia—both created commissions. Montana had a commission in place at the time of the Court decision, but it was not responsible for congressional redistricting until the state was apportioned a second district following the 2020 census.

Keep reading 

Kshama Sawant recall today in Seattle, Wash.

Voters in Seattle, Wash, are deciding whether to recall District 3 City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant today.

Sawant is a member of the Socialist Alternative Party. When she won election in 2013, she became the first socialist elected to Seattle city government in 97 years. 

Petitioners supporting the recall allege three grounds for recalling Sawant: misusing city funds for electioneering purposes, disregarding regulations related to the coronavirus pandemic, and misusing her official positions. Sawant said the recall was politically motivated and asked a state superior court to dismiss the petition. The Washington Supreme Court ultimately ruled the recall could proceed.

During her 2019 re-election campaign, Sawant completed Ballotpedia’s Candidate Connection survey, writing:

“I wear the badge of socialist with honor … [M]illions of Americans are looking for a different kind of politics, based on the needs of working people and the environment, not the interests of the billionaire class and big business. I think a key part of that process is building a new political party completely independent of corporate money, that fights unapologetically for working people and the oppressed, and is rooted in social movements, community organizations, and labor unions.”

Ballotpedia has tracked 324 recall efforts against 491 officials in 2021. About 25% of the efforts were against city council members (80 efforts against 140 members). Recalls of 27 city council members have made it to the ballot in 2021. Fourteen were removed from office and 13 kept their seats. Since Ballotpedia began tracking recalls in 2008, we have not tracked a successful recall of a city council member in Washington.

In addition to the Sawant recall, there are county-level recalls in the coming week, both involving energy issues.

In Labette County, Kansas, voters are deciding today whether to recall Commissioner Brian Kinzie (R). Organizers began the effort after Kinzie voted in favor of a motion to enter final negotiations to allow a wind energy company to place 50 to 70 turbines in the county in April 2021. 

On Dec. 14, voters in Saunders County, Neb., will decide whether to recall Supervisor Doris Karloff (R). Rhonda Carritt, the resident who began the recall effort, said she did so, in part, in response to a conditional use permit the board of supervisors granted to a solar energy project in the county.

Keep reading 

54.2% of the nation’s state legislators are Republicans

Ballotpedia’s November count of the 7,383 state legislators found that 54.2% of all state legislators are Republicans and 44.7% are Democrats.

Republicans control 61 of the country’s 99 legislative chambers, while Democrats control 37. The Alaska House of Representatives is the only chamber controlled by a multipartisan, power-sharing coalition.

In November, Democrats had a net decrease of one seat, and Republicans had a net increase of eight seats. New legislators elected in New Jersey and Virginia on Nov. 2 will be sworn in during the second week of January 2022. Compared to November of last year, the state legislatures are 1.9% less Democratic (46.6% to 44.7%) and 1.8% more Republican (52.4% to 54.2%).

Republicans have controlled a majority of state legislative seats since 2011, making this the party’s longest period of majority control in over 100 years. From 1921 to 2021, Democrats controlled a majority of state legislative seats for 74 years while Republicans held control for 26. Democrats’ longest period of majority control lasted 48 years from 1955 to 2003.

Keep reading



Robe & Gavel: Federal Judicial Vacancy Count released for December 1

Welcome to the Dec. 6 edition of Robe & Gavel, Ballotpedia’s newsletter about the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and other judicial happenings around the U.S.

Happy holidays, gentle readers! Let’s gather together one last time in 2021, for Auld Lang Syne’s sake, to review the latest from SCOTUS and the federal judiciary. Let’s gavel in, shall we?

Stay up to date on the latest news by following Ballotpedia on Twitter or subscribing to the Daily Brew.

We #SCOTUS and you can, too!

Grants

SCOTUS has accepted no new cases to its merits docket since our Nov. 30 issue. 

To date, the court has agreed to hear 50 cases for the 2021-2022 term. SCOTUS dismissed four cases after they were accepted and removed one case from the argument calendar after both parties agreed to settle. Nine cases have yet to be scheduled for arguments.

Arguments

The Supreme Court will hear arguments in five cases this week. Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ current term.

Click the links below to learn more about these cases:

Dec. 6

Dec. 7

Dec. 8

In its October 2020 term, SCOTUS heard arguments in 62 cases. Click here to read more about SCOTUS’ previous term.

Opinions

SCOTUS has not issued any rulings since our Nov. 30 edition.

To date, the court has issued decisions in three cases. Two cases were decided without argument. Between 2007 and 2020, SCOTUS released opinions in 1,062 cases, averaging between 70 and 90 decided cases per year.

Upcoming SCOTUS dates

Here are the court’s upcoming dates of interest:

  • Dec. 6: 
    • SCOTUS will hear arguments in two cases.
    • SCOTUS will release orders.
  • Dec. 7: SCOTUS will hear arguments in one case.
  • Dec. 8: SCOTUS will hear arguments in two cases.
  • Dec. 10: SCOTUS will conference. A conference is a private meeting of the justices.
  • Dec. 13: SCOTUS will release orders.

SCOTUS trivia

Welcome back to another edition of Name That Court! Read the following description of a historical Supreme Court, named after its chief justice, and select the court you think it describes.

The _____ Court was both brief and important. It helped to establish the rights of the president, states, laws, and court system. Decisions during the _____ Court created the definition of ex post facto laws and clarified rights of the president. The _____ Court ensured a stronger system of checks and balances and highlighted the importance of Congress by determining that the president did not have the power to amend the Constitution.

  1. The Marshall Court
  2. The Jay Court
  3. The Chase Court
  4. The Ellsworth Court

Choose an answer to find out!

The Federal Vacancy Count

The Federal Vacancy Count tracks vacancies, nominations, and confirmations to all United States Article III federal courts in a one-month period. The November report includes nominations, confirmations, and vacancies from Nov. 2 through Dec. 1. 

Highlights

  • Vacancies: There have been two new judicial vacancies from Nov. 2 through Dec. 1. There are 74 vacancies out of 870 active Article III judicial positions on courts covered in this report. Including the United States Court of Federal Claims and the United States territorial courts, 78 of 890 active federal judicial positions are vacant.  
  • Nominations: There have been 11 new nominations from Nov. 2 through Dec. 1. 
  • Confirmations: There have been no new confirmations from Nov. 2 through Dec. 1.

Vacancy count for December 1, 2021

A breakdown of the vacancies at each level can be found in the table below. For a more detailed look at the vacancies in the federal courts, click here.

*Though the U.S. territorial courts are named as district courts, they are not Article III courts. They are established by Article IV of the U.S. Constitution. Click here for more information.

New vacancies

Two judges left active status since the previous vacancy count published on Nov. 1, creating Article III life-term judicial vacancies. The president nominates individuals to fill Article III judicial positions. Nominations are subject to U.S. Senate confirmation.

The following chart tracks the number of vacancies in the United States Courts of Appeals from the inauguration of President Joe Biden (D) to the date indicated on the chart.

U.S. District Court vacancies

The following map shows the number of vacancies in the United States District Courts as of December 1, 2021.

New nominations

President Joe Biden (D) announced 11 new nominations since the November 2021 report.


Biden has announced 62 Article III judicial nominations since taking office on Jan. 20, 2021. For more information on the president’s judicial nominees, click here.

New confirmations

There were no new confirmations in November.

Since January 2021, the Senate has confirmed 28 of President Biden’s judicial nominees—19 district court judges and nine appeals court judges.

The first confirmations occurred on June 8, 2021, when Julien Xavier Neals and Regina Rodriguez were confirmed to their respective courts. 

Ketanji Brown Jackson was the first confirmed nominee to receive her judicial commission. The Senate confirmed Jackson on June 14, 2021, and she was commissioned on June 17.

Comparison of Article III judicial appointments over time by president (1981-Present)

  • Presidents have made an average of 21 judicial appointments through Dec. 1 of their first year in office. 
  • President Ronald Reagan has made the most appointments, 30, while President Barack Obama (D) made the fewest appointments with 11.  
  • President Reagan’s 41 appointments were the most through the first year. President Obama made the fewest with 13.
  • President Donald Trump’s (R) 234 appointments are the most appointments through four years. President Reagan made the fewest through four years with 166.

Need a daily fix of judicial nomination, confirmation, and vacancy information? Click here for continuing updates on the status of all federal judicial nominees.

Or, keep an eye on this list for updates on federal judicial nominations.

Spotlight: Presidential nominations to federal courts

Hello, gentle readers! Don your toque and pull on your frock coat as our ongoing journey through federal judicial history now crosses the threshold from the twentieth to the nineteenth century! Today, we visit the years between 1897 and 1901, highlighting President William McKinley’s (R) federal judicial nominees. 


During his time in office, the U.S. Senate confirmed 35 of President McKinley’s judicial nominees. The Senate did not vote on four nominees.

Among the most notable appointees was one Supreme Court justice:

By the end of his first year in office, five of President McKinley’s nominees had been confirmed. Four nominees were confirmed to U.S. District Courts, one was confirmed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Looking ahead

We’ll be back next year on Jan. 10, 2022, with a new edition of Robe & Gavel. Until then, gaveling out! 

Contributions

Kate Carsella compiled and edited this newsletter, with contributions from Brittony Maag, Jace Lington, and Sara Reynolds.



As we enter the midterms…let’s review the history of wave elections

Welcome to the Monday, December 6, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. Defining wave elections
  2. U.S. House elections with multiple incumbents
  3. Learn about petition blocking

An introduction to wave elections

As we draw closer to the 2022 midterm elections, you might encounter the term wave election. The term is frequently used to describe an election in which one party makes significant electoral gains. But is there an objective definition of a wave election?

This was a question we sought to answer a few years ago. In 2018 we published a study in which we examined the results of the 50 election cycles between 1918 and 2016—spanning President Woodrow Wilson’s (D) second midterm in 1918 to Donald Trump’s (R) first presidential election in 2016. We defined wave elections as the 20 percent of elections in that period resulting in the greatest swing against the president’s party. According to this definition, a U.S. House election cycle qualifies as a wave election if the president’s party loses at least 48 seats.

Based on this definition, between 1918 and 2016, 11 wave elections took place in the U.S. House. Six of them occurred during a president’s first midterm election. There were four waves when a Democrat was president (Obama, Clinton, Johnson, and Truman) and two with a Republican president (Harding and Hoover). The president’s party lost an average of 58 seats in the U.S. House during these six elections.

There are currently 221 Democrats in the U.S. House. In an average wave election, Democrats would lose 48 members, leaving them with 173. Since the House was expanded to 435 members in 1913, Democrats have had fewer than 173 members twice: 131 during the 67th Congress (1921-1923) and 164 during the 71st Congress (1929-1931).

The 2018 U.S. House elections were the most recent first midterm election. Democrats won a majority in the chamber, winning 40 additional districts—eight less than needed to qualify as a wave election.

The entire House is up for election in 2022. Democrats currently hold a majority in the chamber with 221 seats to Republicans’ 213. In the U.S. Senate, 34 of the chamber’s 100 seats are up for election. Demcorats currently control the Senste, with 48 members plus two independents who caucus with them. Republicans hold the remaining 50 seats. Vice President Kamala Harris (D) serves as a tie-breaking vote. Of the 34 seats up for election, 14 are held by Democrats and 20 by Republicans.

Keep reading

U.S. House elections with multiple incumbents

Every decade following the U.S. census, states redraw their congressional district boundaries. When that happens, it’s not uncommon to see some U.S. House races with multiple incumbents. This can happen because the home addresses of multiple incumbents were drawn in the same district or because multiple incumbents decide the new district boundaries are more favorable for re-election.

So far this year, we’ve identified three 2022 congressional races with multiple incumbents:

Twenty-five states are still in the process of redrawing their congressional district maps, so we could see yet more races with multiple incumbents in 2022. 

In 2012, there were 13 U.S. House races with multiple incumbents. 

Here’s a fact you can pocket for your next trivia night: U.S. Representatives aren’t required to live in the districts they represent. The Constitution does, however, stipulate that they must be residents of the state in which they’re elected. 

Keep reading 

What is petition blocking?

Here’s a quick deep dive into the world of ballot measures. In 2022, voters will decide not only thousands of federal, state, and local races but also a raft of ballot measures. So far, 63 statewide ballot measures have been certified in 30 states for the 2022 ballot. That number doesn’t, however, include the hundreds of potential measures that could still end up on the ballot. 

With all this activity, we thought it’d be a good idea to review the concept of petition blocking. Petition blocking refers to organized efforts to prevent citizen-initiated measures or candidates from collecting sufficient signatures to meet ballot access requirements. This can take several forms, including: 

  • Physical blockages
  • Financial incentives
  • Legal complaints and lawsuits
  • Administrative actions

Here’s a recent instance of petition blocking:

On Nov. 29, Politico reported: “The Seminole Tribe of Florida is paying petition gathering firms to not work in Florida during the 2022 midterms as part of an effort to block rival proposed gaming constitutional amendments — a strategy that also includes running a separate informal signature gathering operation and hiring workers that interfere with other petition gatherers.”

Click the link below to read more recent and historical examples of petition blocking.

Keep reading



The State and Local Tap: New York enacts new COVID-19 disaster emergency

Our weekly summary of state & local news highlights New York’s new COVID-19 disaster emergency and the Atlanta mayoral runoff results. Read all about it in this week’s edition of the State & Local Tap.

Ballot Measures Update

2021 review

Voters in nine states decided 39 statewide ballot measures on four different election dates in 2021. Twenty-six were approved and 13 were defeated. Four of the measures were citizen initiatives, three were advisory questions about taxes in Washington, eight were bond issues, one was a legislatively referred statute, and the remaining 23 were legislatively referred constitutional amendments.

2022 ballot measures

Sixty-three statewide measures have been certified for the 2022 ballot in 30 states so far. No new measures were certified for the ballot last week.

States in session

Seven state legislatures—Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—are in regular session.

Local Ballot Measures: The Week in Review

In 2021, Ballotpedia is providing comprehensive coverage of elections in America’s 100 largest cities by population and all state capitals. This encompasses every office on the ballot in these cities, including their municipal elections, trial court elections, school board elections, and local ballot measures. Ballotpedia also covers all local recall elections, as well as all local ballot measures in California and a selection of notable local ballot measures about elections and police-related policies. Recent and upcoming local ballot measure elections are listed below:

  • Dec. 11 – Louisiana: Voters in New Orleans will decide two property tax measures to fund housing and libraries, respectively.
  • Nov. 13 – Louisiana: Voters in Baton Rouge approved a property tax measure to fund public transportation.
  • Nov. 9 – Arkansas: Voters in Little Rock approved a property tax increase for libraries.
  • Nov. 2 – Ballotpedia covered 156 local ballot measures on the Nov. 2 ballot in 18 states. At least 108 were approved, at least 46 were defeated, and the remaining two were too close to call or were subject to a recount as of Dec. 3.

Special Elections

Sixty-six state legislative special elections have been scheduled in 21 states so far this year. Sixty-two specials have taken place already. Heading into those races, Democrats had previously controlled 32 of the seats and Republicans previously controlled 30. Three seats flipped from Democratic control to Republican control, and three seats flipped from Republican control to Democratic control.

  • In special elections between 2011 and 2020, one party (either Republicans or Democrats) saw an average net gain of four seats nationally each year.
  • An average of 57 seats were filled through special elections in each of the past six even years (2010: 30, 2012: 46, 2014: 40, 2016: 65, 2018: 99, 2020: 59).
  • An average of 88 seats were filled through special elections in each of the past five odd years (2011: 94, 2013: 84, 2015: 89, 2017: 98, 2019: 77).

Upcoming special elections include:

Dec. 7

Dec. 14

Special general election to be held Dec. 7 for New Hampshire House of Representatives Rockingham 6

The special general election for the Rockingham 6 District in the New Hampshire House of Representatives is on Dec. 7. Mary Eisner (D) and Jodi Nelson (R) are competing in the special election. 

Nelson advanced from the Republican primary on Oct. 19, earning 78% of the vote. Eisner was unopposed in the Democratic primary. The filing deadline to run passed Aug. 27.

The special election was called after Anne Copp (R) resigned on Aug. 5 in order to move out of the district. Copp represented Rockingham 6 in the state House from 2020 to 2021. She represented the Merrimack 1 District from 2016 to 2018.

As of December 2021, 66 state legislative special elections have been scheduled for 2021 in 21 states. Between 2011 and 2020, an average of 75 special elections took place each year. New Hampshire held 29 special elections from 2010 to 2020.

Andre Dickens defeats Felicia Moore in Atlanta mayoral runoff election

On Nov. 30, City Councilman Andre Dickens (D) defeated City Council President Felicia Moore (D) in the general runoff election for mayor of Atlanta, Georgia, receiving 64% of the vote to Moore’s 36%. 

Dickens and Moore advanced to a runoff after placing second and first, respectively, in the Nov. 2  general election. In that race, Moore received 41% of the vote followed by Dickens with 23%. This was the city’s seventh mayoral runoff since 1973.

Dickens was first elected to the Atlanta City Council in 2013 and won re-election in 2017. During the mayoral race, he promoted his SAFE Streets Atlanta plan, a series of public safety proposals in response to voter concerns regarding crime. He received endorsements from incumbent Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms (D), former Mayors Shirley Jackson (D) and Andrew Young (D), and U.S. Rep. Nikema Williams (D). 

The number of votes cast in the Nov. 30 runoff represented a decrease of 18.1% compared to the votes cast in the Nov. 2 general election, making this the largest such decrease since the 1993 mayoral contest between Bill Campbell and Michael Lomax. 2021 was also the second time since at least 1981 where the second-place finisher in the general election went on to win the runoff.

Redistricting update: Arkansas approves final legislative maps

The Arkansas Board of Apportionment voted 3-0 on Nov. 29 to accept final maps of the state’s House and Senate districts. The board, which is made up of Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R), Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R), and Secretary of State John Thurston (R), previously accepted maps on Oct. 29, beginning a 30-day public comment period. Barring any legal challenges, these maps will go into effect on Dec. 30.

The Associated Press’ Andrew DeMillo wrote that the maps kept the number of majority-Black Senate districts the same, reduced the number of majority-Black House districts by one, and created the state’s first majority-Hispanic legislative district.

Also, three states—Maryland, New Mexico, and South Carolina—will hold special legislative sessions during the week of Dec. 6 to consider redistricting plans in each state. Maryland’s and New Mexico’s sessions will commence on Dec. 6. The South Carolina House began its special session on Dec. 1 while the state Senate will start work on Dec. 6.

New York enacts new COVID-19 disaster emergency 

On Nov. 26, Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) declared a disaster emergency in response to the COVID-19 omicron variant, five months after New York ended its first COVID-19 emergency. Hochul’s order was scheduled to last through Jan. 15, 2022. 

In a tweet, Hochul said she was issuing the order to prepare for a possible spike in cases caused by the new variant. 

Governors across the country declared active emergencies at the start of the coronavirus pandemic, including former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who first declared a COVID-19 disaster emergency on March 7, 2020. He ended the emergency on June 24, 2021. State codes generally allow governors to declare a state of emergency in response to natural disasters, disease epidemics, and other dangers to public health. These emergency orders allowed officials to access resources unavailable to them during non-emergencies, like stockpiles of medical goods and equipment, and temporarily waive or suspend certain rules and regulations. They also formed the basis of lockdown and stay-at-home orders, mask mandates, and other restrictions on businesses and individuals.

Currently, COVID-19 emergencies are active in 25 states. Twenty-five states have ended their emergencies. 

Checking in on 2021 state legislative vacancies

With four weeks left in the calendar year, there have been 145 state legislative vacancies this year across 45 states.

Seventy-four (74) vacancies have occurred in seats held by Republicans, and 72 vacancies have occurred in seats held by Democrats. No vacancies have occurred in seats held by independents.

States with the highest number of vacancies include Arizona (11), New Hampshire (8), Oregon (8), Maryland (7), and Illinois (6).

One hundred and eight (108) of the vacancies have been filled so far. The process for filling state legislative vacancies varies from state to state. Twenty-five states require special elections, 10 states require the governor to appoint, seven states require the board of county commissioners to appoint, three states require the state’s political party to appoint, three states have a hybrid system, and one state requires the legislative chamber to vote on a replacement.



The Federal Tap: Federal court blocks Biden administration’s healthcare worker vaccine requirement

Our weekly summary of federal news highlights a federal court blocking the Biden administration’s healthcare worker vaccine requirement and SCOTUS’ December argument sitting. Read all about it in this week’s edition of the Federal Tap.

Congress is in session

Both the House and Senate are in session next week. Click here to see the full calendar for the first session of the 117th Congress.

SCOTUS is in session

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in five cases next week. To learn about the 2021-2022 term, click here.

Where was the president last week?

On Monday, Biden remained in Washington, D.C.

On Tuesday, Biden delivered remarks on the bipartisan infrastructure law in St. Paul, Minnesota.

On Wednesday, Biden remained in Washington, D.C. 

On Thursday, Biden delivered remarks on COVID-19 at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. 

On Friday, Biden departed Washington, D.C., for Camp David, Maryland.

Opinion polling comparison during the Trump and Biden administrations

President Biden’s approval rating for the 44th week of his term was 42%, down 0.6 percentage points from the week before. President Trump’s approval rating at the same point in his term was 38.2%, down 0.1 percentage points from the week before.

Federal Judiciary

  • 78 federal judicial vacancies
  • 26 pending nominations
  • 37 future federal judicial vacancies

Upcoming Article III Judicial Vacancies

According to the latest vacancy data from the U.S. Courts, there were 37 total announced upcoming vacancies for Article III judgeships. The earliest vacancy announcement was on Jan. 21, 2021, when U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas Judge Vanessa Gilmore announced that she would retire on Jan. 2, 2022. The most recent was on Dec. 1, 2021, when U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit Judge David Hamilton announced he would assume senior status upon the confirmation of his successor. Twenty vacancy effective dates have not been determined because the judge has not announced the date they will leave the bench. 

The next upcoming vacancies will occur on Dec. 27, when U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon Judge Michael Mosman assumes senior status.

For historical comparison, the week of Nov. 29 through Dec. 5, 2020, there were 58 federal judicial vacancies and five upcoming vacancies in the federal judiciary reported by the U.S. Courts.

SCOTUS begins December argument sitting

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) began its December sitting of the 2021-2022 term on Nov. 29. The court heard arguments in person and provided audio livestreams of arguments.

Nov. 29

Nov. 30

Dec. 1

Next week, SCOTUS will hear arguments in five cases. To date, the court has agreed to hear 50 cases this term. Four cases were dismissed and one case was removed from the argument calendar. Nine cases have not yet been scheduled for argument.

Federal court blocks Biden administration’s healthcare worker vaccine requirement

On Nov. 30, U.S. District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty, who was appointed to the court by former President Donald Trump (R), issued an injunction against the Biden administration’s national vaccine requirement for healthcare workers. The requirement had been set to take effect Dec. 6.

The requirement was originally issued on Nov. 4, and would require vaccinations of eligible staff at healthcare facilities that participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs. Doughty wrote in his opinion: “There is no question that mandating a vaccine to 10.3 million health care workers is something that should be done by Congress, not a government agency. […] It is not clear that even an act of Congress mandating a vaccine would be constitutional.” The lawsuit was filed by 14 states, led by Louisiana.

A final ruling in the case has not been issued pending oral arguments. Additionally, a ruling in this case could be appealed to a higher court.

Redistricting update: Connecticut Supreme Court assumes control over congressional redistricting

The Connecticut Supreme Court assumed control over the state’s congressional redistricting process on Dec. 1 after its Reapportionment Commission failed to complete redrawing maps by the Nov. 30 deadline. The Commission announced that it had decided to formally request that the state’s highest court grant it a three-week extension to finish congressional redistricting. According to The Westerly Sun, “Both Republicans and Democrats said they’re optimistic they’ll reach an agreement on a bipartisan congressional plan by Dec. 21.”

After the 2010 census, the Reapportionment Commission did not complete congressional redistricting by the deadline and the state supreme court approved a plan developed by a special master on Feb. 10, 2012. Connecticut completed its state legislative redistricting process last month when the Reapportionment Commission approved new district boundaries for both the state House and Senate. 

Also, three states—Maryland, New Mexico, and South Carolina—will hold special legislative sessions during the week of Dec. 6 to consider redistricting plans in each state. Maryland’s and New Mexico’s sessions will commence on Dec. 6. The South Carolina House began its special session on Dec. 1 while the state Senate will start work on Dec. 6.



Weekly Brew: December 3, 2021

Sixteen seats changed party control, including 14 incumbents who lost in state legislative general elections

  • Sixteen state legislative seats changed party control in the 2021 election. Fifteen seats changed from Democratic to Republican control and one seat changed from Republican to Democratic control. Fourteen incumbents lost general elections, all of them Democrats. By state, nine changes took place in New Jersey and seven took place in Virginia. 

Biden nominates Shalanda Young for director of Office of Management and Budget

  • President Joe Biden (D) announced Shalanda Young as his nominee for director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Nov. 24. OMB Director has been Biden’s last remaining unfilled Cabinet position. The Senate has confirmed 22 of Biden’s other Cabinet members.

Do you know your state’s unemployment tax rate?

  • State unemployment taxes are taxes employers must pay to support the joint federal-state unemployment insurance program. Employers usually pay a percentage of an employee’s salary in SUTA taxes up to a certain amount, known as the wage base. Find out your state’s tax rate and wage base at the link below.


Union Station – December 3, 2021

West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals overturns circuit court’s block of union dues law

On Nov. 22, the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals overturned a circuit court order blocking a new state law prohibiting public-sector employers from deducting union dues from employee paychecks.

Read our earlier coverage of this story here and here

Background

Here’s a timeline of how we got here.

  • March 30, 2021: Gov. Jim Justice (R) signed Republican-sponsored House Bill 2009, a law prohibiting public-sector employers from deducting union dues from the paychecks of state, county, and certain municipal employees. The law was scheduled to take effect on June 17, 2021.  
  • May 20, 2021: A group of 12 unions filed a lawsuit in the Kanawha County Circuit Court alleging the law would violate both the state constitution’s equal protection and contracts clauses and union members’ free speech rights. 
  • June 16, 2021: Circuit Judge Tera Salango temporarily blocked the law from going into effect, ruling the unions’ case was likely to be successful. Salango was elected to the bench in 2018. 
  • Sept. 3, 2021: The West Virginia attorney general’s office appealed Salango’s ruling to the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals.
  • Oct. 26, 2021: The court heard arguments in the case. 

The court’s decision 

On Nov. 22, the court ruled 3-2 to overturn Salango’s order and send the case back to the circuit court. Justice Beth Walker wrote the majority opinion, joined by Chief Justice Evan Jenkins and Justice Tim Armstead. Walker wrote:

“A preliminary injunction is a powerful remedy that should issue only after a court has carefully considered the parties’ arguments, evidence, and relevant authorities. Our review of the circuit court’s order preliminarily enjoining the new law from taking effect reveals that it is a product of less than careful consideration. We conclude that the likelihood of Respondents’ success on the merits of their claims—that the new law violates their constitutional rights—is far less than the circuit court believed it to be. For that reason, and when viewed in the context of other factors relevant to the issuance or refusal of a preliminary injunction, we conclude that the circuit court abused its discretion when it granted Respondents injunctive relief. So, we reverse the circuit court’s order, dissolve the injunction, and remand for further proceedings.”

Justice John Hutchison filed a dissenting opinion, which Justice William Wooton joined. Hutchison wrote:

“By dissolving the preliminary injunction, the majority has ensured that any victory by the respondents on remand will be pyrrhic, at best. First, once this Court’s mandate has issued and the injunction is dissolved, the horse will be out of the barn. Second, it is clear from the majority’s opinion that no matter what the circuit court may do or say, this case has been decided and the Paycheck Protection Act will be upheld when the case reaches this Court again.”

Justice appointed Armstead, Hutchison, and Jenkins to fill vacancies on the court in 2018. Walker was elected to the court in 2016, and Wooton was elected to the court in 2020. 

The case is James C. Justice, II, Governor v. West Virginia AFL-CIO, et al. (West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals case number 21-0559; Kanawha County Circuit Court civil action numbers 21-P-156 through 21-P-169).

Responses

West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey said, “The Court’s decision prevents the hardworking people of West Virginia from having their hard-earned money diverted for speech and activities they never intended to support.”

Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, which filed an amicus brief in the case, said, “The Supreme Court of Appeals made the right decision by reversing the Circuit Court’s injunction which was issued under the outrageous premise that union bosses have a legal right to use taxpayer-funded government payroll systems to divert workers’ money into union coffers.”

West Virginia AFL-CIO has not responded to the ruling. The West Virginia Education Association said on Facebook, “WVEA vows to continue advocating for public schools and educators.” American Federation of Teachers-West Virginia posted an update advising members of the decision, saying, “Any members in counties still utilizing the payroll deduction of union dues should immediately sign up for edues to continue their union membership.” 

Political context 

The five-member West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals is the state’s court of last resort. Supreme court justices are chosen in nonpartisan elections and serve 12-year terms. Our “Ballotpedia Courts: State Partisanship” report, which evaluated justices’ partisan affiliations through their behavior before joining the court, identified four of the justices’ partisan affiliations as follows: 

  • Armstead: Strong Republican
  • Hutchison: Mild Republican
  • Walker: Mild Republican
  • Jenkins: Mild Republican

While Wooton joined the court in 2020 and was not included in the report, he previously served in the state legislature as a Democrat. 

In 2020, the court heard 899 cases and decided 91.5% of them unanimously.

Justice was first elected governor in 2016 as a Democrat. In 2017, he switched parties, giving Republicans trifecta control of the state. Republicans currently hold veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the state legislature. 

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 110 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

No public-sector union bills saw activity this week.



Certified results show 16 state legislative seats changed party control in 2021

Welcome to the Friday, December 3, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Sixteen seats changed party control, including 14 incumbents who lost in state legislative general elections
  2. Sacramento, Calif., nears its final stages of redistricting after coronavirus-related delay
  3. #FridayTrivia: Which state has the earliest primary election candidate filing deadline in the 2022 election cycle?

Sixteen seats changed party control, including 14 incumbents who lost in state legislative general elections

Three of the country’s 99 state legislative chambers held regularly-scheduled elections on Nov. 2: the New Jersey State Senate and General Assembly and the Virginia House of Delegates. Elections in these chambers represented 220 of the country’s 7,383 state legislative seats (2.9%).

Final results from the Nov. 2, 2021, elections were recently certified in both states, though recounts recently began in two Virginia House of Delegates elections.

Overall, 16 state legislative seats changed party control. In 2019, 33 seats changed party control, though most, 23, took place in Louisiana and Mississippi while 10 changed control in New Jersey and Virginia.

Fifteen seats changed from Democratic to Republican control and one seat changed from Republican to Democratic control. By state, nine changes took place in New Jersey and seven took place in Virginia. 

Looking just at incumbent defeats, 14 incumbents—seven in New Jersey and seven in Virginia—lost in general elections, all of whom were Democrats. This ties 2021 with 2017 for the largest number of incumbents defeated in general elections across these three chambers. It also represents the largest number of Democratic incumbents defeated with the next-closest election cycle being 2009 when seven Democrats lost in general elections.

In New Jersey, these party changes narrowed the Democratic majorities in both legislative chambers, but the party remains in control. In Virginia, Democrats lost majority control of the House, which changed from a 55-45 Democratic majority to a 52-48 Republican majority. Democrats maintain control in the Senate, which did not hold elections in 2021.

Virginia’s final tally is still subject to change. Certified results in House District 85 and 91 showed the winning candidates’ margins of victory within 1% of the total votes cast. Democratic candidates in both races requested recounts, which began on Dec. 2.

Keep reading

Sacramento, Calif., nears its final stages of redistricting after coronavirus-related delay

It’s not just congressional and state legislative redistricting this year. Local governments also periodically update their political district lines with census numbers. In Sacramento, Calif., the city’s independent redistricting commission is set to select its 2022 redistricting map on Dec. 6 with final adoption scheduled for Dec. 16.

In November 2020, voters in Sacramento approved Measure B by a vote of 67% in favor and 34% opposed. This measure, which was proposed by the Sacramento City Council, amended the city’s charter authorizing a one-time delay in the redistricting process. The amendment moved the deadline for map adoption to 130 days before the 2022 primary election, which is scheduled for June 7, moving the deadline to Jan. 28, 2022.

Typically, Sacramento requires redistricting to be completed no later than six months after census data is delivered and at least six months before the city’s primary election. Voters made this one-time change because census data delivery was delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Sacramento Independent Redistricting Commission was created by a public vote on Measure L in 2016. The commission is made up of 13 members: one from each of the eight existing districts and five appointed by the first eight commissioners. The city’s redistricting process begins with public map submissions, which are then narrowed down by the commission and altered to meet statutory requirements.

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: Which state has the earliest primary election candidate filing deadline in the 2022 election cycle?

We are officially 10 days away from the first statewide filing deadline for the 2022 election cycle! States set filing deadlines to establish when candidates must submit the necessary materials required to run for office. Stay tuned next week for a sneak peek at some local election filing deadlines.

In the meantime, what state’s candidate filing deadline is the earliest, currently scheduled for Dec. 13, 2021?

  1. Texas
  2. Louisiana
  3. North Carolina
  4. Oregon