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 September 22nd, and here is the state of the states.
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- Republican candidate AC Cordoza in Virginia House District 91 admitted that if he had the opportunity he would block necessary funding for Planned Parenthood. Although some have tried to hide their positions from the public, Republican candidates in the most critical races have demonstrated that they would ban abortion and defund Planned Parenthood if they win the majority this November.
- A Republican lawmaker in Florida filed an anti-abortion bill modeled after Texas’s, prohibiting abortions before most people know they’re pregnant and allowing private citizens to sue anyone who helps a person get an abortion for up to six years after the fact. As predicted, Republican statehouses are following each other’s lead in their race to end abortion rights.
- Republicans in Georgia are trying to resurrect their disturbing 2019 law that made performing an abortion equivalent to murder by giving fetuses personhood. Republicans will stop at nothing to instate radical anti-abortion legislation.
- Speaking of being “pro-life” — infant mortality is consistently higher under Republican-controlled state legislatures, according to a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. This is why it is so important to have lawmakers that care about public health and science in a position of power.
- In Republican states that have not expanded Medicaid, the two most common procedures performed on uninsured patients are emergency gallbladder removal and cardiac catheterization. Consistently, these procedures leave uninsured patients with a catastrophic financial burden because Republican lawmakers do not believe their constituents deserve affordable health care.
- Texas Republicans have introduced over 40 anti-trans bills in 2021 — three times as many as any other state — and 29 could still become law. They launched a special session to attempt to pass bans on trans student-athletes and five other bills that would threaten gender-affirming health care.
- The National Republican Redistricting Trust announced that Mike Pompeo and Chris Christie are the new national co-chairs, and Karl Rove is the senior advisor. With this brain trust in control, I’m sure we can count on Republicans to act in good faith…
- One of Arizona Republicans’ favorite radical conspiracy theorists state Senator Wendy Rogers tweeted that President Biden was involved in a “coup against President Trump.” These people have no business being in public service.
- Ohio Republicans approved legislative maps that guaranteed the GOP a veto-proof supermajority. Republicans claimed that since they won statewide 81% of the time with an average of 54% of the vote, they should rig the maps because….math. This is a brazen, egregious power grab that flies in the face of Ohio voters’ demands for a fair process and they didn’t even bother to come up with an explanation that made any sense.
- Several North Carolina Republicans, including the House and Senate leaders, are going to share a stage with right-wing pastor and unhinged conspiracy theorist Greg Locke, anti-gay pastor Patrick Wooden, and racist former sheriff Joe Arpaio at a North Carolina Faith & Freedom Coalition event. The Grand Old Party is made up of insurrectionists, conspiracy theorists, homophobes and racists — and a handful of people who think taxes are too high.
- Superior court judges struck down North Carolina Republicans’ latest anti-voter law that would limit types of acceptable identification used to vote, saying that Republicans rammed through these rules “motivated at least in part by an unconstitutional intent to target African American voters” in order to remain in power. It’s amazing how effective the NC GOP can be when they are disenfranchising voters!
- Nearly 900 Democratic state lawmakers from 45 states urged the Supreme Court to uphold Roe v. Wade in a court filing that supported a challenge to Mississippi’s 15-week abortion ban. The fight for abortion rights is happening right now in the states and Democratic lawmakers are leading the charge.
- Pennsylvania Senate Democrats sued to block Republicans from subpoenaing voters’ private information, including driver’s license numbers and the last four digits of Social Security numbers. This huge overstep by Republicans is part of a continued effort to subvert democracy across the country.
- California Democrats’ legislation to report the gender identity and sexual orientation of people who died violent deaths to the State Department Of Public Health was signed into law. This will produce data that could allow the state to dedicate more resources to preventing unnatural deaths and shine a light on discrimination.
- In New York, the Democratic-led “Less is More” bill became law, largely eliminating the practice of incarcerating people for technical parole violations like being late to an appointment with a parole officer or failing to pay fees. This law will make an estimated 5,000 people eventually eligible for release and is a vital step toward justice.
- With Florida Republicans following Texas’ lead on radical anti-abortion bills, expect more states to do the same. It is more important than ever that Democrats prioritize winning statehouses to protect abortion rights.