Democratic Party National Rules & Bylaws Committee Begins Consideration of Rules Changes

The National Democratic Committee’s Rules & Bylaws Committee met in Washington, D.C., January 19-20, to start reviewing ideas for changes in the 2020 presidential selection process. See this story. The Committee will be reviewing ideas of the Democratic Unity Commission, which had recommended fewer superdelegates, and had urged the party’s state legislators to do everything in their power to create same-day voter registration, or automatic voter registration, in the states that don’t have either process. Also the Democratic Unity Commission recommended that states like New York and Delaware have more relaxed deadlines for voters to switch parties.

Ohio Bill to Make Initiative Ballot Access More Difficult

Ohio Representative Niraj Antani (R-Miamisburg) has introduced HJR 5, a proposed state constitutional amendment. Current law requires a petition of 10% of the last gubernatorial vote to get a constitutional initiative on the ballot, and 6% for a statute. The proposal would raise these to 12.5% and 7.5%.

Also the measure would say that neither type of initiative could pass unless it received a popular vote of at least 60%. Currently a majority is enough.

The proposal would also make it illegal to pay petition circulators. However, in 1988 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in Meyer v Grant that states are not permitted to outlaw the practice of paying circulators. Thanks to Steve Linnabary for this news.

National Conference of State Legislatures Publishes Two Useful Reference Charts

The National Conference of State Legislatures has authored two useful reference charts.

Here is a chart that shows the partisan composition of each state’s legislative chambers. This data is very tough to track, because it changes constantly, due to resignations, deaths, and replacement actions, including special elections, or in some states appointments.

Here is a chart that shows when each state’s legislature convenes this year. Over half of them are already sitting. Thanks to Thomas Jones for both links.