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Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: November 23, 2020



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Ballotpedia’s Weekly Transition Tracker: November 14-20, 2020

Transition Tracker Weekly by Ballotpedia

Welcome to Ballotpedia’s Weekly Transition Tracker

November 20, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election. The Electoral College will meet on December 14, 2020, to vote for the next president of the United States.

In 2016, there were 1,714 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,242 positions required Senate confirmation and 472 did not. Every week, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden presidential transition.

Our next weekly edition will arrive on December 4. Click here to subscribe to the Daily Transition Tracker.


Appointments and Nominations

Biden announced the following nine appointees who will serve as White House senior staff on Wednesday. 

Jen O’Malley Dillon, White House deputy chief of staff

Jen O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s 2020 presidential campaign manager, will be deputy chief of staff. O’Malley Dillon is a former executive director of the Democratic National Committee and a founding partner of the Democratic consulting firm Precious Strategies. She led Beto O’Rourke’s 2020 presidential campaign before joining Biden’s.

Cedric Richmond, senior adviser

Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-La.) will leave Congress to work as a senior adviser focused on public engagement. He will conduct outreach to grassroots organizations, public interest and advocacy groups, the business community, and climate change activists. Richmond was a national co-chair of Biden’s presidential campaign. 

Richmond’s congressional district, Louisiana’s 2nd, is rated Solid Democratic. Vacancies are filled by special elections.

Steve Ricchetti, counselor to the president

Steve Ricchetti, a longtime Biden aide, will serve as counselor to the president—a role currently held by Hope Hicks and Derek Lyons in the Trump administration. Ricchetti worked for Biden during the Obama administration, serving as his chief of staff in 2013.

Anthony Bernal, senior advisor to Dr. Jill Biden

Anthony Bernal was a deputy campaign manager for the Biden presidential campaign and Jill Biden’s chief of staff. He has worked with the Bidens for more than a decade, including as director of scheduling and trip director for Jill Biden during the Obama administration.

Mike Donilon, senior advisor to the president

Mike Donilon was chief strategist for the Biden presidential campaign. Prior to joining the campaign, Donilon was the managing director of the Biden Institute. He has worked on six presidential campaigns.

Dana Remus, White House counsel

Dana Remus was general counsel for the Biden presidential campaign. She previously worked as general counsel for the Obama Foundation. She was also the deputy assistant to the president and deputy counsel of ethics during the Obama administration. She clerked for Republican-nominated Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito.

Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon, chief of staff to Dr. Jill Biden

Julissa Reynoso Pantaleon served as the U.S. ambassador to Uruguay and deputy assistant secretary of state during the Obama administration. She is a partner at Winston & Strawn and previously worked on the faculty of Columbia Law School and Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Julie Chavez Rodriguez, director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

Julie Chavez Rodriguez was a deputy campaign manager for the Biden presidential campaign. She previously worked on the Harris presidential campaign as the national political director and traveling chief of staff. In the Obama administration, Chavez Rodriguez was a special assistant to the president and senior deputy director of public engagement.

Annie Tomasini, director of Oval Office Operations

Annie Tomasini is Biden’s traveling chief of staff. She has worked for Biden for over a decade, including as his deputy press secretary during the Obama administration and as press secretary when Biden was the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.


Potential Nominees

  • Biden said on Thursday that he had selected his nominee for secretary of the Treasury and will make an announcement early next week. Federal Reserve Board member Lael Brainard, former Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, and former Federal Reserve Board member Roger Ferguson Jr. are on the shortlist, according to The New York Times.
  • Bloomberg reported that Gary Gensler, the former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, and former U.S. attorney Preet Bharara were in consideration to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Other potential candidates named in the article were former SEC commissioner Kara Stein, SEC commissioner Allison Lee, former Treasury official Michael Barr, Georgetown Law professor Chris Brummer, and former SEC commissioner Robert Jackson Jr.
  • Politico described Michèle Flournoy as the “consensus choice among establishment Washington” for secretary of defense. Flournoy was the undersecretary of defense during President Barack Obama’s first term in office.
  • Politico also reported that Biden was considering Sen. Angus King (Maine), an independent who caucuses with the Democrats, for director of national intelligence. Maine is one of 37 states where Senate vacancies are filled by gubernatorial appointment until the next statewide general election. Maine Gov. Janet Mills is a Democrat. 
  • NPR reported that John Jones, a former chief of staff to Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), is being considered for the position of director of the Office of Management and Budget. Jones also worked as an aide to Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.). He is vice president of government relations for the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trusts.
  • The Biden Transition is vetting Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) for secretary of the interior, according to The Hill. If selected, she would be the first Native American Cabinet secretary. Haaland’s district, New Mexico’s 1st, is rated Safe Democratic. House vacancies are filled by special elections.
  • The Hill reported the following officials were candidates to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM): longtime BLM official Steve Ellis, Audubon Society lawyer Nada Culver, and former BLM director Neil Kornze.
  • CBS News called Tony Blinken, Biden’s campaign adviser on global issues, the frontrunner for secretary of state.
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are in consideration for secretary of transportation.

News

  • Forty progressive groups—including MoveOn, Color of Change, and the Sunrise Movement—published a list of 400 recommended candidates for what they called “the most powerful positions nobody’s ever heard of” in government.
  • Biden hired former Obama White House communications director Jen Psaki to lead a team overseeing the Senate confirmation process for his nominees. “The new team is also looking to shake up some of the conventions of the Cabinet nomination process, including the code of silence that has traditionally surrounded nominees. Instead, transition staff intend to introduce Biden’s Cabinet picks to the American people before their Senate hearings, which could include media blitzes to build up public support. There’s a risk, however, that the increased exposure could lead to embarrassing gaffes or missteps by nominees,” Politico reported.
  • Three Republican senators indicated they are willing to confirm Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) said that a “president ought to be able to pick his or her Cabinet barring someone who is out of the mainstream of either party.” Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) said she would give “great latitude” to the president. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) similarly said, “Our job, our role is to make sure that he selects folks that are … within the mainstream. And are good, qualified credible candidates. And if he does that, sure, I am going to work with him.”
  • Georgia completed its statewide audit of its presidential election results on Thursday. Biden leads Trump by 12,284 votes and is the projected winner according to a consensus call from ABC News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, and The New York Times.
  • Politico reported that the Biden transition has raised more than $8 million to cover costs and payroll associated with the transition. It will not have access to public funding set aside for presidential transitions until the General Services Administration ascertains the election.

What We’re Reading

Everything on Ballotpedia is free to readBut it isn’t free to produce. We depend on people like you to ensure that access to neutral and accurate information about American politics stays available to all. Donations to Ballotpedia are tax deductible and go directly toward producing great content like this newsletter.Please consider donating today! >   DONATE TO BALLOTPEDIA
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Missouri Supreme Court weighs challenge to public-sector labor laws

Missouri Supreme Court weighs challenge to public-sector labor laws           

On Nov. 16, the Missouri Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a challenge to HB1413, a 2018 bill that made several changes to the state’s public-sector labor laws.

Who are the parties to the suit?  

The plaintiffs are: 

  • Missouri Education Association
  • Ferguson-Florissant Education Association
  • Hazelwood Association of Support Personnel
  • Service Employees International Union Local 1
  • Laborers’ International Union of North American Local 42
  • International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local 610
  • International Union of Operating Engineers Local 148

The defendants include several state and municipal government entities, including the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations and the State Board of Mediation. 

What’s at issue?   

On June 1, 2018, Gov. Eric Greitens (R) signed HB1413 into law. The omnibus legislation made several changes to the state’s public-sector labor laws: 

  • Requires annual authorization for union dues payroll deductions.
  • Requires unions to file annual financial reports and make financial records available to the public. 
  • Requires unions to submit to certification elections before the State Board of Mediation in order to be recognized as the representative of a group of public employees. Requires unions to be recertified every three years. 
  • Makes all collective bargaining agreements subject to certain limitations, including:
    • “Management reserving the right to hire, discipline, and discharge employees [and] reserving the right to make and amend reasonable work rules”
    • “Prohibiting all strikes and picketing”
    • “Extending the duty of fair representation to all employees of the bargaining unit”
    • “Prohibiting labor organization employees from accepting paid time by a public body for conducting labor organization business with certain exceptions”
    • “Providing for the modification of the agreement in the event of a budget shortfall”

The plaintiff unions sued in state court, alleging “HB1413’s draconian restrictions on public-sector collective bargaining are incompatible with Article I, Section 29 of the [Missouri] Constitution, which expressly guarantees the right of employees ‘to organize and bargain collectively’ and to do so ‘through representatives of their own choosing.’” On Jan. 27, Judge Joseph Walsh of the St. Louis County Circuit Court ruled in the unions’ favor. The state appealed to the Missouri Supreme Court.

What are the arguments?


Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R), in his brief on behalf of the state defendants, wrote: 

[No] provision of HB 1413 violates employees’ right to ‘bargain collectively’ with ‘representatives of their own choosing’ under Article I, § 29. Contrary to the Constitution’s plain language and this Court’s cases, the trial court fundamentally misunderstood Section 29 by interpreting it to guarantee certain outcomes of bargaining, instead of the process of negotiation. The provisions of HB1413 do not affect any public employee’s ability to engage in collective bargaining, and they affirmatively protect employees’ ability to choose their own representatives through meaningful, democratically accountable procedures. [emphasis in the original]

Jason Walta, a National Education Association lawyer and lead counsel for the plaintiffs, wrote in his brief

Not only are HB 1413’s burdens severe, they are discriminatory. Unlike any other regulation of public-sector collective bargaining in existence, HB 1413 grants or withholds public employees’ bargaining and speech rights based entirely on the identity of the union those employees decide to associate with and select as their bargaining representative. If they select a union that the Legislature sought to favor, HB 1413 imposes no restrictions on their collective bargaining or speech rights. If they select a union the Legislature sought to penalize, HB1413 renders collective bargaining a farce and saddles them and their union with onerous restrictions on speech and association.

Case and court information   

The case name and number are Missouri National Education Association v. Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, SC98412.

The Missouri Supreme Court is the state’s court of last resort. Democratic governors appointed four of the court’s seven justices: Chief Justice George Draper and Justices Mary Rhodes Russell, Laura Denvir Stith, and Paul C. Wilson. Republican governors appointed the three remaining justices: Zel Fischer, Patricia Breckenridge, and Wesley Brent Powell.  

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bill by state

We are currently tracking 102 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 bill by current legislative status

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

Recent legislative actions

No legislative actions have been taken on relevant bills since our last issue.



Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: November 20, 2020 #Edition #134

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery, where we track the status of reopening in all 50 states and summarize major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic in politics, government, and elections. Today we look at changes to Hawaii’s travel program, limits on gatherings in Wyoming, and much more. Want to know what we covered yesterday? Click here.

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • California (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced nonessential work, movement, and gatherings will be prohibited between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. every night in purple-tier counties starting Nov. 21.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here.

  • Arkansas (Republican trifecta): Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) announced restaurants, bars, and clubs that serve alcohol will have to close by 11 p.m. every night, starting Nov. 20.
  • Hawaii (Democratic trifecta): Gov. David Ige (D) updated the state’s pre-travel testing requirements. Under the new rules, out-of-state travelers must present proof of a negative coronavirus test on arrival to avoid the state’s 14-day self-quarantine requirement. Travelers can no longer submit test results after they arrive.
  • Iowa (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Nov. 19, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) announced she would allocate $14 million in federal CARES Act funding to assist long-term care facilities with testing and staffing. 
  • Maine (Democratic trifecta): Businesses such as restaurants, bars, clubs, movie theaters, casinos, and other amusement venues will have to close by 9 p.m. every night starting Nov. 20. 
  • New Hampshire (divided government): On Thursday, Nov. 20, Gov. Chris Sununu (R) announced he was issuing a statewide mask mandate requiring anyone over the age of five to wear a face covering in indoor public spaces. The order also requires masks in outdoor settings when social distancing isn’t possible. The order takes effect Friday, Nov. 20. 
  • New York (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) designated areas in Westchester, Rockland, and Orange counties as yellow mitigation zones. The yellow level limits indoor dining to four customers at a table and religious services to 50% capacity.
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): On Nov. 19, the Ohio Senate sent Gov. Mike DeWine (R) Senate Bill 311, which would prohibit the Ohio Department of Health from issuing mandatory quarantine orders against people who have not tested positive for COVID-19 or come into direct contact with an infected individual. DeWine said he would veto the bill, which passed 58-30. The Senate could override the veto with the support of three-fifths of the chamber.  
  • Rhode Island (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Gina Raimondo (D) announced new coronavirus restrictions. Social gatherings among members from outside of a single household are banned, effective Nov. 19. Starting Nov. 30, bar areas, recreational venues (like bowling alleys), gyms, and in-person college and university instruction will be closed. Indoor dining will be limited to 33% capacity, and retailers will be limited to one customer per 100 square feet. Religious services will be limited to 25% capacity with a maximum of 125 people.  
  • Utah (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Nov. 19, Gov. Gary Herbert (R) announced he would remove language prohibiting social gatherings between different households from an order he planned to issue before Thanksgiving. 
  • Wyoming (Republican trifecta): On Thursday, Nov. 19, Gov. Mark Gordon (R) announced he would limit indoor gatherings to 25 people if social distancing isn’t possible. If social distancing is possible, then the limit is 25% capacity up to 100 people. The limit on outdoor gatherings will be capped at 50% capacity up to 250 people. The order will take effect Nov. 24.


Biden will announce secretary of the Treasury pick next week

Transition Tracker Daily by Ballotpedia

Welcome to Ballotpedia’s Transition Tracker

November 20, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election. The Electoral College will meet on December 14, 2020, to vote for the next president of the United States.

In 2016, there were 1,714 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,242 positions required Senate confirmation and 472 did not. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden presidential transition.​​​​​​


News

  • Politico reported that the Biden transition has raised more than $8 million to cover costs and payroll associated with the transition. It will not have access to public funding set aside for presidential transitions until the General Services Administration ascertains the election.
  • Biden said on Thursday that he had selected his nominee for secretary of the Treasury and will make an announcement early next week. Federal Reserve Board member Lael Brainard, former Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen, and former Federal Reserve Board member Roger Ferguson are on the shortlist, according to The New York Times.
  • Three Republican senators indicated they are willing to confirm Biden’s Cabinet nominees. Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) said that a “president ought to be able to pick his or her Cabinet barring someone who is out of the mainstream of either party.” Sen. Susan Collins (Maine) said she would give “great latitude” to the president. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) similarly said, “Our job, our role is to make sure that he selects folks that are … within the mainstream. And are good, qualified credible candidates. And if he does that, sure, I am going to work with him.”
  • Biden and Harris are meeting with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) on Friday in Wilmington, Delaware.
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel are in consideration for secretary of transportation.
  • Georgia completed its statewide audit of its presidential election results on Thursday. Biden leads Trump by 12,284 votes and is the projected winner according to a consensus call from ABC News, CNN, Fox News, NBC News, and The New York Times.

What We’re Reading

Everything on Ballotpedia is free to readBut it isn’t free to produce. We depend on people like you to ensure that access to neutral and accurate information about American politics stays available to all. Donations to Ballotpedia are tax deductible and go directly toward producing great content like this newsletter.Please consider donating today! >   DONATE TO BALLOTPEDIA
BALLOTPEDIA NEWS


Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: Reviewing the effect of the Nov. 3 election results on redistricting

Welcome to the Friday, Nov. 20, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Legislative control of redistricting changed in New Hampshire, Vermont after Nov. 3 elections
  2. Election certification dates and next week’s election deadlines
  3. Friday trivia: Which state voted Republican in the presidential election and Democratic in its gubernatorial race?

Legislative control of redistricting changed in New Hampshire, Vermont after Nov. 3 elections

We’ve been busy analyzing this month’s election results and the effects they may have on politics and governance. This includes topics such as trifectas, triplexes, and the status of veto-proof majorities in state legislatures. Another area we’re tracking is how the results affected legislative control of redistricting.

Redistricting is the process of drawing new congressional and state legislative district boundaries. It occurs every 10 years after the publication of the decennial United States Census. Each state determines its own redistricting method.

Partisan control of redistricting changed from their post-2018 status in two states—New Hampshire and Vermont—as a result of the Nov. 3 elections: 

  • Both chambers of the New Hampshire legislature switched from Democratic to Republican control. Republicans gained a net 57 seats in the state House—giving them a 213-187 majority—and a net four seats in the state Senate, for a 14-10 majority. New Hampshire’s legislature will draw congressional and state legislative district lines in 2021, and the governor, Chris Sununu, is Republican.
  • Vermont’s redistricting process will occur under divided party control in 2021. Before the election, Democrats and third-party representatives who caucus with Democrats had supermajorities in both chambers of Vermont’s state legislature. Republicans had a net gain of three seats in the state House, meaning Democrats no longer have supermajority status in that chamber. The Democratic-controlled Vermont legislature will develop redistricting plans next year but will not have the two-thirds supermajority in each chamber necessary to override a possible veto from Republican Gov. Phil Scott.

Thirty-four states grant their state legislature control over congressional redistricting, and 35 give the legislature control over state legislative redistricting. After the Nov. 3 elections, the partisan control for these states will break down as follows:

  • Republican legislatures control 20 congressional and state legislative redistricting processes. 
  • Democratic legislatures control 10 congressional redistricting processes and 11 state legislative redistricting processes. 
  • Four congressional and state legislative redistricting processes are under divided party control. 

The remaining states employ independent or political commissions for their redistricting process. 

Learn more

Election certification dates and next week’s election deadlines 

Next week may include the Thanksgiving holiday, but it will be a busy week for states to certify their Nov. 3 election results. Between Nov. 23 and 25, 12 states and the District of Columbia have election certification and/or canvassing deadlines:

Nov. 23: Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Utah

Nov. 24: District of Columbia, Indiana, Minnesota, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Ohio

Nov. 25: Alabama and Alaska

Five states—Arizona, Colorado, Iowa, Montana, and Nebraska—certify their election results Nov. 30.

To date, election certification and/or canvassing dates will pass today or have passed in 15 states:

• Nov. 5: Delaware

• Nov. 10: Louisiana, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Vermont

• Nov. 11: South Carolina and Wyoming

• Nov. 13: Mississippi

• Nov. 16: Virginia (actual certification took place on Nov. 18)

• Nov. 17: Florida

• Nov. 18: Arkansas, Idaho, and Massachusetts

• Nov. 20: Georgia and North Dakota

By the end of next week, certification and/or canvassing deadlines will have passed in 27 states and the District of Columbia. 

Learn more

Friday trivia: Which state voted Republican in the presidential election and Democratic in its gubernatorial race?

We’ve been analyzing election results since Nov. 3, and earlier this week, we highlighted those states that voted for one party’s candidate for president and the other major party’s candidate for governor. Eleven states held gubernatorial elections this year.

Joe Biden (D) won two states—Vermont and New Hampshire—in the presidential race at the same time voters re-elected their Republican governors: Chris Sununu (N.H.) and Phil Scott (Vt.). A third state voted for President Donald Trump (R) and elected a Democratic governor. Can you guess which one?

Which state voted Republican in the presidential election and Democratic in their governor’s race?

  1. Delaware
  2. Indiana
  3. Montana
  4. North Carolina


Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: November 19, 2020 #Edition #133

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery, where we track the status of reopening in all 50 states and summarize major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic in politics, government, and elections. Today we look at:

  • New coronavirus restrictions in Minnesota
  • The closing of schools in New York City
  • School closures and reopenings
  • Stay-at-home orders
  • Eviction and foreclosure policies
  • Federal responses

Want to know what we covered yesterday? Click here.

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • Kentucky (divided government): Gov. Andy Beshear (D) announced new coronavirus restrictions, effective Nov. 20 through Dec. 13. Restaurants and bars will have to close indoor dining, and social gatherings will be limited to eight people from two households at a time. Gyms, indoor recreation facilities, and offices will be limited to 33% capacity. Event spaces and theaters will be limited to 25% capacity. All K-12 public and private schools statewide will stop in-person classes. Middle and high school instruction will be fully remote through at least Jan. 4. Elementary schools will be able to reopen starting Dec. 7 if their county is not in the red zone.
  • Minnesota (divided government): On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Gov. Tim Walz (D) announced new coronavirus restrictions, including a halt on indoor dining and the closure of indoor fitness centers, theaters, and bowling alleys. The order also prohibits families from holding gatherings with members of separate households. The order takes effect Nov. 20 and lasts until Dec. 18.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here.

  • Alabama (Republican trifecta): Gov. Kay Ivey (R) announced a $200 million relief program. Organizations with 50 or fewer employees, including small businesses, nonprofits, and faith-based groups, can apply for up to $20,000 to offset expenses from interruptions to normal operations.
  • Iowa (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Gov. Kim Reynolds (R) issued an executive order banning recreational activities and sports, including those conducted at fitness centers or gyms, that do not allow participants to stay six feet apart at all times. The order requires all participants to wear a mask and limits spectators to two per athlete. The order does not apply to high school, collegiate, or professional sports. 
  • Kansas (divided government): Gov. Laura Kelly (R) issued an updated public mask order that gives localities a week to develop face-covering requirements. In areas where local governments do not develop mask requirements, the state’s order will take effect on Nov. 25. Under a bill passed earlier in the year, counties can still fully opt out of Kelly’s order.
  • Maryland (divided government): On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) signed an executive order allowing some prisoners to become eligible for early release. The order is intended to help slow the spread of the coronavirus in state prisons. It allows officials to expedite parole and home-detention decisions for those scheduled to be released within 120 days. 
  • North Dakota (Republican trifecta): On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Gov. Doug Burgum (R) amended a previous executive order to allow high school sports practices and other extracurricular activities to resume on Nov. 30. The revised order does not affect competitions, which remain banned until Dec. 14. 
  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced a three-week, statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The curfew does not apply to people going to work, shopping for food, or seeking medical attention. The order is effective Nov. 19.
  • Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): On Monday, Nov. 16, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced that face coverings would be required on state property, and bars and restaurants would have to close by 11 p.m. for indoor service beginning Nov. 19.
  • Wisconsin (divided government): On Wednesday, Nov. 18, Gov. Tony Evers (D) announced he would extend the statewide mask mandate into 2021. The mandate was set to expire Nov. 21. Evers did not give an exact date for when the extension would expire. 

School closures and reopenings

Read more: School reopenings in the 2020-2021 academic year after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Overview:

The current status of school reopenings is as follows:

  • Washington, D.C., had a district-ordered school closure.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 85,850 students (0.17% of students nationwide)
  • Nine states (Calif., Del., Hawaii, Mich., N.C., N.M., N.Y., Ore., W.V.) had state-ordered regional school closures, required closures for certain grade levels, or allowed hybrid instruction only.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 13,624,521 students (26.93% of students nationwide)
  • Four states (Ark., Fla., Iowa, Texas) had state-ordered in-person instruction.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 9,180,918 students (18.15% of students nationwide)
  • Thirty-seven states had reopenings that varied by school or district.
    • 2016-17 enrollment: 27,696,570 students (54.75% of students nationwide)

Details: 

  • Michigan – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced a three-week statewide ban on in-person high school and college instruction beginning Nov. 18. 

State stay-at-home orders

Read more: States with lockdown and stay-at-home orders in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview:

As of Nov. 18, stay-at-home orders have ended in 41 states. Nineteen of those states have Republican governors, and 22 have Democratic governors (including Wisconsin, where the state supreme court invalidated the stay-at-home order). Seven states never issued stay-at-home orders.

California and New Mexico, both of which have Democratic governors, are the only remaining states with active stay-at-home orders.

We still classify California as a stay-at-home state because Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) original executive order did not have an expiration date, and we have not seen the order explicitly rescinded in our research. Effective Nov. 17, 94.1% of the state’s population lives in counties in the most restrictive risk tier, which prohibits indoor service at restaurants, gyms, places of worship, and other businesses classified as nonessential. 

New Mexico’s stay-at-home order was extended on Nov. 16 through Nov. 30. We consider the following language the basis of our classification: “all New Mexicans should be staying in their homes for all but the most essential activities and services.” Effective Nov. 16, nonessential businesses were required to stop all in-person activity. Restaurants are limited to delivery and curbside pickup. Religious services and state-defined essential retail spaces are not allowed to exceed the lesser of 25 percent occupancy or 75 total individuals. Gatherings are limited to five people from different households.

Eviction and foreclosure policies

Read more: Changes to rent, mortgage, eviction, and foreclosure policies in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

Overview:

  • Sixteen states have current moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures.
    • Since Nov. 12, one state has extended a moratorium on evictions.
  • Twenty-seven states have ended moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures.
  • California has current local moratoriums on evictions and foreclosures.
  • Seven states did not issue a moratorium on evictions and foreclosures on the state or local level.

Details:

  • Illinois – Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) extended the statewide moratorium on evictions an additional 30 days. The extended order also included new provisions requiring tenants to provide evidence to landlords that the coronavirus pandemic has affected their ability to pay rent.

Federal responses

Read more: Political responses to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, 2020

  • On Nov. 16, biotechnology company Moderna announced its coronavirus vaccine was 94.5% effective at protecting people from COVID-19. As part of the Trump Administration’s Operation Warp Speed program, the federal government reached a $1.5 billion agreement with Moderna to buy 100 million doses of the vaccine. The federal government also supplied $1 billion for research and development.
  • On Nov. 16, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced it was recruiting veterans and non-veterans for clinical vaccine and treatment trials at 50 VA medical centers around the country.
  • On Nov. 17, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted an emergency use authorization to Lucira Health’s rapid coronavirus test, which can be conducted at home. The test can deliver results within 30 minutes.


Pelosi nominated for speaker of the House

Transition Tracker Daily by Ballotpedia

Welcome to Ballotpedia’s Transition Tracker

November 19, 2020

Former Vice President Joe Biden (D) is the projected winner of the 2020 presidential election. The Electoral College will meet on December 14, 2020, to vote for the next president of the United States.

In 2016, there were 1,714 government positions subject to presidential appointment: 1,242 positions required Senate confirmation and 472 did not. Every weekday, Ballotpedia is tracking potential Cabinet nominees, appointments, and news related to the Biden presidential transition.

News

  • Politico reported that infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci is expected to continue his role in the Biden administration.They added that it was unclear whether Trump coronavirus coordinator Deborah Birx would be retained. Céline Gounder, a member of Biden’s COVID-19 advisory team, said, “It’s complicated. It’s almost like she herself has been politicized.”
  • Biden and Harris will discuss the coronavirus pandemic response in a virtual meeting with the bipartisan National Governors Association’s executive committee on Thursday.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D) was nominated to continue to lead Democrats in the House on Wednesday. A full House vote will take place in early January. Biden spoke with Pelosi, saying that “he looks forward to working with her and Democratic leadership in the House on a shared agenda to get COVID-19 under control and build our economy back better.”
  • The Hill reported the following officials were candidates to lead the Bureau of Land Management (BLM): longtime BLM official Steve Ellis, Audubon Society lawyer Nada Culver, and former BLM director Neil Kornze.
  • Biden discussed the importance of the Georgia Senate runoffs in a private video call on Wednesday. He said, “We’re going to run into some real brick walls initially in the Senate unless we’re able to turn around Georgia and pick up those two seats, but even then it’s going to be hard.”
  • CBS News called Tony Blinken, Biden’s campaign adviser on global issues, the frontrunner for secretary of state.

What We’re Reading

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BALLOTPEDIA NEWS


Ballotpedia’s Daily Brew: The 75 closest congressional races of 2020

Welcome to the Thursday, Nov. 19, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Seventy-five congressional elections were decided by 10 percentage points or fewer
  2. Voters in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois decide ballot measures regarding state income taxes
  3. Local roundup

Seventy-five congressional elections were decided by 10 percentage points or fewer

Here’s more post-election analysis: Seventy-five (or 16%) of congressional elections were decided by 10 percentage points or fewer. Eight were races for U.S. Senate, and 67 were for U.S. House. 

This marks the second straight election cycle when more than 15% of congressional races were decided within that margin. In 2018, 22% were decided by 10 percentage points or fewer. Nine percent and 12% of races were decided by that margin in 2016 and 2014, respectively. 

In 2020, Democrats won 40 of these elections and Republicans won 35. 

Note: 14  U.S. House races were uncalled as of this writing (they’re not counted in the analysis below), and final counts haven’t been certified in many others. Ballotpedia will not project a winner for U.S. House elections until there is a consensus projection made by a pool of five national news outlets—ABC News, CNN, Fox News, NBC, and The New York Times. These numbers will change over the coming days and weeks.

Of the top three closest races this year (that have been called), two of the three resulted in a party change. Those were:

Thirty-five races were decided by fewer than five percentage points; three of those were U.S. Senate races, and 32 were U.S. House races. Of those, Democrats won 22 and Republicans won 13. 

In comparison, 102 races were decided by 10 percentage points or fewer in 2018. Of these, 12 were elections for the U.S. Senate, and 90 were elections for the U.S. House. Democratic candidates won 49 of these elections, and Republican candidates won 53. 

Fifty races in 2018 were decided by fewer than five percentage points: five elections for the U.S. Senate and 45 were elections for the U.S. House. Democratic candidates won 24 of these elections, and Republican candidates won 26.

There were 42 and 56 congressional races decided by 10 percentage points or fewer in 2016 and 2014, respectively. In 2016, nine were elections for the U.S. Senate, and 33 were elections for the U.S. House, with candidates from each major party winning 21 of the elections. In 2014, seven were elections for the U.S. Senate, and 49 were elections for the U.S. House. Democratic candidates won 32 of these elections, and Republican candidates won 24.

For races decided by fewer than five percentage points, there were 22 in 2016 and 31 in 2014. In 2016, five elections were for the U.S. Senate, and 17 were for the U.S. House seats, with Democratic candidates winning 14 of these elections and Republicans winning eight. In 2014, five were elections for the U.S. Senate, and 26 were for the U.S. House, with Democratic candidates winning 17 of these elections and Republican candidates winning 14.

Learn more

Voters in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois decide ballot measures regarding state income taxes

Voters in 12 states voted on 19 ballot measures addressing tax-related policies on Nov. 3. Today, let’s look at the three which concerned state income taxes, which were on the ballot in Arizona, Colorado, and Illinois. Arizona voters approved a measure to increase tax rates for income above a certain level to fund education. Colorado voters approved a decrease to the state’s flat income tax rate. Illinois voters defeated a measure to allow for a graduated income tax. Here are the details:

  • Arizona Proposition 208: Voters approved the measure by a vote of 51.8% to 48.3%. The measure enacts a 3.50% income tax, in addition to the existing income tax, on taxable income above $250,000 (single filing) or $500,000 (joint filing). 
    • As of 2020, the highest income tax in Arizona was 4.50%, which was levied on income above $159,000 (single filing) or $318,000 (joint filing). Based on the existing income tax rates, the ballot initiative has the effect of increasing the tax rate from 4.50% to 8.00% on income above $250,000 (single filing) or $500,000 (joint filing). 
  • Colorado Proposition 116: Voters approved the measure by a vote of 57.9% to 42.2%. It decreases the state income tax rate from 4.63% to 4.55% for individuals, estates, trusts, and foreign and domestic C corporations operating in Colorado. 
    • The Colorado individual income tax rate has been a flat tax rate since 1987. The flat tax was 5% from 1987 to 1998. It was lowered to 4.75% in 1999. The rate has been 4.63% since 2000. 
  • Illinois Graduated Income Tax Amendment: Voters defeated the measure 54.5% to 45.5%. It would have authorized the state to enact legislation providing for a graduated income tax. The measure would have repealed the state’s constitutional requirement that the state’s personal income tax is a flat rate across income. Instead, the ballot measure would have allowed the state to enact legislation for a graduated income tax. In Illinois, income is taxed at a flat rate of 4.95%. 

Beyond these three tax-related policy measures on the Nov. 3 ballot, 10 others addressed property taxes, two addressed tobacco taxes, one addressed business-related taxes, one addressed sales tax rates, one addressed fees and surcharges, and one was related to tax-increment financing (TIF).

Heading into the 2020 election, 43 states levied a tax on personal income. Of these 43 states, 11 states had a flat income tax rate, meaning there is a constant rate across income before deductions and exemptions. The flat income tax rates ranged from 2.00% in Tennessee to 5.25% in North Carolina. Most (32 of 50) states had a graduated income tax, with different rates applied to different levels of income.

Since 2016, California, Colorado, and Maine voters have decided four measures designed to directly increase or renew income tax rates. Two were approved, and two were defeated. One was repealed after approval.

Local roundup

In today’s roundup of local election results and previews, here’s an update on a Seattle City Council recall effort.

The Washington Supreme Court will consider the appeal of a recall petition against Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant before the end of the year. Here’s a brief timeline of the events leading up to the court’s consideration.

  • Aug. 18: The recall against Sawant was initiated when lead petitioner Ernie Lou submitted a formal recall petition to the King County Elections Office.
  • Sept. 16: King County Superior Court Judge Jim Rogers certified four of the six grounds for recall contained in the petition.
  • Oct. 2: Sawant filed an appeal of the recall certification with the Washington Supreme Court. 
  • Nov. 12: The Washington Supreme Court issued a timeline for the appeal: 
    • Sawant’s opening brief is due to the court by Nov. 23
    • Petitioners’ response is due on Dec. 3
    • Sawant’s reply is due by Dec. 10

The court expects to rule on the appeal by Jan. 7, 2021. If Sawant’s appeal is unsuccessful, petitioners would be required to gather over 10,700 signatures from registered voters to get the recall on the ballot, which equals 25% of the total votes cast in the last District 3 election held in 2019.

Sawant represents District 3 on the Seattle City Council. Though the office is officially nonpartisan, Sawant is a member of the Socialist Alternative Party and, upon her election in 2013, was the first socialist elected to Seattle city government in 97 years.

In 2019, Ballotpedia covered a total of 151 recall efforts against 230 elected officials. Of the 66 officials whose recalls made it to the ballot, 34 were recalled for a rate of 52%. That was lower than the 63% rate and 57% rate for 2018 and 2017 recalls, respectively.
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Documenting America’s Path to Recovery: November 18, 2020 – Edition #132

We want to keep you updated during this time of rapid change in states’ coronavirus restrictions and policies. This will be the first mini edition of Documenting America’s Path to Recovery, which will provide updates on upcoming changes in the next 24 hours and details on what changed since our last edition, with none of our normal Tuesday and Thursday context sections. Mini updates will also be sent out on Nov. 20 and Nov. 23. We’ll reassess the need for continued daily updates after Thanksgiving based on the volume of the news.

Welcome to Documenting America’s Path to Recovery, where we track the status of reopening in all 50 states and summarize major changes due to the coronavirus pandemic in politics, government, and elections. Today we look at a temporary curfew in Ohio, new coronavirus restrictions in Delaware, and much more. Want to know what we covered yesterday? Click here.

The next 24 hours

What is changing in the next 24 hours?

  • Ohio (Republican trifecta): On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Gov. Mike DeWine (R) announced a three-week, statewide curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. The curfew does not apply to people going to work, shopping for food, or seeking medical attention. The order takes effect Nov. 19.
  • Oklahoma (Republican trifecta): On Monday, Nov. 16, Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) announced that face coverings would be required on state property, and bars and restaurants would have to close by 11 p.m. for indoor service beginning Nov. 19.

Since our last edition

What is open in each state? For a continually updated article on reopening status in all 50 states, click here.

  • Colorado (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Jared Polis announced 15 counties will move back to the red phase of reopening, effective Nov. 20. The state also added a stricter purple risk level to the reopening procedures to try and avoid another stay-at-home order.
  • Delaware (Democratic trifecta): Gov. John Carney (D) issued additional restrictions, effective Nov. 23. Indoor gatherings at homes will be limited to 10 people, with a 50-person cap for outdoor gatherings. Religious and political gatherings will be limited to the lesser of 30% of a venue’s capacity or 50 people. Restaurants will also be limited to 30% indoor capacity, and face coverings will be required at all times in gyms.
  • Illinois (Democratic trifecta): Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced additional statewide mitigation measures, effective Nov. 20. Restaurants and bars will not be able to offer indoor service, casinos and museums will be required to close, and gyms will have to cease indoor group classes. Retailers will have to reduce capacity from 50% to 25%.
  • Maryland (divided government): On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Gov. Larry Hogan (R) issued an emergency order that requires bars and restaurants to end indoor service by 10 p.m. and limits capacity at retail stores and religious facilities to 50%. Additionally, the order prohibits fans from attending racetracks or sports stadiums. The order takes effect Nov. 20 at 5 p.m. 
  • Mississippi (Republican trifecta): Gov. Tate Reeves (R) added seven counties to the state’s targeted mask mandate order, bringing the total number of counties with face-covering requirements to 22. The order is effective through Dec. 11.
  • Michigan (divided government): On Nov. 15, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced a three-week ban on indoor dining and in-person high school and college instruction across the state beginning Nov. 18. She also announced that events at movie theaters, concert halls, and other indoor entertainment venues had been canceled. 
  • Montana (divided government): Gov. Steve Bullock (D) announced additional mitigation measures, effective Nov. 20. Gatherings will be limited to 25 people when social distancing is not possible. Bars, restaurants, and casinos will have a 10 p.m. curfew every night and will be limited to 50% capacity.
  • North Carolina (divided government): On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Gov. Roy Cooper (D) and Secretary of the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NC DHHS) Dr. Mandy Cohen unveiled a new county alert system that tracks the spread of COVID-19 across the state. 
  • Oregon (Democratic trifecta): Gov. Kate Brown (D) issued statewide restrictions effective Nov. 18 through Dec. 2. The order limits restaurants to delivery and curbside pickup services. Social gatherings are limited to six people or less. Gyms and all indoor and outdoor recreational facilities (including zoos, pools, and museums) are closed. Religious services are limited to 25 people indoors or 50 people outdoors. The order does not change restrictions on personal care service businesses like barbershops.
  • Pennsylvania (divided government): Health Secretary Rachel Levine announced new mitigation measures, including travel restrictions and expanded mask requirements. Starting Nov. 18, masks are required indoors (including gyms and public transportation) whenever people from separate households are in the same space, even if social distancing can be kept. Face coverings are required in all outdoor spaces unless social distancing for non-household members can be maintained at all times. Effective Nov. 20, all travelers from out-of-state will be required to show a negative coronavirus test from the last 72 hours before they arrive. If they cannot present a test, they will be required to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Washington (Democratic trifecta): On Sunday, Nov. 14, Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced that all counties would need to reimpose some coronavirus restrictions. Effective Nov. 16, social gatherings with members of a different household are prohibited unless those individuals quarantine for 14 days or quarantine for seven days and receive a negative COVID-19 test. Additionally, outdoor social gatherings are limited to five people from outside the household. The new restrictions also include closing gyms, bowling alleys, movie theaters, and capacity restrictions on retail stores. Beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18, restaurants and bars are closed to indoor service, while outdoor service is limited to a maximum of five people. 
  • New Jersey, Connecticut (Democratic trifecta): Govs. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) and Ned Lamont (D-Conn.) added Vermont to their states’ travel advisories. New Jersey has 46 states and territories on its advisory list, and Connecticut has 47.


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