Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

State of the States (Week of July 6th, 2016)

State of the States (Week of July 6th, 2016)

For the Week of July 6th



“That’s a privilege and they don’t have any rights, being illegal, knowingly illegal...You know, if I was illegal in another country, I wouldn’t be demanding stuff. I’d probably be deported.”

Minnesota state Representative Brian Daniels (R)  made this out-of-touch remark while campaigning for reelection to his Minnesota House seat. Daniels will face Democrat Patti Fritz who held the seat for over a decade before Daniels ousted her in 2014 by barely 200 votes. Daniels' bigoted anti-immigrant remark is a reflection of Trump's effect on down-ballot Republican candidates, who have been either distancing themselves from the presumptive nominee's xenophobic rhetoric, or jumping on the hateful bandwagon. Trump's presence at the top of the ticket will potentially sink the vote share of Republican legislative candidates who will struggle to outrun their party's standard-bearer as voters decline to split their tickets.

"The GOP needs to do more about this or soon it could be really bad...I liken it to the event horizon around a black hole: No matter how much energy you expend trying to escape the black hole's gravity you can never get away."

Republican operative and co-founder of Engage Nevada, Joseph Catania pointed out the growing gap in voter registration between Democrats and Republicans in important battleground states like Nevada. While polls may show Clinton and Trump in a tight race in the Silver State, the Democratic lead over Republicans among registered Nevada voters has increased this year by almost 20,000. While registration numbers have been good indicators for presidential election outcomes in battleground states, Democratic legislative candidates may experience a boost this cycle thanks in part to an increase in minority and Democratic registration. In states like Nevada where Democrats are seeking to regain majorities in both legislative chamber, this numbers advantage could be the key to capitol control.


Planned Parenthood seeks repeal of abortion laws in 8 states

David Crary, (Associated Press)
June 30, 2016

Planned Parenthood says it will work with its abortion-rights allies in eight states to repeal laws that may be vulnerable following the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that struck down tough abortion restrictions in Texas.

The repeal campaign, announced Thursday, will initially target laws in Arizona, Florida, Michigan, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Tennessee and Virginia, as well as measures in Texas that were not directly addressed by the Supreme Court ruling. Laws in other states may be targeted later.

"We will fight back state by state and law by law until every person has access to safe, legal abortion," said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund. "No matter how long it takes, these laws will fall."

On Monday, in a 5-3 ruling, the Supreme Court struck down regulations in Texas that required doctors who perform abortions to have admitting privileges at nearby hospitals and forced abortion clinics to meet hospital-like physical standards. More than half of the state's 41 abortion clinics closed since the law passed in 2013.

The Supreme Court's ruling held that the regulations are medically unnecessary and unconstitutionally limit a woman's right to an abortion.

Soon after the ruling was announced, Texas-style laws were nullified in Mississippi, Wisconsin and Alabama.

[Read More]

Judge blocks Mississippi law on objections to same-sex marriage

Jenny Jarvie, (Los Angeles Times)
July 1, 2016

A contentious Mississippi “religious freedom” law that would allow government workers and businesses to deny services to same-sex couples has been blocked by a federal judge.

Less than an hour before HB 1523 was due to go into effect Friday morning, U.S. District Judge Carlton W. Reeves issued a preliminary injunction, arguing the law “violates both the guarantee of religious neutrality and the promise of equal protection of the laws.”

“Persons who hold contrary religious beliefs are unprotected,” he wrote in his 60-page ruling. “The state has put its thumb on the scale to favor some religious beliefs over others.”

The law, signed by Gov. Phil Bryant in April in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark 2015 ruling that legalized same-sex marriage nationwide, would have allowed government employees to refuse to issue marriage licenses or perform marriage ceremonies. It also permitted businesses and faith-based groups to deny housing, jobs and adoption and foster-care services to people based on their sexual orientation. ...

The Mississippi law allowed physicians and other medical professionals to “decline to participate in the provision” of sex reassignment procedures, psychological counseling or fertility services. It also prevented state government from taking discriminatory action against any churches, religious charities and private businesses that decline services to people violating their religious beliefs.

In his ruling, Reeves, an appointee of President Obama who is the second African American federal judge in Mississippi, drew a link between the state’s current "angst" on religious freedom and its opposition to desegregation during the civil rights era.

In a footnote, he noted that Bryant’s statement that the Supreme Court ruling usurped states’ right to self-governance “sounded familiar,” likening it to Gov. James P. Coleman's comment in the 1950s that Brown vs. Board of Education represented “an unwarranted invasion of the rights and powers of the states.”

[Read More]


August 2

Primary Election - Kansas
Primary Election - Mississippi
Primary Election - Missouri
Primary Election - Washington
Special Election - Texas HD-120

August 4

Primary Election - Tennessee

August 9

Primary Election - Connecticut
Primary Election - Minnesota
Primary Election - Vermont
Primary Election - Wisconsin



KS: Judge: Kansas can’t cut Planned Parenthood’s Medicaid money- Lawrence Journal-World
MO: Planned Parenthood could receive Medicaid funding through 2017, Nixon says - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
NH: Sununu votes yes; Executive Council restores Planned Parenthood funding - NH1


CA: California lawmakers send sweeping gun package to Jerry Brown - The Sacramento Bee
FL: Democrats' state gun-control effort fails - Tampa Bay Times
WA: Initiatives on minimum wage, paid sick leave, guns likely on November ballot - Seattle PI

Health Care

CO: Right-to-die initiative headed for Colorado’s November ballot - The Denver Post
MO: Planned Parenthood could receive Medicaid funding through 2017, Nixon says - St. Louis Post-Dispatch


MI: Unions win injunction blocking Michigan fundraising law - Detroit News
MI: Gov. Snyder to appeal court ruling on withheld teacher wages - Associated Press
OR: 'Right to work': measure backers withdraw bid to limit union dues - Oregon Live
WV: Right to Work battle escalates between factions in West Virginia - PR NewsChannel


MA: Following homophobic slur, Massachusetts Sen. Jamie Eldridge calls on opponent to apologize - MassLive
MS: Judge blocks Mississippi law on objections to same-sex marriage - Los Angeles Times
NC: NC Lawmakers Working On Changes To Anti-LGBT Law Amid NBA Pressure - Talking Points Memo
NC: Virginian-Pilot editorial: N.C. GOP lawmakers flee from responsibility - The Virginian-Pilot

Voting Rights

CO: Colorado Supreme Court spikes ballot initiative aimed at legislative, congressional districts - The Denver Post
KS: ACLU: Kobach ‘deliberately’ creating voter chaos in Kansas - Lawrence Journal-World
OH: Voting rights activists say election lawsuit claiming Jon Husted illegally purged voters is not over -
U.S.: A Guide To The Big Photo ID, Early Voting And Other Voting Law Cases - NPR


AZ: Arizona Statehouse ballot switch: Marshall Pimentel replaces Rep. Cecilia Velasquez - AZ Central
CA: Bill calling for price equity for items marketed to females fails - SFGate
CA: What you need to know about the 17 propositions on November's statewide ballot - Los Angeles Times
CO: Colorado primary: State legislative races unseat multiple incumbent Republicans - Colorado Independent
FL: Keep an eye on these Florida House races - Tampa Bay Times
FL: With passing of qualifying deadline, races set for 2016 election ballot - Tampa Bay Times
GA: Early voting set to begin for GA primary runoff election - WRDW
IA: Iowa Supreme Court upholds ban on felons voting - The Des Moines Register
MO: Rizzo buys big in Kansas City TV markets - Missouri Times
MI: Gov. Rick Snyder calls special election to fill seat of Rep who died hiking - MLive
MN: What Trump Means for State and Local Races - Governing
NE: Lincoln races see new, familiar faces - The Valley Breeze
NH: Americans for Prosperity in New Hampshire increases focus on state issues this election cycle - Concord Monitor
NY: Progressive Icon Zephyr Teachout Wins Democratic Primary In New York - Huffington Post
NY: Multiple NY primaries lead to low turnout - Newsday
RI: Anthony Paolino challenging Pat Morgan in House District 26 - RI Future
SC: Upstate loses political clout with Martin's loss - Greenville Online
TX: In Unusual Race, Houston Democrats Vie to Succeed Ellis - Texas Tribune
UT: State Sen. Al Jackson stepping down to move to Virginia - Salt Lake Tribune
VT: 28-Year-Old Candidate Says Millennials Ignored By State House - VTDigger


Carolyn Fiddler
National Communications Director
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee