Partisan Control of States After the 2022 Election

By Dr. Dakota Thomas

Please note that this article is based on projected results and may change with certified election results. 

The 2022 election will decide which party will control state government in many states. This article focuses on the 22 battleground states where partisan control was considered likely to change. A trifecta occurs when one party controls both houses[1] of the state legislature as well as the governorship. Divided government, on the other hand, means one or both houses of the state legislature are held by a different party than the governor.

After the 2022 election, next year will see 22 Republican trifectas, 17 Democratic trifectas and 10 divided governments (though not all state races have been officially called as of Nov. 15, 2022). Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota have all moved from divided government to unified Democratic control. No states have moved from a Democratic trifecta or divided government to Republican leadership yet, though Alaska might move in that direction. Nevada has moved from a Democratic trifecta to divided government, and Arizona has moved from a Republican trifecta to divided government.

Prior to the 2022 election, there were 23 Republican trifectas, 14 Democratic trifectas and 13 divided governments. According to our partners at Ballotpedia, 22 states in the 2022 elections were battlegrounds for control – 7 states currently controlled by Democrats and 6 controlled by Republicans were considered vulnerable, and 9 states currently under a divided government had potential to become trifectas or remain divided (4 potential Democratic trifectas, 2 potential Republican trifectas, and 3 complete tossups).

Partisan Control of State Governments in Battleground States

StatePre-Election ControlPost-Election Control
AlaskaDividedNot called (Nov. 15 2022)
New HampshireRepublicanRepublican
North CarolinaDividedDivided

Why does this matter?

Which party controls a state government has a huge influence on state level policymaking. In general, a trifecta of one party has an easier time passing policies in general, while a state with divided government usually moves slower and passes fewer new policies. The specific policies that get enacted (or not enacted) also obviously depend on which specific party is in control of a given state.

Abortion policy is likely to be one major policy area where state political control proves important. After the US Supreme Court struck down Roe v Wade earlier this year in their ruling for Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, states are free to create their own rules around abortion and are likely to be the primary arena in which abortion policy is decided. Voters directly weighed in on abortion policy in several ballot referenda in 2022 as well – there were ballot measures related to restricting abortion in Kentucky and Montana, though both were voted down. Several states, like California, Michigan, and Vermont, also had ballot measures in the opposite direction that would enshrine a right to reproductive healthcare into their state constitutions – all those measures appear to have passed (as of Nov. 14, 2022). Abortion policy is just one of many areas of state level policymaking that will be highly influenced by which party (if any) controls a state’s government.

Gun control/gun rights are another policy area that will likely be highly influenced by state political control. Like abortion, recent US Supreme Court rulings have given states more power to determine gun rights policy. In the 2022 election, voters in Iowa approved Amendment 1 which adds a right to own and bear firearms to the Iowa Constitution and requires scrutiny for any alleged violations of said right by the courts. Oregon’s Measure 114[2], which will require a permit issued by local law enforcement in order to buy a firearm in the state, was also approved by voters (as of Nov. 15, 2022).

Finally, cannabis legalization may also be influenced by partisan control of states. Arkansas, South Dakota, and North Dakota voters all elected to keep cannabis rules as they were rather than legalizing recreational use – in all three states, cannabis is legal only for medicinal purposes. Missouri and Maryland voters approved ballot measures to legalize recreational use of cannabis.

CSG will continue to monitor state election results, ballot measures, and policymaking trends and provide resources as state leaders navigate these and other areas of state policy.

[1] Note that Nebraska has a unicameral legislature with only one house.

[2] It would also require photo ID, fingerprints, safety training, criminal background check, and paying a fee to apply for said permit; as well as prohibit the manufacturing, importing, purchasing, selling, possessing, using, or transferring ammunition magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds and make violations thereof a class A misdemeanor.

Ballot Measures on Election Administration and the Initiative Process

By Cassandra Hockenberry

Please note that this article is based on projected results and may change with certified election results. 

This year, six states voted on ballot measures to change election administration processes in their states. The measures included topics like voter ID laws and early voting, among other topics. Of note, many city and county jurisdictions had similar ballot measures for local election administration. For example, Multnomah County Oregon approved a measure to utilize ranked-choice voting for county elections.


The Allow for Early Voting Amendment in Connecticut was approved by voters. This amends the Connecticut Constitution to allow the Connecticut General Assembly to pass laws allowing early in-person voting to be conducted in the state. Previously, the General Assembly was barred by the Constitution from passing any law which would allow early voting. We will be monitoring Connecticut’s General Assembly Legislative Session beginning April 10, 2023, to learn more about how the state will be implementing this.


Michigan voters approved Proposal 2, which amended the Michigan Constitution to add several election and voting-related policies. Some of these policies already existed in state statute but others are new to the state. Below is a non-inclusive list of policies that Proposal 2 adds to the constitution:

  • Creates a nine-day early voting period.
  • Requires voters to present photo identification or sign an affidavit when voting in person or applying for an absentee ballot.
  • Requires that military and overseas citizen ballots postmarked by election day are counted.
  • Provides voters with a right to request an absentee ballot.
  • Requires the state to fund prepaid stamps and a tracking system for absentee ballots.
  • Requires the state to fund a number of absentee ballot drop boxes.
  • Provides that local governments can accept charitable and in-kind donations to assist with running elections so long as the donations are disclosed and are not from foreign entities.
  • Provides that election officiations are responsible for election audits, requires election audits be conducted in public, and requires that election results be certified based on votes cast.
  • Added constitutional language that “harassing, threatening or intimidating conduct” as well as laws, regulations, and practices that have “the intent or effect of denying, abridging, interfering with, or unreasonably burdening the fundamental right to vote” are prohibited.

To learn more about how Proposal 2 will change Michigan elections see the comparison table created by Ballotpedia here.


Voters in Nebraska approved Initiative 432. This initiative amended Article I of the Constitution of Nebraska to require a voter provide photo identification before they are allowed to vote. The state Senate must now pass legislation implementing this change while ensuring the “preservation of an individual’s rights under the United States Constitution.”


Voters in Ohio approved Issue 2, referred to as the Citizenship Voting Requirement Amendment. Issue 2 bars local governments from allowing persons who lack the below qualifications from voting in local elections:

  • Being 18 years or older.
  • Being a resident of the state, county, township or ward.
  • Having been registered to vote for thirty days.

This amendment changes Article V, Section 1 of the Ohio Constitution from “Every citizen of the United States… is entitled to vote at all elections” to “Only a citizen of the United States…”

Arizona and Nevada

Ballot measures related to voting policies were also included on ballots in Arizona and Nevada. The results of these ballot measures have not yet been projected. Arizona voted on Proposition 309 which would require date of birth and voter identification number for mail-in ballots and eliminate a two-document alternative to photo ID for in-person voting. Nevada voted on Question 3 which would provide for open top-five primaries and ranked-choice voting for general elections.

Slavery and Involuntary Servitude as a Punishment in the United States

By Blair Lozier

Please note that this article is based on projected results and may change with certified election results. 

The 13th amendment to the United States Constitution states reads,“…that neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for a crime, where the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction”. As of October 2022, 20 state constitutions still included language permitting enslavement or servitude (typically as criminal punishment or for debt payments). During the 2022 midterm elections, five states – Alabama, Louisiana, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont voted on whether to remove constitutional language that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude. Four of these states voted to approve these ballot measures, while Louisiana did not. This article analyzes the ballot measures and results in each of these states.

Alabama approved the Recompiled Constitution Ratification Question on the ballot as a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. The updated and recompiled state constitution was drafted to:

  • Arrange it in proper articles, parts and sections.
  • Remove all racist language.
  • Delete duplicative and repealed provisions.
  • Consolidate provisions regarding economic development.
  • Arrange all local amendments by county of application.

Section 32 of Article I, which stated: “That no form of slavery shall exist in this state; and there shall not be any involuntary servitude, otherwise than for the punishment of crime, of which the party shall have been duly convicted.” was removed from the constitution by the adoption of this ballot measure. This measure received support from 76.5% of voters (as of noon on Nov. 10).

Oregon passed Measure 112 which repeals language from the state constitution that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishment and adds language that authorizes an Oregon court or a probation or parole agency to order alternatives to incarceration for a convicted individual as part of their sentencing. Voters approved removing slavery as a criminal punishment with a 55.2% majority (as of noon on Nov. 10).

Tennessee Constitutional Amendment 3 amends the state constitution to remove language that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments and replace it with the statement, “slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited.” Tennessee passed Constitutional Amendment 3 with 79.5% of the vote (as of noon on Nov. 10).

Vermont Proposal 2 repeals language stating that persons could be held as servants, slaves or apprentices with the person’s consent for the payments of debts, damages, fines or costs. The amendment adds that “Slavery and indentured servitude in any form are prohibited” to the state constitution. Vermont passed Proposal 2 with an 89% majority (as of noon on Nov. 10).

Louisiana Amendment 7 would have removed language from the state constitution that allows involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime and adds language to the constitution that prohibits slavery and involuntary servitude except when used as part of the lawful administration of criminal justice. Louisiana did not pass Amendment 7, with 60.9% of voters voting no to the amendment (as of noon on Nov. 10). This may be due to the legislative sponsor of Amendment 7, State Representative Edmond Jordan (D), urging voters to reject the measure as written due to the unclear and ambiguous wording of the amendment. Representative Jordan hopes to bring the amendment back next year with clearer language.

Additional Resources:

CSG will continue to provide initial results on key topics as well as more in-depth analysis in the days following the election. Find those articles on Twitter (@CSGovts) and at

Seizing Opportunities, Overcoming Obstacles: Insights from the Legislative Service Agency & Research Directors Annual Training Seminar

The members of the CSG West Legislative Service Agency and Research Directors (LSA/RD) Committee assembled in Bend, Oregon, September 28-30. Led by Joe Kolman, Research Director of Montana Legislative Services, and Jessica Geary, Director of the Alaska Legislative Affairs Agency, the respective chair and vice chair of the LSA/RD Committee, the directors discussed challenges facing state legislatures, shared best practices, and brainstormed innovative solutions. 

Looking for new innovations and ways of operating

The role of a nonpartisan agency leader is unique, as such, participants focused on problem-solving everyday situations they face through a case study simulation led by Charlotte Carter-Yamauchi, Director of the Hawaii Legislative Reference Bureau. They also focused on the intersection of information technology and the legislative process in a roundtable discussion led by Brett Hanes, Legislative Administrator, Oregon. 

The group explored other emerging issues and shared ideas for:

Public comment procedures, including methods of bringing a broader array of voices to their respective legislative chambers through digital access while maintaining proper security measures. 

Implications of unionizing nonpartisan LSA offices, as well as the challenges and opportunities this would bring to legislatures.

Employee exchange programs as a means for staff to do deep dives into how other states are tackling shared public policy questions and as an opportunity for continued professional development. 

Managing member engagement and protocols on virtual committee meetings, as well as accommodating staffers who want to continue working remotely.

Managing through “The Great Resignation”

“The Great Resignation” has made headlines in the wake of the pandemic, as employees have voluntarily resigned from their jobs at markedly elevated rates since the beginning of 2021. State legislatures have not been immune. Directors shared ideas for staff recruitment, retention, reward, and recognition, and several key themes emerged. Among these were leveraging online resources for recruitment, providing ongoing professional development or education reimbursement, incentivizing broader talent pools with relocation and tenure bonuses, and creating office-specific branded collateral to improve marketing outreach.  

Employee burnout can also be a significant issue for teams after long legislative sessions. Thus, the group shared strategies to promote self-care and reduce stress. Some examples included staff appreciation weeks, shout-outs and appreciations during meetings, flex time after long work-days, and all-staff service-learning days to boost ties with the community.

Marketing legislative research

With modes of communication shifting increasingly towards the digital and short-form realm, the directors tackled the question of how to promote research to legislators in a way that is engaging and accessible. Megan Bolin, Deputy Director of the Utah Office of Legislative Research & General Counsel, and Misty Mason-Freeman, Director of the Oregon Legislative Policy and Research Office, presented strategies in their states, including tailored outreach to newly elected members and an emphasis on streamlining request processes to provide information to legislators more efficiently. Chair Kolman offered experience from Montana that incorporate data visualization in policy briefs and publications, which his team has found to be a valuable resource in enhancing legislators’ and the public’s understanding of policy questions. 

Navigating communications in challenging times

The group considered the challenges to legislative institutions and nonpartisan offices posed by the era of increased political polarization and a year of high member turnover. The directors discussed ways to incorporate new member orientation programming, create clear communication channels with leadership, and regain trust from members in the nonpartisan nature of their work.  Misty Mason-Freeman, Director of the Oregon Legislative Policy and Research Office, and Jill Reinmuth, Staff Director of the Washington Office of Program Research, highlighted innovations in their offices pertaining to language access services and post-pandemic hybrid workflows.  


CSG West thanks everyone who traveled to Bend to engage with peers and for their work in states to maintain the strength of legislative institutions. Special thanks to Chair Kolman and Vice Chair Geary for presiding over a successful meeting and to Brett Hanes and Misty Mason-Freeman for serving as 2022 state hosts. 

The 2023 LSA/RD training seminar will convene next Fall in Montana.   

The post <strong>Seizing Opportunities, Overcoming Obstacles: Insights from the Legislative Service Agency & Research Directors Annual Training Seminar</strong> appeared first on CSG West.

CSG West Officers Gather to Set Priorities for 2023-2024 Biennium

CSG West officers join for a photo at the California State Capitol in Sacramento.
From Left to Right: Rep. Clark Kauffman (ID), Asm. Mike Gipson (CA), Sen. Bill Hansell (OR), and Rep. Mike Yin (WY)

The CSG West officers recently gathered in Sacramento, California, to identify policy committees for the 2023-2024 biennium and establish priorities to best serve Western state legislatures. Joining CSG West staff were Idaho Representative Clark Kauffman (Chair), California Assemblymember Mike Gipson (Chair-Elect), Oregon Senator Bill Hansell (Vice Chair), and incoming vice chair, Wyoming Representative Mike Yin.

Emerging from their discussions, the Housing Committee will be a new addition in 2023-2024, as issues around housing availability and affordability are a growing concern throughout the region. The list of policy committees and working groups established for the new biennium includes:

Agriculture & Water

Canada Relations


Energy & Environment



Legislative Oversight Working Group

Public Safety


Stay tuned for forthcoming announcements of committee co-chair selections and member appointments.  

The post <strong>CSG West Officers Gather to Set Priorities for 2023-2024 Biennium</strong> appeared first on CSG West.

CSG West Mourns the Loss of Colorado House Minority Leader Hugh McKean

CSG West leadership, membership and staff are mourning the sudden loss of Colorado House Minority Leader Hugh McKean. During his tenure in the Colorado General Assembly, Leader McKean was an active participant in the organization’s programs and championed collaboration on key issues facing the West.

Over the last two years Leader McKean served as co-chair of our Westrends Board, which brings together policymakers to address economic and demographic trends affecting the quality of life in the region. He served superbly in this role, providing insights and appreciation for the unique issues that define the West. Leader McKean was also intrigued in the U.S. – Mexico binational relationship and in building partnerships that would further the common interests of both countries.

Leader McKean was widely respected by his peers from across the Western region. He was intentional in working across party lines, which is much needed in our current body politic. An alum of the Western Legislative Academy Class of 2019, he  embodied the tradition of leadership for which this program strives.

CSG West expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Representative McKean. His vision, knowledge, and curiosity will be deeply missed.

Leader McKean will lie in state at the Colorado Capitol today, with public viewing from 1:00 – 5:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend funeral services for Leader McKean on Saturday, November 12, at 11:00 a.m. The services will take place at Resurrection Fellowship Church, 6502 E. Crossroads Blvd., Loveland, Colorado, 80538.

The post CSG West Mourns the Loss of Colorado House Minority Leader Hugh McKean appeared first on CSG West.

A First Glance at Election Results and Trends: State Races and Ballot Measure Results

Please note that this article is based on projected results and may change with certified election results.

Polls are closed on the 2022 general election where voters in 46 states decided on 6,278 state legislative races, 36 governors and 133 statewide ballot measures. The Council of State Governments, the nation’s only nonpartisan organization serving all three branches of state government, will provide coverage and analysis of state elections with attention to state races and the impact of ballot measures. This article provides an overview of the results and trends in state races and ballot measure results based on projections made through midday Nov. 9.

States are seeing increased diversity in elected candidates.

Several races, projected by Ballotpedia, are historical firsts, expanding gender, race and age representation amongst elected officials. Governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R), former press secretary for President Donald Trump, made history in Arkansas as the first female governor in Arkansas. Governor Maura Healy (D) of Massachusetts and Governor Kathy Hochul (D) of New York also made history as the first female elected governor in their respective states. Governor Healy is also the first openly lesbian governor in the US and the first openly gay governor in Massachusetts. U.S. Representative Marcy Kaptur (D) became the longest-serving female member of Congress with reelection to Ohio’s 9th District. Governor Wes Moore became the first Black governor of Maryland and his lieutenant governor, Aruna Miller (D), is the first immigrant and first Asian American to be elected to statewide office in Maryland. In Rhode Island, Chinese American Victoria Gu (D) and Japanese American Linda Ujifusa (D) became the first Asian candidates elected to the state legislature, and Shri Thanedar (D) became the first Indian American U.S. Representative for Michigan. Maxwell Frost (D) won Florida’s 10th Congressional District race, making him the first Democratic member of Congress from Gen Z and the first Afro-Cubano to head to Congress.

Partisan legislative and state control remains steady with Democrats consolidating power in some states.

So far, Democrats have consolidated power in several states – Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan and Minnesota. Previously, these states were under a divided government. No new state government trifectas have been called for Republicans yet, and no state governments that were trifectas controlled by one party have moved to divided government yet. However, these results may change as more state elections are called. Partisan legislative control remains relatively steady as election results are projected. The Democratic Party in Minnesota has consolidated legislative power from previously split control, and Michigan has flipped from Republican legislative control to Democratic control. Results have not yet been projected for six states which may change these results.

Incumbent Governors are being re-elected and the Democratic party has gained some control.

This year there are 36 governor seats up for reelection, currently, 32 of the races have been called. Seven governors did not seek reelection. Democrats have picked up two governor seats in Maryland and Massachusetts. Currently, every incumbent governor that was up for reelection has won. There are currently six newly elected governors; Maura Healy (D) Massachusetts, Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) Arkansas, Jim Pillen (R) Nebraska, Josh Green (D) Hawaii, Josh Shapiro (D) Pennsylvania and Wes Moore (D) Maryland. Governor races that have not been confirmed yet are Alaska, Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. In the US Territories incumbent Lou Leon Guerrero (D) won reelection in Guam. Incumbent Albert Bryan (D) won reelection as governor of the US Virgin Islands while incumbent Ralph Torres (R) is facing a runoff versus Arnold I. Palacios (I).

With his win in Maryland, Wes Moore is a growing figure nationally among Democrats. Governor Ron DeSantis handedly won reelection in Florida by wide margins and continues his growth as a leader in the GOP and potential presidential candidate in 2024.  

States have passed ballot measures addressing state legislative authority, election administration and voting-related policies and state tax changes.

On the ballot this year were several possible changes to some states’ constitutional amendment processes. So far, Arizona’s Proposition 132 is too close to call. If enacted, this measure will require a 60% majority for future constitutional amendments that approve new taxes. In Arkansas, Issue 2 was defeated. This measure would have required a 60% majority for future constitutional amendments.

Some states considered changes to voting policy and election administration. Nebraska voters approved Initiative 434, requiring a photo ID for voting. Ohio passed Issue 2, prohibiting local governments from allowing anyone who does not meet the qualifications for an elector (e.g. a non-citizen) to vote in local elections. Connecticut voters approved Question 1, allowing the legislature to establish early voting. Michigan approved Proposal 2, which made several changes to voting procedures including creating a 9 day early voting period, requiring photo ID, requiring military and overseas ballots postmarked by election day to be counted, prohibiting voter intimidation and several other changes. A proposed photo ID requirement in Arizona and Nevada’s possible adoption of ranked choice voting are still too close to call.

At least six states proposed ballot measures changing state tax laws. In California, voters rejected Proposition 30, which would have raised taxes on those making more than $2 million to subsidize electric vehicle infrastructure and wildfire prevention. Colorado voters passed Proposition 121, lowering the income tax from 4.55% to 4.40%. West Virginia failed to pass Amendment 2, which would have allowed lawmakers to exempt property taxes on motor vehicles and personal property used by businesses. The results of Arizona’s Propositions 130 and 310, allowing lawmakers to pass a personal tax exemption and increasing sales taxes to fund fire districts, are too early to call. Massachusetts voters passed Question 1, imposing an additional 4% tax on those making over $1 million to fund education and transportation. Idaho approved the Advisory Question, which asked voters for their opinion on tax changes including additional rebates to taxpayers, reduction of the corporate tax rate and allocation of tax revenue to education.

States have passed ballot measures addressing the regulation of marijuana, abortion and enslavement.

Several state elections included ballot measures addressing marijuana, abortion and enslavement. According to the Pew Research Center, Millennials are at the forefront of the recent rise in public support for the legalization of marijuana and abortions. It is likely that these ballot measures motivated Millennials and younger generations to vote in the 2022 elections.

Before the elections, marijuana was legal in 19 states and D.C. Of those 19 states, 13 and D.C. had legalized marijuana through the ballot measure process. During the 2022 midterm elections, Maryland and Missouri passed ballot measures legalizing marijuana. Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota rejected ballot measures legalizing marijuana.

There were five ballot measures addressing abortion in the midterm elections. California, Michigan and Vermont voted to add “reproductive freedom” to their state constitutions, and Kentucky voted no to a constitutional amendment stating nothing in the state constitution creates a right to abortion or requires government funding for abortion. Montana results are not confirmed, but current results look like abortion rights will remain.

As of October 2022, 20 state constitutions included language permitting enslavement or servitude as criminal punishment or debt payments. During the 2-22 midterm elections, five states had ballot measures repealing such language. Alabama, Oregon, Tennessee and Vermont have voted to repeal language allowing slavery or involuntary servitude as criminal punishments. Louisiana voted not to repeal language allowing involuntary servitude as criminal punishments which may be due to confusion with the wording of the ballot measure.

CSG will continue to provide initial results on key topics as well as more in-depth analysis in the days following the election. Find those articles on Twitter (@CSGovts) and at

Daylight Saving Time: State Approaches, History and Impact

By Jennifer Horton

With the biannual changing of the clocks, many Americans often find themselves wondering, “does it have to be this way?”

They’re not alone. In the last several years, state legislatures have considered at least 450 bills and resolutions concerning daylight saving time (DST), with most of them proposing to stop the twice-yearly clock-changing ritual by making DST permanent. While federal law allows states to opt-out of DST, it does not currently allow them to enact DST permanently. Hawaii and Arizona are the only two states that do not observe DST; they are joined by the territories of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. As of 2022, 19 states have passed or enacted legislation that allows for the year-round observance of DST if Congress allows it, and in some instances, if other states in the region also make the change. The 19 states are Alabama, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington and Wyoming. Californians voted in favor of a ballot measure making DST permanent, but the legislature has not yet acted.

The passage of the Sunshine Protection Act of 2021 by the U.S. Senate put these states a little closer to such a reality, although the bill has yet to be taken up by the House. The bill would allow states that chose (through legislation or voter approval) to enact year-round DST the ability to do so, and because it repeals the section of the law that mandates changing from standard to daylight time from March through November, would require the remaining states to choose between permanent standard time or permanent daylight time. How this would play out varies considerably from region to region, and it also wouldn’t be the first time the U.S. played around with the time change.


The United States has been tinkering with time since the Standard Time Act of 1918 established standard time zones and DST. Current federal policy regarding DST was enacted in 1966 as the Uniform Time Act, with a number of subsequent changes made, primarily to alter the start and end dates of DST. The most recent change was made in the Energy Policy Act of 2005. While DST was initially enacted as a way to conserve energy, the Department of Energy in 2008 found the effects to be minimal. The Department of Transportation reported in 1974 that potential benefits to traffic safety and crime reduction were also minimal.

The most current push to enact permanent DST is not the first. Congress enacted year-round DST for a trial period from January 1974 to April 1975 following the passage of the Emergency Daylight Saving Time Energy Conservation Act of 1973 during the 1973 Oil Embargo. However, before the trial period even concluded, Congress amended the Act to include four months of standard time from October 1974 to February 1975. The change was widely unpopular and the country returned to summer DST after the trial period ended.

Potential Impacts

The arguments for and against enacting permanent DST are many and varied. Those in favor of extending DST observance include convenience stores, the business industry, the gardening industry, golf clubs and pro baseball and tennis. These groups benefit from the extra hour of daylight because many people tend to use it to shop and recreate.

Opponents point to potential negative health impacts linked with DST, including increased strokes, heart attacks and sleep deprivation. In 2020, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) published a position statement advocating the adoption of year-round standard time endorsed by more than 20 medical, scientific and civic organizations. The association argues standard time, not DST, aligns best with human circadian biology (the human sleep/wake rhythm that follows a 24-hour light/dark cycle) because it creates conditions where the body’s internal clock, the timing of sunrise and sunset and local clock time all sync. With DST, people are exposed to less light in the morning and more in the evening, leading to later bedtimes and chronic sleep loss. The Association called this disconnect between the sleep/wake pattern and light/dark a form of perpetual “social jet lag.”

Regional Differences

Research demonstrates regional differences in how these impacts are felt, with people who live on the western edge of a time zone, where the sun rises and sets later, feeling them more profoundly. Studies indicate these so-called “western edge” residents got less sleep and had higher rates of a number of diseases including diabetes, heart disease, and some cancers than residents on the eastern edge of the time zone. One study estimated the economic costs of switching to permanent DST by looking at existing estimates of the healthcare costs of relevant diseases and judged it to be at least $2.35 billion. The same study also estimated impacts on productivity related to absenteeism and fatigue attributed to circadian disruption and estimated a loss of 4.4 million days of work per year.

For the same reason, people living in different parts of the country would have a very different experience of permanent DST. With the sun rising and setting an hour later from November to March, people who live in parts of the country where the sun already rises late would experience sunrises after 9 am in some cases. Residents of Traverse City, Michigan wouldn’t see the sun until after 8:30 in the morning from early November to late February, with the sun rising after 9 am for two full months. Indianapolis would experience a similar situation and Bismarck, North Dakota wouldn’t have sunrises until almost 9:30 am in December. Most of the New England states, however, would get a much better deal, with daylight occurring from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the winter instead of the current 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.

A perpetual daylight savings time would also impact different populations differently, including school-age children, who would be going to school in the dark for much of the year. Permanent daylight time could also be especially hard on many lower-income workers who work early shifts, thus increasing structural disparities.

Ultimately, enacting permanent DST, enacting permanent standard time, or leaving things as they are is a challenging, and sometimes polarizing, decision with wide-ranging impacts. Perhaps even more challenging than figuring out how to change the clock in your car.

Water Quality, Safety and Access in Public Schools

By Andrew Johnson

School facilities are important for student success. The quality of these facilities can impact achievement and the overall health and wellness of students. The COVID-19 pandemic energized discussions across the U.S. about schools and public health, with concerns about building conditions taking center stage.  

Community leaders, parents and school officials focused on building air quality as they planned for the return to in-person learning during the pandemic. Another health concern in schools after the temporary closures was the quality of drinking water. When schools are unoccupied for long periods of time, the stagnant water supply deteriorates in quality. Sitting water can collect higher levels of heavy metals and microorganisms, such as lead or bacteria. Water access and quality also impact student achievement. Research shows that hydration can support cognitive function in students.  

Many states are seeking solutions to improve water quality. A Harvard survey found that a majority of sampled schools do not test water supplies for lead or flush water sources after periods of nonuse. The study found that only 51% of schools tested water for bacteria. While water testing policies vary, policymakers are responding to these public health concerns by prioritizing water quality through policy directives for addressing lead and other unsanitary contaminants. Directives include establishing lead testing requirements and standards, ensuring funding for water testing and focusing resources on susceptible, older facilities. 

Lead Testing Requirements Standards 

Once states implement policies, they must determine an action level — the maximum level of lead presence allowed before intervention measures are required. The thresholds and action(s) required varies state to state. For example, Indiana’s level is 15 parts per billion (or 15 micrograms of lead per one liter of water). If schools test at or above that limit, they must seek government or other grant funding to lower levels.  

New Hampshire does not set a limit. Instead, it follows guidance from the Environmental Protection Agency which the state reports is 15 parts per billion. If a school exceeds this limit, the school is required to notify families of the test results within five days and inform them of the action plan within 30 days or “as soon as practical.” Schools are required to test water within 30 days of any changes in the EPA’s regulations.  

Utah and Vermont have lower action levels of five and four parts per billion, respectively. If a Utah school exceeds this threshold, schools must develop a plan to reduce lead levels and continually provide information to families. Vermont, on the other hand, requires families and staff be notified of testing and the action plan before testing takes place.  

Funding for Water Testing 

States have different funding options for water testing in schools.  

  • California and Colorado have grant funding opportunities for child care centers and public schools, respectively.  
  • Michigan funds reimbursements for statewide school testing and water system maintenance.  
  • New York allows certain expenses associated with maintenance to be reimbursed. Further, the state allows schools that “substantially comply” with testing and lead thresholds below the limit to receive waivers from regular testing.  
  • North Carolina utilizes funds from the State Fiscal Recovery Fund (of the American Rescue Plan Act) to remediate lead and asbestos contamination in public schools and child care facilities.  
  • Rhode Island allows federal capitalizations grant funds to be used in public schools and daycare centers.  

Focused Testing in Older Facilities 

Older buildings are more susceptible to pipe deterioration that results in unsafe drinking water. As such, some states are prioritizing water testing in older school buildings. Colorado established a grant program to test for lead in school drinking water that gives the highest priority to the oldest public elementary schools, then the oldest non-elementary public schools and then all other public schools.  

Louisiana established a pilot program for general water testing in schools. The Department of Health selects 12 elementary schools built prior to 1986 or that may otherwise be susceptible to drinking water contamination. Similarly, Tennessee requires the state board of education to implement a program to reduce the potential sources of lead contamination in school drinking water. This includes periodic testing of lead levels in water sources at school facilities constructed prior to June 19, 1986. This program requires samples to be taken from water that has sat in plumbing overnight. 

Maintaining the physical space of schools is necessary for student health, safety and achievement. While the health concerns of building quality pre-date the COVID-19 school closures, the pandemic expanded health and safety concerns around conditions like air and water quality. By responding to these concerns, notably the impact of safe drinking water, states are implementing policies outlining lead testing requirements and standards, ensuring funding for water testing and focusing resources on older facilities. 

Oregon Seeks to Enhance Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities Through Private-Sector Engagement

By Rachel Wright, Policy Analyst

Over the past 10 years, the employment rate of Oregonians with disabilities has steadily risen and remains among the highest in the nation. Research by the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium shows that between 2012 and 2020, the employment rate of people with disabilities in Oregon rose 2.3 percentage points. This means that more than 18,000 additional Oregonians who have a disability found and maintained employment during that period. 

Oregon’s sustained engagement with private sector businesses has contributed to the improved employment outcomes among people with disabilities. In recent years, Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) – an office within the Oregon Department of Human Services – has spearheaded numerous initiatives to build the capacity of private sector employers to engage in disability inclusion efforts. These initiatives include: 

Establishing regional workforce and business coordinators that work with the private sector to identify workforce needs and help clients with disabilities find meaningful employment in high-growth industries. Forming the Interstate Disability Employment Alliance to develop cross border employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Hosting disability etiquette training for employers that partner with Oregon VR to foster more inclusive workplace environments. 

Regional Workforce and Business Coordinators 

A 2011 study by Rutgers University found that many successful employer and market driven initiatives to recruit, hire, train and retain people with disabilities are sustained by partnerships with intermediary organizations. Oregon VR not only acts as an intermediary between persons with disabilities and employers but designates regional workforce and business coordinators to lead these efforts.  

In 2021, the Oregon Department of Human Services expanded their workforce team to include four regional workforce and business coordinators. According to Statewide Workforce and Business Coordinator Kimberly Copeland, these coordinators work with employers and workforce partners within VR’s three service regions to establish long-standing relationships and identify local workforce development needs. They also connect clients with disabilities to employment opportunities that match their skill sets and align with their career goals. 

The Interstate Disability Employment Alliance 

Each day, numerous people cross the border between Oregon and Washington for work. Recognizing this, disability service providers in both states began collaborating in 2016 to develop cross-border business engagement strategies. This collaboration was intended to support efforts by local businesses to recruit and hire people with disabilities.  

These efforts were recently solidified with the establishment of the Interstate Disability Employment Alliance. Alliance membership has evolved over time, but currently consists of the Oregon Department of Human Services, the Oregon Commission for the Blind, the Washington Department of Social and Health Services and the Washington Department of Services for the Blind.  

To help businesses build more inclusive work environments, alliance members have hosted trainings on disability etiquette and awareness for private sector employers. For example, in 2020 the alliance hosted three lunch and learn events for businesses and their employees to learn more about diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace. Lunch and learn topics included an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act, “Disability Etiquette for Blind and Low Vision” and “Northwest ADA Center Resources.” 

Disability Etiquette and Awareness Training  

Oregon VR and the Oregon Commission for the Blind offer disability etiquette training(s) to interested businesses. These trainings teach employers about respectful communication and interaction with people who have disabilities as well as how to ensure the accessibility of physical workplaces and information and communication technology. Developing a baseline understanding of respectful communication and accessibility principles can prevent unintended exclusion of employees with disabilities in the workplace and make all employees feel welcome and fully included.  

Trainings offered by Oregon VR and the Oregon Commission for the Blind address topics such as “Identifying and Eliminating Unconscious Bias,” “Cultivating an Inclusive Culture,” “Words Matter: Let’s Talk Disability” and “Reasonable Accommodations.” Further, the Commission for the Blind provides training on topics such as assistive technology and accommodations for job seekers and employees with vision loss. 

Policy Considerations for State Leaders 

Engagement with the private sector can help states enhance employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Oregon VR has achieved this through initiatives that identify the workforce needs of the private sector, connect job seekers to businesses to fill those needs and enhance disability awareness in the workplace. Additional policy considerations for state leaders to support the private sector in disability employment efforts include: 

Extending diversity and inclusion initiatives to businesses contracting with state agencies. 

States can consider extending diversity and inclusion policies for state government contractors. This can include requirements to prepare affirmative action plans that incorporate individuals with disabilities in an analysis of barriers, workforce utilization, goals and progress reports. Colorado (House Bill 1065, 2021) Massachusetts (House Bill 4569, 2016) and Tennessee (House Bill 0165, 2017) have enacted affirmative action legislation regarding people with disabilities.  

Using tax incentives to encourage businesses to hire qualified candidates with disabilities. 

States can adopt tax incentive policies to encourage private sector business to hire qualified candidates with disabilities. Delaware (Title 30 §20B-102) provides a tax credit to employers in the state that hire people with disabilities referred by the state vocational rehabilitation agency. The tax credit is equal to 10 percent of the employee’s gross wages (not to exceed $1,500) paid by the qualified employer throughout that employee’s sustained employment during the taxable year. The Maryland Disability Employment Tax Credit allows employers to claim an amount equal to 30 percent of up to the first $9,000 of wages paid during the first and second years of employment.  

Offering tax credits for providing employment supports and accessibility. 

States may also provide tax credits for employment supports such as physical building barrier removal, workplace accommodations, information and communication technology, childcare and transportation. Arizona enacted House Bill 2214 (2017) allowing for the subtraction of eligible “business access expenditures” paid or incurred by a taxpayer in the retrofitting of real property to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Under the Maryland Disability Employment Tax Credit, employers can claim $900 per year against transportation or child care costs for each qualifying employee during the first two years of employment. 

Additional examples of how states are engaging the private sector in hiring and supporting people with disabilities can be found here.