- What’s the opposite of holding people accountable? Whatever it is, that’s how Republicans are treating the insurrectionists among their ranks. The GOP is promoting lawmakers who attended the January 6th insurrection within their ranks in several state legislatures, displaying, yet again, that they have no regard for our democracy. Notably, in Texas, insurrectionist Sen. Angela Paxton was elected Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus, where she will help lead the political efforts of the GOP. Insurrectionists should not be in office, let alone running the show. These people should be held accountable for their traitorous behavior, not given leadership positions.
- Virginia Republicans continue to push their extremist agenda throughout the state legislature. Thankfully, Senate Democrats are wielding their majority to stop the GOP’s MAGA agenda in its tracks — not only blocking Republicans from unleashing chaos throughout the Commonwealth but pushing for popular progress throughout the state. Just in the last two weeks, Democrats in the Virginia Senate have blocked GOP proposals to enact restrictive voter laws, thwarted the progression of an unpopular abortion ban (and then defeated even more abortion restrictions just days later), and advanced a common sense gun storage bill that would make it harder for individuals to gain access to dangerous weapons. Virginia Senate Democrats need a nickname to match their heroic efforts… Virginia Vanguard? Dem Defenders? Let us know if you have any ideas.
- Welcome to our new segment, Trifecta Talk, where we will keep you apprised of the incredible progress happening in states with newly formed or strengthened Democratic trifectas. We start in Michigan, where the newly-minted Democratic trifecta is working quickly to cut costs for lower-income people, implement Michigan’s recent ballot proposal that guarantees the right to an abortion, and craft common-sense gun reforms. In nearby Minnesota, DFLers also aren’t wasting any time with their new trifecta status. They are making progress towards passing a historic bill to enshrine the right to an abortion into state law; legalizing marijuana; and finalizing a historic budget that would cut low-income taxes, send direct payment to Minnesotans, and establish child tax credits to lift families out of poverty. And it wasn’t only the new trifectas notching recent achievements — out west, New Mexico Democrats are pushing to pass a trio of bills to protect the environment, working to enact paid family leave, and earmarking money to guarantee school lunch for every New Mexico student.
- If you thought that getting beat all across the map at the state legislative level in 2022 would stop Republicans from pushing anti-abortion laws, think again! Take Georgia, where state lawmakers, apparently dissatisfied with their cruel 6-week abortion ban, now want to restrict reproductive care even furtherremove any exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the pregnant person (But Georgia Democrats are fighting back, pushing for legislation to dismantle the GOP’s restrictions and codify abortion throughout the state). In Kansas, Republicans are devising a scheme to circumvent the overwhelming majority of Kansans who voted to protect the right to an abortion last August. Don’t like eliminating exceptions for rape or overriding the will of the people, what about overriding the decision of the courts? That’s just what Montana Republicans are trying to do in order to enact their own abortion ban that was blocked by a judge last year. In sharp contrast, Democrats in Maine, Washington, and Oregon are taking new steps to not only protect abortion access within their borders but provide resources to those affected by cruel GOP bans who are seeking reproductive care.
- If you think Republicans have eased up on voting rights attacks in 2023, think again… again! Just weeks into the new year, we have seen dozens of anti-voter legislation proposed by state Republicans that would restrict access to the ballot box and make it harder for everyone to vote. Here are a few recent highlights from the GOP’s war against voting: New Hampshire Republicans have proposed a package of legislation that would make it harder to register to vote, Arizona recently advanced their own cadre of anti-voter bills, and Ohio Republicans saw their own restrictive voter-ID bill become law last month… I’m starting to think that Republicans don’t love it when everybody votes.
- Over the weekend, hundreds of Arizonans made their way to the Capitol to protest the GOP’s package of anti-LGBTQ+ bills that would demonize trans kids, restrict drag performances, and create new zoning and permit restrictions for LGBTQ+ safe spaces. Yet, Arizona isn’t the only state where Republicans are attacking LGBTQ+ people in order to fearmonger and appease the far right. Missouri Republicans currently lead the nation in most anti-LGBTQ+ bills proposed, and GOP lawmakers in states like Texas and South Carolina are waging new attacks against some of their most vulnerable constituencies. State Democrats stand against the GOP’s LGBTQ+ attacks — like in New Jersey and Minnesota, where lawmakers are advancing legislation to respect and protect the full diversity of gender expression and sexual orientation. We also want to highlight Utah’s Democratic Senator Nate Blouin, who made an impassioned speech against GOP attacks on gender-affirming care on behalf of his trans intern.
- In the wake of two horrific shootings in California this week, the DLCC wants to first and foremost extend our deepest condolences to the victims, families, and communities affected by this senseless tragedy. We are experiencing an unparalleled gun violence epidemic in our country, one that will require GOP leaders in every state to join Democrats in working towards common-sense reforms that keep deadly weapons out of dangerous hands — like in Colorado, where Democrats are working on an assault weapons ban that will do just that. But beyond policy, we also want to uplift the inspiring words of Michigan Senator Stephanie Chang, the first Asian-American woman elected to Michigan’s legislature, who spoke to the dual tragedy of the recent wave of gun violence and senseless deaths of Asian Americans during Lunar New Year celebrations.
- State Democrats understand that we can tackle the climate crisis and lower costs for everyday folks at the same time — like in Maine, where Democrats have proposed a bill that makes a historic investment in offshore wind power that would decrease Maine’s reliance on fossil fuels and create a greater supply of electricity to cut energy bills for Maine families. While the GOP fails to provide any practical solutions that cut costs or help strengthen our energy systems, Maine Democrats are demonstrating that they and their colleagues in state legislatures across the country have what it takes to do both.
Nurses and health care professionals have been on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic for nearly three years, but are still often overworked and underpaid. In Connecticut, Democrats are stepping up to increase the quality of life for our health care heroes, pushing for legislation that would improve nurses’ demanding workload and establish better work-life balance standards. Connecticut Democrats are also working to help other essential workers who have sacrificed so much during the pandemic — announcing that checks up to $1,000 for essential workers like nurses, grocery store workers, and teachers will be sent out starting next week.