This Week in RSLC News: SGLF Files Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court, New Leadership in Texas and Tennessee Legislatures, and more

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On Friday, the State Government Leadership Foundation filed an amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in Virginia House of Delegates v. Bethune-Hill, supporting the Virginia House of Delegates’ standing to appeal the lower court’s decision in the Virginia redistricting case. “What we have seen from Democrats and progressives in the past year is a systemic effort, in multiple states, to remove that power from state legislatures through both partisan-backed ballot measures and litigation, moving that authority further away from the voters and placing it in the hands of one political party,” SGLF Executive Director Matt Walter said upon release of the amicus brief. “Today, the SGLF, along with ALEC and the Lawyers Democracy Fund are united in their opposition to Attorney General Herring’s efforts to rig the system for Democrats in Virginia.”


Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann announced on Wednesday his intentions to seek the lieutenant governor’s office in 2019. Hosemann ended his announcement by declaring, “I’ve always subscribed to the fact we should never say we’ve always done it that way. Just hang with me on what we’re going to be doing in Mississippi. And I promise you, four years from now you won’t be disappointed.” He also quickly received the support of Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant who pledged to assist Hosemann with his campaign. Hosemann has served as the Secretary of State since 2008 and has helped usher through a Voter ID bill and made it easier for Mississippians to start a business during his tenure as Secretary of State. 

The Texas House of Representatives unanimously elected Representative Dennis Bonnen as the next Speaker for the 2019-2020 legislative session. Following his election, Speaker Bonnen said he is ready to “get to work on priorities including school finance & property tax reform.” In his first remarks to the chamber as Speaker, Bonnen said, “Right now, Texas has a number of problems to resolve and it’s our duty to produce meaningful solutions for all Texans.” Bonnen has served in the House since 1997 and was considered a close ally of former Speaker Joe Straus.  

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine tasked Lieutenant Governor Jon Husted with leading a newly created state agency called InnovateOhio which will focus on utilizing technology to “create a more innovative and efficient state government.” DeWine also stated during the press conference that Husted will oversee a statewide initiative focused on attracting workers to the state as well as promoting worker training opportunities. “These are things that I believe I will wake up every morning and be focused on, in addition to anything else Gov. DeWine will have me do,” Husted said after DeWine made the announcement. 

On Tuesday, the Tennessee House of Representatives voted for Representative Glen Casada as the Speaker for the 111th General Assembly. Speaker Casada replaces former Speaker Beth Harwell who had served as speaker since 2011 and chose to run for governor this cycle instead of running for re-election to her House seat. “I promise that at the table of governing, everyone is welcome, and I promise that my door is always open to you,” Speaker Casada said in his opening remarks to the legislature. He additionally praised Harwell as “a woman of character” for her nearly three decades of service in the legislature.