Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! 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 March 17th; ease into the weekend with a roundup of state stories from across the country.
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- CBS News reported last week that the DLCC is calling for an additional $10 million investment in our budget this year. We’ve had a string of special election victories already thanks to DLCC investments — but with more special elections on the way and razor-thin margins in so many battleground states, we can’t afford to fall behind. There are no off-years in legislative politics, especially in 2023, where we will be fighting to flip chambers in Virginia and New Hampshire. Legislative majorities are won on the margins and it is more important than ever to build momentum going into 2023, 2024, and beyond.
- South Carolina Republicans managed to take their anti-abortion position even further to the right, with over a dozen lawmakers proposing a bill that could make a woman who gets an abortion eligible for the death penalty. South Carolina is simply the latest example of the GOP using their power to trample over reproductive freedoms. DLCC spokesperson Gabrielle Chew said, “If it was up to the Republican Party, Americans would have no say over their own bodies and reproductive freedom would be banned across the country.”
- Forget daylight savings, Tennessee Republicans want to turn the clock back even further, with the House passing a bill that could allow county clerks to refuse to certify a marriage license if they disagree with the marriage. This dangerous legislation is the latest attack on LGBTQ+ rights in Tennessee, and across the country, as the GOP prioritizes extreme right-wing dreams over the needs of their constituents.
- New Hampshire Senate Republicans voted down a bill to protect abortion access, showing once again that they won’t protect the fundamental freedoms of Granite Staters. This party-line vote clearly demonstrates that while Republicans block protections for reproductive rights, Democrats are working to defend reproductive health care.
- The Republican leader of the House Elections Committee in Arizona decided that the phrase “conspiracy theory” was a bridge too far in describing their wild election lies – or what some might call…conspiracy theories. Now, the GOP isn’t only lying to the public, they are also trying to silence the opposition as Democrats discuss what millions of voters already know: Republicans will destroy the foundations of our democracy if given the chance.
- New Hampshire Republican Rep. Jeffrey Greeson was recorded in a violent exchange with a local snowplow driver, and has been arrested for disorderly conduct and simple assault. Honestly, the GOP never asks us, but we wouldn’t support a lawmaker who attacks civil servants like this and we wouldn’t recommend they keep their position. It’s not like there weren’t warning signs. Did we mention he also co-sponsored legislation that would force New Hampshire schools to “out” LGBTQ+ students?
- Michigan Democrats are proving, once again, that they will put workers and middle-class families first every time. Both Democratic-led chambers voted to pass a bill repealing the right-to-work law, the first state in nearly sixty years to ditch one of these anti-union laws. Democrats also passed legislation to re-establish a prevailing wage standard. Naturally, not a single Republican senator voted to improve the lives and working conditions of millions of Michigan workers.
- In Minnesota, Democrats passed a bill making all students eligible for free school meals regardless of their family income – putting money back into pockets while working to ensure that no child goes hungry. As DFLers continue making sweeping progress for working families, one Minnesota Republican state senator is so out of touch that he claimed he’d never met a Minnesotan who doesn’t have enough access to food… I guess we know who they are fighting for.
- While federal Republicans continue to block progress in Congress, state Democrats continue to prove that they will protect our most fundamental freedoms. In Maryland, House Democrats passed a bill enabling a ballot measure to enshrine the right to reproductive freedom in the state’s constitution – the DLCC and state Democrats will not stop until reproductive rights are protected everywhere.