‘What Republicans and Democrats are doing in the states where they have total Power.
by Perry Bacon Jr.
‘What laws are being passed in “trifecta” states, in which one party controls both houses of the legislature and the governor’s office? These states are ripe for bills to pass easily because the other party can’t stop them. And they serve as a good indicator of each party’s priorities and what it might do at the federal level given unfettered power.1
There is no formal clearinghouse for state policy changes, so I looked for legislative patterns and consulted with national groups that work on state policy, such as the left-leaning State Innovation Exchange. The result is a non-exhaustive list of legislation that has passed in multiple trifecta states, either blue or red.
The 14 states — which are home to about 112 million people — that are totally controlled by Democrats are pushing forward an agenda of, among other things, hiking the minimum wage significantly above the federal $7.25 per hour, banning (for minors) therapy that is designed to “convert” gay and lesbian people from homosexuality (this treatment is widely condemned by medical experts) and mandating that the Electoral College votes in states go to whichever candidate wins the national popular vote.’
The issues being pushed in liberal states aren’t too surprising. They reflect a combination of (i) initiatives the Obama administration was pushing in its latter stages but couldn’t get approved nationally because the GOP controlled Congress; (ii) reactions to the Trump era (particularly trying to ensure that another president is not elected without winning the popular vote), and (iii) priorities of the party’s activists.
The 22 GOP-totally-controlled states — which are home to about 136 million people — have tried to eliminate restrictions on gun rights, stop cities from becoming “sanctuaries” for undocumented immigrants and weaken the Boycott, Divest and Sanctions movement that targets the Israeli government for how it treats Palestinians.