WASHINGTON — Republican-controlled legislatures across the country are passing a radical right-wing agenda and many of these laws went into effect this month. Republicans are prioritizing extremist laws to rile up their base instead of addressing the needs of their constituents, even undermining the fundamental building blocks of our democracy.
Below is a round-up of just some of the legislation that Republicans have enacted in statehouses across the country:
- Republican lawmakers passed a bill that would fine any company that requires proof of vaccination, further politicizing a public health crisis at a time when vaccinations should be increasing.
- Republicans also enacted legislation that would track the “ideological diversity” of the state’s public university students, faculty and staff. This is another Republican “solution” in search of a problem and will lead to more government overreach in our classrooms.
- The Florida bill banning transgender girls from playing on sports teams was cruelly signed into law on the first day of Pride Month and 12 days before the anniversary of the Pulse shooting in Orlando. This is part of a wider Republican attack on transgender Americans.
- The infamous voter suppression bill, SB 202, is going into full effect. This bill will restrict ballot drop boxes, allow partisan state officials to take over county election offices, make it more burdensome to request absentee ballots and limit early voting.
- Republican lawmakers in Iowa upended existing gun safety measures to make background checks on unlicensed sales optional and to allow people to carry a gun into stores without safety training or a permit. The safety measures that were on the books worked and kept Iowans safer.
- Iowa Republicans also passed legislation banning “divisive” conversations around systemic racism and sexism by Iowa public university professors or government entities, further threatening freedom of speech in classrooms.
- Republicans in Kansas are passing a voter suppression measure that makes it more difficult for voters to return their absentee ballots, showing just how anti-democratic the Republican Party has become.
- Kansas Republicans also loosened gun violence prevention measures in the state.
- Montana Republicans are banning trans women and girls from participating in sports, targeting a small and vulnerable population that is just trying to live their lives.
- Republicans in Tennessee enacted legislation that requires government buildings and businesses to post signs if they let trans people use multi-person bathrooms and other facilities in-line with their gender identity. This bill breaks new ground in the GOP’s horrifying assault on the trans community.
- The Tennessee GOP has also passed legislation that allows the state to define what gets taught in classrooms, rather than teachers and parents, and put valuable state funding at risk if they violate the new measure.