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State of the States: Republicans Won’t Give You Health Care, But Can They Interest You in a Gun?

State of the States: Republicans Won’t Give You Health Care, But Can They Interest You in a Gun?

There’s a lot going on, so every Wednesday, the DLCC is sending a roundup of the state legislative stories you might have missed. It's April 28th, and here is the state of the states.

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  • Tomorrow marks President Biden and Vice President Harris’ 100th day in office, and they’ve done great work to get our country back on track. But Democrats’ leadership on America’s recovery isn’t limited to Washington: Democratic state legislators are also building back a better America in the states. State Democrats have increased access to child care, provided rent relief, funded summer school, helped out small businesses, and more.


  • It’s been six months since Donald Trump’s defeat; will Republicans ever get over it? Apparently not, because Arizona Republicans kicked off a ballot “audit” last week that’s nothing more than political cover to fuel conspiracies. They’ve banned journalists, refuse to say who’s funding it, and won’t answer basic questions about the process — all signs show this is fake, but try to tell Republicans that.


  • Republicans are using their power in states to criminalize abortion and attack reproductive health care. Just this week, Arizona, Idaho, and Oklahoma signed bills into law to effectively ban abortion care and interfere with their constituents’ freedom to control their lives and their bodies.


  • From voting rights to trans rights, Republicans are attacking people’s liberty. The latest wave of bad legislation targets LGBTQ+ people, with hundreds of bills filed to limit their rights and freedoms. Eighteen of those have already been passed by GOP-controlled legislatures.


GOP Fail

  • Florida GOP Representative Anthony Sabatini is back and worse than ever. In response to the guilty verdict against Derek Chauvin last week, Sabatini tweeted out “mob justice.” That’s vile, but we wouldn’t expect anything else from a man who alluded to shooting protesters.


  • The Minnesota Senate GOP majority leader likened Derek Chauvin’s guilty verdicts to “letting air out of a balloon” and announced Republicans would abandon plans to hold hearings on police accountability in the chamber. One trial where an officer is finally held accountable for murdering a Black man does not at all fix our country’s police brutality problem.


  • You may recall Alaska Republican state Senator Lora Reinbold — she was removed as the leader of a committee and kicked out of the capitol for refusing to follow mask policies. Now, Reinbold has been banned from Alaska Airlines flights, which is unfortunate for her since it’s the only airline that offers regular flights to the capital. Just wear a mask, it’s not that hard!


  • You know what this country needs? More guns. We’re being sarcastic of course, but Texas Republicans most definitely are not. The GOP in the state House passed a measure to allow Texans to carry handguns without a permit, and the Senate is being pressured to do the same.


  • Texas Republicans also chose to vote down an amendment that could’ve paved the way for Medicaid expansion in the state. Reminder that there are an estimated five million uninsured Texans.


  • Louisiana GOP Representative Ray Garofalo argued during session that schools in the state need to teach the “good” of slavery. There is no good to slavery. Period.


Democratic Leadership

  • Democratic state legislators of color have spent the last year advocating for racial justice, reforming the police, legalizing marijuana, addressing racism in public health, and so much more. Bold legislation to help communities of color is underway.


  • Democrats in Washington wrapped up their legislative session for the year — and they accomplished a lot just in the last few days. Democrats took massive steps in addressing its upside down tax structure by implementing a capital gains tax on the wealthiest Washingtonians and funding a working families tax credit, guaranteeing lawyers for low-income tenants who are facing eviction, placing caps on carbon pollution and greenhouse gases, and ensuring overtime pay and 40-hour work weeks for farmworkers.


  • Maine Democrats are prioritizing reproductive health. They’re working on a bill that supplies schools with free feminie hygiene products and another bill that requires health insurance companies to cover in-vitro fertilization.


  • In the past week since the conclusion of the trial for George Floyd’s murder, Colorado Democrats got to work and advanced legislation on police reform. The bill encourages body cameras, promotes de-escalation tactics, and strengthens investigations into use-of-force incidents.


What’s Next

  • With the first round of Census numbers released, the redistricting cycle is officially underway. Stay tuned for contentious meetings, Republican gerrymandering efforts, and court cases suing for fair maps — there’ll be a lot to pay attention to.