There’s a lot going on, so the DLCC is sending a roundup of the state legislative stories you might have missed. It’s June 17th, and here is the state of the states.
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- Democrat Nicole Grohoski won her race this week in a highly-competitive special election for Maine’s seventh Senate District, making legislative Democrats 3 for 3 in Maine special elections this cycle. On the same night, several anti-abortion Republicans advanced in their primaries after regurgitating Maine GOP’s out-of-touch platform. These results in Maine showcase the GOP’s turn to the far right while Democrats continue to appeal to a wide population of voters.
- Senate Republicans in Michigan moved to remove explicit mentions of the LGBTQ+ community from a resolution honoring LGBTQ+ Michiganders and designating June as Pride Month. Michigan’s first openly gay state senator, Democrat Jeremy Moss, called out his Republican colleagues’ blatant bigotry as GOP leaders pushed to erase Pride and attack LGBTQ+ people instead. The kicker — Republicans voted for an identical measure last year… I guess before anti-LGBTQ+ hate was normalized again by the modern GOP.
- In California last week, members of the right-wing hate group the Proud Boys disrupted a Drag Queen Story Hour at a local library, hurling homophobic and transphobic insults at literal children. In Idaho, members of another violent extremist group were arrested before they could violently disrupt a nearby Pride Parade. All across the country, far-right groups with established ties to the GOP are taking cues from state Republicans’ anti-LGBTQ+ agenda and terrorizing our communities with hate.
- Sponsored by insurrectionist state Senator Doug Mastriano, a bill passed Pennsylvania’s Senate this week that would allow poll watchers from outside counties to confront election officials at polling places. Needlessly instigating confrontation and enabling voter intimidation, Mastriano’s fellow anti-democratic Republicans are pushing these kinds of bills all across the country in order to deter voters, challenge the legitimacy of future elections, and propagate the “Big Lie.”
- Candidates in almost a third of Tuesday’s Nevada primary races endorsed dangerous, anti-democratic sentiments that undermine trust in our elections. From false claims of voter fraud to calling on their supporters to “take our government back,” some of Nevada’s Republican candidates prove that the GOP’s anti-democratic fervor was never just a “fringe” movement.
- Republican lawmakers in Arizona have hopped on the hateful bandwagon, proposing this week to needlessly demonize the LGBTQ+ community and ban kids from drag shows. While state Democrats push for measures proven to save lives, such as stronger gun safety reform, all Republicans have to offer to the American people is hate.
- California Democrats adopted a historic $300 billion budget that not only earmarks hundreds of millions to expand Medi-Cal, but designates $130 million to train more abortion providers and establish a statewide fund to help patients travel from states that have banned abortion services. When Democrats control state legislatures, they quickly move to expand life-saving benefits and ensure our most basic freedoms are protected.
- Early voting and mail-in ballots are on track to be protected in Massachusetts thanks to actions taken by Democrats in the Senate. While Republicans continue to put up barriers to the ballot box, state Democrats from Massachusetts to Nevada are helping Americans exercise their constitutional right to vote.
- Democrats in Delaware’s House passed a crucial ban on many semiautomatic weapons, just one of the hundreds of gun safety measures state Democrats are passing all across the country. While state Republicans do nothing to keep our communities safe, Democratic legislatures are limiting the number of guns on our streets and keeping weapons out of dangerous hands.
- Montana is poised to gain its first two transgender lawmakers in the Capitol after Democrats SJ Howell and Zooey Zephyr won their primary elections last week. Howell and Zephyr’s victories are especially historic coming not only during Pride Month but also on the heels of multiple anti-trans bills the state’s GOP passed just last year. As one former lawmaker noted, “For the first time in 133 years of statehood, young people coming to terms with their gender identity will look to their legislature and see someone who knows their story, their struggles, and the bright possibilities ahead. There is no way to describe how powerful that is”