For the Week of 5/11/2018
Democrats in statehouses across the country are fighting to move America forward. In case you missed it, here are some statehouse highlights from this week:
State Democrats are leading the charge for gun safety. This week, Connecticut became the latest state to ban bump stocks. The bill now goes to Gov. Dannel P. Malloy for an expected signature. States that have passed legislation banning bump stocks and other rapid-fire devices include California, Massachusetts, New York, Vermont, Hawaii, New Jersey, Washington, Maryland and Florida. At least 20 states have considered banning bump stocks. The DLCC is motivated to elect more Democrats to state legislatures nationwide as state Democrats step up to protect Americans when Congress fails to act.
While efforts to pass paid leave policies are stalled at the national level, state Democrats are busy passing legislation to help working families across the country. Twenty-one states currently have pending legislation for paid leave laws, in addition to the five states and District of Columbia that already have paid family leave laws. However, population-wise, that only covers less than 24 percent of the country. As “laboratories for invention,” states have the important and unique opportunity to pave the way for better laws not only at the state level, but at the national level as well. By electing more Democrats to state legislatures nationwide, the DLCC is working to advance Democratic values – like paid leave – and pass important legislation to support working families.
This past Tuesday, Ohio voters overwhelmingly passed a ballot measure to fix the state’s Republican-gerrymandered congressional districts. Under Ohio's Issue 1, or the Congressional Redistricting Procedures Amendment, the legislature will have to try to come up with a new map supported by a big bipartisan majority. If they fail, however, a one-party map could still pass — but it would now expire after four years, rather than the current 10, preventing a decade of elections on rigged maps. The new redistricting process put forth by Issue 1 will be used when congressional lines are next redrawn, after the 2020 Census. While this is a big win for redistricting reform in one of the most gerrymandered states in the country, the DLCC will keep fighting for fair legislative maps in Ohio and in states across the country.
On Tuesday, Hawaii’s legislature passed two bills setting out the most ambitious climate goal of any U.S. state. House bill 2182 will create a task force that sets out a plan to make the state carbon neutral “no later than 2045.” House bill 1986 will create a carbon-offset program to help the task force meet its target. After President Trump pulled the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, state Democrats have once again stepped up to ensure that we are protecting our environment now and for future generations.
While Iowa Republicans’ recently passed six-week abortion ban might be tied up in the courts for years, the fallout from this legislative action could hit Republican legislators running for re-election as soon as this November. Iowa Starting Line identified three of the most vulnerable Republican Representatives – and the Democrats who are challenging them (including DLCC Spotlight candidate Kristin Sunde). The DLCC looks forward to continuing our work with our Iowa partners as we work to flip these chambers ahead of 2020 redistricting.
- Democrats Think They’re Poised for Huge Victories in These 10 States [Mother Jones]
- Conservatives Work to Undermine Oklahoma Teachers’ Raises After Walkout [Rewire]
- California Becomes First State to Order Solar on New Homes [Bloomberg]
"People in my district are fed up with politics as usual…many are realizing Trump is a con artist who doesn’t have their interests at heart."
-- Rachel Crooks, candidate for Ohio House District 88
Rachel Crooks knows a bit about what it’s like to stand up to power and will be a champion for women in a chamber where women are significantly underrepresented. Three weeks before the 2016 presidential election, Rachel was among several women who came forward to accuse Mr. Trump of sexual misconduct. Now, she’s a DLCC Spotlight candidate running for the Ohio House to be a voice for those who have been silenced.
5/15/18: Primary Elections in Idaho, Nebraska, Oregon, Pennsylvania
5/15/18: Special Elections in Alabama SD-26, HD-04
5/15/18: Special Elections in Pennsylvania HD-48, HD-178
5/22/18: Primary Elections in Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky
5/22/18: Runoff Election in Texas
5/22/18: Special Elections in Arkansas, SD-16, SD-29, SD-83