For the Week of 2/8/2019
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:
The Nevada Legislature is back in session this week and already making waves. After state Democrats flipped both legislative chambers in 2016 and expanded their numbers in 2018, women comprise the majority of the Nevada Legislature, a first for the state and the country. Nevada Democratic women are fired up and ready to bring new ideas to the capital and work to address issues that might have been previously overlooked. The DLCC worked to elect over 1,200 Democratic women to state legislatures nationwide in 2018 alone. The DLCC will continue to work with our partners like EMILY’s List and Run for Something to recruit, train, and support more women candidates and close the representation gap.”
With a new trifecta of Democratic power, New Jersey has joined Massachusetts, New York, and California in raising the hourly minimum wage to $15 an hour. New Jersey Democrats wasted no time in passing common-sense legislation advocating for a livable wage to help New Jersians. The DLCC is looking forward to expanding our majorities in both legislative chambers this November.
Connecticut Democrats are pushing their progressive agenda after the DLCC helped Senate Democrats regain the majority in 2018. To ensure that all Connecticut residents have a high quality of life, Democratic lawmakers have introduced a family leave bill that would “allow employees to take care of a sick family member or a new baby without fear of losing a job or going into debt.” Connecticut would join four other Democratic-led states, Massachusetts, Washington, New York, and New Jersey, in enacting comprehensive paid family leave. Connecticut Democrats have also introduced legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour. State by state, Democrats are moving America forward and helping working families.
One month into the 2019 legislative session and New York Democrats have already accomplished some historic achievements: DLCC Board member and state Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins officially became the first black woman to be majority leader in the chamber, lawmakers passed the long-stalled Reproductive Health Act as well as legislation to protect victims of sexual assault, and are working to protect the environment. And state Democrats are just getting started. New York Democrats are beginning the multi-year process of updating the state Constitution to address voting access, reproductive rights, civil rights, a right to clean air and water, government ethics and the power of the Legislature versus the governor.
Illinois Democrats are working to make sure educators are being paid a fair and livable wage. The minimum wage for teachers in Illinois has remained stagnant since 1980, when it was between $9,000 and $11,000. Now, Democrats have introduced a bill that would raise the minimum wage to $40,000 annually by 2023-24. In the past, Republicans blocked similar efforts, but now, with a new Democratic trifecta leading Illinois forward, the needs of those we trust to educate our children will be addressed.
- Lawmaker looks to eliminate one of Minnesota’s peculiar, and possibly illegal, election rules [MinnPost]
- Court declares state law to limit minimum wage initiative illegal [Arizona Capitol Times]
- Unions, Democratic state senator file third lawsuit against Wisconsin lame-duck laws [The Cap Times]
- DLCC Report: How we won in 2018 [Medium]
"We might keep talking about Trump’s speech for the next few days, but it’s clear that while he’s busy in ‘executive time,’ state Democrats are hard at work trying to make this country better for everyone."
-- Jessica Post, DLCC Executive Director
In a must-read Twitter thread responding to Trump’s SOTU, DLCC Executive Director Jessica Post outlines how state Democrats in states across the country are the front lines defending our rights and American values.
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