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 August 5th; ease into the weekend with the state of the states.
For questions and suggestions, e-mail us.
- ROCK CHALK, JAYHAWK! Tuesday night, the people of Kansas resoundingly rejected a proposed constitutional amendment that would have empowered state Republicans to completely ban abortion. In a stunning blow to the GOP extremist agenda, Kansans all across the political spectrum voted in force despite shady Republican tactics. The definitive margin in Kansas demonstrates that even in the reddest states, the majority of voters disapproves of restrictive abortion bans and will turn out in droves to let the GOP know.
- Shockingly, abortion rights aren’t just just popular in deeply-red Kansas! Polls in key battleground states like Arizona, Colorado, Michigan and Minnesota show most voters oppose overturning Roe and banning abortion. The GOP are reaping exactly what they sowed.
- Listen up, Democrats! In a joint editorial this week in The Hill, DLCC President Jessica Post and U.S. Representative Grace Meng (NY-06) called on Democrats to fully fund every level of the ballot this fall and to invest in key state legislatures to counter rising GOP extremism that threatens abortion access, voting rights, and our democracy. Post and Meng also highlighted the DLCC’s Federal Advisory Council (FAC) that was formed last year with U.S. representatives, including Representative Meng, to help support state Democrats and create a lasting partnership with Democrats at all levels of the ballot.
- After censuring their own House leader for not capitulating to Trump’s “Big Lie,” it was painfully clear that Arizona Republicans were anti-democratic to their core. But a series of emails obtained by the New York Times reveals that Arizona GOP Chairwoman Kelli Ward and state Senator Kelly Townsend were fully aware that efforts to steal the 2020 election for Trump by installing a slate of fake electors could appear treasonous. Also, a friendly reminder that Arizona’s Senate President Karen Fann was subpoenaed last month for her communications with Trump officials in their attempt to overturn the presidential election.
- Extreme Republican candidates who attended the insurrection or purposely sowed doubt in our democracy are winning primaries across the country. In Michigan, Angela Rigas (HD-79), who got teargassed at the January 6th insurrection, won her primary. She’ll be joined on the ballot by at least two other Michigan Republicans who attended the insurrection, Matt Maddock (HD-51) and Diane Saber (HD-12). These anti-democratic Republicans represent just a few of the extremists the Michigan GOP has on the ballot this November.
- “Florida Man Runs for State House Seat — From Jail” seems like an Onion headline but… Jeremy Michael Brown, an insurrectionist and self-identified Oath Keeper charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct during the January 6th siege, has decided to run for the Florida legislature while awaiting trial behind bars. Despite touting a conspiracy theory-fueled platform and facing potential disqualification because of his charges, he is running unopposed in the Republican primary. Guess this is what qualifies for a quality GOP recruit these days.
- Last week, a Wisconsin circuit judge found that there was “absolutely no” evidence of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. The judge’s ruling came in response to an investigation called by statehouse Republicans that not only failed to find any evidence of wrongdoing, but embarrassed the state and cost taxpayers over a million dollars. Along the way, these cases revealed Assembly Speaker Robin Vos’s blatant contempt for following open records laws — in addition to his contempt for the will of his constituents.
- Massachusetts Democrats are undeterred by the hyper-conservative Supreme Court’s ruling on gun safety laws, passing through the Senate an update to the state’s firearm statutes that seeks to comply with the high court’s decision while keeping communities safe. The update would enact popular, common sense gun safety reforms such as prohibiting those with a history of harassment from obtaining a license to carry and allowing licensed authorities to deny permits if the person is a risk to public safety.
- Aided by its budget surplus, state Democrats in Colorado are on track to send $750 checks to eligible Coloradoans this month – with an added bump going to low-income individuals and families. New Mexico has also been sending checks to their residents thanks to state Dems, with the final round of up to $500 going out this week. While Republicans double down on an extreme agenda that does little for everyday Americans, state Democrats are stepping up to help with costs.
- Earlier this week, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled that county prosecutors are exempt from a court order that blocked the enforcement of the state’s dangerous 1931 abortion ban — a ruling that would mean that the ability to access necessary reproductive care may depend on whether you have a Republican county prosecutor. Fortunately, this outrageous ruling was blocked again. State Republicans advocated for the draconian, Prohibition-era law to go into effect even though the majority of Michiganders oppose the decision to overturn Roe. We need to flip the Michigan legislature so Michiganders’ rights can be protected once and for all.
- “Some here say they are pro-life. What about my life?” That is what 12-year-old West Virginian Addison Gardner asked her Republican delegates as they assembled to ram through a dangerous abortion ban with no exceptions in instances of rape or incest. Gardner, a child, gave voice to the West Virginians needlessly put at risk by Republicans’ crusade against reproductive freedom and showed more wisdom than those elected to represent her interests.
- Indiana Republicans commissioned a poll and got the shock of their life — Hoosiers oppose the ban on abortion the GOP is pursuing. Despite that,the GOP-controlled legislature is rushing to crush reproductive rights in the state. A near-total abortion ban is expected to receive a final vote this weekend. If Indiana Republicans won’t listen to their constituents, maybe they’ll listen to business groups? The Indianapolis chamber of commerce opposes the legislation.
- In the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision, millions of Americans are not only at risk from dangerous Republican abortion bans but forced to sift through ever-changing court rulings to figure out if they have safe and legal access to care. Just this past week, Louisana GOP’s abortion ban was reinstated after it had been blocked and then overturned multiple times, while Kentuckians also saw their state’s abortion ban go into effect after it had been previously halted. We hope the GOP is proud of the chaos and misery they created.