There’s a lot going on, so every Wednesday, the DLCC is sending a roundup of the state legislative stories you might have missed. It’s October 20th, and here is the state of the states.
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- President Joe Biden endorsed a slate of Democratic candidates running for the Virginia House of Delegates this November. In two short years, the General Assembly has delivered results for Virginia’s working families and we are incredibly proud of all of these candidates.
- The DLCC identified at least 21 Republican state legislators who participated in the January 6th insurrection and another nearly 600 who promoted “Stop the Steal” rhetoric or signed letters or briefs calling to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election — meaning 1/6 of sitting GOP legislators were complicit in 1/6. The RSLC has still refused to comment on their endorsement of “Stop the Steal” and Jan. 6 attendee candidates, making it clear that insurrectionists are no longer the fringe of the Republican Party — they are the party.
- Everything is on the line for Democrats to hold the House of Delegates in Virginia this November. Whether Democrats keep the gavel will determine if Virginia builds on the progress they have already made, or turns back the clock and enacts a radical GOP agenda. We need everyone all-in for the next 13 days.
- In Pennsylvania, several hundred people contacted state authorities and election officials because they’re worried Senate Republicans’ sham review of the 2020 election could lead to Pennsylvanian’s sensitive personal information being released.
- The Wisconsin Senate approved Republican anti-abortion bills, including defunding abortion providers. It would be really cool if Republicans devoted this same energy to keeping their constituents alive during a global pandemic but the different political parties have different priorities!
- A Texas school district administrator told teachers that if they had a book about the Holocaust in their classrooms, they needed to have a book with the opposing perspective. There are not two sides to the Holocaust, but because of Republican legislation, teachers have to give Hitler’s point of view too.
- At a Trump-Youngkin rally last week, extremists in attendance pledged allegiance to a flag that was waved at the insurrection at the Capitol on January 6th. Amanda Chase, who attended the rally, and GOP candidate Otto Wachsmann went on the conservative John Fredericks Radio Show and agreed that “you have to stop [Democrats] from stealing” elections.
- The anti-American insurrectionists are still at it, with 138 state lawmakers from 38 states signing Arizona Republican Sen. Wendy Rogers’ letter calling for sham election reviews in all 50 states, possible decertification, and for the House of Representatives to hold its own vote for president if enough states cast doubt on the 2020 results. Long-time readers will recognize some of the signers as being insurrectionists!
- West Virginia Republicans have been on a pro-COVID tear after the Senate president compared the COVID vaccine requirements to Nazi Germany. The state Senate passed a bill to limit employers’ ability to require workers to be vaccinated. Democratic Rep. Mike Pushkin, who is Jewish, spoke for us when he said the comments “are not just irresponsible and offensive, they’re downright stupid.”
- Insurrectionist and Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Doug Mastriano suggested COVID-19 vaccines were not true vaccines and mocked the concept of getting vaccinated to protect others. Mastriano might not care about the health of others, but Pennsylvanians do.
- Alaska Sen. Lora Reinbold, who was banned from flying on Alaska Airlines for refusing to wear a mask and couldn’t travel to and from the state capitol, tested positive for COVID-19. She is treating herself with ivermectin (what could go wrong?), while opposing mandates on social media.
- Democrats in the Illinois legislature are pushing to repeal a law that delays a minor’s constitutional right to an abortion. The law currently requires that a parent or guardian be notified in advance of a minor seeking an abortion, which serves no purpose other than to delay care and puts victims of rape or incest at risk.
- Democrats in Maine are sending working-class Mainers and essential workers $300 checks on November 1st, helping people across the state as they recover from the pandemic.
- Honoring the women’s suffrage movement, Democrats in Delaware unveiled a monument commemorating the long struggle for women’s rights at Legislative Hall in Dover. Democrats also welcomed two prominent suffragists from Delaware into the Delaware Women’s Hall of Fame.
- Democrats in California recently passed a bill allowing California community colleges to offer up to 30 new bachelor’s degree programs. The program is being piloted at 15 California community colleges and in some cases, even allows the colleges to add four-year degrees.
- Texas Republicans sent Governor Greg Abbot a new congressional map that gives white voters effective control of two new congressional districts and could ensure GOP control of those seats. The map ignores the 95% population growth in Texas that is attributed to people of color. Republican redistricting is an affront to the foundations of our democracy.
- After residents complained about the Virginia redistricting map, Democratic Delegate Marcus Simon and his staff discovered that the map had been drawn up by the GOP’s main redistricting arm. The investigation revealed that the National Republican Redistricting Trust helped create what Delegate Simon has coined a “Republican Dream Map,” and undermines what’s supposed to be a bipartisan process.