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 September 8th, and here is the state of the states.
For questions and suggestions, e-mail us.
- Last night, Democrats flipped the critical GOP-leaning seat of Hillsborough-07 from red to blue in New Hampshire by running on support for abortion access in this historically Republican district. This enormous victory (and our first flip under the Biden administration) shows voters oppose the New Hampshire GOP’s lurch to the far-right, including the state’s first abortion ban in modern history.
- Republican strategists are clearly upset about the loss in New Hampshire last night. One Republican insider who worked on behalf of Camarota said Republicans “have no idea what Democrats are doing to drive this turnout.” Maybe voters get really mad about abortion bans!
- In Virginia, the Republican Party has claimed that their anti-abortion extremism could never pass into law. This is simply not true. If Democrats don’t maintain a majority in the legislature, abortion rights will be put on the line.
- The race is on in other Republican states to pass horrifying abortion laws now that the Supreme court quietly overturned Roe v. Wade. Republicans in Michigan, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Carolina, and Iowa already made it clear that they support extreme anti-abortion legislation like what they passed in Texas.
- The infamous voter suppression bill in Texas that House Democrats walked out over was signed into law, codifying one of the most heinous voter suppression bills in the country. It is more clear than ever that the fight for voting rights is in the states.
- Pennsylvania Republican Senate President Pro Tempore Jake Corman told Steve Bannon that the next step in their “review” of the 2020 election was issuing subpoenas. At a bare minimum, we would prefer if Pennsylvania leadership wasn’t trading tips with a far-right extremist…but it would also be nice if the chamber leader wasn’t taking cues from his insurrectionist member.
- Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said that medical experts should be “vigorously investigating” ivermectin as a treatment for COVID-19, even though health officials have widely condemned its use. Please just get vaccinated.
- In Pennsylvania, over 5,000 students tested positive for COVID-19 since the start of the academic year. These numbers would only grow thanks to Senate President Pro Tempore Corman, who filed a lawsuit to block the requirement that masks be worn in schools. This is a public health crisis, and Republicans are choosing pro-COVID policy decisions over science-based evidence. Remember that when they pass anti-abortion bills and claim to be “pro-life.”
- Also in Pennsylvania, 14 Republican State House members filed a lawsuit asking a court to invalidate sending mail-in ballots, claiming it is unconstitutional. The catch is that 11 of them voted to pass the legislation in 2019.
- In the wake of Republican-led attacks on voting rights, Democrats in the states are stepping up to expand the right to vote and ensure everyone has the freedom to cast their ballot.
- Democrats in Virginia understand the urgency of housing during the pandemic. The commonwealth leads the nation in disbursing the federal rent relief. Their swift action, combined with the legislature requiring landlords to seek aid for their tenants, have kept Virginians housed.
- In California, Democrats in the Assembly advanced an accountability bill to prevent officers who committed serious misconduct from simply moving to another police department. This brings needed accountability while investing in the safety of the community.
- The California legislature also advanced a bill to help restaurants recover from the pandemic by allowing for more outdoor dining and streamlining the alcohol licensing process.
- Thanks to the newly-blue Democratic legislature, Virginia is no longer the worst state for workers. Turns out raising the minimum wage and adding protections makes working families’ lives better — without sacrificing the commonwealth’s “Top State for Business” ranking.
- Republicans are doubling down on abortion as an issue, but keep an eye out for more suburban voters to reject their radical position. This is a losing issue for Republicans so they are using their power while they have it and trying to downplay the issue.