Progressives are applauding what Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman called the state’s “transformational” legislative session, which ended on Tuesday after the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party passed nearly every item on its agenda, securing economic justice, reproductive rights, and labor protections for Minnesotans.
With the DFL holding only a narrow majority in the state House and Senate—a six-vote and one-vote margin, respectively—policy researcher Will Stancil said on social media that “the scale of their achievement cannot be overstated.”
Republican state lawmakers in Texas are on the verge of virtually eliminating the ability of Democratic-led cities and counties to enact progressive policies.
At issue is House Bill 2127, which would prohibit municipalities from instituting new local ordinances that go further than what’s already permitted under nine broad areas of state law and also overturn existing regulations that do so, thus preempting democratically elected policymakers from strengthening workers’ rights, environmental protection, and more.
Whether Turkey’s authoritarian president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, maintains power remains an open question as officials continue to count votes following Sunday’s presidential and parliamentary elections.
Tens of millions of people cast ballots in the pivotal election before polls closed at 5:00 pm local time. Preliminary results indicate that Erdoğan of the right-wing Justice and Development Party (AKP) holds a dwindling lead over Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu, who heads the center-left Republican People’s Party (CHP) and is the joint candidate of a six-party opposition coalition.
“It will be like the Taliban regime,” says Melek Önder, asked what will happen to women’s rights if Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is re-elected as president of Turkey in the election on Sunday.
Önder is a spokesperson for We Will Stop Femicides (Kadin Cinayetlerini Durduracagiz), one of the most active groups in Turkey’s women’s movement. The platform was founded in 2010 after Cem Garipoğlu, 17, murdered his girlfriend Münevver Karabulut, also 17. It collects data on femicides and campaigns against violence against women.
Republican Gov. Doug Burgum of North Dakota on Monday signed one of the nation’s most draconian abortion bans into law, just weeks after the state’s GOP lawmakers shot down a proposal to provide free school lunches to low-income students.
The new forced pregnancy law, which takes immediate effect, prohibits abortion care in nearly all cases. Abortion is allowed in cases of rape or incest, but only during the first six weeks of pregnancy—before many people realize they are pregnant. Abortion is also allowed without gestational limits if terminating a pregnancy could prevent the pregnant person’s “death or a serious health risk.”
Last year, after the U.S. Supreme Court ended the federal right to abortion, voters in Kansas, California, Michigan, Vermont, Kentucky, and Montana used the ballot initiative process to show their support for reproductive freedom, both by defeating GOP-backed anti-abortion measures and approving constitutional amendments aimed at preserving abortion access.
From Florida and Texas to California and Illinois, demonstrators marched with chants like, “Red state, blue state, you can’t hide, the war on abortion is nationwide,” and “Fascist judges make me ill, hands off the abortion pill.”
As legal fights raise concerns about the future accessibility of the abortion medication mifepristone, reproductive rights supporters on Saturday rallied outside the U.S. Supreme Court and in cities across the country.
The demonstrations came a day after the U.S. Supreme Court temporarily blocked a recent ruling by Texas-based federal Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, an appointee of former President Donald Trump who struck down the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s 2000 approval of mifepristone, one of two drugs often taken in tandem for abortions.
As the deadline for Americans to file federal income tax returns fast approaches, Oxfam America on Friday renewed calls for taxing the ultrarich while publishing an analysis showing America’s growing number of billionaires saw their wealth increase by nearly one-third since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic and by nearly 90% over the past decade.
“Wealth inequality in the U.S. is more extreme and dangerous than income inequality; and we need to change our approach, so we effectively tax wealth as well as income,” the charity said in an introduction to the report, Tax Wealth, Tackle Inequality.
Governor Ron DeSantis speaking with attendees at the 2022 Student Action Summit at the Tampa Convention Center in Tampa, Florida. Photo: Gage Skidmore/flickr/CC
EDITOR‘S NOTE: The bill was signed last evening.
Reproductive rights defenders on Thursday braced for a near-total abortion ban in Florida as Republican state lawmakers sent legislation outlawing the medical procedure after six weeks to governor and likely GOP presidential candidate Ron DeSantis‘ desk for his all-but-certain signature.
S.B. 300 passed in the Florida House of Representatives by a 70-40 vote largely along party lines after approval by the GOP-controlled Senate earlier this month. If signed into law as anticipated, the legislation will replace an existing 2022 Florida law prohibiting abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy with a six-week ban containing exceptions for victims of rape, incest, or human trafficking; in cases of fatal fetal abnormalities; or to save the pregnant person’s life.
Beginning on Saturday, states across the U.S. will start the process of stripping Medicaid coverage from millions of people as pandemic-related protections lapse, part of a broader unraveling of the safety net that was built to help families withstand the public health crisis and resulting economic turmoil.
Medicaid’s continuous coverage requirements were enacted early in the Covid-19 pandemic to help vulnerable people maintain insurance amid the health emergency, resulting in record-high Medicaid enrollment.