2022 State Elections Toolkit
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Key Takeaways:

  • One of the main social justice issues you should keep an eye on in 2022 is policing reform. We expect state lawmakers to pursue legislation in this area during the 2022 legislative sessions.
  • This post is part of our series on state policy issues to watch in 2022, where we explore seven policy areas and our predictions for the upcoming legislative year (elections, energy and environment, labor and employment, public health, social justice, tax and budgets, and technology).

As states kick off their 2022 legislative sessions, policing reform is one of the main areas we expect lawmakers to explore in the area of social justice. This post is part of our series on state policy issues to watch in 2022 (click here to see all issues areas).


Policing Reform

  • Background: During the summer of 2020, policy shootings of unarmed African Americans spurred nationwide protests and a public spotlight on the need for policing reform. State lawmakers have focused on policing reform issues such as policing accountability and transparency, policing practices, and training. 

  • Why It's Trending: This summer, efforts to enact major policing reform in Congress failed. In response, states continue to enact meaningful policing reform measures of their own. 

  • Current Landscape: This was the second straight busy year for policing reform at the state level, even as federal efforts to overhaul the practice of policing failed. A total of 109 bills were enacted into law across 32 states and the District of Columbia. These new laws encompass a wide spectrum of specific reforms, from familiar issues such as training and the use of body cameras, to newer approaches such as integrated co-responder models and an officer duty to intervene in instances of excessive force. 

  • 2022 Outlook: There remains a great deal of potential to achieve additional reforms in 2022. States enacted 109 bills into law out of a total of 887 bills introduced across the country. Many of these bills passed one or both chambers of the legislature without being signed into law, indicating legislative will to pursue further reforms next year. 

This post is part of our series on state policy issues to watch in 2022 (click here to see all issues areas).