We made it to the end of the week! Now say it with us, T.G.I.S.O.T.S. Thank God It’s State of the States! The DLCC is here to help you catch up on the state legislative stories you might have missed. It’s April 28th; ease into the weekend with a roundup of state stories from across the country.
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- Last Friday, in response to the Supreme Court stay on the case involving the most widely used abortion drugs in the country, DLCC Interim President Heather Williams said, “Today’s Supreme Court stay is momentary relief from GOP extremists who have spent every second working to roll back abortion rights since the Dobbs decision came down, but these lawmakers won’t stop now. There is no debating it: the Republican Party will not stop until they have complete control over Americans’ bodies.” The fight to enshrine abortion rights is in the states – and the DLCC is leading the charge to protect Americans’ fundamental freedoms.
- Montana House Republicans voted to silence Rep. Zooey Zephyr, a trans lawmaker, for speaking out against their dangerous anti-LGBTQ+ legislation. Rep. Zephyr has courageously defended her constituents and community since being sworn in, and the Republican caucus is attempting to silence her. This is part of a growing trend of Republicans using their majorities to censure or expel democratically elected lawmakers to silence dissenting voices – which we saw in Tennessee and Oklahoma.
- Tennessee Democrats are calling on Republican House Speaker Cameron Sexton to resign in the wake of Republicans’ efforts to expel the Tennessee Three. The resolution points out a host of leadership failures, including reports that Sexton may not live in his own district. This comes just a week after Rep. Scotty Campbell, a member of GOP leadership, resigned after being found guilty of sexually harassing at least one intern. It’s more clear than ever that Tennessee deserves better leadership than this.
- Everyone’s favorite Arizona state Senator, Oath Keeper, and election denier Wendy Rogers, has filed an injunction asking a court to bar an Arizona Capitol Times reporter from contacting her. The reporter is investigating whether Rogers lives in her district… which seems kind of important. Publicly available property records have indicated that Rogers and her husband bought a home in Chandler in January and signed a document indicating she lived in Tempe – not in Flagstaff, the city she represents in the Senate.
- Surprise, surprise! The GOP has its eyes set on taking back the Virginia Senate to undermine democracy and pass anti-voter legislation. Cleta Mitchell, a GOP lawyer and fundraiser who worked with Donald Trump to attempt to overturn the 2020 election, said the quiet part out loud at a recent donor retreat, saying that flipping the Virginia Senate would allow for the elimination of early voting there. The stakes are sky-high in Virginia to defend the Senate and flip the House to stop GOP extremists from taking our voting rights.
- Despite most Americans supporting abortion access, the GOP cannot stop themselves from passing extreme legislation trampling reproductive rights. North Dakota Republicans enacted a six-week abortion ban this week. Republicans are not hiding it: when they are in power, they will restrict reproductive rights to have complete control over Americans’ bodies.
- While the Republican Party initiates dangerous culture wars that play with people’s lives, newly-elected Democratic trifectas are protecting our LGBTQ+ neighbors. The Democratic-led Minnesota legislature recently passed legislation safeguarding access to gender-affirming care and banning conversion therapy. Once again, Minnesota Democrats are showing the entire country the progress we can make when we elect Democrats.
- Minnesota isn’t the only state capitalizing on their new majorities to keep their campaign promises and work to pass pro-LGBTQ+ legislation. Pennsylvania House Democrats advanced a bill to extend anti-discrimination protections to LGBTQ+ people – legislation first introduced in the chamber 22 years ago. Will Pennsylvania Republicans continue their years-long anti-LGBTQ+ crusade and block these crucial protections?
- While Republicans undermine democracy and silence their opposition to maintain power, state Democrats are passing bills that actually cut costs and improve lives. Colorado Democrats passed a bill that will lower costs for farmers by saving money on repairs – becoming the first state in the country to pass right-to-repair legislation.