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California Citizens Redistricting Commission enacts new legislative maps

California enacted new state legislative districts on Dec. 27, 2021, when the California Citizens Redistricting Commission delivered its final maps to the secretary of state. The commission voted 14-0 in favor of the maps on Dec. 20, 2021. The maps will take effect for California’s 2022 state legislative elections.

Following the 2020 elections, Democrats held supermajorities in both legislative chambers. In the state Assembly, the party held 60 of the 80 seats with Republicans holding 19 and an independent holding one. In the state Senate, Democrats held 31 of the 40 seats with Republicans holding the remaining nine. 

CalMatters’ Sameea Kamal wrote, “Democrats’ grip of the Assembly could tighten” under the new maps with 63 districts having a Democratic lean. Kamal added “the Democratic majority in the state Senate might shrink,” with three districts becoming more Republican and one becoming more Democratic in terms of voter registration.

The Associated Press’ Don Thompson wrote that the new maps created 22 Assembly districts and 11 Senate districts with a Latino citizen voting age population greater than 50%, an increase of six and four such districts compared to previous maps, respectively.

As of Jan. 3, 27 states have adopted new state legislative maps for both chambers, one state adopted a map for one chamber, one state has adopted maps that have not yet gone into effect, and 21 states have not yet adopted state legislative maps. As of Jan. 3, 2012, 32 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,078 of 1,972 state Senate seats (54.7%) and 2,776 of 5,411 state House seats (51.3%).

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California Citizens Redistricting Commission enacts new congressional map

California enacted new congressional districts on Dec. 27, 2021, when the California Citizens Redistricting Commission delivered its final map to the secretary of state. The commission voted 14-0 in favor of the final map on Dec. 20, 2021. California was apportioned 52 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, one fewer than it received after the 2010 census. This map will take effect for California’s 2022 congressional elections.

The Los Angeles Times’ Seema Mehta, Melanie Mason, and Jason Myers wrote, “The state’s 42 Democratic congressional incumbents largely fared well,” adding that “nearly half the state’s 11 Republican members of Congress will see their districts grow more blue.” 

The Associated Press’ Don Thompson wrote that the new map created 16 congressional districts with a Latino citizen voting age population greater than 50%, an increase of six such districts compared to the previous map.

National Republican Redistricting Trust Executive Director Adam Kincaid said, “California’s ‘independent’ redistricting commission is producing wildly contorted congressional lines,” saying the maps “ignore California’s communities in a desperate attempt to try to save Nancy Pelosi’s majority.”

The commission’s nonpartisan chairwoman, Isha Ahmad, said, “We drew district maps in an open and transparent manner that did more than merely allow public input — we actively sought and encouraged broad public participation in the process through a massive education and outreach program.”

As of Jan. 3, 24 states have adopted new congressional maps, two have enacted maps that have not yet gone into effect, six states were apportioned one congressional district (so no congressional redistricting is required), and 18 states have not yet adopted new congressional maps. As of Jan. 3 in 2012, 31 states had enacted congressional redistricting plans.

States have completed congressional redistricting for 274 of the 435 seats (63.0%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Georgia enacts new state legislative district maps

Georgia enacted new legislative districts on Dec. 30, 2021, when Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a proposal approved by the legislature into law. The maps will take effect for Georgia’s 2022 state legislative elections.

On Nov. 9, the Georgia State Senate passed a map redrawing the state’s 56 Senate districts in a 34-21 vote, which the House then approved on Nov. 15 in a 96-70 vote. The Senate proposal signed by Kemp was released on Nov. 4.

On Nov. 10, the Georgia House of Representatives passed a map redrawing the state’s 180 House districts in a 99-79 vote, which the Senate then approved on Nov. 12 in a 32-21 vote. The House proposal signed by Kemp was released on Nov. 8.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Mary Niesse and Maya Prabhu wrote that the new Senate and House maps may result in a net increase of likely Democratic districts—one in the Senate and five in the House—while Republicans maintain a majority.

After Gov. Kemp signed the maps into law, two lawsuits were filed against them alleging racial gerrymandering. Sean Young, legal director of the ACLU of Georiga, said, “[P]oliticians have failed to draw maps that give many of these new Black voters new opportunities to elect candidates of their choice.”

Following the passage of the two maps, Rep. Ron Stephens (R) wrote in an editorial, “Our overriding objective was to ensure that the power of every Georgia citizen’s vote is equal,” adding, “we have ultimately produced constitutionally and Voting Rights Act-compliant … maps.”

As of Jan. 3, 27 states have adopted new state legislative maps for both chambers, one state adopted a map for one chamber, one state has adopted maps that have not yet gone into effect, and 21 states have not yet adopted state legislative maps. As of Jan. 3, 2012, 32 states had enacted legislative redistricting plans after the 2010 census.

Nationwide, states have completed legislative redistricting for 1,078 of 1,972 state Senate seats (54.7%) and 2,776 of 5,411 state House seats (51.3%).

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Georgia enacts new congressional district map

Georgia enacted new congressional districts on Dec. 30, 2021, when Gov. Brian Kemp (R) signed a proposal approved by the legislature into law. Georgia was apportioned 14 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census, the same number it received after the 2010 census. This map will take effect for Georgia’s 2022 congressional elections.

On Nov. 19, 2021, the Georgia State Senate passed the map in a 32-21 vote, which the House then approved on Nov. 22 in a 96-68 vote. The proposal was first released on Nov. 17.

When the legislature originally passed the map, the Associated Press’ Jeff Amy wrote that it would shift Republicans’ current 8-6 majority to a likely 9-5 Republican majority.

Two lawsuits have alleged racial gerrymandering. Marina Jenkins with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee’s National Redistricting Foundation said, “The congressional map signed into law by Gov. Brain Kemp is a shameless power grab that cheats Black voters out of proper representation.”

Earlier in the process, House Speaker David Ralston (R) said, “[W]e have released a proposed map that reflects Georgia’s growing, diverse population, respects jurisdictional lines and communities of interest, and conforms to applicable legal standards including the Voting Rights Act.”

As of Jan. 3, 24 states have adopted new congressional maps, two have enacted maps that have not yet gone into effect, six states were apportioned one congressional district (so no congressional redistricting is required), and 18 states have not yet adopted new congressional maps. As of Jan. 3 in 2012, 31 states had enacted congressional redistricting plans.

States have completed congressional redistricting for 274 of the 435 seats (63.0%) in the U.S. House of Representatives.

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Economy and Society: The Federal Reserve and ESG

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.

Federal Reserve eyeing ESG-friendly stress-tests for banks

For most of the last year, the ESG-regulation debate has focused on two primary subjects: the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and its desire to compel publicly traded companies to disclose environmental, social, and governance data along with traditional pecuniary disclosures; and the Department of Labor’s new proposed rule to overturn the Trump administration’s rule on investments by ERISA-governed retirement plans in ESG vehicles. Before this year is over, according to analysts, the Federal Reserve might potentially impose regulations on financial companies regarding ESG-related matters as well. Specifically, the Federal Reserve wants to make ESG dataand climate change exposure, in particularpart of the stress tests in which banks are required to participate. In October, for example, a senior contributor at Forbes noted the following:

“Fed Governor Lael Brainard, a pioneer in this area, offered some basic guidance on how the central bank is considering taking on efforts, strongly opposed by the financial industry, to take climate risks into account when assessing possible sources of volatility.

Brainard said the total cost of U.S. weather and climate disasters over the last five years is $630 billion, a record for such a period. This includes billions in damages to farms, homes and businesses, she said, with 2020 marking a sixth straight year seeing ten or more billion-dollar weather and climate events.

“We can already see the growing costs associated with the increasing frequency and severity of climate-related events,” she told a Boston Fed conference.

“Several foreign regulators have already undertaken climate scenario analysis, affording us the opportunity to learn from their experiences. It will be helpful to move ahead with the first generation of climate scenario analysis to identify risks and potential issues and to inform subsequent refinements to our models and data.”…

Brainard proposes using the existing bank stress test framework as a template for thinking about how to get started. Greater transparency on the part of banks as to their risks of not only direct risk to climate shocks but also potential pitfalls from the costs of energy transition will be key.”

In November, Reuters reported that Wall Street doesn’t expect these tests to be implemented immediately.

“A U.S. Treasury Department-led report warned last month that rising temperatures were an “emerging threat” to financial stability and said regulators should use scenario analyses to build robust predictive risk-management tools.

Despite being the most influential central bank in the world, the Fed has long lagged its peers in getting a grip on those risks.

Over the past year, however, the Fed has ramped up pressure on big banks to scan their portfolios for climate change risks and could be in a position to run a formal scenario analysis and release broad findings to the public in 2023, according to seven industry executives with direct knowledge of the discussions who declined to be named.

The previously unreported growing industry consensus shows how regulators are trying to move quickly to execute President Joe Biden’s agenda to incorporate climate risk into the financial regulatory system, with major ramifications for Wall Street banks like JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) Citigroup (C.N), Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N), Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Goldman Sachs Group (GS.N) and Morgan Stanley (MS.N)….

Reuters reported in May that Fed supervisors had begun privately pressing lenders for data and details on their efforts to assess the exposure of their loan books to climate change.

Those discussions are being driven by Kevin Stiroh, who began leading the Fed’s climate change supervisory work in February. They have intensified in recent months and started to focus on how a balance sheet scenario analysis might work, according to the executives.

“Broadly speaking, regulators are moving forward with all due speed on this,” said Sean Campbell, head of policy research at the Financial Services Forum, which represents big banks, adding a 2023 timeline “is about right.”

Fed officials have not previously indicated when they would expect to perform an analysis. In an interview with Reuters, Randal Quarles, the Fed’s outgoing vice chair for supervision, said that there was no official timeline, but he likewise told Reuters two years “sounds about right.””

One wildcard in the pending implementation of Federal Reserve’s new ESG-friendly stress-tests is hinted at in this last paragraph from Reuters, which quotes “Randal Quarles, the Fed’s outgoing vice chair for supervision.” According to a December 28 article in The Wall Street Journal, President Biden appears set to appoint Sarah Bloom Raskin to replace Quarles, a conservative, as the Fed’s top regulator. Raskin is an advocate of an ESG-related regulatory mission for the federal government (including, presumably, the Federal Reserve). The Journal noted:

“Ms. Raskin’s nomination could mollify progressive Democrats, some of whom opposed Mr. Biden’s decision in November to offer a second term to Fed Chairman Jerome Powell, a Republican first chosen for the top job by former President Donald Trump.

They have called for the Fed to take a tougher stance in regulating big banks and a bolder approach in addressing financial risks posed by climate change.

While serving as a Fed governor from 2010 to 2014, Ms. Raskin was deeply involved in behind-the-scenes work to write rules implementing the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial-regulatory overhaul.

Since leaving the government, Ms. Raskin has spoken out on the need for the Fed and other federal financial regulators to more proactively address growing threats from climate-related events such as natural disasters and wildfires.

“There is opportunity in pre-emptive, early and bold actions by federal economic policy makers looking to avoid catastrophe,” Ms. Raskin wrote in the foreword of a report last year from the Ceres Accelerator for Sustainable Markets, a climate advocacy group.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.) has signaled to the White House she would support either Ms. Raskin or Richard Cordray, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s first confirmed director, who also has been under consideration for the Fed’s banking-regulator post….

More recently, in a New York Times opinion article in May 2020, Ms. Raskin was critical of broad-based emergency-lending backstops enacted by the Treasury and Fed to assist businesses during the pandemic because she believed they should have taken steps to prevent lending to oil-and-gas concerns. “The decisions the Fed makes on our behalf should build toward a stronger economy with more jobs in innovative industries—not prop up and enrich dying ones,” she wrote.”

On Wall Street and in the private sector

Reuters: “How 2021 became the year of ESG investing” 

As one year draws to a close and another year begins, analysts have provided numerous looks at the Wall Street year that was and predictions about what the year ahead will hold. Many of those retrospectives and forecasts focused on ESG, which remained one of the fastest-growing investment strategies in the world in 2021.

On the upside for ESG, on December 23, Reuters reported the following:

“Investors concerned about climate change and social justice had a bumper year in 2021, successfully pushing companies and regulators to make changes amid record inflows to funds focused on environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) issues.

Extreme weather becoming more frequent and events highlighting social justice issues, such as the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody, contributed to ESG rising to the top of the agenda of investors, companies and policy makers.

A record $649 billion poured into ESG-focused funds worldwide through Nov. 30, up from the $542 billion and $285 billion that flowed into these funds in 2020 and 2019, respectively, the latest Refinitiv Lipper data shows. ESG funds now account for 10% of worldwide fund assets.

Stocks of companies rated highly for their sustainability efforts also notched gains. The MSCI World ESG Leaders’ index has risen 22% so far this year, compared with the MSCI World Index’s gain of 15%.

Investors flexed their muscle to challenge companies’ ESG credentials, culminating in a landmark board challenge against oil major Exxon Mobil Corp (XOM.N). Support for social and environmental proposals at the shareholder meetings of U.S. companies rose to 32% in 2021 from 27% in 2020 and from 21% in 2017, according to the Sustainable Investments Institute.

“It was a watershed year,” said Tim Smith, a director at investment management firm Boston Trust Walden….

[Additionally] In the United States, companies can sometimes avoid putting shareholder resolutions to a vote by asking the SEC for permission. Thomas Skulski, managing director at proxy solicitor Morrow Sodali, said the SEC strengthened the hand of ESG investors in November by narrowing the circumstances under which companies can skip votes. 

As a result, companies next year could face more challenges on operational issues, such as how they use consumer packaging or plastics, Skulski said.”

Financial Times: “ESG shares underperform oil and gas in 2021”

Meanwhile, however, ESG also suffered setback, perhaps the most important of which was noted just last week by The Financial Times:

“Oil and gas shares — knocked early in the pandemic and increasingly shunned by eco-conscious investors — have this year eclipsed the stock markets’ in-vogue environmental, social and governance-focused companies.

As of December 29, US giants Exxon and Chevron had added 48 per cent and 40 per cent respectively in 2021. The duo have helped power global energy equity funds past many of the hundreds of US and European sustainable funds as defined by Morningstar, a data provider.

The iShares MSCI global energy producers exchange-traded fund is up 37 per cent to December 29, outperforming the largest US ESG fund — the $31.8bn Parnassus Core Equity fund – which is up 28 per cent. The largest iShares ESG fund run by giant fund manager BlackRock has also trailed, up 30 per cent.

It marks a sharp change from 2020, with the more tepid performance leading to early signs that investor enthusiasm for ESG funds has cooled, as investor inflows into the fund class have slowed from their breakneck pace at the beginning of the year.

The Invesco Solar ETF and the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF are down more than a quarter this year. In contrast, these funds’ share prices tripled and doubled, respectively in 2020, when Exxon plummeted 41 per cent and Chevron fell 30 per cent.

Danish power group Orsted “was the darling” for ESG funds in 2020, Gauthier said. But Orsted and wind turbine maker Vestas have warned of challenging conditions in renewable energy after projects in Europe suffered low wind speeds and higher costs hit manufacturers.

Orsted and Vestas have dropped by around a third in 2021. Iberdrola, the Spanish utility that has also prioritised renewable electricity, is down around a tenth this year.

Meanwhile, despite volatility in the oil price following the emergence of the Omicron coronavirus variant last month, Brent crude and the US benchmark WTI are both up by more than a half in 2021.

Global oil demand is on track to surpass 2019 levels by March 2022 and is projected to continue its rise in 2023, according to JPMorgan. “We are seeing the first energy crisis of the decarbonisation era,” said Joyce Chang, chair of global research at JPMorgan.”



Two Nebraska school districts to hold recall elections Jan. 11

The Waverly and Leyton school districts in Nebraska are holding recall elections on Jan. 11 against a total of three school board members. Voters will be asked whether they are in favor of recalling the members from office with the option of voting yes or no.

Ward 4 representative Andy Grosshans is on the ballot in the Waverly school district. Recall supporters said they began the effort due to Grosshans’ vote to extend an emergency resolution giving the superintendent the power to “develop rules and regulations deemed necessary for the government and health of the district’s students and devise any means as may seem best to secure regular attendance and progress of students at school,” according to The Waverly News. The school board initially passed the emergency resolution in April 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In July 2021, the board voted to extend the resolution through the 2021-2022 school year.

In response to the recall effort, Grosshans said, “For 12+ years, I have worked hard to make well-informed decisions to provide the students of District 145 with a safe environment in which to receive an outstanding education. In these difficult times, I hope for continued understanding and patience as we use key resources and area experts to do what’s in the best interest of all students.”

Recall supporters had until Oct. 30 to collect 88 signatures to put the recall against Grosshans on the ballot.

Suzy Ernest and Roland Rushman are on the ballot in the Leyton school district. The recall petitions listed the district’s increased legal fees since January 2021 as reasons for the recall against both Ernest and Rushman. The petition against Ernest said she took action without the full board’s approval on two items: placing the superintendent on paid administrative leave and signing an acceptance for asbestos removal. The petition against Rushman said he failed to follow the Board Code of Ethics and slandered district administrators.

In response to the recall effort against her, Ernest said her action to place the superintendent on paid administrative leave was authorized in the superintendent’s contract. Both Ernest and Rushman said the decision to place the superintendent on paid administrative leave occurred after the board received serious complaints. They said those complaints were the reason behind the district’s increased legal fees. Ernest also said that she signed the acceptance for asbestos removal under the direction of the then-interim superintendent.

To get the recalls against Ernest and Rushman on the ballot, recall supporters had to collect 138 signatures for each member.

Ballotpedia tracked 90 school board recall efforts against 233 board members in 2021—the highest number of school board recall efforts we tracked in one year. The next-highest year was in 2010 with 38 recall efforts against 91 school board members.

In 2021, Ballotpedia covered a total of 339 recall efforts against 529 elected officials. This was the highest number of recall efforts and officials targeted since we started compiling data on recalls in 2012.

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One last look at recalls in 2021

Welcome back to the Tuesday, January 4, Brew. 

By: Douglas Kronaizl

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

  1. Number of recall efforts in 2021 was highest since 2012
  2. Eight states have candidate filing deadlines in the next two months
  3. Revisiting a decade of veto overrides

Number of recall efforts in 2021 was highest since 2012

According to our year-end recall analysis, Ballotpedia tracked more recall efforts in 2021 than any other year since we began compiling recall data in 2012. Across all levels of government, we identified 529 officials who faced recalls in 2021 compared to 301 in 2020 and 233 in 2019. The year with the second-most recalls was 2014 with 387 officials.

The total number of officials successfully removed from office was lower in 2021 than any other year since 2012. Twenty-five recall efforts were successful in 2021, compared to 35 in 2020 and 38 in 2019. Meanwhile, 42 recalls were defeated in 2021 and 342 efforts did not qualify for the ballot.

For the first time since Ballotpedia began tracking recalls, school board members faced more recalls than any other office type. A total of 233 school board members faced recall efforts, while city council members—who faced the most recall efforts from 2014 to 2020—had the second-most with 148.

By state, California had the most officials who faced recalls at 129 in 2021. Arizona and Michigan followed with 51 officials each. From 2016 to 2021, California had the most recall efforts in four of those five years. When the number of recalls is adjusted for state population, Nebraska was the recall leader in 2021, with 1.3 officials per 100,000 residents.

Ballotpedia closely followed several notable recalls in 2021. These include the recall election for California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D), two recall efforts against San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin, and the recall election for Seattle City Councilwoman Kshama Sawant. Our analysis also highlighted school board recalls in Virginia’s Loudon County Public School District, Wisconsin’s Mequon-Thiensville School District, and California’s San Francisco Unified School District.

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Eight states have candidate filing deadlines in the next two months

The year may have just started, but the 2022 election cycle is already underway with candidates filing to run for office ahead of their respective deadlines. The process technically began with the Texas filing deadline on Dec. 13, 2021. Eight more states have filing deadlines in the next two months.

This will be the first election year following redistricting. Most states will see entirely new state legislative and congressional district lines. States must finish redistricting before their respective filing deadlines.

Kentucky’s filing deadline is currently set for Jan. 7, but the state has not yet finished its redistricting process. On Dec. 31, 2021, WFPL’s Ryland Barton reported that Republican leaders in the legislature intended to pass legislation moving the state’s filing deadline from Jan. 7 to Jan. 25.

One other state—North Carolina—has already postponed its candidate filing deadline due to redistricting challenges. On Dec. 8, 2021, the North Carolina Supreme Court issued an order that moved the state’s primary election from March 8 to May 17 as a result of two lawsuits challenging the state’s new district maps. The court also suspended candidate filing, which was originally scheduled to end on Dec. 17, 2021. A new filing deadline has not yet been announced, though the trial court responsible for the case must reach a ruling by Jan. 11, 2022.

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Revisiting a decade of veto overrides

Just like the federal government, every state has its own separation of powers. One of those powers belongs to the executive branch, which can veto bills from the legislative branch. Similarly, in all 50 states, the legislative branch can override a veto typically by a two-thirds vote from each chamber, though the exact numbers of votes required vary by state.

Between 2010 and 2020, Arkansas had the highest percentage of gubernatorial vetos overridden by the state legislature. During that time, Arkansas governors issued four vetos, three of which (75%) were overridden. Arkansas—along with Alabama, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, and West Virginia—is one of six states that require a majority vote to override a veto.

When looking at raw numbers, South Carolina tops the list for the state with the largest number of vetoes overridden at 138 followed by Maine and New York with 133 and 67, respectively. California had the largest difference with 1,695 vetoes issued, none of which were overridden.

Ballotpedia also tracks and records noteworthy veto overrides. In 2021, we wrote about 16 veto overrides in eight states. Among those include:

  • Arkansas’ Republican-controlled General Assembly overriding Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s (R) veto of a bill prohibiting gender reassignment treatment for minors; 
  • Indiana’s Republican-controlled General Assembly overriding Gov. Eric Holcomb’s (R) veto of a landlord-tenant bill. This was Holcomb’s first veto overridden since he assumed office in 2017; and,
  • Maryland’s Democratic-controlled General Assembly overriding Gov. Larry Hogan’s (R) veto of the state’s congressional redistricting map.

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New Mexico enacts new state House map

On Dec. 29, 2021, New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) signed a new state House map into law, which will take effect for New Mexico’s 2022 legislative elections.

The New Mexico House of Representatives voted 43-23 to approve the map on Dec. 10, and the New Mexico State Senate approved the map 24-13 on Dec. 16. State Rep. Daymon Ely (D) introduced the map bill on Dec. 8 during a special session of the state legislature. 

New Mexico is the second state this cycle to have approved a state House map on a different date than its state Senate map. The first was Connecticut, which approved its House map on Nov. 18, 2021, and its Senate map on Nov. 23. 

A new state Senate map has not yet been enacted. However, the state Senate approved a Senate map bill 25-13 on Dec. 16, and the state House approved the map 38-22 on Dec. 17. Gov. Lujan Grisham has until Jan. 6, 2022, to approve or veto the map. During the 2010 redistricting cycle, New Mexico completed legislative redistricting on Feb. 27, 2012.



Minimum wage increases in 25 states in 2022

Ballotpedia recently published our annual analysis of statewide minimum wage increases in the coming year. In 2022, the minimum wage will increase in 25 states and Washington, D.C. The increases ranged from $0.22 in Michigan to $1.50 in Virginia. Twenty increases took effect on Jan. 1. Four take effect on July 1. One takes effect on Sept. 30. The minimum wage in New York increased on Dec. 31, 2021.

Here are highlights from the year:

  • The largest minimum wage increases based on state laws are $1.50 in Virginia ($9.50 to $11) and $1.25 in Delaware ($9.25 to $10.5).
  • Five states will increase their minimum wage rates by $1 per hour in 2022: California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, and New Mexico.
  • Nine states have passed laws or ballot measures increasing their statewide minimum wage rates incrementally to $15 per hour. California is the first of those states to reach $15 per hour in 2022.
  • Nine states and D.C. will increase their minimum wage rates because the rates are tied to inflation, while 16 states have specific increases scheduled as part of an incremental increase to a target rate.
  • Out of the nine states with minimum wages indexed to changes in cost-of-living or inflation, eight have minimum wage laws passed through ballot initiatives, and one has a minimum wage law passed by the legislature.
  • The average increase based on inflation in 2022 is $0.51 per hour. In 2021, the average increase based on inflation was $0.16 per hour.
  • The largest inflation-based increases were in $0.80 in Washington and $0.65 in Arizona. In 2021, the inflation-based increases were $0.19 for Washington and $0.15 for Arizona.
  • Two state legislatures passed minimum wage increase legislation in 2021: Rhode Island and Delaware. Both laws were designed to increase minimum wage rates to $15 per hour by 2025.
  • New York and Oregon divide the states into different regions with different minimum wage rates.


Jan. 7 marks the filing deadline for three Michigan House seats

Candidates interested in running in the special elections for Michigan House of Representatives Districts 36, 43, and 74 have until Jan. 7 to file. The primary election is scheduled for March 1, and the general election is scheduled for May 3. 

The special election for District 36 was called after Douglas Wozniak (R) was elected to District 8 of the Michigan State Senate. District 43 became vacant after the death of Andrea Schroeder (R), and District 74 became vacant after Mark Huizenga (R) was elected to District 28 of the Michigan State Senate.

Michigan held two state legislative special elections in 2021. The special elections for Senate Districts 8 and 28 were held on Nov. 2.

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