More at Stake than Just the Presidency on Election Day

By Bob Carragher Oct 7, 2016

When Americans go to the polls on November 8, voters will be deciding more than who will occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue after the new president is sworn into office on January 20, 2017.

In addition to casting their vote for president (and vice president), voters will be deciding the fate of 34 United States Senate seats and all 438 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives (including those of three U.S. territories). They will decide the winners of 12 governorships and 5,917 state legislative seats across the country in 44 states, representing more than 80 percent of state legislative seats throughout the 50 states.

Voters will also decide the fate of over 150 ballot questions in 35 states and the District of Columbia, ranging from legalizing the recreational use of marijuana in six states (Arizona, California, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada), allowing the use of certain types of marijuana for medical purposes (Arkansas, Montana and North Dakota), amending their state's constitution with regard to the right to work (Alabama and Virginia) and increasing their state's minimum wage (Arizona, Colorado, Maine and Washington).

Voters in Arizona and the State of Washington will also decide whether or not to mandate employers to provide their workers up to 40 hours per year of earned paid sick, safe and family leave. In Arizona, smaller employers (of fewer than 15 employees) would be required to provide up to 24 hours per year for their employees, with employees earning one hour of leave for every 30 hours worked. In Washington, "every employer" in the state would be required beginning in 2018 to provide employees with one hour of paid leave for every 40 hours worked.

Lastly, for health care enthusiasts, all eyes will be on Colorado where the voters will decide whether or not to adopt a universal, single-payer health care program for its residents to be known as 'Colorado Care' or Amendment 69.  If adopted, the program will be funded by a 3.33% payroll tax on all employees and 6.67% on all employers. Non-payroll income would be taxed at 10% and the Affordable Care Act's health care requirements for employers and individuals would be eliminated.  For more information on this initiative, check it out HERE on Ballotpedia.

Want to know what ballot questions are pending in your state? Access your state's secretary of state website or the National Conference of State Legislators' StateVote website.

Note: SHRM's Government Affairs Team again will be producing its Post-Election Overview for SHRM members following the election, highlighting what the results mean for public policy issues of interest to the HR profession on both the federal and state level. Look for it in your inboxes on Friday, November 18. 


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