There’s a lot going on, so every Wednesday, the DLCC is sending a roundup of the state legislative stories you might have missed. It’s October 6th, and here is the state of the states.
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- Following a series of racist and anti-Semitic mailers targeting Black and Jewish candidates in Virginia, the DLCC called on Republicans in Virginia and those funding them to disavow these mailers, issue a sincere apology, and stop funding these horrific and racist campaign materials.
- Kansas Republican lawmakers officially formed a committee opposing vaccine requirements called the Special Joint Committee on Government Overreach and the Impact of COVID-19 Mandates. Republicans would rather put their constituents at risk than employ commonsense public health measures.
- Similarly, in Idaho, with unanimous Republican support, a committee recommended passage of a bill which could put public officials in prison if they help the federal government enforce COVID-19 vaccine requirements. Earlier this month, Idaho’s hospitals were given approval to ration health care treatment because they are overwhelmed with unvaccinated COVID patients.
- Florida Republican Rep. Anthony Sabatini filed legislation which could subject health care providers to a year in prison or a $1,000 fine for providing treatment to transgender teens. This is another disgusting attack on the trans community from Republicans who want to serve their extremist base.
- A Republican redistricting operative — whose secret work on Wisconsin’s post-2010 maps was criticized by a court as a “shameful attempt to hide the redistricting process from public scrutiny”— is working for the Texas House redistricting committee. You’ll be shocked to learn that Republican leadership in Texas refused to comment.
- Nearly 100 Republican lawmakers representing over 30 states have signed onto a letter calling for a 50 state sham election review. The letter is spearheaded by Arizona state Senator Wendy Rogers, member of Oath Keepers and noted conspiracy theorist, in the latest GOP effort to undermine our democracy. The list of signatories also includes four Republican lawmakers who attended the January 6th insurrection.
- In New Hampshire, House Finance Committee and Joint Fiscal Committee Chair Rep. Ken Weyler shared a “vaccine death report” that claimed COVID-19 vaccines contain tentacled creatures and 5G technology intended for mind control. Although he resigned his chairmanship today, the GOP needs to reckon with the fact that they have conspiracy theorists throughout their ranks.
- After Tennessee Republicans pressured the state immunization program into temporarily stopping the promotion of any vaccinations for children in July, “infections among children skyrocketed in August and September.” Children’s lives are on the line because Republicans are putting pathogens over public health.
- Virginia Republican House candidate and insurrectionist Marie March warned of a coming civil war between “two completely opposite sides in America” and asserted “I personally will fight and die for my family.” These insurrectionists are terrifying, and because Republicans have embraced them, some are now running for higher office.
- California Democrats passed legislation that forms a Department of Public Health committee to review maternal deaths with an emphasis on the racial disparity in pregnancy-related deaths throughout the state. This legislation is part of the “Momnibus” bill passed during the summer that allocates $35 million to programs that give low-income families and mothers direct monthly cash payments.
- Massachusetts Democrats are building a brighter future for post-pandemic life with money provided from the American Rescue Plan. Senate leadership released a report on proposed spending priorities with policy incentives such as bridging the digital divide, expanding affordable housing, and skills training programs for low-income residents.
- California Democrats passed over two dozen bills that were just signed into law to prioritize affordable housing. The legislation provides $100 million to help low and moderate income families with grants to build accessory dwelling units. This investment follows historic funding packages passed this year by Democrats that allocate $10.3 billion for affordable housing and $12 billion to combat homelessness in California.
- In response to the murder of George Floyd, Maryland Democrats passed a series of police accountability bills that go into effect this month after the legislature overrode three vetoes from the Republican governor. The legislation increases transparency and accountability by creating a unit in the Attorney General’s Office that investigates all civilian deaths at the hands of police in Maryland. This bill was championed by DLCC board member and House Speaker Adrienne Jones, the first woman and first Black person to lead the Maryland House.
- Republicans are going on the offensive as elections in Virginia heat up. Look out for their pattern of bigotry, discrimination, and dog whistles on the campaign trail to continue.