H.R. 1 by Speaker Pelosi and Rep. John Sarbanes (MD-3) "To expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, and strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and for other purposes." It has 227 co-sponsors. The text is available.
GMOM+WOLF-PAC lobby night was a big success
Jan. 28. Here’s half of our Lobby Night attendees with House of Delegates sponsor Tawanna Gaines.
The Democracy Amendment Resolution was SJ 1, by Paul Pinsky and 19 other senators.The hearing was held before the Senate Education, Health, and Environment Committee (starting at 2:20:00). See the video of the hearing below.
In the House of Delegates, it was HJ 2, by Tawanna Gaines and 74 other delegates.
The Senate Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs Committee voted UNFAVORABLE on SJ 1 on March 8. This action kills the Democracy Amendment Resolution for 2019. The following senators voted UNFAVORABLE: Kagan, Lam, Bailey, Carozza, Ellis, and Patterson.
Republicans in the US Senate will not allow a vote on an omnibus democracy reform bill that passed in the House of Representatives. Senate Democrats have introduced a bill almost identical to H.R. 1, which passed the House on March 8 by a vote of 234 - 193. However, Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not allow a vote.
|Speaker of the House, Michael E. Busch died of pneumonia after a series of severe health challenges. He became Speaker in 2003 and was the longest-serving Speaker in the history of the House of Delegates. During the 2018 legislative session, Speaker Busch exercised leadership to pass the Democracy Amendment Resolution. Get Money Out named him a Democracy Champion. During the election campaign later in 2018, he took the "Pledge to Get $$$ Out."|
A federal court ruled that 34 of Michigan's Congressional and and state legislative are unconstitutional gerrymandered for partisan purposes. The court ruled that First-Amendment rights of Democratic voters were trampled "by placing them in districts where their votes were worthless." Also, the 14th-Amendment guarantee of equal protection was violated. "...[T]he impact of the ruling ultimately will turn on an opinion by the Supreme Court, which is weighing decisions in two other partisan gerrymander cases involving congressional districts in North Carolina and Maryland.
The Trump Administration will drop efforts to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. This comes after the Supreme Court ruled that the Administration's original rationale (to help enforce the Voting Rights Acts) was a subterfuge. Critics had charged that the purpose of the question was to discourage undocumented immigrants from answering the census and thus produce an undercount that would favor Republican states and Congressional districts. Such an undercount could have created a built-in advantage in apportionment of seats in Congress to the states, in gerrymandering Congressional and state legislative districts, and in receipt of federal funds for hundreds of programs.
The Trump Administration reversed its position on its efforts to include the citizenship question in the 2020 census, saying it will use any means to include the question, once again throwing the outcome of the dispute into uncertainty.