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 17th, and here is the state of the states.
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- The Republican State Leadership Committee announced a “commission to restore public confidence in elections by making it easier to vote and harder to cheat.” Oh, the political party who tried to overturn the presidential election results and incited a deadly riot by claiming the election was stolen is wondering what we can do about election integrity? The answer is to vote Republicans out of office.
- Donald Trump’s trial for inciting a deadly riot might be over, but more than a dozen Republican state lawmakers who were at the Stop the Steal riot and cheered on the crowd are still serving in state legislatures. They haven’t faced any consequences for their part in the deadly insurrection and are instead writing and passing legislation in deliberative bodies.
- A bipartisan governing coalition backed by Democrats has prevailed in the Alaska state House. That means Democrats will have power to influence the agenda in the legislature this year. This is the third cycle in a row that the Republican State Leadership Committee incorrectly claimed they captured the majority in this chamber.
- Democratic lawmakers in Pennsylvania called for their Republican colleagues to be held accountable for their involvement in the insurrection. GOP leadership in the state has made no move to condemn or discipline members like Senator Doug Mastriano, who attended the insurrection, or the 63 other GOP lawmakers who signed a letter asking the U.S. Congress to reject the state’s electoral college votes and the wishes of their constituents.
- Republicans in Georgia are working diligently to turn voter suppression into law. The GOP is trying to reverse policies that helped boost turnout — punishing Georgia voters for voting. Meanwhile, Republican lawmakers who spread election misinformation are facing no consequences whatsoever.
- Remember Mike Shirkey from last week? The Michigan Republican Senate majority leader who claimed the insurrection was a “hoax” and talked about “spanking” Governor Gretchen Whitmer? He was featured on John Oliver’s “Last Week Tonight” season opener — along with other GOP insurrectionists and a thorough takedown of Republican legislators’ moves to attack voting rights.
- Iowa Republicans are bringing back a “bathroom bill” that targets transgender people, forcing them to use the school bathroom that corresponds with genders assigned at birth. The bill itself declares it does “not constitute unfair or discriminatory practices,” which is almost certainly a reliable indicator of the exact opposite.
- The GOP in Iowa didn’t stop there — they also advanced a bill that would reduce funding for schools that include the “1619 Project” in their curriculum. Bold (and racist) move to consider this bill during a nationwide popular movement for racial justice and Black History Month. They’re also trying to limit gender identity curriculum.
- Everybody wants to be famous, right? Arizona GOP Representative Mark Finchem has made it — by becoming known as the person who started Arizona’s #StopTheSteal movement.
- Democrats in the Washington House passed three bills — all aimed at increasing police accountability. This is just the start of Democrats’ work to end discriminatory policing in the state.
- Oregon Democrats are considering two bills that would allow incarcerated individuals to vote. If it passes, Oregon would become just the third state in the country to restore enfranchisement to those in prison.
- Democratic lawmakers in Colorado are working to lift restrictions that currently limit when and where Medicaid patients can get abortions — which would reduce barriers to necessary reproductive care.
- Last week, we said that Republicans were going to introduce more laws to suppress the vote. And we were right. And we’ll be right again when we say Republicans are going to introduce more legislation to restrict voting rights.