|Frontloading Bills (2009 Legislative Session)|
|Arkansas||HB 1021||passed||May 1||moves presidential primary from first Tuesday in February to the Tuesday after the third Monday in May|
|Florida||HB 759/SB 2304||died in committee||May 8||moves presidential primary from last Tuesday in January to the second Tuesday in March|
|Georgia||HB 848||carried over to 2010 session||April 4||moves presidential primary from first Tuesday in February to first Tuesday in March|
|Illinois||HB 2308/SB 46||in committee||year-round||moves state and local primaries from first Tuesday in February to third Tuesday in March/first Tuesday in June|
|Indiana||SCR 28||passed Senate, no action in House||April 29||forms commission to investigate moving presidential primary|
|Minnesota||HF 31/SF 157||in committee -- House/out with "Do Pass" -- Senate||May 18||creates presidential primary and moves to first Tuesday in February|
|New Hampshire||HB 341||in committee||July 1||allows only Iowa caucus to precede presidential primary|
|New Jersey||A 2413||in committee||year-round||moves presidential primary from first Tuesday in February to first Tuesday in June|
|North Carolina||S 150||in committee||early July||moves presidential primary from first Tuesday after first Monday in May to first Tuesday in February|
|North Dakota||SB 2288||passed||May 2||eliminates state involvement in presidential preference caucus|
|Oklahoma||HB 1340||in committee||May 29||shifts financial burden of presidential primary from state to state parties|
|Oregon||SB 412||in committee||late June||moves presidential primary from third Tuesday in May to first Tuesday in February|
|Texas||HB 246||in committee||June 1||moves presidential primary from first Tuesday in March to first Tuesday in February|
|Source: National Conference of State Legislatures|
Arkansas and North Dakota were able to move on their respective bills prior to the close of their legislative sessions and Indiana's Senate was able to sign off on a resolution forming a committee to examine the possibility of frontloading. In the remaining states, however, things are either dead or stuck in committee.
Florida's adjournment last week killed the two bills proposed to move the state's controversially scheduled primary back to spot in line with both parties (2008) nomination rules. Frontloading bills in North Carolina, Oregon and Texas have all been left twisting in the wind in committee while the bill to eliminate the separate February presidential primary in New Jersey has met the same fate. The difference -- and it is a slight one considering the New Jersey bill was one introduced in 2008 and will die prior to elections there this fall -- is that the clock is running out in North Carolina, Oregon and Texas. By the middle of July, all three states' legislatures will have adjourned and without action, will kill these bills in the process.
Meanwhile, the creation of a presidential primary in Minnesota is down to its last week with the legislature closing up shop next week on May 18. The Senate bill has emerged from the committee concerned with elections with a "Do Pass" designation and has been re-referred to the Finance Committee, but the House bill has gone nowhere since being introduced in January.
In Oklahoma, the bill to have parties pay for their own presidential primaries -- something that has elicited more and more talk recently -- like the Minnesota House bill mentioned above, hasn't seen any action since being introduced. That isn't really the type of momentum you'd like to see if you're a proponent of this measure before the session goes sine die at the end of the month.
Similarly, the two bills to separate state and local primaries from the presidential primary and shift them to later dates in Illinois have been stuck in committee as well. Like New Jersey, though, the legislature in the Land of Lincoln is a professional legislature (For those outside of political science, that professional refers to a legislator's duties being his or her main profession, not that a part-time legislaure is any more or less professional than a full-time one.). The clock then, won't run out until the next election changes the membership of the chambers.
Finally, the bill in New Hampshire stipulating that only Iowa's caucuses could precede the Granite state's presidential primary is likewise stalled in committee.
None of this is particularly surprising given that 1) it is still really early for 2012 primary movement and 2) most states are playing the wait-and-see game with how the parties will set their nomination rules for the 2012 cycle. And that largely fits with the cyclical logic espouced here. Of course, if that trend holds, we should expect to see even fewer bills regarding presidential primaries introduced next year.
Woe is FHQ, woe is FHQ! Eh, we'll find something to talk about.
Much Ado About Nothing in Texas
Back in Business
Open Thread: Home Renovation Edition