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 February 3rd, and here is the state of the states.
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- This Black History Month, the DLCC is highlighting Black legislators who made history. From the hundreds of Black men who served during Reconstruction to the Black women and gender-nonbinary people achieving historic firsts today, Black representation in state legislatures continues to be both an act of resistance and a catalyst for change. While we’ve made historic progress this year — we’re a long way from equity and the DLCC remains committed to the fight for racial justice.
- Fueled by conspiracy theories and Trumpism, state Republicans are radicalizing and attacking the foundations of democracy to maintain their grip on power. From curtailing voting rights to taking power away from the courts to gerrymandering districts, the GOP is trying to rig future elections in their favor.
- GOP legislators who were involved in the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol are facing growing pressure from their constituents to resign. A grassroots chorus of voters has demanded they be held accountable for their part in the deadly riot — though the lawmakers have yet to face any real consequences.
- In Arizona and Pennsylvania, Republican lawmakers introduced legislation that would allow their state legislatures to override their state’s popular vote for presidential elections. Republican lawmakers in dozens of states have introduced legislation that would restrict the right to vote. Make no mistake, the next Republican insurrection is taking place in our state legislatures.
- Arizona Republicans are considering a bill that would require doctors who perform abortions and their patients to be charged with murder. Add that to the pile of GOP bills that are trying to limit abortion rights in Montana, Iowa, Texas, and Kansas.
- In Iowa, Republicans are asking voters to approve an amendment that would prohibit any gun safety legislation. We probably aren’t the first to say this, but that isn’t safe.
- Searching for your next “get rich quick” scheme? Look no further than GOP Missouri Representative Patricia Ashton Derges, who tried to sell a fake stem cell treatment as a cure for COVID-19. She’s now facing 20 criminal charges, so maybe find a different grift.
- Virginia Democratic Delegate Danica Roem introduced a bill that would outlaw the “gay panic defense” in the state — helping protect LGBTQ+ people from hate crimes. More news from Virginia: Democrats advanced a voting rights act on the first day of Black History Month to eliminate voter suppression.
- It’s a good day for progress on climate change. Democratic lawmakers in Massachusetts passed an expansive climate change bill — for the second time after the GOP governor vetoed the first. The Minnesota DFL also proposed the “most ambitious” goal for clean energy in the country.
- Nevada is home to one of the very few legislatures in the country that is majority-women. Recent analysis has shown that on a host of issues from voting rights to birth control to maternal mortality, having more women in office is beneficial for everyone.
- There’s going to be a lot more Republican voter suppression attempts.