Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

State of the States (Week of August 31st, 2016)

State of the States (Week of August 31st, 2016)

For the Week of August 24th

TABLE OF CONTENTS

KEY QUOTES

“I share your deep concerns regarding the governor’s behavior. What I do not know is whether it is due to substance abuse, mental illness or just ignorance.”

Maine state Senator Amy Volk (R) echoed her constituents' concerns regarding Gov. Paul LePage's stability in a Facebook post after his recent barrage of inappropriate and offensive comments. LePage has marred his gubernatorial career with multiple controversies and was most recently in the headlines for telling town hall attendees that the vast majority of drug dealers in Maine were black or Hispanic, and then leaving a voicemail for state Rep. Drew Gattine (D) replete with obscenities and personal threats after the governor thought the lawmaker called him a racist. LePage then spoke with reporters and underlined his threat against Rep. Gattine by saying he "wish[ed] it were 1825" so he could duel the lawmaker and "point [his gun] right between [Gattine's] eyes." In a subsequent news conference, LePage issued a cursory apology but dug himself a deeper hole by comparing Maine's drug crisis to a war and asserting that “the enemy right now, the overwhelming majority of people coming in, are people of color, or people of Hispanic origin." Top Republicans confronted the governor over his bigoted remarks and erratic demeanor, and LePage himself sparked rumors of an early departure from office.

"These three women and two African-American men have been discriminated against in their life just because of their gender, or their race, and it's absolutely wrong...Things have changed. Our world has changed...We will never go back."

Indiana state Representative Linda Lawson (D) attempted to refocus the subject of a committee study on civil rights for Indiana's LGBT community after public testimony steered the conversation away from preventing discrimination and toward the regulation of bathroom facilities. During the previous legislative session, Senate Republican leaders killed legislation -- without a full debate or vote -- that would have protected the state's LGBT community from discrimination. Senate Leader David Long (R) claimed that apprehensions from current GOP vice presidential candidate and Indiana Gov. Mike Pence factored into his decision to kill the legislation. Reminiscent of the fallout from North Carolina's HB2, Indiana has reportedly lost around $60 million in revenue due to a boycott from businesses and tourists following the passage of the state GOP's so-called "religious freedom" law in 2015.

VIDEO OF THE WEEK

DLCC at the Democratic National Convention

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee, [democraticlawmakers]

The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee is proud to present a video compilation highlighting Democratic state lawmakers at the 2016 Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia!

STORIES OF THE WEEK

Supreme Court Denies North Carolina Request To Enforce Voting Restrictions This Fall

Chris Geidner, (BuzzFeed News)
August 31, 2016

The North Carolina voting restrictions struck down by a federal appeals court earlier this summer will remain off the books for November’s election, following a Supreme Court order on Wednesday.

The closely divided justices denied North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory’s request to halt enforcement of the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals decision striking down five voting restrictions while the state seeks Supreme Court review of the decision.

Among the provisions in the law that the appeals court has ordered the state not to enforce are limits on the type of photo ID required for voting; reductions to the amount of early voting in the state; and elimination of same-day registration, out-of-precinct provisional voting, and preregistration that allowed 16- and 17-year-olds to indicate an intent to register when they turned 18.

The Obama administration and organizations that had sued the state over the law opposed the stay request...

In other words, as to the key parts of the law, there was a 4-4 split on whether to grant McCrory’s request and allow the state to enforce the voter ID, early voting reduction, and elimination of same-day registration and out-of-precinct provisional voting this fall.

It takes a majority of the court to grant a stay, however, which meant that five justices would have needed to have voted for a stay in order for it to be granted.

Notably, no justice provided a so-called “courtesy” fifth vote in support of the stay request — a move that Justice Stephen Breyer did take earlier this month when a the case of a transgender student presented the same scenario: four justices willing to vote for a stay, which is all that would be needed for the court to take the appeal when the cert petition is before the justices but not enough justices to grant a stay while that appeal is decided. In such circumstances, a justice can — as Breyer did in the earlier case — provide a “courtesy” fifth vote in order to allow for a stay while the cert petition can be considered.

[Read More]

State Senate: GOP fortress, or could it be overtaken?

Kevin Landrigan, (New Hampshire Union Leader)
August 27, 2016

The 2016 election will be a good test of whether - thanks to legal gerrymandering - the New Hampshire State Senate is a Republican fortress that can withstand most any assault at the polls.

Political ambition, advancement and the growing demands of this volunteer job have led to a higher-than-usual turnover in the 24-person legislative chamber.

Indeed, one in three have opted not to seek another two-year term. About half went for a promotion.

Senate Finance Chairman Jeanie Forrester, R-Meredith, is running for governor, Sen. Jerry Little, R-Weare, left to become banking commissioner while Sens. Sam Cataldo, R-Farmington, and Russell Prescott, R-Kingston, are both making bids for the Executive Council. And among that eight-pack of senators who are hanging it up, six of them are Republicans...

Senate Democratic Leader Jeff Woodburn of Dalton believes his chances of taking over the gavel from President Chuck Morse, R-Salem, are very good thanks to competition in the GOP primary.

"There are some real battles for the soul of the Republican Party between very conservative candidates and even more conservative candidates than that," Woodburn said during a recent interview.

"Depending on who they end up with when the smoke clears, we could be in very, very good shape because we've got a great crop of candidates this time."

[Read More]

COMING UP

September 8

Primary Election - Massachusetts

September 9

Primary Election - Delaware
Primary Election - New Hampshire
Primary Election - Rhode Island

LEGISLATIVE BULLETIN

Abortion

OH: This Ohio Abortion Law Was Supposed to Protect Women. A New Study Says It Caused Physical Harm. - Mother Jones
OH: Ohio abortion pill restriction had no clear safety benefits, study finds - The Guardian
OH: Attorney General Mike DeWine appeals ruling supporting Cleveland abortion clinic's fight - Cleveland.com
PA: Lt. Gov. Stack: I regret voting for ill-conceived anti-abortion law - The Inquirer
WI: Planned Parenthood Of Wisconsin Shut Down Its Appleton North Clinic & The Reason Why Speaks Volumes About Reproductive Rights - Bustle
U.S.: 4 Risks To Reproductive Rights Beyond Donald Trump - Bustle
U.S.: States of Cruelty - The New York Times

Guns

CA: Concealed-gun fees could increase under bill headed to Brown - Sacramento Bee
CA: California bill would require securing guns in vehicles - Associated Press
ME: NRA takes aim at Question 3 in Maine - WGME
MO: SB 656 override vote brings out coalition of opponents - The Missouri Times
NJ: Christie in gun bill vetoes: Make it easier to carry concealed weapons in N.J. - NJ.com
TX: University of Texas Students Find the Absurd in a New Gun Law - The New York Times
WI: Strong public support, pleas from grieving family fail to move Wisconsin on gun background checks - Wisconsin Watch

Health Care

AR: Eldridge, Arkansas Democrats back medical marijuana - Associated Press
CA: Hospital surprise bill legislation aims to end sticker shock for observation care - Kaiser Health News
CA: Gov. Jerry Brown to again weigh access to experimental drugs for the terminally ill - Los Angeles Times
CA: Human trafficking reform legislation heads to governor - LGBT Weekly
CO: ColoradoCare would operate in the black for at least 9 years, supporters argue in new analysis - Denver Post
OH: This Ohio Abortion Law Was Supposed to Protect Women. A New Study Says It Caused Physical Harm. - Mother Jones
U.S.: Is Abstinence-Only Sex Ed on the Rise? - Governing

Labor

CA: Having a California baby? Assembly passes bill seeking to protect your job - Sacramento Bee
CA: Bill to increase farm overtime moves to California governor - Associated Press
IL: Rauner vetoes $15/hour wage for caregivers of developmentally disabled - Chicago Tribune
MO: Right-to-work debate puts national spotlight on Missouri governor's race - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
NJ: Christie vetoes $15 an hour minimum wage bill pushed by N.J. Democrats - NJ.com
NJ: N.J. Democrats vow to fight Christie's $15 minimum wage veto - NJ.com
NJ: School cafeteria workers joining fight for $15 an hour - NJ.com
U.S.: Quora Question: Family Leave Policies Save Businesses Money - Newsweek

LGBT

CA: California Legislature approves youth suicide prevention bill - LGBT Weekly
GA: State senators to hold four debates over ‘religious liberty’ legislation - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
IN: Transgender bathroom issue ties up LGBT rights debate - Indy Star
NC: UNC cannot enforce part of HB2, federal judge rules - PBS NewsHour
NC: North Carolina Agrees ‘Bathroom Bill’ Is Hurting The State’s Reputation - The Huffington Post

Voting Rights

CA: If you can't vote in person, this bill would allow anyone you choose to turn in your ballot - Los Angeles Times
CA: Measure phasing out neighborhood polling places goes to Jerry Brown - Sacramento Bee
IL: Illinois Redistricting Referendum Won’t Appear On Ballot - Associated Press
MI: Straight-ticket appeal met by silence from court - Detroit News
MO: Missouri Republicans gearing up for another voter ID fight - The Kansas City Star
NC: Supreme Court Denies North Carolina Request To Enforce Voting Restrictions This Fall - BuzzFeed News
NC: Many NC counties’ early vote plan not set - News & Observer
OH: Op-ed: Golden Week ruling will hurt low-income and minority voters - WCPO
TX: Texas withholds details of $2.5M voter ID education effort - Houston Chronicle
WI: Appeals court refuses to reconsider Wisconsin voter ID cases - Associated Press
WI: Early voting in Milwaukee to include multiple sites - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
U.S.: Efforts to restore felons' voting rights cause deep divide - News21

CAMPAIGN UPDATES

AZ: Schmuck upsets Dial in race that could help Dems gain Senate seat - Arizona Capitol Times
AZ: Advocates of minimum wage hike raise more than $1.4 million - Arizona Capitol Times
AR: Lawsuit seeks end to state House bid over misdemeanor - ArkansasOnline
CA: Democrats Surpass Republicans In Latest Registration Data For Senate District 29 - OC Politics Blog
FL: Florida Democrats outraise Republicans during crucial period - Associated Press
FL: Summary Vote Results - Associated Press
GA: Georgia Democrats frame Mike Pence as politically dangerous at Cobb County rally - Atlanta Journal-Constitution
IA: Awkward: All GOP State Senate Candidates Have Same Kids In Ads - Iowa Starting Line
KY: Kentucky lawmaker says governor left threatening voicemail - Associated Press
ME: Maine Governor Paul LePage Is Considering Resigning - Newsweek
MN: Minnesota lawmaker doesn’t live in district, should be removed from ballot, judge rules - Pioneer Press
MN: GOP state House candidate to suspend campaign against Ilhan Omar - Star Tribune
MN: Minnesota Supreme Court Hears Arguments on November Ballot Items - KSTP
NV: Candidate for Nevada office to withdraw amid extortion claim - Associated Press
NH: State Senate: GOP fortress, or could it be overtaken? - New Hampshire Union Leader
NH: Vacancies, contested races leave NH Senate makeup in malleable state - Sentinel Source
NY: Race to Replace Sheldon Silver Reflects His District’s Ethnic Diversity - The New York Times
NC: Many NC counties’ early vote plan not set - News & Observer
OH: Ohio Democrats hope Donald Trump costs GOP bits of its super-majorities in legislature - The Columbus Dispatch
OK: Oklahoma legislative races set for November with only a few likely in play - NewsOK
SD: Koch brothers-backed group says ballot measure could invite lawsuits - Argus Leader
WI: Early voting in Milwaukee to include multiple sites - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

CONTACT

Carolyn Fiddler
National Communications Director
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee
fiddler@dlcc.org