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 May 27th; ease into the weekend with the state of the states.
For questions and suggestions, e-mail us.
- This week, while the nation was reeling over the tragedy in Uvalde and calling for decisive action, Republicans in both chambers in Michigan voted to block action on gun safety legislation, including background checks and safe storage requirements. In Pennsylvania, Republicans in the House callously did the same, continuing two decades of GOP inaction in the state. In stark contrast, Democrats in California’s Senate passed a bill modeled on Texas’ abortion bounty-hunter bill allowing people to sue makers or sellers of ghost guns and illegal assault weapons. Last week, Illinois Democrats’ ban on ghost guns became law.
- At least 357 sitting Republican state legislators in battleground states have attempted to discredit or overturn the 2020 presidential election results, according to a report by The New York Times. This amounts to 44 percent of the Republican state legislators in nine states where the presidential race was closest. These figures bolster our own research of Republican state legislators who participated in or aided the insurrection, which found that 1/6 of 2020 GOP state lawmakers nationwide were complicit in the 1/6 insurrection, with at least 21 Republican state lawmakers attending the insurrection and more than 600 laying the groundwork for the attack.
- I’m sorry, what year is it? Pennsylvania Republicans announced this week that they are extending their bogus “investigation” into the 2020 presidential election until after this year’s midterms. After almost two years and an initial price of half a million dollars of taxpayer money, Pennsylvania Republicans would rather waste more time and resources on a sham election review than pass bills that would actually help the commonwealth.
- In an interview last week with a digital media service designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an anti-LGBTQ hate group, Trump-endorsed Michigan House candidate Jacky Eubanks openly said she would subject the state of Michigan to her extreme ideology if elected, agreeing that if Roe falls, Republicans “are coming after your gay marriage next, are coming after your birth control after that.” She claimed that they are “outside of the Christian moral order” and lead to “chaos and destruction and a culture of death.”
- Fueled by conspiracy theories, Arizona Republicans have introduced dozens of bills that would change election rules. Most of these bills, including a measure to eliminate all ballot drop boxes in the state, have thankfully not been signed into law. But that didn’t deter Republicans from passing a bill that would empower county recorders to call into question the citizenship status of anyone on their voter rolls, proving yet again that the modern Republican Party is hellbent on attacking the freedom to vote.
- In the immediate aftermath of a school shooting, Arizona Republican Representative Michelle Udall said it would “not be appropriate” to explain the motives of the racist Buffalo shooter while defending her bill that would ban teaching that allegedly casts “blame based on race, ethnicity or sex” in the classroom. Tone-deaf to the actual needs and safety of students (like making it more difficult for someone to buy a gun and attack their school), Republicans are continuing their crusade against teaching accurate history while their rhetoric radicalizes individuals and creates an environment where people are being targeted and killed on account of their race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender identity.
- A recent poll from the Washington Post found that nearly 60% of Americans oppose banning transgender girls from playing on K-12 sports teams, yet two Republican-controlled legislatures did just that this week. In Louisiana, Republican lawmakers passed a measure that would ban transgender girls from participating in college and high school sports. In Indiana, statehouse Republicans went out of their way to override the governor’s veto of a similar bill. Extremist Republicans remain hell-bent on wielding government overreach to push discriminatory policies without input or support from the American people.
- Oklahoma Democrat Mickey Dollens made headlines this week after he proposed a bill that would mandate vasectomies for young men. Dollens’ tongue-in-cheek bill laid bare the stark hypocrisy of Oklahoma Republicans, who passed the most restrictive abortion bill in the country last week.
- When Democrats control state legislatures, they protect abortion access and reproductive health care. In California, the Assembly passed a measure that would prevent courts in Texas and other states that have restricted abortion access from penalizing providers for providing care in California. In Maryland, state Democratic Delegate Sara Love launched a program to train college students and recent graduates on how to organize and protect reproductive rights in their communities.
- State Democrats all across the country are working to reverse the damage brought on by the War on Drugs. In Massachusetts, House Democrats passed a measure that reinvests cannabis tax revenues into marginalized communities. In Rhode Island, Democrats sent a landmark law to the governor’s desk that legalizes recreational marijuana and expunges past arrests for minor marijuana possession.