With a new year, comes a new batch of state legislators. Thousands of legislators will be sworn into office this month. In the November 2018 general elections, 322 incumbent legislators were defeated. Including the incumbents who retired or were defeated in primaries, the 2019 legislative sessions will see 1,599 new state legislators taking their oath of office. The new legislators reflect 21.7% of all state legislators nationwide.
Lisa Neubauer and Brian Hagedorn, both sitting judges on the Wisconsin Court of Appeals, filed to run for the Wisconsin Supreme Court seat currently held by retiring Justice Shirley Abrahamson. Abrahamson, the first woman to serve on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, was appointed to her seat by a Democratic governor more than four decades ago.
Although state Supreme Court elections in Wisconsin are nonpartisan, liberal and conservative groups typically coalesce around specific candidates. Conservatives, who back Hagedorn, currently hold a 4-3 majority on the court.
The next election after 2019 will be in 2020 for Dan Kelly’s seat. Kelly was appointed to the court in 2016 by Gov. Scott Walker (R). If liberals retain Abrahamson’s seat this year, the election in 2020 could will be a battle for control of the court.
With only two candidates running as of Wednesday’s filing deadline, Neubauer and Hagedorn will proceed directly to the general election on April 2.
New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez (R) signed an executive order on Tuesday that requires all state boards, commissions, and agencies to complete a Regulatory Impact Form (RIF) for each proposed rule or regulatory change.
The RIFs will feature information about each proposal’s impact on the general public and possible outcomes to expect if the proposal is not implemented. State regulators must also include information that identifies the problem that the proposal is intended to address and provides an explanation for why the proposal is the best option among other possible solutions. The RIFs will be posted online through the state’s Sunshine Portal for public review 48 hours prior to the public comment period.
“Improving our regulatory environment has been a top priority for this administration, and analyzing each proposed rule is another step forward in ensuring that regulations are created responsibly and transparently,” said Martinez in a press release. “This new tool will help regulators and the public better understand the impact these regulations have on the people of our state.”
Democratic Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham has not indicated whether or not she supports the order. She could rescind the order after she takes office in early 2019.
The RIFs in New Mexico are similar to the Regulatory Impact Analyses (RIA) submitted by federal agencies as part of the federal regulatory review process. Pursuant to Presidential Executive Order 12866, federal agencies must submit RIAs to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) for each proposed significant regulatory action— those that may conflict with presidential priorities or have large impacts on the economy, environment, public health, or state or local governments.
Unlike federal RIAs, New Mexico’s RIFs will be required for all proposed rules or regulatory changes and will not be limited to those with significant regulatory impacts.