Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee

State of the States (Week of May 18th, 2016)

State of the States (Week of May 18th, 2016)

For the Week of May 18th



“Wouldn’t it be interesting if we take dollar-for-dollar the money we’re going to spend litigating unconstitutional bills and put it into something that makes a difference in South Carolina?”

-South Carolina state Representative James Smith (D) commented on the state’s new ultra-strict abortion bill that passed the Republican-controlled state legislature. Bill sponsor Rep. Wendy Nanney (R) said she’s hopeful the law is a step to eventually “get rid of abortion altogether.” The bill bans abortion after 19 weeks and allows exceptions only if the mother’s life is in jeopardy or in a case of a “fetal anomaly,” which is when a doctor determines the fetus can’t survive outside the womb. The South Carolina bill, like many similar laws passed in other states, provides no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

“between twenty-one and twenty-eight years of age and shall be no more tha[n] one hundred sixty pounds in weight.”

-Louisiana state Representative Kenneth Havard (R) proposed this amendment to Senate Bill 468. The bill would raise the minimum age of employment for exotic dancers to 21. Rep. Havard’s attempt to attach this demeaning amendment to the bill ultimately failed.


The Underground House Majority Fight

Kyle Trygstad (National Journal)
May 16, 2016

“On the last Wednesday of April, as Donald Trump reveled on cable talk shows over his Acela primary sweep the night be­fore, some 60 Democratic state legislative campaign operatives from around the country gathered in a boutique hotel ballroom just off Scott Circle in Washington to kick-start the final six months of the election cycle—and figure out how to take advantage of Trump’s presence on the ballot. …

“The organization is among the key national party players seated at the table hoping to ensure the political massacre of 2010 doesn’t recur. For its part, the DLCC invited legislative caucus staffers to D.C. last month for basic training, to facilitate coordination, and to prepare for a potentially big year. …

“The DLCC already had a major success this year. With Democrats’ lone chamber in the South on the line, the party won three of four Kentucky state House special elections in March, including flipping a Republican seat. It also picked up a state Senate seat last month in New York. But the work has just begun.

"'My job as the executive director at DLCC,’ Post said, ‘is to make sure that every­one who contributes at the fed­er­al level gets what we get—that the states are where it’s at, and the way to take back our coun­try is to make sure that we con­trol state legislatures.’”

[Read more]

Ballot harvesting law could impact Latinos and seniors in general election

Courney Columbus & Anna Cooper (Arizona Capitol Times)
May 17, 2016

“Arizona’s new law that criminalizes the collection of voters’ early ballots by volunteers could impact the ability of the elderly and Latinos to cast their votes, according to local voter outreach groups.” …

“Cristian Avila of Mi Familia Vota said this “would be the biggest challenge” to his organization this year because he worries it could disenfranchise busy Latino voters for whom sitting down to fill out a ballot and mail it in may be low on their list of priorities. Avila isn’t sure what the organization’s strategy will be now that they can no longer collect ballots. He said their action plan will depend on the resources available to them at the time.”

[Read more]


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



AZ: Ducey OKs abortion law repeals and bill targeting providers - Associated Press

IN: State-Mandated Mourning for Aborted Fetuses - The Atlantic

LA: Senate votes to ban common abortion procedure - The Times-Picayune

SC: S.C. lawmakers pass ultra-strict abortion bill - CBS News


NJ: $15 minimum wage gains N.J. Senate committee approval -


GA: Georgia Republicans want state to block ‘harmful’ transgender bathroom rules - Atlanta Journal Constitution

LA: 32 Louisiana legislators push back on transgender bathroom access, protections - The Times-Picayune

MS: Wright does about-face on transgender bathroom policy - The Clarion-Ledger

UT: Legislature to study impact of directive on transgender students; LDS Church weighs in - Deseret News

Voting Rights

AZ: Ballot harvesting law could impact Latinos and seniors in general election - Arizona Capitol Times

KS: Judge strikes blow to Kansas’ voter ID requirements - CNN


AL: Jury in place for House Speaker Mike Hubbard’s ethics trial -

LA: Brusly attorney Jordan bests educator Lee in House District 29 race - The Advocate

VT: Campbell Aide Conor Kennedy Running To Succeed Him In Senate - VTDigger


Carolyn Fiddler

National Communications Director
Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee