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 June 24th; ease into the weekend with the state of the states.
For questions and suggestions, e-mail us.
- FACT CHECK: Despite their attempts to distance themselves from extremist Republicans and the insurrection at Tuesday’s January 6th Select Committee hearing, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers and Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey both oversaw anti-democratic action in their legislatures following the 2020 presidential election. Not overturning the votes of their constituents and attacking our democracy is the bare minimum of what we should expect from elected officials. As our president told The New York Times, “I just don’t think you get a gold star for doing the absolutely least.”
- With support for abortion rights at an all-time high, state Democrats plan to mobilize voters around this high-stakes issue and hold Republicans accountable for their attacks against reproductive rights. As our executive director Heather Williams told POLITICO this week, “We know that Roe is not the only issue [in the midterms], but Roe is a motivator … and we definitely see that voters who may be only presidential-year voters — that Roe falling certainly gives them additional motivation and urgency.”
- All across the country, Democratic-led legislatures have acted swiftly to curb gun violence. Many have passed life-saving gun safety measures after the series of mass shooting tragedies that have rocked the nation. Meanwhile, state Republicans are actively making our communities less safe, like in GOP-controlled Ohio, where Republicans recently passed a measure that makes it easier for teachers to carry guns in schools and another allowing for permitless carry of concealed guns that went into effect last week.
- This week, numerous state Republicans joined hundreds of Texas’ GOP loyalists at their party convention, where they claimed that “acting” President Biden did not win the election legally, that the Lone Star State should consider succession, and that being gay is an “an abnormal lifestyle choice.” It also called for the repeal of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Out of step with the majority of Texans and a direct threat to the most fundamental rights of all Americans, the Texas GOP’s new party platform demonstrates the Republican Party’s sharp turn right towards extremism and desire to drag the country back into the last century.
- Despite infamously calling Democratic Senator Mallory McMorrow “a groomer” in April and continuing to levy a hateful campaign against the LGBTQ+ community, Michigan Republicans refuse to sign on to House Democrats’ bill to make “grooming” a crime — even as their former leader, Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield is being investigated on allegations that involve grooming. Clearly, the GOP would rather keep creating fodder for fundraising emails and attacking the LGBTQ+ community than actually protect children.
- This week, state Republicans in Pennsylvania blocked a proposal that would have raised the minimum age to possess an assault-style rifle. Instead, Republicans turned the bill into a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow people to concealed carry a weapon without a permit, which is deeply unpopular.
- Last Friday, New Hampshire Republicans enacted a bill sponsored by state senator and former Oath Keeper Bob Giuda that threatens the votes of the military, newly naturalized citizens, and anyone unable to immediately prove their identification at the polls. Passing without a single Democratic vote, the legislation blatantly makes it harder for everyone in New Hampshire to have equal access to the ballot box — another example of the GOP’s endless crusade against voting rights.
- After Republicans refused to work with Democrats, GOP infighting in the Arizona legislature initially stalled budget negotiations and again threatened public school funding just days before the deadline. Luckily, at the 11th hour, state Democrats were ready to save the day, helping deliver a budget to provide school funding, infrastructure improvements, and transportation projects for Arizonans.
- North Carolina House Democrats are holding firm to block Republicans’ proposed “Don’t Say Gay” bill from advancing. As North Carolina Democrats protect the governor’s veto of GOP’s hate, state Democrats all across the country are rejecting Republicans’ malicious attempts to attack LGBTQ+ people and normalize bigotry.
- This Pride Month, Democrats aren’t just rejecting GOP hate, but are stepping up to protect the LGBTQ+ community. In Hawaii last week, state Democrats helped codify three new bills that will block health insurers from excluding gender-affirming procedures from coverage, prohibit gender identity-based discrimination in jury selection, and establishes Hawaii’s LGBTQ+ commission on a permanent basis.
- As the Supreme Court is on the cusp of overturning Roe v. Wade and sending the fate of abortion access to the states, California Democrats, led by DLCC vice-chair California Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins, are moving to enshrine the right to an abortion in their state constitution. California isn’t acting alone, as state Democrats and activists across the country are working in each state all across the country to protect abortion rights.
- Rhode Island added its name to the growing list of Democratic-controlled states that have passed meaningful gun reform in the wake of last month’s mass shootings. State Democrats passed a package of gun safety reforms that will keep communities safe by banning large-capacity magazines, raising the minimum age to buy a firearm from 18 to 21, and prohibiting loaded rifles and shotguns from being carried in public.