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 July 22nd; ease into the weekend with the state of the states.
For questions and suggestions, e-mail us.
- Post in the Post! DLCC President Jessica Post spoke to the Washington Post about the importance of state legislatures in the fight for codifying abortion rights. “As soon as we take a state legislature, we will do something to protect abortion in the state. In fact, the only Democratic trifecta of government that hasn’t protected abortion is the federal government,” Post said. Statehouses decide key issues like abortion access and voting rights, yet state legislative races are consistently outraised by long-shot national candidates. On the heels of our record-breaking second-quarter fundraising, the DLCC is working to close that gap while spearheading the fight for Democratic control in state legislatures to protect fundamental rights.
- Earlier this week, Arizona GOP’s executive committee censured House Speaker Rusty Bowers, stopped recognizing him as a Republican, and encouraged GOP voters to vote him out in next month’s primary for not going along with his Republican colleague’s attacks on our democracy. Bowers was in the spotlight last month when he testified before the Congressional Select Committee investigating the January 6th insurrection that President Trump and state Republicans in Arizona had attempted to use the legislature’s power to decertify the results of the 2020 presidential election. Respecting the democratic process should be the bare minimum for elected officials, but today’s GOP will kick you out for it.
- Ohio Republican Representative Gary Click introduced a bill to ban gender-affirming care for trans kids without speaking to a single trans person whose life his law would completely upend and threaten. Click said that he was approached by the ultra-conservative Center for Christian Virtue (the architects of multiple anti-LGBTQ+ measures in Ohio, by the way) to propose the bill, a request he dutifully backed up with hours of research, which mainly included YouTube videos… Adding insult to injury, he encouraged a constituent concerned about his ignorant, dangerous legislation to detransition and accused her of “masquerading as the opposite sex because your DNA never changes.” Republicans love conversion therapy!!
- Republican Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos revealed in an interview that earlier this month he was asked by former President Donald Trump to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election… almost two years later. Vos rejected Trump’s request (while saying he respected Trump making his case), but is guilty of undermining our democracy himself. He and his fellow Assembly Republicans commissioned an investigation that pushed election conspiracy theories following the 2020 election, worked to overhaul the state’s bipartisan commission that oversees its elections, and helped eliminate nearly all ballot drop boxes ahead of the upcoming midterms. Vos also helped successfully rig this decade’s maps, making them largely an extension of last decade’s maps that managed to keep Democrats in the extreme minority in the legislature despite regularly winning elections statewide.
- In an interview with Vox, Michigan Democratic Senator Mallory McMorrow highlighted the consequences of the historic underfunding of state legislative races. McMorrow noted that over the past two decades, the GOP funneled millions to state candidates to gerrymander themselves into power and pass the unpopular abortion bans that laid the groundwork for the Supreme Court to overturn Roe. McMorrow also urged her fellow Democratic lawmakers not to shy away from difficult issues this fall and take on Republican attacks by “call[ing] bullshit, bullshit.”
- Massachusetts Senate Democrats unveiled a historic $4 billion tax relief plan this week. The package includes tax and child care credits along with direct payments that will immediately save money for families and provide much-needed relief in the face of rising costs. Senate Democrats also included millions to protect reproductive rights and shore up security at clinics, further strengthening the state’s status as a haven for reproductive freedom.
- “You can lead with twerking — and still fundamentally change policies in your state,” said Rhode Island Senator Tiara Mack in response to backlash over her recent TikTok. Mack, the first openly LGBTQ+ Black person elected to the state Senate, uses her account on the popular social media platform to reach younger audiences and educate people on safe abortion access, yet the GOP’s obsession with controlling women’s bodies has no boundaries, as her twerking video gained negative conservative attention and became a national story. “I’m unapologetically Black and queer,” said Senator Mack, who is breaking new ground for state leaders while reaching diverse populations where they are.
- Because of Ohio GOP’s draconian abortion ban, a ten-year-old was forced to cross state lines in order not to be forced to birth her rapist’s child. Instead of questioning the law that would have forced a literal child to carry the result of rape to term, state Republicans from Arizona to Michigan pushed conspiracy theories that the story was false — downplaying the violence inflicted by the GOP’s abortion bans. Along with this devastating story in Ohio, we are seeing the effects of Republicans’ abortion restrictions play out nationwide with life-altering consequences.
- Republicans have a complete disregard for the health and safety of the majority of Americans who support keeping abortion safe and legal. This week, Idaho Republicans made it a part of their party platform to criminalize all abortions without exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the pregnant person. By designating abortion as “murder from the moment of fertilization,” Idaho Republicans demonstrate just how cruel the modern Republican Party is.
- In red states like Texas, local prosecutors are refusing to criminalize lifesaving medical care. In response, Republican Representative Briscoe Cain and his colleagues are crafting legislation that could empower prosecutors from outside counties to criminalize reproductive care across the state. Doubling down on cruelty, state Republicans are willing to rewrite state laws, push for the criminalization of those who assist with providing an abortion, and shirk local jurisdiction just to enforce their cruel abortion bans and subject tens of thousands to undue harm.