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 October 21st and here is the state of the states.
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- We’re less than two weeks out from one of the most consequential election cycles in history. Down ballot races are more important than ever — if Democrats don’t win back critical state legislative chambers, they could be gerrymandered out of Congress for the next decade.
- In the last of our Spotlight candidate rollouts, the DLCC has highlighted a slate of Democrats running for state legislatures in the Northeast, South, and Midwest. These Democrats will help defend health care, reproductive rights, voting rights, and the rule of law in their states.
- The DLCC announced that it has invested over $2 million to flip the Arizona House and Senate from red to blue. With less than two weeks until Election Day, Democrats are on offense in Arizona and have the momentum to win majorities in both chambers of the legislature for the first time since 1966.
- Iowa’s Republican-controlled government misallocated at least $21 million in CARES Act funds, using the money for new accounting software and Governor Reynolds’ staff salaries rather than struggling Iowans. This comes on the heels of Republican lawmakers signing onto an ALEC letter arguing against federal coronavirus aid — but they have yet to speak out against the misuse of relief funding.
- Arizona GOP Representative Walt Blackman claimed “of course” there were more police officers in Black communities because, according to Blackman, Black Americans are responsible for “50 percent of all crime in the United States.” There he goes again…
- Republican Representative Jeff Shipley of Iowa called teachers “imbeciles” and “idiots” for advocating for the health and safety of students and teachers. He later corrected himself to say “irresponsible” and “ideologically motivated.” Haven’t we all had to reach for a thesaurus after insulting teachers?
- Montana GOP state Senator David Howard said masks don’t work because the virus is “two small.” Seems like he’s “two” uninformed to be a legislator.
- Texas GOP Representative Tony Tinderholt claims he “supports women’s health and life.” You may remember him as the legislator who proposed the death penalty for women who have abortions — literally the opposite of supporting women’s health or life.
- In GQP news, two GOP candidates for the Maine House, Kevin Bushey and Brian Redmond, called for “God-declared executions” for “traitors” (AKA Democrats).
- In what has become a regular occurrence, Arizona Republican state Senator Vince Leach has once again retweeted a QAnon follower. We never thought we’d get tired of reporting on qandidates, but here we are.
- Texas GOP Representative Craig Goldman was accused of manipulating candidate forum footage to falsely claim his Democratic opponent supports increased taxes. Goldman’s campaign was also not supposed to use the candidate forum footage in the first place. Fake news is everywhere!
- Minnesota state Senator Carla Nelson claimed she “secured $200 million in emergency COVID funds” in the legislature. Too bad she wasn’t even an author of the bill. Fact Checkers: 1, Carla Nelson: 0.
- Virginia Democrats passed scores of criminal justice legislation, including an alert system for people experiencing a mental health crisis and a ban on no-knock warrants.
- A Democratic-led Maryland legislative panel proposed new reforms to hold officers accountable and support independent investigations of officer conduct — proving Democrats lead on criminal justice reform.
- After seeing the long lines in Texas in 2016, state Representative Diego Bernal passed a bill to give voting priority to voters with mobility issues or health conditions. Still in effect this year, his bill is helping expand access to the polls.
- Democrats are facing an uphill battle in state legislative races. Republicans have gerrymandered district maps across the country and their billionaire donors are bailing out GOP campaigns — which is why the DLCC is pouring everything into these last 13 days to overcome the odds and win ahead of the next redistricting cycle.