Highlights from the Week
1. On January 3, 2023, the U.S. Senate swore in six new senators: Katie Britt (AL-R), Eric Schmidt (MO-R), Ted Budd (NC-R), JD Vance (OH-R), Markwayne Mullin (OK-R), John Fetterman (PA-D), and Peter Welch (VT-D). Click here to view the government official(s) breakdown of the U.S. Senate. Click on the officials' name below to be directed to their biographical pages to learn more about the new sworn in senators: Katie Britt (AL-R), Eric Schmidt (MO-R), Ted Budd (NC-R), JD Vance (OH-R), Markwayne Mullin (OK-R), John Fetterman (PA-D), and Peter Welch (VT-D).
2. On January 3, 2023, the U.S. Senate elected Senator Patty Murray of Washington to be the next president pro tempore, succeeding retiring Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont. The job of president pro tempore, as outlined in the U.S. Constitution, is to preside over the Senate during sessions in the absence of the vice president. Murray is the first woman to hold the position, which is third in the line of presidential succession, behind the vice president and speaker of the House. Traditionally, the president pro tempore is the most senior member of the majority party, however, the current most-senior Democrat, Dianne Feinstein of California, passed on the position, leaving it open for Murray. She has served Washington State in the Senate since 1993. Click here to see more of Murray’s biography. Additionally, click here for a statement from Murray on this historic election.
3. This week the U.S. House of Representatives are currently in the process of selecting the next speaker of the House with the announcement of Nancy Pelosi stepping down at the end of 2022. As of January 5, 2023, the election for speaker of the House has gone to six ballots. This is the first time this has occurred since 1923 when the House took more than one ballot to elect their speaker. For all six ballots, the Democrats have nominated Representative Hakeem Jeffries of New York, while the Republicans have nominated multiple candidates on each ballot. For all six ballots, Representative Kevin McCarthy of California has garnered the most votes, with candidates such as Jim Jordan of Ohio and Byron Donalds of Florida coming in third on most of the ballots. Congress cannot swear-in its new members, nor can they form committees, until a speaker is elected. Click here to see the biography page for Hakeem Jeffries, here for Kevin McCarthy, here for Jim Jordan, and here for Byron Donalds.
By the Elections Research team: Nick, Zachary, Courtney, Seth, and Caleb
Want to learn more about the results of the 2022 midterm elections? You can see the full list of results for these offices below:
Biographies: Want to learn more about officials who have been sworn in at the state level? You can see the full list of officials here:
By the Officials Research team: Noah, Johanan, Neal, Thomas, Bibi, Craig, and Israel
Public Statements: 554 statements were added this week. See highlights from the week for notable statements.
States: 12 new votes were added.
Alaska passed SB 34 which was then signed into law by the governor, which seeks to establish state-tribal education compact schools. This bill seeks to require that the state Board of Education and Early Development shall negotiate a demonstration state-tribal education compact with federally recognized tribes and tribal organizations in the state to establish state-tribal education compact schools effective immediately.
Maryland passed SB 705, which was then signed into law without the governor's signature, which seeks to limit the use of seclusion as a behavioral health intervention for students. This bill seeks to: define terms “physical restraint” and “trauma-informed intervention,” prohibits use of physical restraint as behavioral health intervention unless risk of harm to student or others, authorizes licensed personnel (i.e. physicians, psychologists.) to use seclusion as behavioral health intervention, and requires records kept of physical restraint and seclusion incidents with demographic information.
New Hampshire passed SB 381, which was then signed into law by the governor, which seeks to adopt an “ought not to pass” report for a bill that establishes the Office of the Advocate for Special Education. This bill seeks to establish the Office of the Advocate for Special Education that shall serve as an advocate, coordinator, and point of contact for those parents, guardians, and caretakers of students with disabilities. This bill also authorizes this Office of the Advocate for Special Education to establish minimum compliance measures, appoint assistants, and prepare annual reports.
Federal Legislation: 9 new votes
SJ Res 60 - A joint resolution providing for congressional disapproval under chapter 8 of title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Department of Education relating to "Final Priorities, Requirements, Definitions, and Selection Criteria-Expanding Opportunity Through Quality Charter Schools Program (CSP)-Grants to State Entities (State Entity Grants); Grants to Charter Management Organizations for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (CMO Grants); and Grants to Charter School Developers for the Opening of New Charter Schools and for the Replication and Expansion of High-Quality Charter Schools (Developer Grants)".
Special Interest Groups:
This year to date, the SIGs team has rated 118,651 candidates and entered endorsements for 46,114 candidates.