Local Majority provides research that is practical and accessible for state district campaigns. Acting as their personal research department, we distill national research studies and put together packets with specific and targeted information for candidates’ campaigns to support their efforts. Read here for some of our in-depth research reports supporting progressive campaigns.
WOMEN'S ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE
Although abortion is still legal in the United States, Michigan Republicans have been passing state-level legislation that has chipped away incrementally at women’sreproductive rights. By passing legislation restricting access to abortion, the legislature has effectively limited not only a woman’s right to choose, but also her access to contraception and healthcare in general. read more …
MINNESOTA EDUCATION FUNDING
To balance the budget in 2009, the Pawlenty administration withheld state aid to Minnesota's local school districts. Pawlenty’s unprecedented executive order withheld $1.2 billion in state aid. By the time Governor Mark Dayton took office, the schools were in the hole by an unprecedented amount. read more …
REPUBLICANS FAILING TEACHERS
Michigan would like to be a top 10 education state, but by nearly all measures, the state’s schools are closer to the bottom than the top of our nation’s school rankings. The Rand Corporation’s research says that teachers are the single most important factor in improving student achievement, and yet Republicans in Michigan are undermining teachers. read more …
While the infamous Flint water crisis is still under remediation, a new water contamination crisis is hitting communities throughout Michigan. And it’s not as if state authorities didn’t have plenty of warning. read more …
Equitable Pay and the Wage Gap
Welcome to a woman’s reality in the workforce, where the same or even better levels of effort are rewarded with consistently lower pay. Women in Michigan combined lose nearly $23 billion every year due to the pay gap and that is just one of many statistics detailing the harsh impact of lost wages based on the gender pay gap. read more …
Legislative Record for Minnesota House Republicans
A look at an incumbent's votes is crucial for understanding the legislator's priorities and positions. Their web sites and public statements can be at odds with how they actually vote. A discussion of some of the general voting themes for House Republicans follows. The GOP has become the “Anti” party (anti-environmental regulations, anti-public education, anti-affordable health care, anti-social assistance programs, anti-reproductive rights, anti-immigration, anti-gay rights, anti-gun safety and more). more …
Michigan’s Broken School System
School choice advocates, led by Betsy DeVos, unleashed one of the most aggressive and unregulated charter school experiments ever on Michigan. According to their theory, competition among charter and public schools would spur innovation in instructional practices, which would improve statewide educational outcomes. Instead, school rankings, on average, remain in the bottom third of the nation. While the rest of the states have enjoyed gains in educational outcomes, the improvements in Michigan have not kept pace. more …
ALEC Legislation—State GOP Gets Marching Orders
Corporations and wealthy individuals directly influence laws by operating and funding the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). ALEC sponsors task forces and conferences where legislators and business leaders write bills. Then ALEC matches bills with legislators willing to sponsor them. Goals include increasing profits, privatizing public resources and services, and passing preemption laws that prevent cities from addressing problems locally. more …
Republicans pillaging Affordable Housing Fund
Florida has the third highest homeless population in the nation. The elderly are at particular risk. The Sadowski Fund was set up to address affordable needs through a tax on real estate transactions. 2018 marks the 11th consecutive year that Republican legislators have taken from housing funds to pay for other programs. More than $2 billion from the fund has been used for purposes other than affordable housing. more …
Florida's Abysmal Teacher Pay
According to the Florida Education Association, from 2009-2018 (6 years of which Perry was in the Florida House of Representatives and 2 years of which he was in the Florida Senate), average teacher pay (K-12) in Florida decreased 12.2% in inflation-adjusted dollars. It is now 17% lower than the national average.. more …
Minnesota’s ROADS TO RUIN
Minnesota’s roads are vital infrastructure that allows personal and commercial traffic to operate safely and efficiently. These same roads and highways, however, are decaying rapidly due to years of being underfunded. Ignoring a problem does not make it simply go away, yet the Republican-controlled state House seems to think it will. The Legislature controls the purse strings for the state’s transportation system. It is apparent that this goal cannot be met as long as the Republicans control the Legislature. more …
Minnesota’s REPUBLICAN Pickpockets
For several legislative sessions, particularly the rancorous 2018 gathering, the Republican majority has been practicing a fiscal sleight-of-hand. They are doing this even though Minnesota is expected to enjoy a $329 million budget surplus. Having that 1 percent surplus hasn’t kept Republicans from trying to use special state funds set aside for a particular purpose to pay instead for basic needs.
REPUBLICAN LEGISLATIVE RECORD
Voting in lockstep on issues, the Republican bloc in the Michigan State House of Representatives has imposed an agenda on Michigan that does not represent the views of the general population. An in-depth analysis of recent legislation reveals a lack of connection between GOP politicians and issues of deep concern to their constituents in virtually every district in the state. The GOP has become the “Anti” party (anti-environmental regulations, anti-public education, anti-affordable health care, anti-social assistance programs, anti-reproductive rights, anti-immigration, anti-gay rights, anti-gun safety and more).
Lake Okeechobee and the Blue-Green Algae Problem
The pollution in Lake Okeechobee in central Florida that results in blue-green algae blooms presents serious public health and economic problems, producing dangerous toxins that affect residents of five counties. more ...
The DeVos Effect: Meddling with Michigan
For the past four decades, Betsy and Dick DeVos have been using their significant wealth and connections to influence politics in Michigan, and rarely for the better. Their national identity peaked in 2017 when Betsy was named President Trump’s Secretary of Education, but this is hardly the family’s first interaction with the relationship between questionable ethics, wealth, and politics. more ...
Strategic Metals Mining
Iron mining has been a prominent industry in northeastern Minnesota since the late 1800’s, but the mining of heavier metals–copper, nickel, and strategic metals such as gold, cobalt, platinum and palladium–has never taken hold. Two mining companies are attempting to get permits to mine and process those metals. Read further for the pros and cons of the issue. more ...
The 3M Contamination Settlement Controversy
Minnesota sued manufacturing giant 3M for environmental damage caused by waste chemicals, known by the class name of perfluorocarbons, or PFCs, which have dispersed into a 100-square-mile plume in the groundwater. more ...
Interstate 4 and the Elusive High Speed Rail
Florida’s I-4 is an outdated and dangerous highway unsuited for the contemporary volume of commuters and tourists that are currently utilizing it, many of whom have a significant amount of power in choosing the nation’s president. While the state is working to improve sections of the interstate, what is really needed is an alternative to driving, a high-speed rail alternative (paid for by the Federal Government) that has consistently been shot down by Republican legislators to the detriment of Florida’s commuters, taxpayers, and economy. more ...
Minnesota: Sold to the highest bidder
Privatization that has become increasingly common across states is a result of the outsized power that one constituency—corporate interests—has to influence legislation. But corporations, whose primary motive is profit, don't necessarily consider the societal costs of their actions. We need a society that benefits the majority, not just a few wealthy individuals and corporations.
The American Legislative Exchange Council, commonly referred to as ALEC, and controlled by a few wealthy individuals and corporations, has had a huge impact on laws passed within the states. Its impact comes from writing "model" legislation, which is then given to lawmakers who sponsor it. This has resulted in nearly identical bills being passed in many different states. more ...
Florida Republicans Attack Public Education
There is a Republican-led onslaught against public education in Florida. Not only has funding for successful college scholarship programs been cut, new measures are proposed to further gut public school funding by promoting charter schools in their stead. GOP measures are also proposing to remove long-standing restrictions against the use of public monies to fund private-, sectarian- and religion-based schools.
Scientists predict that sea level will rise nearly 7 feet by the year 2100 if no action is taken to address climate change. By that time, 90 coastal communities in Florida will experience chronic inundation, which means that 10% or more of a community’s land area will be flooded by high tides an average of 26 times annually (every other week). The area affected will be much greater than 10% in most of those communities; and some will virtually disappear under water.
While the Sunshine State is home to balmy beaches and sunny skies, its state of renewable energy production and consumption is dismal. Controlled by the Republican Party in the House and Senate for over 20 years, Democratic initiatives to launch energy-saving measures that would capitalize on the state’s natural solar and renewable resources have been overruled by the GOP, the same party funded by the utility companies.
Virginia Under Water
A study by Old Dominion University predicts that vast areas of Virginia will be underwater due to climate change. Scientists are predicting a rise of up to 7½ feet by the year 2100. Many communities in Virginia will experience chronic flooding, which means 10% or more of its land area will be flooded by high tides an average of 26 times per year (every other week). Read here to find out what needs to be done now.
Criminal Justice Reform
Starting in the 1990s, Virginia has overemphasized the punitive aspects of justice without a concomitant effort towards rehabilitation. Here is a look at some of the issues that characterize criminal justice in the United States and in Virginia — with a focus on those that the Republican-led House of Delegates has done little to tackle.
Gun Safety Regulations
Every 10 hours, a person is killed with a gun in Virginia in cases that involve suicide, domestic violence, accidental shootings or interpersonal disputes. Two-thirds of Virginians support a law to limit the purchase of guns to one/month according to a Quinnapac poll released in April 2017. It’s time to close the loopholes and keep firearms out of the hands of ineligible buyers.
Virginia residents have the 10th highest electricity bills in the nation. Large additional rates are imposed for building new power plants that would be unneeded if Virginia implemented higher energy efficiency standards. But Virginia ranks 33rd out of 50 states on the effectiveness of their energy efficiency policies and programs. Virginia lags far behind the rest of the nation because the Republican-controlled state legislature has not imposed regulations forcing utilities to implement energy efficiency programs or meet energy savings targets.
The Republican legislature has repeatedly voted against expanding solar energy credits and net-metering to residents and small businesses, favoring corporations and utilities, even extending tax credits to earth-killing coal companies. More than a dozen clean energy bills were introduced but were killed in committee in deference to the utility companies.
The Racial Wealth Gap
Since 1986, about half of all gains in wealth have gone to the top 0.1 percent of households. Racial minorities are especially affected by this with typical black households possessing just 6% of the wealth of white households and the typical Latino household having just 8% of the wealth that a white household has. Read our report to find out why racial disparity exists in America and Virginia.
Republicans denied 400,000 Virginians access to healthcare, refused $2 billion in federal funds and 15,000 good jobs.
Inequity Waits in Virginia
In Virginia, $2.13/hour is the mandatory wage a restaurant must pay a waiter or waitress who gets tips. The VA taxpayer supplements nearly half of food-service workers with assistance. Vote Democrat to change this broken system.