Missouri General Assembly passes one election-related bill in 2022 session

The 2022 session of the Missouri General Assembly adjourned on May 13. Ballotpedia tracked 21 election-related bills in this year’s session, 20 of which appear to have died (i.e., these bills failed to clear both chambers of the legislature by the time of its adjournment). One bill – House Bill 1878 – did clear both chambers of the legislature by the time of its adjournment. The bill would modify Missouri’s voter identification requirements as follows: 

  • Voters casting absentee ballots in person would be required to present photo identification. 
  • A voter without the required photo identification would be permitted to vote by provisional ballot upon completing an affidavit. If the voter subsequently submits a valid form of identification, or an election official verifies the voter’s identity by matching the signature on the provisional ballot envelope against the signature on file, the ballot would be counted. 

The final vote in the state Senate was 23-11, with 23 Republicans voting in favor and 10 Democrats and one Republican in opposition. The final vote in the state House was 97-47, with 96 Republicans and one Democrat voting in favor and 47 Democrats in opposition. It awaits action from Gov. Mike Parson (R).

The Missouri General Assembly is a bicameral legislature composed of a 34-member Senate and a 163-member House of Representatives. The 2022 session convened on Jan. 5. 

Missouri is one of 23 Republican state government trifectas in the U.S. The Republican Party controls the office of governor and both chambers of the General Assembly. There is a 24-10 Republican majority in the Senate and a 108-49 majority in the House. 

Missouri General Assembly refers two constitutional amendments to the ballot during 2022 session

The Missouri General Assembly passed resolutions for two constitutional amendments during the 2022 legislative session, which adjourned on May 13. Voters will decide on the amendments at the general election on Nov. 8, 2022. The two amendments join a third proposal that legislators referred to the ballot during the 2021 legislative session.

One of this session’s constitutional amendments received support from a majority of Democrats and Republicans. The second proposal, which addresses police funding, largely divided the parties. In Missouri, a simple majority vote is required in the General Assembly to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, and Republicans control both chambers. Constitutional amendments do not require the governor’s signature to be placed on the ballot.

The first constitutional amendment passed during the legislative session was House Joint Resolution 116 (HJR 116), which would provide the Missouri National Guard with its own department within the state government’s executive branch. Currently, the National Guard is housed within the Missouri Department of Public Safety. The vote was 126-2 in the House; the two “No” votes were Democrats. The vote was 32-0 in the Senate. The constitutional amendment was certified for the ballot on May 5.

On the final day of the legislative session, Senate Joint Resolution 38 (SJR 38) was passed. The constitutional amendment would allow the General Assembly to increase the minimum required funding for a police force established by a state board of police commissioners. Kansas City is the only city that does not have local jurisdiction over its department, and therefore the only city that this measure would currently impact. The amendment was passed along with a bill that would increase the minimum funding requirement for Kansas City’s police department. Currently, Missouri law mandates that Kansas City devote 20% of its general revenue to the police department. That bill would increase the funding requirement to 25%. 

The Senate passed SJR 38 on March 21. The vote was 23-10. Democrats were divided 1-9, and Republicans were divided 22-1. On May 13, the House voted 103-44 to pass the resolution. Democrats voted 3-41, and Republicans voted 100-3. 

In 2021, the General Assembly placed a constitutional amendment on the 2022 ballot that would authorize the state treasurer to invest in highly rated municipal securities. Voters will also decide a constitutional convention question, which automatically appears on Missouri’s ballot every ten years, asking voters whether or not to hold a state constitutional convention. Two citizen-initiated measures could also appear on the ballot. One would adopt top-four ranked-choice voting for statewide, state legislative, and congressional offices. The other would legalize marijuana in Missouri. Campaigns for these initiatives submitted signatures by the May 8 deadline. 

A total of 85 measures have appeared on Missouri’s statewide ballots between 1996 and 2020. Out of those 85, 54 (64%) were approved by voters, while 31 (36%) were defeated.

Additional reading:

Percentage of Arizona state legislative incumbents facing primaries at its highest since 2014

Twenty-eight of the 51 Arizona state legislators running for re-election this year—nine Democrats and 17 Republicans—face contested primaries. That equals 55% of incumbents seeking re-election, the highest rate since 2014. The remaining 45% of incumbents are not facing primary challengers.

Twenty-eight incumbents is, by itself, the largest number of incumbents in contested primaries since 2014. But it is also similar to recent cycles. The rate of incumbents in contested primaries is higher this year than 2018 and 2020 because fewer incumbents are seeking re-election.

Thirty-nine incumbents did not file for re-election, nine because of term limits. This is the largest number of retiring incumbents in Arizona since 2014.

In addition to the 39 retirements, four other seats are open this year because incumbents are running in different districts as a result of redistricting. When district lines are redrawn incumbents might find themselves living in new districts. This can result in incumbents challenging other incumbents in primary or general elections.

This year there are three primaries featuring multiple incumbents. In each of these races, at least one incumbent is guaranteed to lose:

Additionally, Sens. Christine Marsh (D) and Nancy Barto (R) were drawn into a contested general election in Senate District 4.

The filing deadline for candidates running for state legislative office in Arizona this year was April 4. Candidates filed to run for all of the state’s 60 House seats and 30 Senate seats.

Overall, 203 major party candidates filed to run this year: 91 Democrats and 112 Republicans. That equals 2.3 candidates per seat, up from 2.0 in 2020.

Arizona has been a Republican trifecta since 2008. Republicans currently hold a 16-14 majority in the Senate and a 31-29 majority in the House.

Arizona’s state legislative primaries are scheduled for Aug. 2, the tenth statewide state legislative primary date of the 2022 election cycle.

Additional reading:

Kansas enacts legislative district boundaries after state supreme court approves them

Kansas enacted new legislative district boundaries on May 18 when the Kansas Supreme Court unanimously upheld the maps that Gov. Laura Kelly (D) signed into law on April 15. As specified in the state constitution, the state supreme court had to approve or reject the new boundaries within 10 days of Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R) filing them with the court. The maps will take effect for Kansas’ 2022 state legislative elections.

Both chambers of the legislature passed the redistricting legislation on March 30 after a joint House-Senate conference committee had developed it. The Kansas House of Representatives approved the legislative boundaries 83-40 and the state Senate approved them 29-11.

After Kelly signed the maps, Andrew Bahl and Rafael Garcia of the Topeka Capital-Journal wrote, “The state Senate and House maps were mildly contested in the Legislature, particularly in the Senate where the map will create a fourth, Democrat-leaning district in Topeka and Lawrence.”

As of May 19, 46 states have adopted legislative district maps for both chambers. The Ohio Supreme Court has overturned that state’s previously enacted maps, courts in two states have overturned a map for one chamber, and Montana has not yet adopted legislative redistricting plans after the 2020 census. As of May 19, 2012, 46 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, legislative redistricting has been completed for 1,807 of 1,973 state Senate seats (91.6%) and 5,214 of 5,413 state House seats (96.3%).

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McGrane wins May 17 Republican Party primary for Idaho Secretary of State

Phil McGrane defeated Dorothy Moon and Mary Souza in the May 17 Republican Party primary for Idaho Secretary of State. Incumbent Lawerence Denney(R), who was first elected in 2014, did not file for re-election.

McGrane is the Ada County Clerk, a position to which he was first elected in 2018. On his campaign website, McGrane said, “It is now more important than ever to protect Idaho’s elections from the influence of D.C. and beyond. Since 2005, I have been involved with almost every aspect of Idaho elections; from counting ballots to training counties. I know our election system from the inside out and will bring my experience as your next Republican Secretary of State.”

Moon has represented District 8B in the Idaho House of Representatives since 2016. In an interview with Idaho Dispatch, Moon said she was running for secretary of state because “I knew that if we do not have fair elections in this state, we’re done—the entire country is done. We’ll lose our republic. To me this is the biggest issue we’re dealing with as Idaho, and as the country. On her campaign website, Moon said: “I believe my legislative work, education career, business acumen and life experiences have uniquely qualified me to serve Idaho as your next Secretary of State. And no one can question my commitment to conservative principles.” She listed her top issues as election integrity, business services, and endowment lands.

Souza is a member of the Idaho State Senate since 2014, representing District 4. She said: “In the wake of last year’s tumultuous election, it’s clear that to preserve voters’ faith and trust in our democratic process, we must safeguard election integrity. That goal will be my lodestar as Idaho’s Secretary of State.” On her campaign website, she listed three issues: Securing our Elections, Serving Future Generations, and Supporting our Economy.

The Idaho Secretary of State is responsible for running the state’s elections, licensing businesses, trademarks, notaries and other professions and various other duties involving the maintenance and publication of official documents. Republicans have held Idaho’s secretary of state office since 1967.

Idaho is one of 27 states holding secretary of state elections in 2022.

Wisconsin Secretary of State raises no money this election cycle

According to the most recent campaign finance reports filed with the Wisconsin Ethics Commission, Wisconsin Secretary of State Douglas La Follette has raised no money between Jan. 1, 2021 and Mar. 21, 2022. 

La Follette is a member of the Democratic Party and has served in his current office since 1983, with a previous term from 1975-1979. In Wisconsin, the secretary of state is an elected position. Duties vary by state but are generally administrative in nature and may include recordkeeping, certification of state documents, and serving as chief election official. La Follette is running for reelection in 2022.

How donations to La Follette compare to the same office in other states

Contributions vary widely among officeholders in the same role. A number of factors, including whether the position is appointed or elected, can influence donor activity. Here is how La Follette compares to the 10 other state and commonwealth secretaries with campaign finance data available from Transparency USA in 2022:

Across the U.S., 27 secretaries of state are members of the Republican Party and 20 are members of the Democratic Party. Voters elect the secretary of state in 35 states, while they are appointed by either the governor or state legislature in the other 12. Alaska, Hawaii, and Utah do not have secretaries of state. In 2022, 27 states are holding elections for the position.

The data above are based on campaign finance reports that active Wisconsin PACs submitted to the Wisconsin Ethics Commission. Transparency USA publishes campaign finance data following major reporting deadlines. State or federal law may require filers to submit additional reports.

Report NameReport Due Date
2022 Jan Semiannual1/18/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Primary2/7/2022
2022 Spring Pre-Election3/28/2022
2022 Jul Semiannual7/15/2022
2022 Fall Pre-Primary8/1/2022
2022 Sept Data9/27/2022
2022 Fall Pre-General10/31/2022
2023 Jan Semiannual1/7/2023

This article is a joint publication from Ballotpedia and Transparency USA, who are working together to provide campaign finance information for state-level elections. Learn more about our work here.

4.7% of state legislative incumbents who filed for re-election have lost in primaries

So far this year, 44 state legislative incumbents—11 Democrats and 33 Republicans—have lost to primary challengers.

Across the nine states that have held primaries, 4.7% of incumbents running for re-election have lost. This is both the largest number and highest incumbent loss rate in these nine states since 2014.

So far this year, the loss rate has been higher for Republicans than for Democrats. Of the 593 Republican incumbents seeking re-election, 33 (5.6%) lost in primaries. For Democrats, 11 of the 343 incumbents running (3.2%) lost to primary challengers.

However, fewer Democratic incumbents are facing primary challengers than their Republican counterparts. Around 17% of Democratic incumbents faced contested primaries compared to 37% for Republicans.

Overall, among those nine states, 936 incumbents filed for re-election, and 278 (30%) faced contested primaries. This is the largest number since 2014.

Sixteen of the incumbents who lost primaries so far were due to redistricting. When states redraw legislative lines, incumbents can oftentimes end up in a new district with other incumbents leading to incumbent v. incumbent primaries or general elections.

Of the nine states that have held primaries so far, one had a Democratic trifecta, five had Republican trifectas, and three had divided governments with Democrats controlling the governorship and Republicans controlling both legislative chambers. Across these nine states, there are 1,114 seats up for election, 18% of the nationwide total.

The figures for 2022 will likely increase. There are currently 37 primaries featuring incumbents—six Democrats and 31 Republicans—that remain uncalled. Additionally, there are five primary runoffs in Texas scheduled for May 24 with incumbents present.

You can view a full list of defeated incumbents and defeat totals from previous years by clicking “Learn More” below.

Kentucky announces plans to launch mobile unemployment insurance office

The Kentucky Office of Unemployment Insurance (OUI) announced plans on May 11 to launch a mobile office that aims to help citizens access unemployment insurance services. The office aims to help those in poorer communities complete tasks like filing for unemployment benefits, verifying their identities, and determining their eligibility for benefits.

The mobile office will be funded with money from a $4.5 million UI Equity Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. $2.3 million is going to the mobile office, and the remaining funds will help to establish a new self-serve unemployment insurance portal and system-generated text and push notifications that will keep claimants updated on the statuses of their claims.

The OUI did not offer a specific date for the launch.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

Additional reading:

Oklahoma legislature passes unemployment insurance indexing bill

The Oklahoma House of Representatives gave final approval May 17 to House Bill 1933, which would index unemployment insurance benefits, tying the length of benefits to the state’s unemployment rate. The Seante passed the bill April 26. If the governor approves the bill, Oklahoma will provide shorter periods of benefits during times of low unemployment and longer periods of benefits during times of high unemployment.

At least five states have already implemented some form of unemployment insurance benefits indexing: Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kansas, and North Carolina.

Unemployment insurance is a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

Additional reading:

History of unemployment insurance fraud in Oklahoma

Michigan waives 55,000 pandemic unemployment insurance overpayments

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency announced May 4 that an additional 55,000 unemployment insurance claimants who received overpayments during the coronavirus pandemic will not have to repay the funds. The agency also said about 400,000 overpayments totalling $4.3 billion had already been forgiven.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer (D) signed a bill Feb. 28 allowing for the forgiveness of overpayments related to the conflict of state and federal policies for the payment of federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) benefits.

PUA benefits were designed to assist workers who did not qualify for regular unemployment insurance benefits, such as gig workers, self-employed workers, and part-time workers. Michigan’s unemployment insurance law conflicted with the federal law and did not allow part-time workers to claim unemployment insurance benefits. The state required claimants to be able and available to work full time. Due to the conflict, the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency requested repayment of benefits from some part time workers (and from workers who were not available to work for pandemic-related reasons, such as caretaking) who attested to their ability and availability to work full time.

Unemployment insurance refers to a joint federal and state program that provides temporary monetary benefits to eligible laid-off workers who are actively seeking new employment. Qualifying individuals receive unemployment compensation as a percentage of their lost wages in the form of weekly cash benefits while they search for new employment.

The federal government oversees the general administration of state unemployment insurance programs. The states control the specific features of their unemployment insurance programs, such as eligibility requirements and length of benefits.

Additional reading: