We made it to the end of the week! Now say it with us, T.G.I.S.O.T.S. Thank God It’s State of the States! The DLCC is here to help you catch up on the state legislative stories you might have missed. It’s May 19th; ease into the weekend with a roundup of state stories from across the country.
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- Democrats defended their majority in the Pennsylvania House this week with DLCC Spotlight Candidate Heather Boyd winning a critical special election in HD-163 – stopping Republicans from taking control of the chamber. In the face of historic headwinds, Democrats flipped the Pennsylvania House last November and went on to defend their majority with three special election wins after a string of vacancies. This win follows President Biden’s endorsement of Representative-elect Boyd this week – showcasing the race’s stakes and the importance of this level of the ballot.
- In response to North Carolina Republicans voting to override Democratic Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the Republican abortion ban, interim DLCC President Heather Williams said, “The Republican Party has proven that they will not stop until every American loses their reproductive freedom – and the North Carolina GOP has shown that once again, Republicans cannot be trusted with our rights. The DLCC is targeting North Carolina this cycle to break the supermajority – because it is more clear than ever that the frontlines of the fight for our most fundamental freedoms are in state legislatures.” This ban will impact access to abortion for over 10 million people in the state and will have ripple effects across the region and the country.
- Up in New Hampshire, DLCC Spotlight Candidate Marc Plamondon won a crucial special election in Hillsborough 3 on Tuesday – closing the gap in the House and bringing Democrats within three seats of a majority. These razor-thin margins and additional expected special elections mean that the chamber will continue to be competitive throughout the year. Democrats’ momentum is growing at the state legislative level of the ballot, and these special elections are proving that voters are tired of Republican extremism.
- South Carolina Democrats have been fighting back against the heinous abortion ban House Republicans passed Wednesday night. Democrats forced Republicans to deal with 1,000 amendments to the 6-week abortion ban bill, yet Republicans are set on doing everything they can to ban abortion at every opportunity. The bill will now head to the state Senate where Republicans are chomping at the bit to tear apart reproductive freedom.
- Montana’s Republican Gov. Greg Gianforte signed four more bills this week targeting abortion access, including one that is already being challenged in court. This came just days after the state Supreme Court again affirmed that abortion is protected under the state constitution’s right to privacy. Republicans will stop at nothing to kill reproductive freedom, and they are only getting more extreme.
- Arizona Republicans are ramming through a package of bills that would ban trans children from using bathrooms that line up with their gender identity and would restrict drag performances across the state. This discriminatory legislation will likely get vetoed, but Republicans would rather spend their time on unpopular culture war issues than work to improve Arizonans’ daily lives.
- Yesterday, New Hampshire House Democrats killed the Republican-proposed “Parental Bill of Rights” bill, which would have teachers facing jail time if they didn’t report on students changing their pronouns at school. As Republicans’ attendance majority remains tenuous, the House is up for grabs, and Democrats are only three seats away from an outright majority. This is just a taste of what New Hampshire Democrats will accomplish when we flip the chamber and hold Republicans accountable for their extreme legislation.
- While Republicans waste time on culture wars, new Democratic trifectas are passing legislation to improve their constituents’ lives. This week, in the final days of their already-successful session, Minnesota Democrats passed two major gun control measures that have been held up for years due to prior GOP obstruction. There’s no debating it: Democrats are keeping their communities safe.
- Speaking of new Democratic trifectas… Michigan Democrats are continuing to prove that they are fighting tooth and nail for workers’ rights. The Democratic-led legislature banned businesses from discriminating against employees who get abortions. From enshrining abortion access to passing gun safety bills to protecting workers, there’s nothing Michigan Democrats cannot do.