For the Week of 4/5/2019
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:
In a historic win for Democrats, Senator-elect Pam Iovino won a hotly contested state Senate seat Tuesday night in a Pittsburgh district that went for Trump in 2016. Iovino will be the first woman to represent the district, and only the third Democrat since World War II. DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post noted, “This victory shows that Democrats continue to have momentum in key races and swing states across the country as the American people resoundingly reject Trump’s agenda and the Republican legislators across the country who follow his lead.” With this critical red-to-blue flip, Pennsylvania Democrats are only three seats away from regaining control of the Senate chamber in 2020.
In Arizona, Republicans are trying to quell the rising blue wave by passing burdensome voting laws. The state already has some of the strictest voter ID laws in the country, but Republicans want to go even further. One bill looks to limit early voting, while another would restrict voters from returning mail-in-ballots at voting centers. The DLCC is working with state Democrats in Arizona to take back the legislature in 2020 and protect the right to vote.
The GOP’s War on Women has taken on a new, sinister urgency as more and more Republican-led states pass laws to severely limit or ban abortion access. The latest bill in Alabama would criminalize all abortions after two weeks with the intent to eventually overturn Roe v. Wade. Similar laws passed in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Kentucky have been blocked or are currently facing legal challenges. The DLCC is committed to supporting candidates who respect women and their right to choose. Electing more Democrats across the country will ensure that women have autonomy over their own bodies without fear of interference.
With a new trifecta of Democratic power, New Mexico is the latest Democratic-led state to enact a statewide minimum wage increase. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham ran her campaign on increasing the minimum wage, in opposition to her Republican predecessor, who vetoed similar measures from previous years. The $12 minimum wage impacts about 110,000 workers, the majority of which are women.
Republicans across the country continue to advocate for harmful “use-it-or-lose-it” voting laws that endanger the right to vote. Oklahoma is one of seven Republican-led states that removes names every two years from the voter registration list if they haven’t voted in several election cycles and don’t respond to mail. It is no coincidence that these laws often disproportionately impact Democrats. Leigh Chapman, voting rights program director for the Conference on Civil and Human Rights, said “Voting should never be a use it or lose it. It’s a right, and we should be making it easier to vote, not harder.” As Republicans champion laws to disenfranchise voters, Democrats are working twice as hard to overturn these archaic measures.
- Petition for recalling Greeley Democrat is approved; signature collection to begin [The Denver Post]
- Kemp signs controversial bill replacing Georgia voting machines [The Hill]
- Bills Against LGBTQ-Adoption Are 'Snowballing' in State Legislatures [Governing]
- Ohio Has a New Strategy to Defund Planned Parenthood-and Other States May Follow Its Lead [Mother Jones]
- How we uncovered 10,000 times lawmakers introduced copycat model bills-and why it matters [USA Today]
- Trump-Appointed Judge Upholds Anti-Abortion Law [Slate]
“Every day, I look at my daughter Isabelle and think about what her life will look like when she enters the workforce. Without action, the gender wage gap won’t close until she’s in her forties. This legislation will even the playing field and make sure Isabelle and all women across Colorado are paid the same as men for the same work.”
– Sen. Jessie Danielson (D)
Colorado Democrats continue to lead the way in advancing legislation that ensures equal and fair pay for all citizens. In a historic feat, the Colorado Senate passed the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, to reduce the gender pay gap in the state. On average, white women in Colorado earn 86 cents for every dollar men make for doing the same job… Black and Latina women respectively earn 63.1 and 53.5 cents for every dollar men earn for the same job. Democrats in states across the country continue to demonstrate that they are willing and ready to fight for women’s equitable treatment in all areas of life.
4/9/19: Florida House Districts 7, 38, & 97; Georgia House District 28 Special Elections
4/16/19: Connecticut House District 19 Special Election
4/23/19: South Carolina House District 14; Tennessee Senate District 22 Special Election
* Check out a full list of upcoming state legislative special elections on our website