For the Week of 2/15/2019
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:
Oregon is breaking ground as the first state to adopt statewide rent control. After state Democrats expanded their majorities in both legislative chambers in 2018, Democrats have made affordable housing one of their top priorities. The legislation will make it “more difficult for landlords to evict tenants for no reason,” and stops landlords from raising rent by more than seven percent per year. State by state, Democratic legislators are doing away with the harmful policies that have made it harder for Americans to find affordable housing.”
With a new trifecta of Democratic power, Illinois Democrats have doubled down on championing renewable energy as a viable alternative to fossil fuels. According to a new report from The Solar Foundation’s National Solar Job Census, Illinois is ahead of 48 states in solar jobs growth, “adding 1,308 jobs in 2018 alone.” Furthermore, Democratic legislation announced last week will ensure that the state’s current renewable energy goals are met in five to ten years. While Republicans continue to deny the current dangers facing our environment, Democrats across the nation are putting measures in place to safeguard our planet for future generations.
2018 was dubbed the “Year of the Woman” and New Mexico women lawmakers are keeping the momentum going, joining together across the aisle to leverage their newfound power. New Mexico Democratic women now outnumber men in the state House, a historic achievement. Now, the newly formed Women’s Caucus is a bipartisan group of female legislators who plan to push legislation advocating for women, children, and families. The DLCC worked to elect over 1,200 Democratic women to state legislatures in 2018, and will continue to support, recruit, and train women candidates across the country.
In a blatant attempt to overturn the will of their constituents, Utah Republicans have passed a limited Medicaid expansion plan, in direct defiance of voters’ desire for full Medicaid expansion. The legislation, signed by Republican Governor Gary Herbert, “would cover less people and cost taxpayers more money.” This makes Utah one of only 12 states that has not expanded its Medicaid program. Republicans who defy their own constituent’s wishes are setting a dangerous precedent; that is why the DLCC will continue to hold Republicans accountable and support key races in 2019 and 2020 to flip even more seats and ensure that voter’s voices are heard – and respected.
After enduring the longest government shutdown in history, state Democrats continue to take proactive steps to make sure their constituents are not held hostage in the event of another shutdown. Maine Senate President Troy Jackson introduced legislation guaranteeing that Maine’s approximate 1,100 federal workers would have access to up to $15,000 in interest-free loans if a shutdown lasts longer than 14 days. In November, the DLCC helped Democrats flip the Maine state Senate from red to blue. With this new trifecta of Democratic power, Maine Democrats will continue to set an example for the president and federal Republicans in how to advocate for constituents and their best interests.
- Federal court orders Virginia to adopt redrawn House of Delegates map [Richmond Times-Dispatch]
- Wisconsin becomes 20th state to join climate alliance designed to uphold Paris accord [The Hill]
- Exclusive: Meet The Nominees For The 2019 Gabrielle Giffords Rising Star Award [Refinery29]
- Democrats introduce bill to implement long-stalled gun background check initiative [The Nevada Independent]
- Controversial redistricting bill pulled [Idaho Press]
- Young people exempt from minimum wage under Republican bill [Arizona Capitol Times]
"I really call on the Republican leadership to abandon this failed hyper-partisanship that has really engulfed state government...I’m going into the budget process saying I will do everything that I can to be a positive force in negotiating a budget that works for the people in the state of Wisconsin."
-- Wisconsin state Representative Chris Taylor
After Republicans lost the Wisconsin governorship in 2018, they went to work passing lame-duck laws meant to spitefully strip incoming Democratic governor Tony Evers of his gubernatorial powers. While Wisconsin Republicans are more interested in maintaining their tight grip on power through shady tactics like power stripping, gerrymandering, and voter suppression, state Democrats like Rep. Chris Taylor are committed to make state government for Wisconsinites. The DLCC remains committed to holding state Republicans accountable and looks forward to working with Wisconsin Democrats in 2020 to expand their numbers in the Badger State.
3/5/19: Rhode Island HD-68 & Kentucky SD-31 Special Elections
3/12/19: Pennsylvania HD-114 & HD-190 Special Elections
4/2/19: Pennsylvania SD-37 Special Election
* Check out a full list of upcoming state legislative special elections on our website