WASHINGTON — Tonight, President Biden will deliver his second State of the Union to Congress and the nation. DLCC interim President Heather Williams released the following statement ahead of the President’s address:
“Last fall, the American people recognized the bold accomplishments of Democrats and rejected the GOP at the ballot box in the best midterm year for the president’s party in modern history. President Biden and Congressional Democrats made historic progress over the last two years, and key victories at the federal level will mean that extremist Republican lawmakers in the House are kept in check. But with a divided Congress will inevitably come worsening gridlock. Democratic victories at the state legislative level of the ballot will ensure that progress continues for American families.
“The reality is, Democrats cannot enact their vision for the country without state legislative majorities. We made history in November by flipping four state legislative chambers red to blue and defending every Democratic majority — a first in a midterm year since at least 1934. Those historic midterm performances mean that Democrats can defend and expand abortion rights, protect access to the ballot box, and make sweeping progress on issues that are often stalled at the federal level.
“Democrats must keep up this momentum by sending attention and resources to the state legislative level of the ballot to defend against MAGA extremism and continue moving the country forward.”
Democrats in state legislatures have already taken steps to enact progress this year, including:
Protecting Abortion Access And Reproductive Health:
- Minnesota DFLers have enshrined protections for abortion rights into state law.
- Maine Democrats are working on a package of bills to protect and expand abortion access and reproductive care.
- Michigan Democrats are making it a priority to repeal Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban.
- Illinois Democrats ushered into law new protections for abortion patients and providers.
- New Jersey and New York Democrats are both working to make over-the-counter birth control more accessible and readily available.
- Arizona Democrats have introduced a package of bills that would increase access to the ballot box through same-day registration and expanded early voting.
- Minnesota DFLers are working to enact automatic voter registration and restore the voting rights of former felons.
- Michigan Democrats are working to protect poll workers and fight back against dangerous information.
Strengthening the Economy:
- Maine Democrats are zeroing in on the economic security of families with legislation focusing on paid family leave and housing.
- Minnesota DFLers are working to pass paid leave after years of opposition from Republicans.
- Arizona Democrats are working to provide key protections for tenants.
Passing Gun Safety Reforms:
- Arizona Democrats are working to pass common-sense firearm safe storage laws
- Michigan Democrats are reviving previously introduced gun safety legislation, including red flag laws, background checks, waiting periods, and safe storage laws.
- Pennsylvania Democrats are working to close the “ghost gun” and 3-D printed gun loopholes.