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 August 12th; ease into the weekend with the state of the states.
For questions and suggestions, e-mail us.
- GOP flop era? The Republican State Leadership Committee spent $515,000 in the past quarter on Washington but Tuesday’s primary results but the “red wave” never showed up. In a top-two primary where candidates from all parties compete, Washington voters proved they have no interest in the Republican agenda of overturning fair and free elections and banning abortion. Republicans were eager to gain ground in Washington state, and voters showed them the door.
- Minnesota’s primary was this week, and several more extreme candidates beat out more ‘moderate’ Republicans. DLCC President Jessica Post summed up what’s at stake in Minnesota legislative elections: “Minnesota is a top priority for the DLCC this cycle, and I could not be more excited to work to elect this incredible slate of DFL candidates as we head into the final months of the midterm election. If Republicans take control of the state, they will attack the right to an abortion and other fundamental rights.”
- We’ve been well aware of the racist motivations behind GOP anti-voter laws, but a report released from the Brennan Center showed that legislation that increased barriers to voting was most common in Republican-controlled states with racially-diverse populations. As the Brennan Center report noted, “The sponsorship of these bills is concentrated in the whitest parts of the most diverse states, and we find evidence that race and racial resentment matter above-and-beyond the influence of partisanship.”
- Last week, the Music Midtown festival in Atlanta canceled its September event because of legislation passed by Georgia Republicans barring event organizers from banning guns on the festival grounds, which should be common sense. Republican policies are costing their state jobs and revenue.
- State Republicans everywhere are facing the consequences of how unpopular their abortion bans really are. In Colorado this week, anti-abortion activists failed to get enough signatures to get an abortion ban on the ballot this November. Similarly, in Nebraska, the Republican governor opted not to convene a special session in the legislature to pass stricter abortion bans because, without Democratic support, Republicans do not have the votes. The GOP worked for decades to overturn abortion rights — and now they’re facing the consequences as voters fight back.
- Oregon Democrats have been at the forefront of fighting the climate crisis, and now, Oregon is on track to reduce its overall greenhouse gas emissions. In the face of GOP inaction, state Democrats are working to save the planet that all of us, regardless of political party, live on.
- Colorado’s sales tax on period products and diapers ends this week, thanks to the leadership of state Democrats. Tampons will join the list of essential tax-exempt items, such as medications, unprepared food, and yes, Viagra. The tax exemption is expected to save Colorado families $9.1 million annually. The only votes in opposition were Republicans, who apparently oppose helping Coloradans save money.
- California Democrats passed a bill that would require schools to inform families of the state’s safe gun storage requirements. Republican lawmakers pathetically blame gun violence on too many doors in schools, video games, smartphones, and mental health, while Democrats focus on the solution – keeping deadly weapons out of the wrong hands.
- Missouri’s abortion ban has raised concerns for survivors of intimate partner violence. Domestic violence survivors and advocates sounded the alarm on the trauma that abortion bans can cause for people who have experienced reproductive coercion or abuse, particularly because the number one cause of death for pregnant people is murder, often by their partners. Anti-abortion Republicans are hellbent on forcing pregnancy under the guise of “life”, regardless of the traumatic and life-threatening impacts. Even more alarming, pregnant people in Missouri cannot obtain a divorce, potentially entrapping victims in abusive relationships.
- Republicans in Indiana passed an abortion ban last week, making it the first state to pass a restriction since Roe fell. Democrats successfully stood together and prevented the Republican-majority from removing exceptions for rape and incest from the bill.This anti-abortion legislation is beginning to face criticism from large employers who know the GOP’s radical agenda is bad for business.