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SCOTUS rules on two Biden vaccine mandates

Our weekly summary of federal news highlights SCOTUS rulings on federal vaccine mandates and congressional redistricting in Arkansas. Read all about it in this week’s edition of the Federal Tap.

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Congress is in session

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

SCOTUS is in session

The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in four 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 traveled to Atlanta, Georgia, where he paid respects at the crypts of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Coretta Scott King.

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

On Friday, Biden traveled to his private residence in Wilmington, Delaware.

President Biden’s approval rating for the 50th week of his term was 43%, about the same as the week before. President Trump’s approval rating at the same point in his term was 39.8%, up 1.5 percentage points from the week before.

Federal Judiciary

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

Upcoming Article III Judicial Vacancies

According to the latest vacancy data from the U.S. Courts, there were 34 total announced upcoming vacancies for Article III judgeships. The earliest vacancy announcement was on Jan. 22, 2021, when U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland Judge Ellen Hollander announced she would assume senior status upon the confirmation of her successor. The most recent was on Jan. 12, 2022, when U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit Judge Gregg Costa announced that he would retire on Aug. 5, 2022. Twenty-two vacancy effective dates have not been determined because the judge has not announced the date they will leave the bench. The next upcoming vacancy will occur on Jan. 21, 2022, when U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana Judge Elizabeth Foote assumes senior status. 

For historical comparison, on Jan. 16, 2021, there were 49 federal judicial vacancies and five upcoming vacancies in the federal judiciary reported by the U.S. Courts.

Redistricting update: Arkansas’ congressional district map goes into effect

On Jan. 14, the two state statutes establishing new district lines for Arkansas’ four congressional districts went into effect.

Under the new maps, two of the state’s counties will be split between multiple congressional districts: Sebastian County, which is split in two, and Pulaski County—the state’s most populous—split between three districts.

Opponents of the maps said the division of Pulaski County, where less than 50% of the population identifies as white alone, was conducted along partisan and racial lines. Supporters of the proposal said the county’s size and location in the center of the state necessitated its split so as to lower the total number of counties being split elsewhere.

Legislators voted in favor of these maps on Oct. 7, 2021, sending them to Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) for final approval. On Oct. 13, Hutchinson announced that he would not sign the maps into law, questioning the splitting of Pulaski County, and setting a 90-day period before their effective date. He said he chose not to sign the bills in order to “enable those who wish to challenge the redistricting plan in court to do so.”

No court challenges have been filed against the congressional map plans as of Jan. 13. One group, Arkansas for a Unified Natural State, announced last fall that they would gather signatures in an attempt to place the two congressional map plans on the 2022 ballot as veto referendums. As of Jan. 13, it was unclear whether the group had submitted signatures. The deadline to submit the required 53,491 valid signatures for both statutes is Jan. 15, 2022.

Supreme Court rules on two Biden vaccine mandates

On Jan. 13, the U.S. Supreme Court issued rulings on two of President Joe Biden’s (D) vaccine mandates, blocking the mandate that would have applied to companies with more than 100 employees and upholding the mandate that applies to healthcare workers in facilities that participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs. The court heard oral arguments related to the case on Jan. 7.

The court blocked the vaccine mandate for companies with more than 100 employees in a 6-3 decision, with Justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor dissenting. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) originally issued the rule as an emergency regulation on Nov. 5, 2021. On the same day the rule was released, four multistate lawsuits were filed challenging the rule. The Fifth Circuit stayed the rule in Texas v. U.S. Department of Labor, but the Sixth Circuit reversed the stay on Dec. 17, 2021.

The court upheld the vaccine mandate for healthcare workers in facilities that participate in the Medicare or Medicaid programs in a 5-4 decision, with Justices Samuel Alito, Amy Coney Barrett, Neil Gorsuch, and Clarence Thomas dissenting. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the requirement on Nov. 4, 2021. Two multistate lawsuits were filed against the rule on Nov. 10 and Nov. 15. In Louisiana v. Becerra, U.S. District Court Judge Terry A. Doughty had previously issued a nationwide injunction on the rule on Nov. 30.

SCOTUS begins January sitting

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) began its new argument session of the 2021-2022 term on Jan. 10. The court is hearing arguments in person and providing audio livestreams of arguments.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor participated remotely from her office as a precaution related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week, SCOTUS heard arguments in four cases. Click the links below to learn more about these cases:

Jan. 10

Jan. 11

Jan. 12

Next week, SCOTUS will hear arguments in four cases, beginning Jan. 18.

To date, the court has agreed to hear 59 cases this term. Four cases were dismissed, and one case was removed from the argument calendar. Eleven cases have not yet been scheduled for argument.



ICYMI: Top stories of the week

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New Mexico completes state legislative redistricting

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed the state’s new Senate district map into law on Jan. 6. The map will take effect for New Mexico’s 2022 elections. New Mexico was the 28th state to complete legislative redistricting after the 2020 census.

Read more

Six of 11 wave elections in the U.S. House took place during a president’s first midterm election

According to our definition, a U.S. House election cycle qualifies as a wave election if the president’s party loses at least 48 seats. Between 1918 and 2016, 11 wave elections took place in the U.S. House. Six of these waves occurred during a president’s first midterm election.

Read more

36 states hold two or more top-ballot statewide elections in 2022

In 2022, 36 states are holding elections for two or more top-ballot statewide offices. We define those offices to include: U.S. Senate, governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, and secretary of state. Twenty-six states are holding elections for governor and a U.S. Senator.

Read more

California voters decided 46 local ballot measures last year

California voters decided 46 local ballot measures on seven different election dates and ultimately approved 35 (76.1%) of them in 2021. Altogether, there were 57% fewer local measures in California last year than the average number of measures during the last three odd-year election cycles.

Read more

There were 173 vacancies in state legislatures in 2021

Ballotpedia tracked 173 state legislative vacancies across 43 states in 2021. As of Jan. 6, 2022, 130 of those vacancies have been filled. Of the 43 remaining, 24 have special elections scheduled for sometime in 2022 and 19 are awaiting appointees.

Read more



2022 rundown: Public-sector labor legislation in the states

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We’re off to the races in 2022! Thirty-two state legislatures are currently in session. Today, we’re taking a look at bills related to public-sector labor policy that have been introduced so far this year. 

Overview

We’re currently tracking 71 pieces of legislation related to public-sector labor policy in the states. Twenty-four of those bills have been introduced this year, and the rest were carried over from 2021. Since 2019, we’ve tracked an average of 107 bills per year.   

Of the bills introduced so far this year, Democrats and Republicans have each sponsored 12. Seven of the Republican-sponsored bills were introduced in Republican trifecta states, and five of the Democratic-sponsored bills were introduced in a Democratic trifecta state. Nine bills were introduced in states with divided government, and three Democratic-sponsored bills were introduced in states with Republican trifectas. 

Bill details

The following bills have been introduced in 2022:

  • Florida H1197 and S1458: These bills would require certain public employees to sign an authorization form before joining a union acknowledging that union membership is not a condition for employment and that membership and dues are voluntary. The bills would require unions to allow certain public employees to end their membership by a written request. The bills would also prevent employers from deducting dues from certain employees’ paychecks. Both proposals would also amend requirements for bargaining agent recertification and union registration renewal. Republican sponsorship.  
  • Kentucky HB111: This bill would remove current restrictions on public employee collective organizing and strikes. It would repeal requirements for dues deduction authorizations. It would prevent state law from prohibiting public employers and local governments from requiring union membership for employment. Democratic sponsorship.
  • Maryland SB118: This bill would extend collective bargaining rights to certain graduate students within the University System of Maryland, Morgan State University, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland. Democratic sponsorship
  • Missouri HB2121 and SB728: These bills would establish the “Public Employee Janus Rights Act.” They would require public employees to give written, informed consent before union dues or fees may be withheld from their paychecks. Employees must also give written, informed consent for unions to use fees or dues for political purposes. Republican sponsorship.
  • Missouri HB2122 and SB880: These bills would bar employers from requiring employees to become, remain, or refrain from becoming members of a union as a condition of employment. Republican sponsorship.
  • Missouri SB706: This bill would bar employers from requiring employees to join or not join a union as a condition of employment in counties that adopt the provisions of the bill. Republican sponsorship.
  • New Hampshire HB1041: This bill would extend the public employee labor relations act to cover nonpartisan employees of the New Hampshire legislature. Democratic sponsorship.
  • New Hampshire HB1472: This bill would prohibit employers from taking certain actions against employees involved in legal strikes or collective bargaining preceding a legal strike. It would also prohibit employers from “[engaging] in anti-union training of any kind.” Democratic sponsorship.   
  • Vermont H0621: This bill would allow certification of collective bargaining representatives through majority employee sign-up and voluntary employer recognition. Democratic sponsorship.  
  • Virginia HB335: This bill would allow public employees to bargain independently. It would prevent collective bargaining agreements from applying to non-member employees. Republican sponsorship.  
  • Virginia HB336: This bill would require a 51% vote of public employees in a collective bargaining unit to certify a bargaining representative in localities that have authorized collective bargaining. Republican sponsorship.
  • Virginia HB337: This bill would prohibit collective bargaining agreements from having a public employer provide compensation or compensated leave time for union activities. It would require unions to compensate public employers if union activities infringe upon their time or resources. Republican sponsorship.
  • Virginia HB341: This bill would require public employees to give consent before employers may deduct union dues from their pay, and it would allow employees to stop paying dues at any time. It would require annual reconfirmation of consent for union membership and dues deductions. Republican sponsorship.
  • Virginia HB790: This bill would prevent localities from entering collective bargaining agreements with law enforcement employee associations if the agreements do not meet certain criteria. Republican sponsorship.
  • Virginia SB264: This bill would allow state and local government employees, other than exempted employees, to organize and bargain collectively, and it would create a Public Employee Relations Board. It would require public employers and employee organizations to negotiate in good faith. Democratic sponsorship.
  • Washington HB1764: This bill would stipulate new requirements for collective bargaining negotiations and arbitration between the University of Washington School of Medicine and residents and fellows who have the right to bargain collectively. Democratic sponsorship
  • Washington HB1771: This bill would allow family child care providers to bargain collectively over defined contribution retirement benefits. Democratic sponsorship. 
  • Washington HB1806 and SB5773: These bills would give state legislative branch employees the right to bargain collectively. Democratic sponsorship.  
  • Washington SB5579: This bill would give Washington Management Service personnel the right to bargain collectively. Democratic sponsorship
  • West Virginia HB3124: This bill would outline rights and procedures for public employee collective bargaining. Democratic sponsorship

As always, an overview of the current legislation we’re tracking and a list of legislative actions from the past week are included at the end of this newsletter.

To view spreadsheets with information about all of the public-sector labor bills we’ve tracked since 2018, click here

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 71 pieces of legislation dealing with public-sector employee union policy. On the map below, a darker shade of green indicates a greater number of relevant bills. Click here for a complete list of all the bills we’re tracking. 

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

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

Recent legislative actions

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

  • Delaware SB201: This bill would apply the Delaware Public Employment Relations Act to employers of 10 or more full-time employees, rather than 100 or more full-time employees.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Senate Labor Committee hearing scheduled for Jan. 19. 
  • Florida H1197: This bill would require certain public employees to sign an authorization form before joining a union acknowledging that union membership is not a condition for employment and that membership and dues are voluntary. It would require unions to allow certain public employees to end their membership by a written request. The bill would also prevent employers from deducting dues from certain employees’ paychecks. It would also amend requirements for bargaining agent recertification and union registration renewal. 
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Referred to House State Affairs Committee (Government Operations Subcommittee), first reading Jan. 11. 
  • Florida S1458: This bill would require certain public employees to sign an authorization form before joining a union acknowledging that union membership is not a condition for employment and that membership and dues are voluntary. It would require unions to allow certain public employees to end their membership by a written request. The bill would also prevent employers from deducting dues from certain employees’ paychecks. It would also amend requirements for bargaining agent recertification and union registration renewal.
    •  Republican sponsorship.
    • Referred to Senate Judiciary, Governmental Oversight and Accountability, and Appropriations Committees Jan. 12. 
  • Maine LD555: This bill would grant most public-sector employees the right to strike. Select public safety and judicial employees would not be allowed to strike. 
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Hearing scheduled for Jan. 19. 
  • Maryland SB118: This bill would extend collective bargaining rights to certain graduate students within the University System of Maryland, Morgan State University, and St. Mary’s College of Maryland.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Senate Finance Committee hearing scheduled for Jan. 27.
  • Missouri SB706: This bill would bar employers from requiring employees to join or not join a union as a condition of employment in counties that adopt the provisions of the bill.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Second read, referred to Senate Small Business and Industry Committee on Jan. 10.
  • Missouri SB728: This bill would establish the “Public Employee Janus Rights Act.” It would require public employees to give written, informed consent before union dues or fees may be withheld from their paychecks. Employees must also give written, informed consent for unions to use fees or dues for political purposes. 
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Second read, referred to Senate General Laws Committee on Jan. 13.
  • New Hampshire HB1041: This bill would extend the public employee labor relations act to cover nonpartisan employees of the New Hampshire legislature. 
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • House Legislative Administration Committee hearing scheduled for Jan. 19.
  • New Jersey A5862: This bill would expand the terms and conditions negotiable between government employers and public-sector unions to those that “intimately and directly affect employee work and welfare,” with certain exceptions. It would also allow a public-sector union to charge a non-dues-paying employee for the cost of representation in arbitration proceedings, and to decline to represent those who do not agree to pay.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Substituted by S3810 on Jan. 10.
  • New Jersey S3810: This bill would expand the terms and conditions negotiable between government employers and public-sector unions to those that “intimately and directly affect employee work and welfare,” with certain exceptions. It would also allow a public-sector union to charge a non-dues-paying employee for the cost of representation in arbitration proceedings, and to decline to represent those who do not agree to pay.
    • Democratic sponsorship. 
    • Substituted for A5862, passed both chambers Jan. 10.
  • Vermont H0621: This bill would allow certification of collective bargaining representatives through majority employee sign-up and voluntary employer recognition.
    • Democratic sponsorship.   
    • Read first time, referred to House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee on Jan. 13.
  • Virginia HB335: This bill would allow public employees to bargain independently. It would prevent collective bargaining agreements from applying to non-member employees.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Introduced Jan. 11, committee referral pending.
  • Virginia HB336: This bill would require a 51% vote of public employees in a collective bargaining unit to certify a bargaining representative in localities that have authorized collective bargaining. 
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Introduced Jan. 11, committee referral pending.
  • Virginia HB337: This bill would prohibit collective bargaining agreements from having a public employer provide compensation or compensated leave time for union activities. It would require unions to compensate public employers if union activities infringe upon their time or resources. 
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Introduced Jan. 11, committee referral pending.
  • Virginia HB341: This bill would require public employees to give consent before employers may deduct union dues from their pay, and it would allow employees to stop paying dues at any time. It would require annual reconfirmation of consent for union membership and dues deductions.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Introduced Jan. 11, committee referral pending.
  • Virginia HB790: This bill would prevent localities from entering collective bargaining agreements with law enforcement employee associations if the agreements do not meet certain criteria.
    • Republican sponsorship.
    • Introduced Jan. 11, committee referral pending.
  • Virginia SB264: This bill would allow state and local government employees, other than exempted employees, to organize and bargain collectively, and it would create a Public Employee Relations Board. It would require public employers and employee organizations to negotiate in good faith.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Referred to Senate Commerce and Labor Committee Jan. 11.
  • Washington HB1764: This bill would stipulate new requirements for collective bargaining negotiations and arbitration between the University of Washington School of Medicine and residents and fellows who have the right to bargain collectively.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Public hearing in the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee held Jan. 14.
  • Washington HB1771: This bill would allow family child care providers to bargain collectively over defined contribution retirement benefits.
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Public hearing in the House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee held Jan. 14.
  • Washington HB1806: This bill would give state legislative branch employees the right to bargain collectively. 
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    •  First reading, referred to House Labor & Workplace Standards Committee Jan. 10.
  • Washington SB5579: This bill would give Washington Management Service personnel the right to bargain collectively.   
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • First reading, referred to Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee Jan. 10.
  • Washington SB5773: This bill would give state legislative branch employees the right to bargain collectively. 
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • First reading, referred to Senate Labor, Commerce & Tribal Affairs Committee Jan. 11.
  • West Virginia HB3124: This bill would outline rights and procedures for public employee collective bargaining. 
    • Democratic sponsorship.
    • Referred to House Government Organization Committee Jan. 12.


Reviewing wave election data from From 1918 to 2018

Welcome to the Friday, January 14, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Six of 11 wave elections in the U.S. House took place during a president’s first midterm election
  2. Ohio Supreme Court orders state legislative maps redrawn
  3. #FridayTrivia: How many school board recall efforts is Ballotpedia tracking so far in 2022?

Six of 11 wave elections in the U.S. House took place during a president’s first midterm election

With the 2022 election cycle upon us, you might start hearing the term wave election more and more. The term is often used to describe an election in which one party makes significant electoral gains.

In 2018, we published a study spanning from Woodrow Wilson’s (D) second midterm in 1918 to Donald Trump’s (R) election in 2016. We defined wave elections as the 20 percent of elections during that time that had the greatest swings 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.

Between 1918 and 2016, 11 wave elections took place in the U.S. House. Six of these waves occurred during a president’s first midterm election, four during Democratic presidencies (Obama, Clinton, Johnson Truman) and two during Republican presidencies (Harding and Hoover). The president’s party lost an average of 58 seats in the U.S. House during these six election cycles.

As of Jan. 13, Democrats held 221 seats in the U.S. House. A wave election would result in them controlling no more than 173 seats in the chamber. Since the House grew to 435 seats in 1913, Democrats have held fewer than 173 seats twice: 131 during the 67th Congress (1921-23) and 164 during the 71st Congress (1929-31).

The 2018 U.S. House elections were the most recent first midterm election of a presidency, taking place after Trump’s election in 2016. Democrats won a majority in the chamber by gaining a new of 40 seats, meaning the 2018 midterm election was eight seats short of qualifying as a wave election.

Keep reading 

Ohio Supreme Court orders state legislative maps redrawn

On Jan. 12, the Ohio Supreme Court ruled that the state legislative district maps approved by the Ohio Redistricting Commission were partisan gerrymanders in violation of the state constitution. The court struck down the maps and ordered the commission to draw new maps in accordance with the constitution within 10 days. The Republican-controlled commission voted 5-2 along party lines in favor of the maps on Sept. 16, 2021.

In its ruling, the court cited a constitutional amendment approved by Ohio voters in 2015 that revamped the state’s redistricting process by creating the bipartisan commission responsible for drawing state legislative maps without partisan bias. Voters approved the amendment with 71% of the vote.

The amendment also included a proportionality requirement, which directed the commission to try to match districts with statewide vote totals over the past decade. During the redistricting process, it was determined that Republicans had won 54% of the statewide vote since 2010 and Democrats had won 46%. The court said the commission’s maps favored Republicans in 68% of the House districts and 70% of the Senate districts, in violation of the amendment.

This is the first overturned redistricting map during the 2020 redistricting cycle, dropping the total number of states with enacted legislative maps from 28 to 27.

After the 2010 redistricting cycle, Ballotpedia tracked redistricting lawsuits in 37 states. During that redistricting cycle, at least 14 states had to redraw all or parts of their legislative maps following court orders.

As of Jan. 13, Ballotpedia has identified redistricting-related lawsuits in at least 30 states as part of the 2020 redistricting cycle.

Keep reading 

#FridayTrivia: How many school board recall efforts is Ballotpedia tracking so far in 2022?

In the Tuesday Brew, we gave you a breakdown of the elections we covered on Jan. 11 including two school board recalls in Nebraska. We also shared that, despite being only two weeks into the new year, Ballotpedia has already identified as many school board recall efforts in 2022 as we did throughout the entirety of 2009, 2011, and 2019.

Including the two recall elections in Nebraska, how many school board recall efforts is Ballotpedia tracking so far in 2022?

  1. 13
  2. 38
  3. 5
  4. 20


Heart of the Primaries 2022, Democrats – Issue 5

In this issue: FL-20 rematches on the horizon and several Tennessee counties opt for partisan school board elections

Rematches on horizon in FL-20 Democratic primary

On Jan. 11, Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D) won a special election to succeed former Rep. Alcee Hastings (D), who died in April of last year. Cherfilus-McCormick received 79% of the vote. If Cherfilus-McCormick runs for a full term later this year, she’ll once again face several opponents from last November’s special Democratic primary, including second-place finisher Dale Holness and third-place finisher Barbara Sharief.

Cherfilus-McCormick defeated Holness by 5 votes in the special primary. Both candidates had 23.8% of the vote. Sharief received 17.7%. Holness and Sharief were Broward County commissioners. Cherfilus-McCormick is CEO of Trinity Health Care Services. 

Cherfilus-McCormick campaigned on $1,000-per-month payments to people over 18 making less than $75,000 a year, Medicare for All, and a $20 minimum wage. Holness’ campaign website said he would fight to make the district “a beacon of economic growth throughout America.” Sharief’s platform included a $15 minimum wage and expanding Medicare and Medicaid coverage.

The Democratic primary for the November 2022 general election is set for Aug. 23.

In addition, three special primary elections were held Tuesday for legislative districts where incumbents resigned to run in the special Democratic primary for Congress. 

  • Florida Senate District 33: Rosalind Osgood defeated Terry Edden 74% to 26%.
  • Florida House District 88: Jervonte Edmonds defeated Clarence Williams 65% to 35%.
  • Florida House District 94: Daryl Campbell defeated three other candidates with 40% of the vote. Josephus Eggelletion III was second with 29%.

Osgood and Edmonds face Republican challengers in special general elections on March 8. The general election for House District 94 was canceled due to lack of opposition.

Chicago Ald. Dowell drops SoS bid to run in 1st District primary

On Jan. 5, Chicago Ald. Pat Dowell (D) announced she would end her bid for Illinois secretary of state and instead run in the Democratic primary for the 1st Congressional District. Dowell made the announcement following 1st District Rep. Bobby Rush’s (D) announcement that he would not seek re-election. The Chicago Sun-Times‘ Lynn Sweet said Dowell’s political and fundraising campaign operation would give her a strong position in the primary

Sweet also reported that Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership CEO Karin Norington-Reaves launched a primary campaign for the 1st District. Rush told the Chicago Sun-Times he plans to endorse a successor in the coming weeks. Sweet said that “there are signs pointing to Norington-Reaves getting his nod. She worked with Rush in bringing to his district the Chatham Education and Workforce Center.”

The 1st Congressional District contains portions of Chicago’s South Side and southern suburbs. According to The Cook Political Report, the district is solidly Democratic.

Rush was first elected in 1992 and is the only politician to defeat former President Barack Obama (D) in an election. Rush defeated then-state Sen. Obama 61%-30% in the 2000 U.S. House Democratic primary.

Clay Aiken launches second U.S. House bid in N.C.

Clay Aiken, an entertainer and former American Idol contestant, announced his bid for North Carolina’s 6th Congressional District on Jan. 10. In 2014, Aiken won the Democratic primary in North Carolina’s 2nd Congressional District. Incumbent Renee Ellmers (R) defeated him in the general 59% to 41%. 

In 2003, Aiken lost Season 2 of American Idol to Ruben Studdard by a 134,000-vote margin out of 24 million votes cast.

Other Democratic primary candidates so far include Durham County Commissioner Nida Allam, state Sen. Valerie Foushee, and state Sen. Wiley Nickel.

The redrawn 6th District includes much of the current 4th District, which retiring Rep. David Price (D) represents. Three independent outlets have rated North Carolina’s 6th as Safe or Solid Democratic

In December, the North Carolina Supreme Court postponed the state’s 2022 primary election from March 8 to May 17 to allow time for redistricting map challenges to move through the courts. On Jan. 11, the Wake County Superior Court ruled in favor of the congressional district maps. Appeals are possible.

Multiple Tennessee counties switch to partisan school board elections 

At least eight of the 10 largest counties in Tennessee will hold partisan primary elections for school board in 2022. Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a bill in November giving county parties the ability to hold partisan primary elections. Before now, school board elections were nonpartisan with candidates prohibited from identifying or campaigning with any political party. 

Davidson, Knox, Hamilton, Rutherford, Williamson, Sumner, Sullivan, and Wilson counties will hold partisan primary elections for school boards this year. 

In Williamson County, the GOP made the switch first. County GOP Chairwoman Cheryl Brown said, “If you’re running for something, if you’re running for a particular position … you should state your political stance.” The county Democratic Party opposed the switch but followed suit.  The party said in a statement, “While the WCDP firmly believes partisanship has no place in school board elections, we can’t sit idly by while Republicans choose political power and polarization over the quality of education and safety of our children.”

Shelby County, the state’s largest county and home to Memphis, will continue holding nonpartisan school board elections in 2022. County Democratic Party Chairwoman Gabby Salinas said, “All of us, regardless of political affiliation, have a vested interest in the education of our children.” County GOP Chairman Cary Vaughn said the party “see[s] no advantage or benefit in changing our protocol.”

County Democratic and Republican parties had until Dec. 10 to alert county election officials as to whether they would hold a partisan or nonpartisan primary or caucus. In counties where candidates advance from a partisan primary to the general election, party labels will appear beside candidates’ names on the general election ballot.

Click here to learn about prominent conflicts in school board elections across the country.

Oregon governor’s race: Kristof disqualified, Kotek resigns from state House to focus on campaign

On Jan. 6, Nick Kristof was disqualified from Oregon’s gubernatorial primary ballot, and House Speaker Tina Kotek announced she’d resign to focus on her gubernatorial campaign.

Secretary of State Shemia Fagan (D) said former New York Times columnist Nick Kristof did not meet residency requirements to be on the ballot. Kristof asked the Oregon Supreme Court to overturn her decision. The court will consider the matter.

This year’s gubernatorial candidates must have been Oregon residents since at least November 2019. Kristof voted as a New York resident in 2020. Kristof disputed Fagan’s interpretation of the word resident and said that he meets the requirement partly because he considers his family farm in the state, which he leased in 2018, to be his home. 

Meanwhile, Kotek announced her resignation from the state House effective Jan. 21. Kotek became speaker in 2013 and was the longest-serving speaker in the state’s history. OPB’s Dirk VanderHart wrote that “allies had expected her to lead a tightly scripted one-month ‘short’ session [in February] that will tackle continued police reforms, the state’s ongoing housing crisis, worker protections and more.”

Kotek cited a realization from a one-day special session in December for her resignation: “I always do everything 110% … I want to make sure session has my full attention and I just felt like I couldn’t do it.”

At the end of 2021, Kristoff led in fundraising with $2.5 million. Kotek was second with $838,000 and state Treasurer Tobias Read third with $726,000. 

The filing deadline is March 8 and the primary is May 17. Current Gov. Kate Brown (D) is term-limited.

Bailey switches from AG to Lt. governor’s race in Georgia

Charlie Bailey, the 2018 Democratic nominee for attorney general, ended his 2022 bid for the same office to seek the lieutenant gubernatorial nomination instead. Bailey said, “Leaders in the party asked me to consider the switch, and the more I looked at it, the more I saw I could help the ticket by talking about public safety, criminal justice reform and expanding health care.”

Bailey lost in 2018 to incumbent Chris Carr (R) 48.7% to 51.3%. In the 2022 attorney general Democratic primary, he was set to face state Sen. Jen Jordan, whom several state legislators and national groups endorsed.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution‘s Greg Bluestein said Bailey “hopes to take advantage of a muddled field with no clear favorite” in the lieutenant gubernatorial primary. The field includes state Reps. Erick Allen, Derrick Jackson, and Renitta Shannon. U.S. Reps. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.) and Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and former Gov. Roy Barnes (D) endorsed Bailey.

Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan (R) is not seeking re-election. The primary is May 24.



Heart of the Primaries 2022, Republicans-Issue 5

In this issue: Taylor drops Senate bid in Alabama, endorses Durant and several Tennessee counties opt for partisan school board elections

Taylor drops Senate bid, endorses Durant in Alabama

Jessica Taylor, a business owner who lost the 2020 Republican primary for Alabama’s 2nd Congressional District, ended her campaign for U.S. Senate last week and endorsed aerospace company founder and former Black Hawk pilot Mike Durant.

The Hill’s Tal Axelrod wrote, “The nominating contest is largely a race between Rep. Mo Brooks (R) and Katie Boyd Britt, the former chief of staff to retiring Sen. Richard Shelby (R).” Between Brooks, Britt, and Durant, Axelrod said, “The primary represents a clash of résumés that appeal to various flanks of a fractured GOP … And with none of the three establishing themselves as an early front-runner, Alabamians are gearing up for a slog.” 

Brooks has represented Alabama’s 5th Congressional District since 2011. He ran in the special U.S. Senate election in 2017, losing in the primary. A campaign spokesman said, “Mo Brooks has consistently been rated as the most conservative member of Alabama’s Congressional delegation. … The comparison of records couldn’t be clearer. Mo Brooks is a proven conservative, with a proven record. Katie Britt is a moderate.” Former President Donald Trump (R) endorsed Brooks in April 2021.

Britt was most recently president and CEO of the Business Council of Alabama. A campaign spokesman said, “Alabamians are ready for fresh blood and are tired of do-nothing career politicians who make running for office a business model.”

Durant’s Black Hawk helicopter was shot down in Somalia in 1993, an event depicted in the film Black Hawk Down. Durant said, “For too long, career politicians who have never held a real job in their life have made poor decisions that have left Alabama families behind and put America last. I’m running to change that.” 

The filing deadline is Jan. 28 and the primary is May 24. If no candidate receives over 50% of the vote, a runoff will be held on June 21. 

Thune, Johnson running for re-election

In other recent Senate news: Sens. John Thune (R-S.D.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) were the last senators up for re-election in 2022 to announce their plans, both deciding to run for re-election. Six senators—five Republicans and one Democrat—aren’t seeking re-election. Three of the open Senate races—in North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Ohio—have at least one competitive rating (Toss-up, Tilt Republican, or Lean Republican) from three election forecasters.

State Sen. Coram challenges U.S. Rep. Boebert in Colorado

State Sen. Don Coram announced last week he is challenging Rep. Lauren Boebert in the Republican primary for Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District. Coram said, “I’m looking at our state and our nation and I’m very concerned that the 10% on the right and the 10% on the left are making all the noise and getting all the attention, and the 80% in the middle are totally ignored.”

Boebert was first elected in 2020 after defeating five-term incumbent Scott Tipton (R), who had Donald Trump’s backing, in the Republican primary 55% to 45%. Trump endorsed Boebert for re-election last month. Boebert called Coram a “self-serving, super-woke social liberal who would have a far better chance of winning the Democrat nomination.”

The primary is scheduled for June 28. Marina Zimmerman, who has worked as a crane operator and businesswoman, is also running. 

Coram was appointed in 2017 to fill a vacancy in the state Senate and was elected in 2018. Due to redistricting, Coram cannot run for re-election in the 6th Senate District because he was drawn into a district with a state senator whose term doesn’t end until 2025. 

E-PAC, group supporting GOP women, makes first Senate endorsement

House Republican Conference Chair Elise Stefanik’s E-PAC endorsed its first U.S. Senate candidate since the group launched in 2019: former state GOP Chair Jane Timken in Ohio. The group has so far endorsed 10 U.S. House candidates in 2022 elections. 

E-PAC’s website says, “In the 116th Congress, only 13 Republican women served in the House of Representatives, making up only 2.9% of Congress. E-PAC was launched after the 2018 midterm elections to increase that number by supporting top Republican female candidates in primaries across the country.” The group says it is responsible for increasing the number of Republican women in Congress to 35 in the last election cycle. 

Sixteen percent of Senate Republicans and 14% of House Republicans are women compared to 40% of House Democrats and 32% of Senate Democrats.

Stefanik was first elected to represent New York’s 21st Congressional District in 2014. She previously served as the National Republican Congressional Committee’s recruitment chair, a role she left before launching E-PAC. The NRCC does not endorse in primary elections.

Other GOP primary candidates for Senate in Ohio include Matt Dolan, Mike Gibbons, Josh Mandel, Bernie Moreno, and J.D. Vance.

Multiple Tennessee counties switch to partisan school board elections 

At least eight of the 10 largest counties in Tennessee will hold partisan primary elections for school board in 2022. Gov. Bill Lee (R) signed a bill in November giving county parties the ability to hold partisan primary elections. Before now, school board elections were nonpartisan with candidates prohibited from identifying or campaigning with any political party. 

Davidson, Knox, Hamilton, Rutherford, Williamson, Sumner, Sullivan, and Wilson counties will hold partisan primary elections for school boards this year. 

In Williamson County, the GOP made the switch first. County GOP Chairwoman Cheryl Brown said, “If you’re running for something, if you’re running for a particular position … you should state your political stance.” The county Democratic Party opposed the switch but followed suit.  The party said in a statement, “While the WCDP firmly believes partisanship has no place in school board elections, we can’t sit idly by while Republicans choose political power and polarization over the quality of education and safety of our children.”

Shelby County, the state’s largest county and home to Memphis, will continue holding nonpartisan school board elections in 2022. County Democratic Party Chairwoman Gabby Salinas said, “All of us, regardless of political affiliation, have a vested interest in the education of our children.” County GOP Chairman Cary Vaughn said the party “see[s] no advantage or benefit in changing our protocol.”

County Democratic and Republican parties had until Dec. 10 to alert county election officials as to whether they would hold a partisan or nonpartisan primary or caucus. In counties where candidates advance from a partisan primary to the general election, party labels will appear beside candidates’ names on the general election ballot.

Click here to learn about prominent conflicts in school board elections across the country.

Mastriano enters Penn. governor’s race, Kellyanne Conway joins Corman’s staff

On Jan. 8, state Sen. Doug Mastriano announced his Republican primary bid for governor of Pennsylvania. A supporter of Trump’s challenges to the 2020 election results, Mastriano has sparred with fellow Senate Republicans over how to run the investigation he launched in July 2021 into Pennsylvania’s election results. Mastriano wanted to subpoena three counties to provide access to their voting machines as part of the investigation and said that Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman undermined his efforts.

Corman is also running in the GOP gubernatorial primary. Pennsylvania State Capital Bureau’s Candy Woodall wrote, “Corman, who is typically regarded as the most powerful Republican in Harrisburg, in August replaced Mastriano on the committee leading the election review and also removed his staff — actions that are rare from chamber leadership.” Corman said Mastriano “was only ever interested in politics and showmanship and not actually getting things done.” 

After the committee voted to subpoena personal information on all Pennsylvania voters in September, Mastriano said that “the subpoenas do not go nearly far enough to begin a full forensic audit of the 2020 election.”

On Jan. 7, Corman announced former Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway would join his campaign as a pollster and special advisor. Last month, Corman’s campaign announced it would employ Poolhouse, the agency that oversaw ad production for Glenn Youngkin’s (R) successful campaign for governor of Virginia.

In addition to Mastriano and Corman, at least 13 other Republicans are running in the primary, including former U.S. Reps. Lou Barletta and Melissa Hart, state Sen. Scott Martin, and former U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania William McSwain. The primary is scheduled for May 17. 

Three candidates for Alabama governor have more than $1 million on hand

Three of the seven Republicans running for Alabama governor—incumbent Kay Ivey, Lynda Blanchard, and Tim James—had at least $1 million on hand as of Dec. 31, according to campaign finance reports filed with the Alabama Secretary of State.

Blanchard reported ending 2021 with $3.5 million in her campaign account after loaning her campaign $5 million in December. Ivey ended 2021 with $2.6 million. James had $1 million, including a $500,000 loan. 

In December, Blanchard spent $1.5 million, Ivey spent $466,000, and James spent $10,000.

All three candidates have since filed supplementary reports, required for individual contributions of $20,000 or more. Blanchard increased her cash-on-hand lead with a further $2.8 million loan, while Ivey reported raising an additional $170,000 and James, an additional $600,000.

None of the other four primary candidates had more than $50,000 cash on hand as of Dec. 31. 

Ivey became governor following Robert Bentley’s (R) resignation in 2017 and was elected to a full term in 2018. Ivey says her record includes boosting the state’s economy, signing legislation that increases restrictions on abortion and the teaching of critical race theory, and resisting the Biden administration. Blanchard, who served as U.S. ambassador to Slovenia from 2019 to 2021 during the Trump administration, says she is running to bring conservative leadership to state government and that she is a political outsider. James, a real estate developer who ran for governor in 2010, has criticized Ivey for supporting an increase in the state gas tax in 2019 and says he would work to outlaw same-sex marriage.

Seven Republicans have filed to run in the May 24 gubernatorial primary. The filing deadline is Jan. 28. If no candidate receives more than 50% of the primary vote, a runoff will take place June 21.

Results from Arkansas’ state Senate special GOP primary runoff 

Colby Fulfer won the special primary runoff election for state Senate District 7 in Arkansas on Jan. 11. Fulfer and Steven Unger advanced from the Dec. 14 primary as the top two vote-getters of four candidates. Fulfer had 52% of the runoff vote to Unger’s 48%.

Fulfer faces Democrat Lisa Parks in the Feb. 8 special election.

Former incumbent Lance Eads (R) resigned in October to accept a position with the group Capitol Consulting Firm. Eads was first elected in 2016 and did not face Democratic opposition in either 2016 or 2020.



28 down, 22 to go—an update on state legislative redistricting

Welcome to the Thursday, January 13, Brew. 

By: David Luchs

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

  1. Redistricting Roundup: New Mexico completes state legislative redistricting
  2. Florida voters elect Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D) to the U.S. House
  3. Filing deadlines upcoming in three states this month

Redistricting Roundup: New Mexico completes state legislative redistricting

It’s been a quieter week in redistricting news since our last update on Jan. 5. Since then, one state—New Mexico—finished its legislative redistricting after enacting new Senate district maps.

There has also been activity in Kentucky and North Carolina, so let’s take a look:

New Mexico

New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed the state’s new Senate district map into law on Jan. 6. The map will take effect for New Mexico’s 2022 elections.

The state Senate approved the Senate map 25-13 on Dec. 16, and the state House approved the plan 38-22 on Dec. 17.

After signing the maps into law, Grisham called it “a representative map respectful of New Mexico communities large and small alike, ensuring that New Mexicans are fairly represented in the state Senate.”

New Mexico GOP spokesman Mike Curtis described the new maps as “a Democratic power grab and a clear attempt to put New Mexico’s Congressional and legislative districts in the control of Democrats.” Curtis added that the party was considering legal action.

New Mexico is the 28th state to complete legislative redistricting after the 2020 census. By this date after the 2010 census, 32 states had completed drawing new legislative district lines.

Kentucky

On Jan. 8, the Kentucky General Assembly voted in favor of new congressional, state legislative, and supreme court district maps, sending them to Gov. Andy Beshear (D).

As of Jan. 12, Beshear has not acted on the proposals. Kentucky is a divided government with Republicans controlling both chambers of the legislature and Democrats holding the governorship. Beshear could veto any map proposals from the legislature but Republicans can override his veto. Kentucky is one of six states that require a simple majority vote to override a veto.

Candidates for office in Kentucky have until Jan. 25 to file to run. Lawmakers moved the original deadline, Jan. 7, in order to enact the new district lines.

North Carolina

On Jan. 11, a three-judge panel on the Wake County Superior Court upheld congressional and state legislative maps passed by the Republican-controlled North Carolina General Assembly. Plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against those maps alleging partisan and racial gerrymandering. 

In the superior court ruling, the judges said that the maps were “a result of intentional, pro-Republican partisan redistricting,” but added that developing maps for partisan gain was not unconstitutional. The judges also ruled that plaintiffs failed to prove their claims of racial gerrymandering.

Under the current congressional map, developed under a court order in 2019, Republicans hold an 8-5 majority. According to a Politico analysis, the proposed congressional maps approved by the General Assembly would create eight strong Republican districts, three strong Democratic districts, and three competitive districts.

The same day as the superior court’s ruling, plaintiffs filed a notice of appeal to the state supreme court, where Democrats hold a 4-3 majority.

As of Jan. 12, North Carolina had not set a filing deadline for the 2022 elections.

Keep reading 

Florida voters elect Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D) to the U.S. House

Let’s take a quick look at Tuesday’s election results. Although there were no regularly-scheduled elections, there were four state legislative special election primaries, three state legislative special elections, one special election for a U.S. House seat, and two recall elections on the ballot across six states.

In the special election for Florida’s 20th Congressional District:

  • Sheila Cherfilus-McCormick (D) was elected to succeed Alcee Hastings (D), who died last April.
  • Cherfilus-McCormick received 79% of the vote to Jason Mariner’s (R) 20%.
  • Cherfilus-McCormick had been the top finisher in the Democratic primary, winning by a five-vote margin out of 49,000 votes cast.

Also Tuesday, special general elections took place in three state legislative districts in Maine, Massachusetts, and Virginia. Democratic candidates were elected in all three districts, filling vacancies opened by Democratic state legislators resigning.

Meanwhile, voters in two Nebraska school districts rejected proposals to recall school board members. Voters in Leyton, Nebraska, rejected the recall of board member Suzy Ernest 56% to 44% and Roland Rushman 60% to 40%. Voters in the Waverly School District in Lancaster County, Neb., rejected a recall of board president Andy Grosshans 83% to 18%.

Read more

Filing deadlines upcoming in three states this month

Three states—Kentucky, Alabama, and West Virginia—have filing deadlines for candidates running for statewide or federal office coming up this month. The last day for candidates running for state and federal office to file in Kentucky will be Tues., Jan. 25, followed by Fri., Jan. 28, for candidates in Alabama, and Sat., Jan. 29, for candidates in West Virginia.

The next five filing deadlines for statewide and federal office will be:

  • February 1 (New Mexico)
  • February 2 (Ohio, state-level candidates only)
  • February 4 (Indiana)
  • February 15 (Nebraska)
  • February 22 (Maryland)

The only state to have already had its statewide filing deadline pass was Texas, where candidates had until Dec. 13 to file. Texas will be holding the earliest primaries of the 2022 election season, scheduled for March 1. Kentucky, Alabama, and West Virginia are among the 12 states holding primaries in May.

Read more



Oregon groups propose ballot initiatives to limit contributions, increase disclosure


Welcome back to The Disclosure Digest! We’re glad to be back in your inbox again every week. The weekly edition will be authored by Marquee staff writer Ethan Rice, who took over the project from fellow Marquee writer Jerrick Adams in August. Keep an eye out for new editions published on Wednesdays through June 2022. 

Oregon groups propose ballot initiatives to limit contributions, increase disclosure 

A series of advocacy groups have filed three ballot measure proposals with Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan’s office intended to limit campaign contributions and enact more stringent donor disclosure requirements.  

What these initiatives would do

Honest Elections Oregon, Portland Forward, and the League of Women Voters Oregon filed three different versions of the Oregon Campaign Finance Contribution Limits Initiative on Dec. 6, 2021.  The initiatives would limit campaign finance contributions from individuals, multicandidate committees, political parties, legislative caucus committees, and membership organizations (e.g. unions). Groups would have to disclose the identity of every donor who contributed more than $5,000 in all political advertisements and communications and would also have to identify the people or entities that paid for them. One of the three initiatives would also establish a public campaign financing system where donations would be matched with public funds. 

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees filed two different versions of the Oregon Campaign Finance Limits Initiative on Dec. 17. The initiatives would limit campaign finance contributions from the same groups as the Oregon Campaign Finance Contribution Limits Initiative and require campaigns to disclose top donors in political ads. Satellite groups would also have to disclose their donors. It would also create a public campaign finance system similar to the Dec. 6 initiatives.

The third initiative was also filed on Dec. 17, with United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555 submitting the Establish Campaign Finance Contribution Limits Initiative. The initiative would limit campaign finance contributions from individuals to $2,500 a year to any candidate or cause and would prohibit contributions from corporations. The initiative would allow entities to create small-donor committees made up of members that are limited to $250 contributions per member each year. Unlike the other initiatives, it does not propose a public campaign finance system. 

Reactions

Rebecca Gladstone, a chief petitioner of the Campaign Finance Contribution Limits Initiative, said, “These measures can help to restore voters’ confidence in healthy democracy. Voters must know that our elections are fair and free of undue influence by powerful dark money at the expense of voters. We can accomplish this and restore trust in our political system.” Jason Kafoury, another petitioner for the initiative, said it “could move Oregon from the Wild Wild West of campaign finance to leading the way with one the best programs in the nation.”

Michael Selvaggio, the chief petitioner of the Establish Campaign Finance Contribution Limits Initiative, said that effort arose from concerns that the Dec. 6 Campaign Finance Contribution Limits Initiative could allow groups to file election complaints against one another. “There were some concerns about some of the other measures that were filed. We got together and decided what we were going to do was float our own concept,” Selvaggio said

Imani Dorsey, director of the political nonprofit Washington County Ignite, said complying with the new measures would make it more difficult for small nonprofits to achieve their goals. “The provisions in the measures would just make things really hard and add administrative things we aren’t able to accommodate,” Dorsey said

Christel Allen, executive director of the group Pro-Choice Oregon, also said the requirements of the current initiatives would burden political committees, adding that disclosure requirements may endanger some donors. “When it comes to those of us who work to defend abortion access, unfortunately our opponents have a history of violence,” she said.

What comes next

In Oregon, the number of signatures required to qualify an initiated state statute for the ballot is equal to six percent of the votes cast for governor in the most recent gubernatorial election. Signatures for Oregon initiatives must be submitted four months before the next regular general election. State law also requires paid signature gatherers to submit any signatures they gather every month. In order for the state to certify the initiatives for the 2022 ballot, 112,020 valid signatures are required by Jul. 8.

Between 2010 and 2020, the average ballot  initiative certification rate in Oregon was 8.3%. Between 1985 and 2020, 148 initiatives appeared on Oregon ballots with 35.8% approved at the ballot box.

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: Welcome to 2022! This is a first look at donor disclosure and privacy legislation as state legislative sessions begin across the country. We’re currently tracking 57 pieces of legislation dealing with donor disclosure and privacy. 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

For complete information on all of the bills we are tracking, click here

  • Alabama HB41: This bill would prohibit state and local election officials and their employees from soliciting, accepting, using, or disposing of certain donations from individuals or nongovernmental entities for funding certain election-related expenses.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 11. 
  • Alabama HB74: This bill would prohibit solicitation, receipt, or use of private funds to administer an election.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 11. 
  • Florida H0921: This bill would prohibit a foreign national from making or offering to make contributions or expenditures in connection with any election held in the state.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 3. 
  • Florida H1359: This bill prohibits the governor, lieutenant governor, or a member of the cabinet from soliciting or accepting a contribution during the 60-day regular legislative session or a special legislative session. It would also require a political committee that is dissolved to dispose of all residual funds and file a report reflecting the disposition of such funds within 90 days of its dissolution. 
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was introduced on Jan. 8. 
  • Florida H1373: This bill would lower the contribution threshold requiring a group to file a statement of organization from $5,000 to $1,000 and change the deadline for filing the statement to within 24 hours after the close of the qualifying period for the office the candidate seeks. It would also require electioneering communications organizations to disclose the identity of donors, the amount contributed, and the purpose of each expenditure.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was introduced on Jan. 8. 
  • Florida H6109: This bill would remove provisions that preempt counties, municipalities, and other local governmental entities from restricting certain contributions and expenditures or establishing contribution limits different than those defined under state law. 
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was introduced on Jan. 7. 
  • Florida S1352: This bill would prohibit a foreign national from making or offering to make contributions or expenditures in connection with any election held in the state.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Dec. 21, 2021.
  • Florida S1836: This bill would change the contribution threshold requiring a group to file a statement of organization from $5,000 to $1,000 and change the deadline for filing the statement to within 24 hours after the close of the qualifying period for the office the candidate seeks. It would also require electioneering communications organizations to disclose the identity of donors, the amount contributed, and the purpose of each expenditure.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was introduced on Jan. 7. 
  • Florida S1848: This bill would prohibit a public agency from requiring 501(c)(3) nonprofits to provide the public agency with personal information or otherwise compel the release of personal information. This bill would not apply to any report or disclosure required for campaign financing under chapter 106 or lobbying under chapter 11.
    • Primary emphasis: Privacy
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was introduced on Jan. 7. 
  • Indiana SB0134:  This bill would require donations from a nongovernmental organization to a state agency or local unit of government to be listed in a separate line item in the budget of the state or local unit of government.The budget line item described in subdivision must specify each individual state employee or local government employee, whichever is applicable, whose salary is funded in whole or in part from the donated money.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 4. 
  • Maine LD1754: This bill amends the law requiring contributors giving more than $100,000 to a political action committee or ballot question committee to file a statement with the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. The proposed changes would: 1) Exempt political action committees and ballot question committees already registered with the commission from filing the major contributor report; 2) Permit a major contributor to request a modification of the requirement to disclose its 5 largest sources of income in the previous 6 months; and 3) Clarify the enforcement provisions regarding potential violations and the factors the commission must consider for each potential violation.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 12. 
  • Maine LD1782: This bill would prohibit a ballot question committee from making contributions to a candidate or political action committee if the contributed funds are derived, in whole or in part, from a business entity. 
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 12. 
  • Maryland HB93: This bill would require candidates for municipal office and homeownder’s associations to submit reports of all contributions and expenditures to the state, to appoint a committee treasurer, maintain records of all donations and expenditures, and retain those records for a period of two years.  It would prohibit a candidate from accepting any donations unless they disclose all donations and disbursements in accordance with these guidelines.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 12. 
  • Maryland SB15: This bill would allow the state board of elections to impose a civil penalty for failure to report and maintain a record of campaign contributions. It would also prohibit an individual from running for office or becoming the treasurer of a campaign committee if they fail to pay a civil penalty under this section. 
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 12. 
  • Missouri HB2312: This bill would prohibit candidate committees from accepting cash donations larger than $100, contributions made on behalf of another person, anonymous contributions of more than $25, and contributions from out-of-state committees. Anonymous contributions cannot exceed $500 or one percent of the aggregate amount of all contributions the committe receives in the same calendar year, whichever is greater. The bill also requires recipients to disclose the name and address of the actual source of each contribution and to disclose sponsors in print and digital advertisements. 
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was introduced on Jan. 10.
  • Nebraska LB370: This bill would prohibit a public agency from disclosing identifying information about a nonprofit’s donors.
    • Primary emphasis: Privacy
    • Unknown sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5.
  • Nebraska LB8: This bill would change the statutory definition of an “independent expenditure.” It would also alter reporting requirements for independent expenditures and electioneering communications.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Unknown sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 11.
  • Nebraska LB733: This bill would prohibit a foreign national, directly or indirectly, from making a contribution to a ballot question committee or for a ballot question committee to solicit, accept, or receive such a contribution.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Unknown sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 10.
  • Nebraska LB734: This bill would prohibit contributions to a candidate committee totaling more than $5,000 during an election period. A candidate committee would be required to refund any contribution exceeding $5,000 within ten days after receipt. Committees would have to report such contribution on subsequent campaign statements disclosing the name and address of the contributor, the amount received, the date of receipt, and the date returned.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Unknown sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 10.
  • Nebraska LB858:  This bill would prohibit the secretary of state, election commissioners, and county clerks from soliciting, accepting, or using any grants or donations from any private entity for preparing for, administering, or conducting an election.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Unknown sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 11.
  • New Hampshire SB302: This bill would prohibit public agencies and bodies from disclosing any information that directly or indirectly identifies a person as a member, supporter, volunteer, or donor of financial or nonfinancial support, to any nonprofit organization. It would also ban government entities from requiring a nonprofit to disclose information about its donors. 
    • Primary emphasis: Privacy
    • Bipartisan sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5.
  • New Hampshire SB348: This bill would prohibit contributions made on behalf of another individual, from a labor union or affiliate of a labor union, or from an anonymous source. It would also establish maximum limits on contributions from any single individual or entity. 
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5.
  • New York A00064: This bill would require district attorney candidates to disclose campaign contributions from law firms that represent defendants in criminal proceedings.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5.
  • New York A00447: This bill would require that identifying information be reported for intermediaries’ contributions  to political candidates or committees.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5.
  • New York A01383: This bill would require financial disclosure of certain political contributions elected officials make, including statewide executives, state legislators, and New York City officials.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5.
  • New York S00352: This bill would require that identifying information be reported for intermediaries’ contributions to political candidates or committees.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5.
  • New York S00840: This bill would establish reporting requirements for transition and inaugural entities.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5.
  • New York S00941: This bill would require district attorney candidates to disclose campaign contributions from law firms that represent defendants in criminal proceedings.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5.
  • New York S01464: This bill would require that state legislators who receive contributions for the payment of legal services disclose the identities of donors.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5. 
  • New York S02637: This bill would require that any statement of campaign receipt that includes a contribution from a limited liability corporation disclose the name of that corporation’s registered agent (or, absent that, another person).
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5. 
  • New York S03090: This bill would require that identifying information be reported for intermediaries’ contributions to political candidates or committees.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 5. 
  • Rhode Island H7033: This bill would require candidates to file campaign disclosure reports for all elections, including races in which the candidate ran unopposed.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 10. 
  • Virginia HB174: This bill would prohibit contributions to a candidate’s campaign committee from out-of-state residents and persons or committees with a candidate, treasurer, or custodian of books who does not reside in the district in which the candidate is seeking election if the contribution exceeds 75 percent of the total contributions received by the candidate’s campaign committee. It would also require contributions from a single person or committee that are directed through another person or committee to be considered contributions from the same original contributor.  
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was introduced on Jan. 10.
  • Virginia HB71: This bill would prohibit a candidate, campaign committee, or political committee from soliciting or accepting a contribution from any public utility or political committee a public utility has established.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Republican sponsorship
    • This bill was introduced on Jan. 4.
  • Virginia SB111: This bill would prohibit a candidate from soliciting or accepting a contribution from a person or committee in excess of $25,000 per election. It would also require contributions from a single person or committee that are directed through another person or committee to be considered contributions from the same original contributor.  
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 6.
  • Virginia SB44: This bill would prohibit a person, campaign committee, or political committee from soliciting or accepting a contribution of more than $20,000 from any one campaign committee of a candidate for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, or the General Assembly in any one candidate election cycle.
    • Primary emphasis:  Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Dec. 28, 2021.
  • Virginia SB45: This bill would prohibit a candidate, campaign committee, or political committee from soliciting or accepting a contribution from any public utility or political committee a public utility has established.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Democratic sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Dec. 28, 2021.
  • Wisconsin AB819: This bill would prohibit referendum committees from accepting contributions from foreign nationals.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Bipartisan sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Jan. 6.
  • Wisconsin SB795: This bill would prohibit referendum committees from accepting contributions from foreign nationals.
    • Primary emphasis: Disclosure
    • Bipartisan sponsorship
    • This bill was referred to committee on Dec. 17, 2021.


The Golden State’s 46 local ballot measures of 2021

Welcome to the Wednesday, January 12, Brew. 

By: Samuel Wonacott

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

  1. California voters decided 46 local ballot measures last year
  2. The 68 state legislators who ran for a different office in 2021
  3. U.S. Supreme Court adds three more cases to its 2021-2022 calendar

California voters decided 46 local ballot measures last year

California voters decided 46 local ballot measures on seven different election dates and ultimately approved 35 (76.1%) of them in 2021. Altogether, there were 57% fewer local measures in California last year than the average number of measures during the last three odd-year election cycles. In 2019, California voters decided 78 local measures, approving 62 (79.5%) of them. 

Let’s take a look at the issues California voters decided through local ballot measures last year. Most of California’s local measures—80%—dealt with taxes

  • 37 measures were related to taxes.
    • Parcel taxes (27 measures)
    • Sales taxes (3 measures)
    • Utility taxes and fees (3 measures)
    • Hotel taxes (2 measures)
    • Marijuana taxes (1 measure)
    • Real estate transfer taxes (1 measure)
  • Six were related to city governance, such as spending limits and election administration. 
  • One measure related to property and housing.
  • Two measures addressed other miscellaneous topics, like marijuana revenue. 

Eighteen of California’s 58 counties voted on at least one measure. Los Angeles County had the most measures of any county with seven.

To read more of our analysis of 2021 local ballot measures in California, click the link below. 

Keep reading

Sixty-eight state legislators ran for a different office in 2021 

Since 2018, we’ve compiled data on state and federal elected officials who run for other elected offices.  Last year, we tracked 68 state legislators across 18 states who ran for a different office than the one to which they were elected. Of those 68 legislators, 34% were elected to a new position. In 2019, 46% of the 69 state legislators who ran for other elected positions won their elections.

Democratic state legislators were more likely than Republicans to seek a different office. They were also more likely to lose. Overall, 47 Democrats and 21 Republicans ran for a different office, with 32% of Democrats and 38% of Republicans winning election to a new position. 

State representatives were more likely than state senators to run for a different office, and they were also more likely to win—12% of the 17 state senators and 41% of 51 state representatives who ran for another office were successful.

Legislators ran for a different office in 18 states, with a plurality (12) coming from New York. Eleven ran in Virginia and eight ran in both New Mexico and New Jersey (New Jersey and Virginia held regularly scheduled state legislative and state executive elections in 2021). 

The following table shows the positions that state legislators ran for in 2019 and 2021 and the results of those elections.

 In New York, the 12 legislators who sought a different office ran for a local office, all of which were concentrated in New York City (such as the New York City Council, the New York City Comptroller, or a borough president position). In Virginia, all 11 of the state legislators who sought a different office ran for a state executive office, like governor, lieutenant governor, and attorney general.

To learn more about state legislators who sought a different office in 2021, click below. 

Keep reading 

U.S. Supreme Court accepts three cases for argument on Jan. 10

The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) accepted three additional cases for argument during its 2021-2022 term on Jan. 10. Let’s walk through a short summary of each of those cases.

  • United States v. Washington: This case concerns state workers’ compensation laws and intergovernmental immunity. The question presented to the court is: “Whether a state workers’ compensation law that applies exclusively to federal contract workers who perform services at a specified federal facility is barred by principles of intergovernmental immunity, or is instead authorized by 40 U.S.C. 3172(a), which permits the application of state workers’ compensation laws to federal facilities ‘in the same way and to the same extent as if the premises were under the exclusive jurisdiction of the State.’” Washington originated from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.
  • Kemp v. United States: This case concerns the Federal Rule of Civil Procedure governing court procedures in civil cases. The court will decide: “Whether Rule 60(b)(1) authorizes relief based on a district court’s error of law.” Kemp came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.
  • Siegel v. Fitzgerald: This case concerns the constitutionality of a law imposing different fees on Chapter 11 debtors based on the district in which the bankruptcy is filed. The court will decide: “Whether the Bankruptcy Judgeship Act violates the uniformity requirement of the Bankruptcy Clause by increasing quarterly fees solely in U.S. Trustee districts.” Siegel came from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

Thus far, the court has agreed to hear 59 cases during its 2021-2022 term. Four cases were dismissed, and one case was removed from the argument calendar. Eleven cases had not yet been scheduled for argument.

Keep reading



Economy and Society: Retiree advisers, AARP question Labor Department’s ESG proposal

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.

Predictions for the future of ESG

Late last month, as part of its end-of-the-year recap and start-of-the-year forecast, Roll Call provided a summary of the trends that it believes will drive ESG over the next several months. The paper singled out the Securities and Exchange Commission as the primary driver of ESG activity on the public/government side, and acknowledged that BlackRockthe world’s largest asset management firm, with almost $10 trillion in assets under managementwill drive events in the private sector:

“Activist shareholders may have the upper hand in holding companies more accountable on environment, social and governance issues next year, thanks to a combination of pressure from BlackRock Inc. and other institutional investors and proxy voting rule changes at the Securities and Exchange Commission.

BlackRock, the world’s largest asset manager, said this week it expects companies in which it invests to give more concrete details on climate-related risks and expand board diversity starting in 2022. In an update of its proxy voting rules, BlackRock said it will ask CEOs to explain how business strategies are resilient under “likely decarbonization pathways” and a scenario in which global warming is limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Meanwhile, the SEC issued guidance and rules that will likely bolster activist, ESG-focused investors’ chances to get companies more focused on public policy issues and make it easier for shareholders to shake up corporate boards, as investment firm Engine No. 1 did in replacing three directors at Exxon Mobil Corp. in May….

BlackRock, which has about $9.5 trillion in invested assets, also said this week it wants U.S. corporate boards to reflect the increasingly diverse society and workforce. It said company boards should aim to reach 30 percent diversity of membership and have at least two directors who identify as female and at least one who identifies as a member of an underrepresented group.

The firm, which has stakes in thousands of companies around the world, said it may vote against directors who fail to demonstrate a strong commitment to mitigating climate risk and embracing diversity. The asset manager added it would support shareholder proposals on these issues if corporate executives are resistant to change, giving smaller activist investors more clout in the next proxy season.”

As for the SEC:

“Shareholders will likely be more empowered to bring forward stronger proposals thanks to recent guidance from the SEC.

Companies seeking to avoid shareholder votes on ESG issues face a higher burden to have the SEC grant their requests after the agency’s staff in November issued a legal bulletin on no-action requests under a provision known as Rule 14a-8 authorized by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.

The agency, led by Gary Gensler, a Democrat, said it will be more likely to require companies to hold shareholder votes on public policy issues such as the environment and worker arbitration than it was during the Trump administration as part of its repeal of three legal bulletins issued between 2017 and 2019.

The SEC last month also adopted a final rule that will require companies to provide universal proxy cards in contested director elections, rather than making investors either vote for the company’s entire slate of directors or the dissidents’ slate. Although companies have until Sept. 1 to comply, some may opt in sooner rather than later or face pressure from shareholders to give them more flexibility in voting on directors….

The SEC is also working on other proposals, such as more guidance on reporting on material ESG issues and potential enforcement actions through a task force formed at the beginning of the Biden administration.

Companies and ESG investors are also waiting for the SEC to come out with its potential rulemaking on climate risk disclosure for public companies. That topic has been the main target of lobbyists’ advocacy on ESG issues this year for companies that support and oppose ESG.

“While the SEC has required climate-related disclosures since 2010, this represents an effort to significantly strengthen their relevance and expand the scope of credit risk assessments,” Marina Petroleka, global head of ESG research at the Fitch Group’s sustainability research division, said in an analyst note this month.”

Retirement advisor groups and AARP question Labor Department’s pro-ESG proposal

Last week, two large retirement-centered organizations discussed their reactions to the Labor Department’s proposed new rule on the use of ESG investment strategies in ERISA-governed retirement plans. According to Roll Call, both plan administrators and retirees themselves are leery of the changes proposed by Labor and concerned about their potential impact on retirement investments:

“The biggest trade group for pension professionals urged the Labor Department to clarify a proposed rule to allow retirement plan advisers to consider environmental, social and governance factors when selecting investments, saying it may increase legal risks.

The American Retirement Association, which represents more than 27,000 actuaries and plan administrators, as well as insurance professionals, financial advisers and others, said it’s concerned there could be added legal risks for advisers evaluating investment plans if they fail to consider the economic effects of climate change and other ESG factors.

“While nothing in the proposal gives fiduciaries license to pursue ESG objectives unmoored from or indifferent to an investment’s underlying economic merits, the ARA is concerned that the phrase ‘may often require,’ included in the required considerations, taken together with the Proposal’s preamble, strongly implies that fiduciaries not only have the option to consider ESG investments but should be considering climate change and other ESG factors,” the group said in a letter sent last month. 

Although ARA said it agrees with the proposed rule’s intent to ensure plan advisers can direct investments into ESG options more freely, the organization is concerned that advisers would have a new burden to show why ESG factors were not considered in selecting investments due to the safe harbor regulation. That creates a slippery slope for advisers overseeing larger plans, who view avoiding the risk of litigation as a top priority in demonstrating prudence when selecting plans, it said.

“We cannot emphasize enough how sensitive these stakeholders are to possible litigation risk,” ARA said. “This means that any language, reasonably read, implying, or even suggesting a particular course or fiduciary approach will be perceived as a directive and will be reacted to as such.””

Meanwhile, AARP (formerly known as the American Association of Retired Persons), a prominent retiree-advocacy group also expressed its concerns about the Labor Department proposal, questioning the viability of ESG in retirement portfolios:

“AARP, an advocacy group for people over the age of 50, asked the department to prevent plan fiduciaries from sacrificing ERISA-mandated considerations such as investment return or risk management so they can invest in ESG options. The organization, which has 38 million members, said the department should emphasize that the proposal does not establish a fiduciary standard that is less stringent than the statutory standard.

“As the Department recognizes throughout its proposal, the duty of loyalty is one of ERISA’s fundamental bedrock principles to protect participants and beneficiaries. The use of ESG factors in the selection of investments should be consistent with the duty of loyalty,” David Certner, AARP’s legislative counsel and legislative policy director, said in a Dec. 13 letter. 

“Indeed, these factors should be evaluated as a matter of course if they impact a fiduciary’s analysis of the economic and financial merits of a particular investment, competing investment choices, or investment policy, just like a myriad of other factors that may be material to investment value and risk and return,” he said.”

In the spotlight

Stanford paper describes the “Seven Myths of ESG”

Researchers at Stanford’s Rock Center for Corporate Governance recently released a paper detailing what they describe as the Seven Myths of ESG. According to Cydney Posner, who covers securities law for Cooley, LLP (a corporate law firm), “the authors set about debunking some of the most common and persistent myths about what ESG is, how it should be implemented and its impact on corporate outcomes, “many of which,” they contend, “are not supported by empirical evidence.” Among the myths identified are the following:

  • “Myth #1: We Agree on the Purpose of ESG”
  • “Myth #2: ESG Is Value-Increasing”
  • “Myth #3: We Can Tell Whether a Claimed ESG Activity Is Actually ESG”
  • “Myth #4: A Company’s ESG Agenda Is Well-Defined and Board-Driven”
  • “Myth #5: G (Governance) Belongs in ESG”
  • “Myth #6: ESG Ratings Accurately Measure ESG Quality”
  • “Myth #7: Mandatory Disclosure Will Solve the Problem”