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New Jersey governor to sign donor disclosure bill conditionally vetoed in May

On June 10, New Jersey lawmakers and gubernatorial staff announced that Gov. Phil Murphy (D) would sign S1500 into law after conditionally vetoing the bill in May. The measure will require 501(c)(4)s, super PACs, and other entities to disclose their donors who contribute $10,000 or more.

What does the legislation do?

  • As enacted, S1500 defines an independent expenditure committee as any person or group organized under sections 501(c)(4) or 527 of the Internal Revenue Code that spends $3,000 or more annually to influence or provide political information about any of the following:
    • “the outcome of any election or the nomination, election, or defeat of any person to any state or local elective public office”
    • “the passage or defeat of any public question, legislation, or regulation”
  • Independent expenditure committees will be required to disclose all expenditures exceeding $3,000. These committees will also be required to disclose the identities of their donors who contribute $10,000 or more.

What are the responses?

  • Alyana Alfaro, a representative for the governor’s office, said, “The Governor looks forward to signing the legislation while working with the Legislature to resolve outstanding issues by the end of the month.” According to NJTV News, “a source close to the negotiations said … that Murphy agreed to sign the bill only with the understanding that lawmakers will pass a cleanup bill later to address concerns.”
  • Senate President Steve Sweeney (D) said, “I think the administration knew that there was an override and that it absolutely would’ve succeeded in both houses. But, that being said, it’s not about trying to embarrass anybody. We wanted to get a piece of legislation passed that was meaningful and long overdue.” Sweeney also said, “The bill is going to be signed as it was passed. If the governor has concerns we can talk about them, but it has nothing to do with this bill.”

What brought us here?

  • On May 13, Murphy conditionally vetoed the bill, saying the following in his veto statement: “I commend my colleagues in the Legislature for seeking to ensure that so-called ‘dark money’ is brought out into the open. However, I am mindful that such efforts must be carefully balanced against constitutionally protected speech and association rights. Because certain provisions of Senate Bill No. 1500 (Fifth Reprint) may infringe on both, and because the bill does not go far enough in mandating disclosures of political activity that can be constitutionally required, I cannot support it in its current form.” With his conditional veto, Murphy stated his objections to the bill and proposed amendments to address them. This differs from an absolute veto, which is an outright gubernatorial rejection of a proposed law. Both are subject to the same override provisions.
  • Lawmakers discussed the possibility of overriding Murphy’s veto. Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D), a primary sponsor of S1500, said, “We are actively discussing the possibility of a veto override. It is not my preference. But I do feel very strongly that this is a good government bill and we need to act now.” Senator Troy Singleton (D), another S1500 sponsor, said, “I think the atmosphere was challenged a little bit by some of the governor’s comments. [We] took offense to the idea that what we sent was somehow weaker than what was sent back by the governor’s office … we didn’t want to have the discussion steeped in emotion. We’re trying to take a step back to see if there’s a path forward.”

 

What we’re reading

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state: We’re currently tracking 72 pieces of legislation dealing with donor disclosure. 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.

Disclosure Digest map June 17, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Disclosure Digest status chart June 17, 2019.png

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

Disclosure Digest partisan chart June 17, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions taken on relevant bills in the past week. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state then by bill number. Know of any legislation we’re missing? Please email us so we can include it on our tracking list.

  • California AB1217: This bill would expand the definition of “advertisement” under the state’s campaign finance laws, thereby extending existing disclosure requirements.
    • Referred to Senate Committee on Elections and Constitutional Amendments June 12.


The Daily Brew: City of Fountains to elect new mayor tomorrow

Preview of Kansas City mayoral election + webinar on Janus and union membership   
The Daily Brew
Welcome to the Monday, June 17, Brew. Here’s what’s in store for you as you start your day:

  1. Voters in Kansas City, Missouri, will elect a new mayor on Tuesday
  2. Quiz: Which candidate for president has the second most page views on Ballotpedia?
  3. Ballotpedia webinar on union membership one year after Janus on June 26

Preview: Mayoral election in Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City City Council members Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas compete in a runoff election on June 18 to determine who will become the city’s next mayor. The winner will succeed term-limited Mayor Sly James (D).

The two candidates advanced from a primary election field that had 11 candidates. In the April 2 primary, Justus received 22.8 percent of the vote and Lucas received 18.4 percent of the vote. The mayoral election is nonpartisan, but both Justus and Lucas are Democrats, according to KCUR.

Lucas has led both pre-election polls with 38 percent to Justus’ 30 percent. Each candidate has received the endorsement of one other member of the city council. Justus also has the endorsement of Mayor James, while Lucas was endorsed last week by The Kansas City Star newspaper.

In 2019, elections are being held in 59 of America’s 100 largest cities by population in 2019. That includes elections for mayor in 31 of the 100 largest cities. In 20 of those cities, the incumbent was Democratic at the start of 2019. Seven incumbents were Republican, three were independent, and the affiliation of one was unknown.

Kansas City uses a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council—which includes the mayor and serves as the city’s primary legislative body—appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council’s policy and legislative initiatives. The mayor’s primary responsibilities are to preside over city council meetings and official city ceremonies, and to represent the city on the state, national, and international levels.

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#BallotTrivia

Which presidential candidate has the second most page views on Ballotpedia?

In Thursday’s Brew, we presented the pageviews various presidential candidates’ pages have received on Ballotpedia. We stated that Pete Buttigieg’s profile has received the most page views since it launched. Which candidate’s page has received the second-most page views?


Sign up for free Ballotpedia webinar to learn about the impact of Janus on union membership

With the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court ruling in Janus, Ballotpedia is taking a deep dive into how the case has impacted unions across the United States. Janus v. AFSCME overturned the 1977 Abood precedent that allowed unions to require non-member employees to pay fees covering non-political union activities.

On June 26, join Ballotpedia for an exclusive look at how state legislatures have responded and how unions have been impacted. During this conversation, we’ll cover the following:

  • A brief discussion of Janus

  • How states have responded to Janus, including noteworthy legislation

  • How union membership was impacted by the ruling

  • A discussion of the complexities involved in determining the state-specific impacts of Janus

Register for this free, 30-minute webinar and you’ll leave with an understanding of how Janus has impacted unions across the country and how states have responded to the ruling. I hope to see you there!

 

 



2020 Democratic presidential field split on impeachment

Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) became the fourteenth Democratic presidential candidate to support initiating impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump (R) Thursday.
 
The first calls for impeachment proceedings came in April after the U.S. Department of Justice released special counsel Robert Mueller’s report investigating allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, coordination between Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia, and obstruction of justice.
 
Mueller stated in the report that “the investigation did not establish that members of the Trump campaign conspired or coordinated with the Russian government in its election interference activities.” He also wrote that the report neither concluded Trump had committed a crime nor exonerated him.
 
As a member of the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, Swalwell would be the only presidential candidate involved in the committee investigation of Trump if impeachment proceedings were initiated.
 
Some candidates, like Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) and Gov. Steve Bullock (D-Mont.), have said Congress should use its oversight power and continue current investigations before launching any impeachment process.
 
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii) and entrepreneur Andrew Yang (D) have said Trump should be defeated at the ballot box.
 
Altogether, 10 candidates have not called for impeachment proceedings to begin.


Two city council members face off in June 18 Kansas City mayoral election

Jolie Justus and Quinton Lucas, both members of the City Council of Kansas City, are running in the June 18 election to be the city’s next mayor. The winner will succeed Mayor Sly James (D), who was prevented by term limits from seeking re-election.
 
Justus and Lucas advanced from an 11-candidate primary election field. In the April 2 primary, Justus received 22.8 percent of the vote and Lucas received 18.4 percent.
 
Lucas led in both pre-election polls, conducted between mid-April and mid-May, receiving 38 percent support in each poll to Justus’ 31 percent and 30 percent. Each candidate has received the endorsement of one other member of the city council. Justus was also endorsed by Mayor James, while Lucas was endorsed by The Kansas City Star newspaper.
 
In 2019, elections are being held in 59 of America’s 100 largest cities by population. That includes elections for mayor in 31 of the 100 largest cities. In 20 of those cities, the incumbent mayor was Democratic at the start of 2019. Seven incumbents were Republican, three were independent, and the affiliation of one was unknown.
 
Kansas City uses a council-manager system. In this form of municipal government, an elected city council—which includes the mayor and serves as the city’s primary legislative body—appoints a chief executive called a city manager to oversee day-to-day municipal operations and implement the council’s policy and legislative initiatives. The mayor’s primary responsibilities are to preside over city council meetings and official city ceremonies and to represent the city on the state, national, and international levels.


Legislative activity in the wake of Janus

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public-sector unions cannot require non-members to pay agency fees to cover the costs of non-political union activities. Lawmakers nationwide have since taken up legislation in response to Janus. The summary below is a detailed account of legislative activity in the year since the Janus decision came down.
 
2019 post-Janus activity: As of June 14, 31 state legislatures have considered 101 bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
Breakdown by state: Oregon has had 10 relevant bills introduced this year—more than any other state (none of these have yet been enacted, although two have cleared both chambers of the state legislature). Pennsylvania and Washington have followed close behind with nine and eight bills, respectively.
Partisan split: Of the 101 bills introduced nationwide, Democrats have sponsored 51. Republicans have sponsored 38. Bipartisan groups or committees have sponsored the rest.
 
2018 post-Janus activity: Between June 27, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018, the Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania legislatures took up a total of seven bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
Breakdown by state: Pennsylvania had four relevant bills introduced post-Janus in 2018. One relevant bill was introduced in each of the three remaining states during that period.
Partisan split: Republicans introduced four of the seven bills. Bipartisan groups or committees sponsored the other three.
 
Bills enacted since Janus: Three bills have been enacted since Janus. These are detailed below. Another five bills introduced this year have cleared state legislatures but have yet to be enacted.
 
– Delaware SB8: This bill establishes compensation as a mandatory subject of collective bargaining efforts.
– Nevada SB135: This bill provides for collective bargaining rights for state employees.
– Washington HB1575: This bill declared that public employers and public-sector unions are not liable for claims involving agency fees paid to unions prior to Janus. It repealed statutes requiring employees to join unions or pay dues as a condition of employment. It also amended dues deduction authorization laws, allowing authorizations to be initiated via electronic, voice, or written communication and requiring authorizations to be discontinued by a written request made to the union.
 
To mark the one-year anniversary of Janus, we will be examining its effects in three special issues of Union Station and a webinar.
 
June 14 Union Station: Legislative activity in the wake of Janus
June 21 Union Station: Litigation activity post-Janus
June 26 webinar: Join us for a 30-minute discussion of Janus and its effects on legislation and union membership.
June 28 Union Station: Effect on union membership
 


What does the legislative landscape look like post-Janus?

On June 27, 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Janus v. AFSCME that public-sector unions cannot require non-members to pay agency fees to cover the costs of non-political union activities. Lawmakers nationwide have since taken up legislation in response to Janus. The summary below is a detailed account of legislative activity in the year since the Janus decision came down.

  • 2019 post-Janus activity: As of June 14, 31 state legislatures have considered 101 bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
    • Breakdown by state: Oregon has had 10 relevant bills introduced this year, more than any other state (none of these have yet been enacted, although two have cleared both chambers of the state legislature). Pennsylvania and Washington have followed close behind with nine and eight bills, respectively.
    • Partisan split: Of the 101 bills introduced nationwide, Democrats have sponsored 51. Republicans have sponsored 38. Bipartisan groups or committees have sponsored the rest.
  • 2018 post-Janus activity: Between June 27, 2018, and Dec. 31, 2018, the Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, and Pennsylvania legislatures took up a total of seven bills relevant to public-sector union policy.
    • Breakdown by state: Pennsylvania had four relevant bills introduced post-Janus in 2018. One relevant bill was introduced in each of the three remaining states during that period.
    • Partisan split: Republicans introduced four of the seven bills. Bipartisan groups or committees sponsored the other three.
  • Bills enacted since Janus: Three bills have been enacted since Janus. These are detailed below. Another five bills introduced this year have cleared state legislatures but have yet to be enacted.
    • Delaware SB8: This bill establishes compensation as a mandatory subject of collective bargaining efforts.
    • Nevada SB135: This bill provides for collective bargaining rights for state employees.
    • Washington HB1575: This bill declared that public employers and public-sector unions are not liable for claims involving agency fees paid to unions prior to Janus. It repealed statutes requiring employees to join unions or pay dues as a condition of employment. It also amends dues deduction authorization laws, allowing authorizations to be initiated via electronic, voice, or written communication and requiring authorizations to be discontinued by a written request made to the union.

The big picture

Number of relevant bills by state

We are currently tracking 101 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.

Union Station map June 14, 2019.png

Number of relevant bills by current legislative status

Union Station status chart June 14, 2019.png

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

Union Station partisan chart June 14, 2019.png

Recent legislative actions

Below is a complete list of legislative actions on relevant bills since the beginning of the year. Bills are listed in alphabetical order, first by state and then by bill number.

  • Massachusetts H3854: This bill would authorize employers to disclose personal employee information to unions. It would also permit unions to require non-members to pay for the costs associated with grievance and arbitration proceedings. It would require employers to provide unions with access to employees, and it would allow for dues deduction authorizations to be irrevocable for a period of up to one year.
    • Read for the first time in Senate and referred to Ways and Means Committee June 10.
  • Nevada SB135: This bill would provide for collective bargaining rights for state employees.
    • Signed into law June 12.
  • New Hampshire SB148: This bill would require public employers to notify hirees of their right to join or refrain from joining. The notification would also include the estimated annual cost of joining a union.
    • Senate concurred in House amendments June 13.
  • Oregon HB2016: This bill would require public employers to grant paid time to employees participating in certain union activities. It would also require employers to furnish unions with access to employees.
    • House concurred in Senate amendments June 11.
  • Oregon HB3009: This bill would require public employers to provide unions with access to new employees. It would also permit individuals who are not union members to make payments in lieu of dues to unions.
    • House concurred in Senate amendments June 11.
  • Rhode Island H5259: This bill would authorize unions to impose fees on non-members for administrative matters.
    • House Labor Committee recommended passage June 12.
  • Rhode Island S0712: This bill would authorize unions to impose fees on non-members for administrative matters. It would require employers to notify unions within five days of hiring new employees. It would also require employees to file written notice with the state controller in order to discontinue dues payroll deductions.
    • Senate approved substitute bill June 11. Referred to House Labor Committee June 12.


Two incumbents defeated in Virginia state legislative primaries

Virginia held state legislative primary elections on June 11. All 40 state Senate seats and all 100 state House of Delegates seats are up for general election on November 5, 2019.
 
Local parties could choose to hold conventions rather than primaries to select their nominees, which meant that not all districts held primary elections. According to data from the state department of elections and local political parties, there were 16 party primaries for state Senate seats and 19 primaries for seats in the state House.
 
Incumbents ran in 14 of the 35 primaries. Two incumbents (14 percent) were defeated, while the other 12 advanced to the general election. Of the 40 seats up for election in the Senate, 36 have an incumbent running in November. And 86 of the House’s 100 incumbents will be on the general election ballot.
 
One incumbent loss occurred in Senate District 16, where former Del. Joe Morrissey defeated incumbent Sen. Roz Dance in the Democratic primary. Morrissey resigned from the House in 2015 following his conviction of a misdemeanor stemming from his relationship with a 17-year-old but won election to his old seat in a special election later that year. He ran for the Senate in 2015 against Dance but withdrew prior to the general election citing health concerns.
 
The other incumbent loss occurred in the House District 28 Republican primary. Paul Milde III defeated Del. Robert Thomas Jr. in a rematch from 2017. Milde beat Thomas by 163 votes, while Thomas beat Milde in 2017 by 984 votes.
 
The following information is current as of June 13, 2019. It is compiled from the state department of elections and local political parties. Final candidate lists will be available following the filing deadline on June 24.
 
The 87 House incumbents seeking re-election in 2019 was the lowest number since 2011, when 86 ran for re-election. In 2017, 93 incumbents ran for re-election, and 91 did so in both 2015 and 2013. The 42 House candidates without major party opposition in the general election this year is higher than 2017’s figure of 40 but lower than in 2015 and 2013, when 71 candidates and 56 candidates, respectively, did not face major party opposition.
 
In the Senate races, three incumbents did not seek re-election, which is half as many as retired in 2015, the last year there was a general election for Senate seats. There will be 22 Senate races on the general election ballot where there is only one candidate from a major political party, up from 20 such races in 2015.
 
Heading into the general election, Republicans hold a 21-19 majority in the Senate and a 51-49 majority in the House. This election will take place using new state House district maps that were redrawn following a court order. These new maps changed the boundaries of 25 districts. Under the old maps, Hillary Clinton won 51 districts in 2016 while Donald Trump won 49. Under the new maps, Clinton would have won 56 districts (seven currently held by Republicans) while Trump would have won 44 (none currently held by Democrats).
 
Click the links below for more information on the races.


Republicans seek to hold vacant Florida House seats

Special elections for two seats in the Florida House of Representatives will be held Tuesday. These partisan special elections were called in District 7 and District 38.
 
In District 7, candidates Ryan Terrell (D) and Jason Shoaf (R) face off in the race. The seat became vacant after Halsey Beshears (R) resigned on January 11 to become Secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Terrell was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and Shoaf defeated three candidates in the Republican primary to advance to the general election.
 
In the race for District 38, Kelly Smith (D) faces Randy Maggard (R). The seat became vacant after Daniel Burgess (R) was appointed as the Executive Director of the Department of Veterans’ Affairs on January 24. Smith was unopposed in the Democratic primary, and Maggard defeated David McCallister in the Republican primary to advance to the general election.
 
Both seats were up for election in 2018. Beshears was unopposed in his re-election bid to District 7, and Burgess faced independent candidate David TK Hayes in the District 38 race. Burgess received 44,203 votes (66.3%), while Hayes received 22,451 votes (33.7%).
 
A special election for District 97 was also called in 2019, but the primary and general elections were both canceled because only one candidate, Dan Daley (D), qualified for the ballot. Daley won election to the position outright and will take office in June 2019. The seat became vacant after Jared Moskowitz (D) resigned in January 2019 to become the Director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
 
Partisan primaries were held on April 9. Candidates were required to file by February 14.
 
As of June, 59 state legislative special elections have been scheduled or held in 23 states. Between 2011 and 2018, an average of 77 special elections took place each year.
 
Entering the special election, the Florida House of Representatives had 46 Democrats, 71 Republicans, and three vacancies. Florida has a Republican state government trifecta. A trifecta exists when one political party simultaneously holds the governor’s office and majorities in both state legislative chambers.
 


San Francisco mayoral race draws six candidates

Six candidates filed to run in San Francisco’s nonpartisan mayoral election on November 5. The offices of city attorney, district attorney, public defender, sheriff, and treasurer as well as the District 5 seat of the board of supervisors and one community college district seat will also be on the ballot. The filing deadline for the mayoral election and the special election for the board of supervisors was June 11. The filing deadline for the other offices is August 9.
 
In her bid for re-election, incumbent London Breed faces Robert Jordan, Wilma Pang, Paul Robertson, Joel Ventresca, and Ellen Lee Zhou. Breed was elected to the position in a special election on June 5, 2018. Prior to that, she served as acting mayor starting on December 12, 2017, following the death of Mayor Ed Lee. Breed served as acting mayor until January 23, 2018, when the San Francisco Board of Supervisors voted to replace her with District 2 Supervisor Mark Farrell. Breed represented District 5 on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors from 2013 to 2018.
 
Four candidates filed to run in the special election for the District 5 seat on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. Incumbent Vallie Brown faces Ryan Lam, Nomvula O’Meara, and Dean Preston. Brown was appointed to the seat on July 16, 2018, by Breed after she vacated the seat following her election as mayor.
 
San Francisco is the fourth-largest city in California and the 14th-largest city in the U.S. by population.
 


Arkansas veto referendum petition filed seeking to block new optometry practice law letting optometrists perform some surgical procedures

On Tuesday, June 11, Arkansas lawyer and lobbyist Alex Gray filed a referendum petition on behalf of sponsors Safe Surgery Arkansas. The referendum petition effort seeks to overturn Act 579 (House Bill 1251), which was signed into law by Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) on March 27, 2019.
 
Act 579 amended the definition of practice of optometry to allow optometrists to perform the following procedures:
  • Injections, excluding intravenous or intraocular injections;
  • Incision and curettage of a chalazion (bump on the eyelid caused by a clogged oil gland);
  • Removal and biopsy of skin lesions with low risk of malignancy, excluding lesions involving the lid margin or nasal to the puncta;
  • Laser capsulotomy (a laser treatment following cataract surgery); and
  • Laser trabeculoplasty (a laser treatment for glaucoma).
 
Before Act 579, licensed optometrists were prohibited from using ophthalmic lasers for surgical procedures.
 
Safe Surgery Arkansas, the sponsor of the veto referendum effort, argues that Act 579 would jeopardize patient safety and lower the quality of surgical eye care in Arkansas. The group argued, “This new law would allows [sic] optometrists— who are not medical doctors or trained surgeons— to perform delicate surgery on the eye and surrounding tissues using scalpels, lasers, and needles. When it comes to performing surgery, especially eye surgery, there is no substitute for medical school and residency to obtain the necessary level of education and training— which was required to perform eye surgery in Arkansas— but not anymore. HB 1251 removes this critical patient safeguard by granting optometrists broad surgical privileges to operate on the eyes while bypassing these critical training requirements.”
 
The Arkansas Optometric Association, however, supports Act 579 and opposes the referendum effort to overturn it. The executive director of the Arkansas Optometric Association, Vicki Farmer, argued, “Arkansas legislators overwhelmingly approved this measure during the recent session, after listening to hours of testimony and debate, and learning optometrists in other states, like Oklahoma, have been safely performing these procedures for more than 20 years. Lawmakers also heard from constituents who have had to endure added costs and lengthy waits when required to see a specialist for care their optometrist is trained to safely provide.”
 
Proponents have six weeks to collect 53,491 valid signatures to qualify for the 2020 ballot. Signatures must be submitted by July 23, 2019.
 
For veto referendums in Arkansas, a “yes” vote is a vote to uphold the targeted legislation and a “no” vote is a vote to repeal the legislation. Sponsors of the veto referendum are advocating for a “no” vote. The last time a veto referendum appeared on the ballot in Arkansas was 2004. Since the first referendum in 1934, 10 such measures have appeared on the Arkansas ballot. The referendums resulted in the targeted legislation being repealed or overturned in all but one case.
 
Already set to appear on Arkansas’ 2020 ballot are three constitutional amendments that have been referred to the ballot by the state legislature. The amendments concern a sales tax for transportation, term limits for state legislators, and changes to the initiative process and legislative referral requirements.
 


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