Ballot Measures Impacting State Legislative and Executive Power

By Valerie Newberg

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

Changes to legislative and executive power in the states were on the ballot this November. In this year’s state elections, voters considered issues like the power to convene a special legislative session, the state legislative veto and the creation of new executive offices. This article analyzes the results of these ballot measures in Arkansas, Arizona, Idaho, Kansas and Kentucky.

Arkansas, Idaho and Kentucky considered options for calling a special legislative session.

Kentucky voters decided against a constitutional amendment addressing legislative power with 54% of voters selecting “no”[1]. Constitutional Amendment 1 would have allowed the President of the Senate and Speaker of the House to convene the legislature by a Joint Proclamation for up to 12 days a year and allowed each chamber to extend the end date for the legislative session by a three-fifths vote.[2] With the failure of this measure, only the Governor can call a special legislative session in Kentucky.

In Arkansas, 61% of voters rejected a similar ballot measure for Issue 1.[3] This amendment would have allowed either a two-thirds majority vote in both chambers or a joint proclamation by House and Senate leadership to convene a special session. Currently, only the Governor of Arkansas has that power.

Kentucky and Arkansas are two of 13 states that give the governor sole power over calling a legislative session. Illinois, Ohio and Delaware are the only three states that do not require a legislative vote or Governor’s authority to convene a special legislative session.[4]

With 52% of Idaho voters selecting “yes” on Constitutional Amendment SJR 102, the state now allows Senate and House leadership to convene a special legislative session if they receive a joint proclamation from three-fifths of lawmakers in each chamber.[5] Idaho joins 17 other states where a supermajority is required to convene a special legislative session.

Arizona voters decided to create the position of lieutenant governor.

Proposition 131 is a legislatively referred constitutional amendment that establishes the office of Lieutenant Governor who would run for election on a joint ticket with the gubernatorial candidate. Voters in Arizona supported this ballot measure with 55% voting “yes”. Before this ballot measure was passed, the Arizona constitution stipulated that if the office of the Governor becomes vacant, the Secretary of State should succeed, but the passage of this amendment transferred that power to the Lieutenant Governor.[6]

With this amendment, Arizona joins 45 states who have an elected lieutenant governor position.[7]

Kansas voters rejected the state legislative veto.

Kansas Constitutional Amendment 1, the Legislative Veto or Suspension of Executive Agency Regulations Amendment, was narrowly rejected by voters. Constitutional Amendment 1 authorized the legislature to veto or suspend rules or regulations adopted by executive agencies via a simple majority vote. With a close finish, 50.5% of voters selected to reject this amendment.

From 1939 through 1984, Kansas lawmakers could rewrite or veto any regulation adopted by an administrative agency. In 1984, the Kansas Supreme Court ruled in Stephan v Kansas House of Representatives[8] that this legislative veto violated the constitutional commitment to separation of powers. Before the election, Kansas legislators could only revise or reject administrative procedures by passing a bill that the governor signs into law, but a joint committee could review regulations and make recommendations. Passage of Constitutional Amendment 1 would have expanded legislators’ power and limited the ability of state agencies to unilaterally implement rules that have the effect of law.

Since 1976, Idaho, Iowa and Nevada have passed ballot measures expanding the legislative veto.[9] If Constitutional Initiative 1 was passed, Kansas would have joined at least six others- Arkansas, Connecticut, Idaho, Iowa, New Jersey and Nevada– in allowing legislators to veto executive actions.[10]

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 csg.org/state-talk.


[1] https://vrsws.sos.ky.gov/liveresults/

[2] https://apps.legislature.ky.gov/law/acts/21RS/documents/0027.pdf

[3] https://ballotpedia.org/Arkansas_Issue_1,_Legislative_Authority_to_Call_a_Special_Session_Amendment_(2022)

[4] https://ballotpedia.org/Kentucky_Constitutional_Amendment_1,_Changes_to_Legislative_Session_End_Dates_and_Special_Sessions_Measure_(2022)#Convening_special_state_legislative_sessions

[5] https://ballotpedia.org/Idaho_Constitutional_Amendment_SJR_102,_Legislative_Authority_to_Call_a_Special_Session_Amendment_(2022)

[6] https://azsos.gov/sites/default/files/for_scr1024_proposition_131_lieutenant_governor_joint_ticket.pdf

[7] https://ballotpedia.org/Arizona_Proposition_131,_Create_Office_of_Lieutenant_Governor_Amendment_(2022)

[8] https://law.justia.com/cases/kansas/supreme-court/1984/56-880-1.html

[9] Https://ballotpedia.org/Kansas_Constitutional_Amendment_1,_Legislative_Veto_or_Suspension_of_Executive_   Agency_Regulations_Amendment_(2022)

[10] https://apnews.com/article/2022-midterm-elections-health-legislature-state-governments-constitutions-60f6103f666d886be18917bdd32bba82

Women in State Government: Impact of the 2022 Election

By Rebecca Halpryn

Women Making History

Prior to the 2022 general election, only ten women across nine states and one territory held the gubernatorial position. Nine of these women ran as the incumbent candidates in the 2022 election – all nine gubernatorial incumbent women won (Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon did not run for reelection due to term limits). Four other states, Arkansas, Arizona, Massachusetts and Oregon, elected women governors, setting a record for the most women serving as governors concurrently. 

Nationally, prior to the 2022 midterm elections, 23 states had never elected a woman as governor, 16 of which held gubernatorial elections during the 2022 midterm elections. Women were on the ballot for the 2022 gubernatorial race in 12 of these 16 states, and nominated as either a Republican or Democratic candidate in six (Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York and Ohio). Women won the gubernatorial election in three states, Arkansas, Massachusetts and New York, bringing the number of states that have never elected a woman to the gubernatorial role down to 20.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders (R) made history in 2022 as the first woman to be governor of Arkansas. Attorney General Leslie Rutledge (R) is the first woman elected as lieutenant governor in Arkansas. Massachusetts’ Attorney General Maura Healey (D) and Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) of New York made history as the first elected governors of their respective states (both states appointed women as governors previously). Arkansas and Massachusetts are the first states to have women serving concurrently in both the governor and lieutenant governor positions. Additionally, both Healey of Massachusetts and Tina Kotek (D) of Oregon made national history simultaneously as the first openly lesbian candidates to be elected governors in the US.

Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands also held gubernatorial elections in 2022. The Northern Mariana Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands have never elected a woman to the gubernatorial position. Christina Sablan made history as the first woman in the Northern Mariana Islands to be nominated by a major party for the gubernatorial role. In Guam, Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero made history in 2018 as the first woman elected to governor. Guerrero won reelection in 2022.

Results as of 11/15/22

Election Results So far

As of Nov. 15, 2022, Ballotpedia has projected winners for 92.1% of the 6,514 state-level races in the 2022 general election. Data from Ballotpedia shows that 35.5% of state-level race candidates are women. Of these women, 45.3% were incumbents, 7.1% ran for positions in the executive branch, 5.0% ran for positions in the judicial branch and 88.0% ran for positions in the legislative branch. In just under half (48.6%) of the state level races, at least one candidate identified as a woman. Overall, women won 34.1% of all projected state level races and won 71.5% of all projected state level races with at least one woman on the ballot. 46.1% of women incumbent candidates won reelection.

(NOTE: gender information for 12.9% of state level candidates was unavailable. Gender information for all candidates within a race was unavailable for 1.7% of all state races. These candidates and races were excluded from all analyses).

Gubernatorial elections took place in 36 states and three territories in 2022. Women won 12 states and one territory out of the 29 gubernatorial races with a woman candidate on the ballot (27 states and two territories) and accounted for 31.8% of the gubernatorial candidates on the ballot. The number of states and territories with a female governor increased from 10 to 13.

Of the 4,464 lower legislature races across 49 states and three territories, just under half (47.9%) had at least one woman candidate on the ballot.

35.2% of these candidates were women of which 46.9% were incumbents.

Women won 72.6% of the 1,938 projected lower legislature races with a woman candidate and 33.9% of all projected lower legislature races.

96.9% of women incumbents in projected races won.

In the upper legislature, nearly half (48.0%) of the 1,278 races across 46 states and two territories, had at least one woman running on the ballot, and women made up 34.2% of the candidates. Of these women, 40.4% were the incumbent candidate.

Women won 69.2% of the 1,193 projected state senate races with a woman candidate and 32.4% of all projected upper legislature races.

96.3% of women incumbents in projected races were reelected.

What These Results Tell Us

Overall, data from projected races indicate that fewer women than men, about one-in-three candidates, appeared on the ballot in the 2022 general elections. Women won just over one-in-three races across all state level races. When looking just at the races that include at least one woman on the ballot, women perform better, winning about seven-in-ten races. Women perform particularly well in state judicial races and in the races in which they appear on the ballot, perform worst in state executive races.


Aligning Policy Goals: How States can Pair Continuing Education Requirements with Mentorship Programs

By Sandi Abdelshehed

The Economic and Workforce Health Subcommittee of the CSG Healthy States National Task Force recently explored ways to fill workforce gaps with paid pathways to employment, including ways state governments may expand apprenticeships.

In September 2022, the subcommittee issued a recommendation from these discussions that, “states should consider allowing mentorship to satisfy any continuing education requirements as an incentive for industry-based mentorship. Industry professionals could count activities such as mentoring a career aspirant or hosting a job shadowing session.”

Apprenticeships are a work-based learning model that provide participants with opportunities to connect classroom instruction to work activities. Career mentorship is a key piece of the apprenticeship experience. Knowledgeable mentors are often able to translate written instruction into the mechanics of the job, they are also beneficial to the entity offering these programs since the retention rate for mentees is significantly higher than those not mentored, and turnover rates are lowered as a result.

Employees can also view mentorship programs as informal leadership training that also improves the mentor’s understanding of their field by teaching apprentices and other aspiring workers. To recruit capable mentors for apprenticeship programs, states may consider the recognition of mentorship as professional development, counting toward continuing education requirements (if required).

Continuing education requirements are set by states to ensure licensees maintain competencies and stay current with legal and professional standards in their respective fields. There is the potential to pair these requirements to achieve dual policy goals, which is why some states have implemented exemptions to continuing education requirements in other instances. State leaders, in partnership with private sector employers, credentialing organizations and other stakeholders, could incentivize mentors by allowing mentorship to count toward a licensee’s continuing education requirements. If licensees are allowed to use mentorship programs to fulfill their requirements, they will have the opportunity to support the growth of their career field.

While a preliminary scan found no current state examples of this recommendation, some states offer flexibility to the established continuing education requirements to achieve other policy goals.

For example, New York requires licensed professional engineers to obtain 36 hours of continuing education. Licensees directly employed on a complete full-time basis by the state of New York are exempt from this continuing education requirement. Another example of states implementing exemptions comes from Maine; the state requires public accountant and certified public accountant license applicants to complete a minimum of 20 hours, but no more than 40 hours, of continuing professional education. Maine allows the fulfillment of other states’ continuing professional education requirements to attain Maine’s requirement for continued education requirement.

Incumbency Performance in State Elections

By Ben Reynolds

In elections, incumbents typically hold an electoral advantage. Attempts to defeat an incumbent, or flip a seat’s partisan control, can be difficult. Generally, incumbents have advantages in fundraising, name recognition and past policy work to name a few. In the 2022 general election, there were 6,728 state legislative seats, 307 state executive seats and 384 judicial court seats on the ballot. There were 5,095 incumbent candidates and 7,069 non-incumbent candidates running for election. Overall, the judicial branch had the highest percentage of incumbents running for election compared to the legislative and executive branches.

Table 1: Incumbent candidates by branch of state government

Office BranchPercentage of Candidates that were Incumbents
Legislative42%
Executive24%
Judicial75%

When comparing candidates by party, 49% of Republican candidates were incumbents and 45% of Democratic candidates were incumbents. Republican and Democratic incumbent candidates made up 33% of all total candidates running for office in the 2022 midterm elections.

Table 2: Percentage of Incumbents Running

Political PartyPercentage Incumbent
Democrat45%
Republican49%
Libertarian>1%
Independent>1%
Nonpartisan5%
Other Parties>1%

17% (2,088) of state races were uncontested elections (elections in which candidates run unopposed). Republican candidates were more likely to run in uncontested elections (55%) while Democratic candidates were more likely to run in competitive races (66%). Of Democrats running unopposed, 87% were incumbents. In comparison, among Republicans running unopposed, 79% were incumbents.

The following analysis looks at competitive races, defined as races that have two or more candidates running for the same office. In this year’s election, 83% of races were competitive.

As of November 15, 2022, there were 4,302 winners of competitive races in this year’s election. Of those winners, 67% were incumbents. Among incumbents, only 4% lost a competitive race.

Breaking down incumbent performance by party shows that Republican incumbents performed slightly better than Democratic incumbents. Republican incumbents won 85% of their races compared to 83% of competitive races won by Democratic incumbents.  

Table 3: Incumbent and Non-Incumbent Performance in Competitive Races

Political PartyIncumbent WinIncumbent LostNon-Incumbent WinNon-Incumbent Lost
Democrat1,450 886231,734
Republican1,362517801,807
Libertarian010384
Independent939298
Nonpartisan41441244

Incumbents vs Non-Incumbents by Office Branch

Incumbent performance in competitive races was relatively similar among the three office branches.

Table 4: Incumbent Performance by Office Branch

Office BranchTotal Incumbents WonIncumbent Win PercentageTotal Races Won
Legislative266067%3,977
Executive17063%271
Judicial3365%54

Incumbents won the majority of executive races. Nearly all incumbent state governors won re-election. When breaking down incumbent performance by political party, Democratic and Republican incumbents won competitive executive races at similar rates, and nonpartisan incumbents won 9% of competitive executive races.

In the legislature, incumbents won 67% of races. Democratic incumbents won 43%, while Republican incumbents won 41% of competitive legislative races. Non-Republican and Democratic incumbents accounted for less than 1% of winners in competitive legislative races.

Incumbents won 65% of competitive judicial races. When you compare by political party, Democratic incumbents won 9%, Republican incumbents won 27% and nonpartisan incumbents won 27% of competitive judicial races. Many state’s judicial races are considered nonpartisan elections, so it is expected that nonpartisan incumbents performed better in this category.

In elections, incumbents typically hold an electoral advantage, and that stood true in this year’s general. Nearly all incumbent state governors won re-election. Currently, only Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak lost to challenger Joe Lombardo. Overall, judicial incumbents performed the best followed by legislative incumbents and finally executive incumbents.


Facilitating Veteran Employment: Strategies to Engage Veterans in Apprenticeships

By Rachel Wright and Mary Wurtz 

Each year, approximately 200,000 veterans transition to civilian life, but many struggle to find employment upon re-entry. Research shows that only a little more than half of U.S. veterans find a job within six months of the start of their search. Furthermore, those who do find employment are 37% more likely to experience underemployment than nonveterans.  

Efforts are being made at the state level to increase the number of veterans in registered apprenticeships, including establishing tax-credits for employers that recruit veterans, augmenting funding streams for programs that recruit veterans, designating state agencies to promote and monitor veteran participation in apprenticeship and requiring public sector contractors to establish plans and goals for recruiting veterans. 

Apprenticeship as a Tool to Help Veterans Overcome Barriers to Employment 

Registered Apprenticeships – training programs that are registered with the U.S. Department of Labor or state apprenticeship agency – provide participants with paid, on-the-job learning and tailored classroom instruction. Apprentices work one-on-one with a mentor that helps them navigate workplace culture and build strong support networks. Apprentices also earn a nationally recognized, portable credential upon completion of their program. 

Apprenticeship can help veterans overcome common barriers to employment, such as: 

Difficulty Translating Skills to the Civilian Workforce 

Veterans often face underemployment because they experience difficulty converting skills learned in the military to the civilian workforce. They also frequently lack professional networks outside of the military that can help them find a job that is consistent with their level of work experience. Apprenticeship addresses veteran underemployment by providing veterans with a clear pathway into a career that builds upon their skills and work experience without requiring a bachelor’s degree. The Department of Labor can even provide veterans with advanced standing in their program if their military training and experience is in a similar occupation.  

Lack of Support in the Workplace  

Studies show that veterans often leave their first civilian job because they encounter a lack of support and an unfamiliar work culture. Through apprenticeship, veterans receive individualized training with an experienced mentor who provides long-term support throughout the program.  

Lack of Professional Development Opportunities and Avenues for Advancement  

Many veterans may struggle to adjust to civilian work due to a lack of opportunities for professional growth and advancement – a key feature of apprenticeship programs. Through apprenticeship, veterans work one-on-one with a mentor to identify and engage in opportunities for growth. Apprenticeship also provides participants with progressive wage increases and a nationally recognized, portable credential. 

Additionally, veterans can utilize GI Bill benefits for approved apprenticeship programs, including tax-free money for books and supplies and a monthly housing allowance. 

State Strategies to Engage Veterans in Apprenticeship 

Recognizing these benefits, state policymakers have employed the following strategies to increase veterans’ access to apprenticeships:  

Establishing tax credits for employers that hire veterans as apprentices  

In South Carolina, the legislature enacted Senate Bill 0901 in June 2022. The bill provides a tax credit to any taxpayer that hires a veteran as part of a registered apprenticeship program. In the first year of employment, the employer will receive $3,000 for each eligible employee. An employer can receive this credit for three years. 

Montana offers a tax credit of $1,500 to employers for each new registered apprentice hired that is a veteran. The tax credit can be applied for the length of each apprentice’s training program or up to five years. 

Augmenting funding streams for programs that recruit minority groups – including veterans – into apprenticeships  

Michigan enacted House Bill 5783 (2022) providing $250,000 in funds to a national nonprofit program connecting military service members with skilled training and quality career opportunities in the construction industry. A portion of these grant funds must be used to help veterans transition into apprenticeship programs in the state. 

Similarly, Maryland enacted legislation establishing a Clean Energy Workforce Account to provide grants to support apprenticeship training programs. The fund set aside $750,000 for the recruitment of individuals, including veterans, to pre-apprenticeship and Registered Apprenticeships programs. 

Designating state entities that are responsible for promoting and monitoring veteran participation in apprenticeship  

To better monitor veteran participation in apprenticeship, the Colorado General Assembly enacted House Bill 21-1007 (2021) establishing the State Apprenticeship Agency and the Interagency Advisory Committee on Apprenticeship. The advisory committee was tasked with, among other things, providing annual reports to the executive director of the Department of Labor and Employment on apprenticeship data disaggregated by age, race, gender, veteran status, disability and industry. 

Similarly, California enacted Senate Bill 103 in 2018, directing the Department of Transportation to sponsor, fund or partner with apprenticeship programs engaged in specific efforts to increase participation in the construction industry among certain groups, including disabled veterans. 

Requiring public sector contractors to establish plans and goals for recruiting underserved groups – including veterans – in apprenticeships  

The Oregon legislature enacted Senate Bill 5701 (2022), requiring any company contracting with public universities to establish and execute a plan for outreach, recruitment and retention of underserved groups in “apprenticeable occupations.” Plans should have a target of having at least 15 percent of total work hours performed by women, minority individuals and/or veterans. 

Massachusetts enacted House Bill 3770 (2021) regarding construction of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home. The bill specifies that as part of the construction project, an agreement must be made with the appropriate labor organization that facilitates the entry of interested veterans into the building and construction trades. The labor organization must designate an entity or organization to serve as a resource for preliminary orientation, apprenticeship programs and other needs to foster veteran employment opportunities. 

Apprenticeships can help veterans in their transition to civilian life by providing opportunities to earn competitive wages, refine and apply existing skill sets and engage in opportunities for professional development. States, along with the federal government, have continued to take steps to increase veteran participation in apprenticeships.  

For more information on state initiatives to further engage veterans in apprenticeship, please reach out to the education and workforce team at The Council of State Governments Center of Innovation. 

Interstate Compacts: Dentists and Dental Hygienists

By Isabel Eliassen

As society becomes more mobile, the need for workers to begin or continue careers in new states is a critical concern. This is especially true for those in state-licensed occupations. When individuals in these fields move across state boundaries, it can take months to receive an occupational license in their new state and resume practicing.

Both dentists and dental hygienists are included in this category of professions that face licensure challenges when moving across state lines. Although states have considerable similarities between education, examination and other licensure requirements for dentists and dental hygienists, acquiring a new license before a dentist or dental hygienist begins practicing in a new state can be time-consuming and costly.

This issue is especially prevalent for military families, who move between states with greater frequency than other population groups. As part of an ongoing effort by The Council of State Governments (CSG) and the Department of Defense (DOD) to help alleviate burdens related to interstate occupational licensure, dentists and dental hygienists will soon have an interstate licensure compact.

Interstate compacts are legislatively enacted contractual agreements between states. They allow practitioners to obtain the authority to practice in multiple states without needing to maintain multiple licenses. Interstate compacts also allow for greater public protection, as states share data about licensees and licensing concerns via a compact data system.

In September 2020, DOD and CSG started working together through a collaborative agreement to develop several new interstate licensure compacts. In March 2021, the Department of Defense selected the first round of professions to receive funding and technical assistance for compact development after a competitive application process. The selection of professions included dentists and dental hygienists. In partnership with the American Dental Association (ADA) and the American Dental Hygienists’ Association (ADHA), CSG began developing the compact for dentists and dental hygienists.

The compact development team first conducted a comparison of licensing requirements across states. Using this research, CSG convened a technical assistance group made up of regulators, administrators, legislators, dentists, dental hygienists and dentistry students to outline goals for the compact. A smaller group, the document team, subsequently worked on applying the compact goals to the provisions of the legislative language in the compact, while also defining other technical aspects of the compact. The draft was made available for public comment for two months to inform further revisions of the compact. CSG is currently working to finalize changes to the document with the document team before the compact legislation is available for state adoption.

States who are interested in joining the compact will need to enact the compact through their standard legislative process. At that point, they will become a participating state. Participating states each appoint a commissioner who collectively administers the compact via a compact commission. Through the commission, the compact will continue to reflect the will of the participating states through rulemaking and other administrative policies

The compact is expected to be available for state adoption in 2023. In addition to dentists and dental hygienists, CSG is also working to develop compacts for massage therapists, cosmetologists, teachers and social workers. For more information about the Dentist and Dental Hygienist Compact visit compacts.csg.org.

States Considering Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Could Enlist Public Information Campaign

By Daniel Clothier

Once an obscure new concept, cryptocurrency and blockchain have quickly risen in popularity over the last few years. While these new technologies have captivated the attention of the tech world and policymakers, the American public still lags in its knowledge of these topics.

A 2021 Pew Research Center poll found that only about 24% of Americans reported hearing “a lot” about cryptocurrency. The poll also revealed that only roughly 16% of Americans had invested in, traded or used cryptocurrency. These statistics illustrate the limited level of use and understanding of digital assets and blockchain technologies by general consumers. As legislatures grapple with questions about regulating these assets and technology, it will be as important that the public is knowledgeable about the benefits and risks of blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies.

­­­­­___________

Definitions:

Cryptocurrency — Digital currency designed to work as a medium of exchange through a computer network that is not reliant on any central authority, such as a government or a bank, to uphold or maintain it.

Blockchain — A system in which a record of transactions made in a cryptocurrency are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network.

____________

Perhaps even more concerning is the lack of understanding that virtual currency investors have about their own investments. Survey data indicates that over one third of cryptocurrency investors know “little to nothing” about cryptocurrency. While they have myriad beneficial uses, cryptocurrencies come with risks that include volatility, cyber-fraud and cyber-theft. Additionally, there are risks associated with virtual currency that go beyond the blockchain. Cryptocurrency is stored in a virtual wallet which is protected by a private key. The greatest risk of virtual currency assets is losing or having the private key stolen. Different types of wallets provide varying degrees of safety. American investors should understand the risks of these assets and how to better secure them prior to investing in them.

The CSG Healthy States National Task Force Fiscal Health Subcommittee has worked over the past two years to explore policies that support resilient state budgets and the fiscal status and operations of states to ensure state governments are financially prepared for unexpected crises in the future. This group recommends states considering blockchain and cryptocurrency could first create a public communications campaign to elevate the financial literacy of the public. Greater financial literacy will promote smart investing and proper financial decisions by the public and reduce risks. A few states have already implemented programs and curriculum materials to address this concern.

Georgia HB681 implements a financial literacy program to be taught to students in 10th or 11th grade. The program, the first of its kind in the U.S., includes cryptocurrency on the curriculum list of required topics and aims to expand basic understanding among high school students.

Connecticut SB3 requires the Board of Regents for Higher Education to create an educational program to assist small businesses with adapting to the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic through courses in various subject areas. This includes an education program on virtual currency and blockchain. States that implement similar programs may be able to boost the financial literacy of their states and better inform investors.

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)
ArizonaRepublicanDivided
ColoradoDemocraticDemocratic
DelawareDemocraticDemocratic
FloridaRepublicanRepublican
GeorgiaRepublicanRepublican
IllinoisDemocraticDemocratic
IowaRepublicanRepublican
KansasDividedDivided
MaineDemocraticDemocratic
MarylandDividedDemocratic
MassachusettsDividedDemocratic
MichiganDividedDemocratic
MinnesotaDividedDemocratic
NevadaDemocraticDivided
New HampshireRepublicanRepublican
North CarolinaDividedDivided
OregonDemocraticDemocratic
PennsylvaniaDividedDivided
TexasRepublicanRepublican
WashingtonDemocraticDemocratic
WisconsinDividedDivided

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.

Connecticut

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

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.

Nebraska

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.”

Ohio

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 csg.org/state-talk.