Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

State of the States (Week of May 11th, 2016)

State of the States (Week of May 11th, 2016)

For the Week of May 13th



“We stand lock-step with you in this long-overdue action of restoring thousands of Virginians their voting rights, their civil rights, and really their human dignity.”

-Virginia Delegate Delores L. McQuinn (D), commended Governor McAuliffe for restoring voting and other civil rights to more than 206,000 ex-offenders. McAuliffe reminded his audience of Virginia’s 114-year history of constitutional disenfranchisement of convicted felons, many of whom are black. Republicans in the state legislature have criticized the governor’s action as a partisan ploy to help Democrats in the fall election and have retained a conservative lawyer to challenge the action. Virginia Democrats from every level of government stand behind the governor’s action to end this form of racial vote suppression.

“I have no choice but to cross my fingers and hope that what I’m doing is in compliance, because I don’t know what they’re talking about.”

-Leah Torres, a Salt Lake City OB/GYN, went to Utah legislators, the governor’s office, and the attorney general’s office seeking an explanation as to what treatment she is to administer under Utah’s new fetal anesthesia law. GOP lawmakers passed the first-in-the-nation law, which requires “pain relief” be administered for a fetus before any abortion at 20 weeks or later. The bill has left many women’s advocates and medical professionals scratching their collective heads, wondering what the bill is meant to accomplish since many doctors say a fetus is not developed enough at 20 weeks to “feel pain.”


Democrats Counting on 'Trump Effect' to Help Retake Statehouses

Mark Niquette & Jennifer Oldham (Bloomberg Politics)
May 12, 2016

Democrats say Donald Trump's presence atop the Republican ticket will help stem a tide of electoral defeats that put Republicans in charge of statehouses across the United States and in control of taxes, social issues and district lines that preserve their majorities.

Trump will affect not only Senate and House races, but help Democrats reach majorities in as many as 10 legislative chambers and also sway gubernatorial contests in states including North Carolina and New Hampshire, many in the party say. Democratic candidates and state parties are pressing Republicans about Trump and plan to tie them to his agenda during their campaigns.

"This opens up a lot of opportunities for Democrats throughout the country," said Kurt Fritts, a Washington consultant and former national political director for the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee. "Donald Trump's bad comb-over is now the defining image for the Republican Party, and there's no way that Republicans running at the state legislative level can get away from that."

[Read more]

House Democrats file bill rewriting anti-discrimination laws

Craig Jarvis (Charlotte Observer)
May 10, 2016

Several House Democrats on Tuesday filed a sweeping anti-discrimination bill, which may not garner enough Republican support to succeed but it makes for a timely statement.

Newly seated Rep. Chris Sgro, Democrat from Greensboro and executive director of Equality N.C., calls it the “most comprehensive non-discrimination legislation for LGBT and other North Carolinians.”

Sgro says passage of the bill, along with repeal of House Bill 2, will ensure protections from discrimination in all walks of life. HB2, however, has become the focal point of a national debate over transgender rights, and its future now rests with the courts as much as with the legislature, which is not likely to repeal it.

House Bill 1078 would provide discrimination protections in housing, employment, money-lending, education — including charter schools — insurance and access to bathrooms based on a person’s gender identity. Other protections would include sexual orientation, veteran status, age, disability, genetic information and political affiliation.

[Read more]


May 14

Special Election - Louisiana HD-29

May 17

Special Election - South Carolina SD-04
Presidential Primary - Kentucky (Democratic)
Presidential Primary - Oregon

May 24

Presidential Primary - Washington (Republican)

June 7

Special Election - Mississippi HD-29
Special Election - Ohio CD-08
Presidential Caucus - North Dakota (Democratic)
Presidential Primary - California
Presidential Primary - Montana
Presidential Primary - New Jersey
Presidential Primary - New Mexico
Presidential Primary - South Dakota



MO: Missouri House sends ‘personhood’ constitutional amendment to the Senate - St. Louis Public Radio

OH: Planned Parenthood says Ohio defunding law violates U.S. constitution -

Health Care

MD: New law puts Maryland at ‘forefront’ of birth control access - The Baltimore Sun


AZ: Arizona House kills bill to raise minimum wage - Arizona Republic

MO: ‘Paycheck protection’ override in Missouri Senate may come down to Chappelle-Nadal - St. Louis Post-Dispatch


NC: House Democrats file bill rewriting anti-discrimination laws - Charlotte Observer

NC: House Bill 2 could cost N.C. $5 billion a year, report says - Charlotte Observer

MA: Massachusetts Senate passes transgender anti-discrimination law - MassLive

NH: LAST NIGHT: In late evening vote, state Senate bans gay conversion therapy for minors - NH1


VA: Virginia taxpayers pay millions to attorneys in redistricting lawsuits - The Washington Post

Voting Rights

MO: Voter ID requirement gets final go-ahead in the Missouri Legislature - St. Louis Post-Dispatch

OR: Oregon’s new ‘Motor Voter’ law adds over 50,000 to rolls - KTVZ

US: Trump’s candidacy sparking ‘a surge’ in citizenship, voter applications - The Washington Post


CO: Secretary of State’s office takes blame for campaign finance flub by state Sen. Jack Tate - Aurora Sentinel

FL: Democrats eye state House, Senate gains if Republicans back Trump - Palm Beach Post

NJ: Patrick J. Diegnan Jr. sworn in as NJ state Senator - Kings County Politics

NY: SD-9 Kaminsky’s Victory Is Certified - NY State of Politics

PA: SD-5 Sabatina Retains His Seat - PoliticsPA


Carolyn Fiddler
National Communications Director
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee