There’s a lot going on, so the DLCC is helping you catch up on the state legislative stories you might have missed. It’s July 29th; ease into the weekend with the state of the states.
For questions and suggestions, e-mail us.
- Over the past two weeks, Vice President Kamala Harris has traveled to New Jersey, Virginia, and Indiana to meet with state lawmakers and highlight how crucial state legislatures are in protecting abortion access and defending voting rights. Due to congressional gridlock and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court, state legislatures are deciding the fate of our fundamental freedoms and democracy itself – making the upcoming election one of the most important elections in a generation. We applaud Vice President Harris and Democrats at every level of the ballot for shining a light on Democratic state lawmakers and their efforts to protect our most fundamental freedoms.
- Michigan Democrats reported record-breaking fundraising numbers this week, including over $1 million from rising star Senator Mallory McMorrow alone. State Democrats are gaining momentum by fighting for what matters to their communities, like fully-funded public schools, safe and legal abortion, and an economy that works for everyone. Outpacing their GOP counterparts, Michigan Senate Dems’ large war chest underscores the growing momentum against state Republicans and their unpopular, extremist agenda.
- For those keeping count at home… This weekend will mark 100 days until November’s general election. As Republicans continue to drift further to the right and force their hyper-extreme agenda on the American people, state Democrats are better resourced than ever to fight back. Across the country, Democrats are taking a stand against Republican abortion bans, attacks on LGBTQ+ rights, and anti-democratic threats to our election system.
- Last week, we highlighted Trump’s recent call to Wisconsin Assembly Leader Robin Vos asking him to decertify the 2020 presidential election — and Vos said he respected Trump making his case. If you thought that was a one-off, anti-democratic blip for Wisconsin Republicans, think again. This week, state Representative Janel Brandtjen, the leader of the Wisconsin Assembly’s elections committee, called to invalidate the 2020 presidential results. Brandtjen claimed the 2020 election was “neither fair, nor transparent,” adding that “tyranny is at Wisconsin’s door.” It’s a funny complaint from a Wisconsin Republican, considering they have rigged the maps to ensure Democrats stay out of power in the state legislature despite regularly winning statewide elections.
- Arizona Republicans have done just about everything to normalize election conspiracy theories, including censuring their own party leader Speaker Rusty Bowers for his reluctance to go along with Trump’s “Big Lie.” But last week, the Arizona GOP took it one step further, announcing that they would offer up to $50,000 for evidence of voter fraud. If they couldn’t find any evidence after wasting taxpayer money on their conspiracy-fueled sham election review… maybe they should just give up and start focusing on the election 100 days away.
- State Democrats are ready to fight fire with fire. After Texas passed its extreme abortion ban that empowers its citizens to sue anyone suspected of aiding an abortion, California Democrats used the same framework to hold gun manufacturers accountable. In a bill signed into law last week, California Democrats are giving victims of gun violence legal recourse to hold gun makers responsible for the horrendous acts of violence carried out with their weapons. If Republicans want to change the rules to put lives at risk, Democrats will step up to save laws and dare the Supreme Court to stop them.
- Back to school! Across the country, many states face teacher and school staff shortages, but in Hawaii, teachers are now returning to the classroom from retirement thanks to a pay increase passed by the Democratic legislature. After some teachers endured over a decade of salary stagnation, 8,700 educators will see a pay increase ranging from $7,000 to $26,000, highlighting state Dems’ commitment to supporting teachers and school staff.
- New York Democrats passed a historic $7 billion budget last month that will allocate $70 million to bolster child care services in the Empire State. This landmark investment in child care will create hundreds of new slots for infants and toddlers, including children of essential workers and other individuals who don’t have a typical 9 to 5 schedule. All across the country, state Democrats are helping ease the burden on working families by passing legislation to cut costs and provide much-needed family programs.
- Republican state legislators in South Carolina have introduced a bill that would outlaw giving information about obtaining abortion online or over the phone — including making it illegal to host a website with information that could be used for an abortion. Online resources are vital for those seeking care, especially individuals in GOP-led states with restrictive abortion laws. Not content with attacking the constitutional right to an abortion and privacy, Republicans are now going after freedom of speech!!
- Even after their state made national headlines this month for helping a ten-year-old rape victim escape neighboring Ohio’s restrictive abortion ban, state Republicans in Indiana convened for a special session this week to pass an extreme abortion ban of their own (one that now includes criminal penalties that could send doctors to prison for saving someone’s life). State Republicans are undeterred by the horrifying consequences of their abortion restrictions. They continue to needlessly go out of their way to put countless lives at risk while failing to make communities more safe.
- Abortion bans in Republican-controlled states all across the country, like Mississippi, Texas, and Ohio, have led to unprecedented gray areas for doctors who are unsure when they are legally allowed to perform a life-saving abortion. Even when doctors are legally allowed to provide care, GOP abortion bans are resulting in delayed medical attention, irreparable physical and emotional damage, and spiking maternal mortality rates. As long as state Republicans control legislative chambers, they will continue to pass policies that literally cause people to suffer and die.