NF LEGISLATIVE ROUNDUP: WEEK OF APR. 5, 2021

State legislatures across the country continued to debate and enact legislation relevant to the struggle for social justice. Check out the bills from the week of April 5, 2021.

Arizona

  • SB1485
    • Why we’re watching: In the wake of Georgia’s discriminatory voting laws, Arizona hasn’t learned a thing. The state legislature is considering over 20 bills that would limit voting. SB1485 would automatically remove voters from the early voting list should they miss two federal elections in a row. 150,00 Arizonans would be removed immediately.

California

  • California Public Banking Option Act
    • Why we’re watching: Banks have long been a venue of racial discrimination. Redlining, the historic practice of creating de facto segregated neighborhoods, began with racist bank policy. This legislation would create a public alternative to the private institutions that have played a role in housing discrimination for decades.

Colorado

  • HB1090
    • Why we’re watching: Legalization without instituting criminal justice reforms is folly. This bill would raise the legal possession limit in Colorado from one ounce to twice that – and give Gov. Jared Polis an avenue by which to pardon individuals previously convicted of possession offenses.

Connecticut

  • SB888
    • Why we’re watching: We’re still monitoring Connecticut’s efforts to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. This proposal took another step forward recently, but social justice advocates still think the legislation could be stronger in reinforcing equity among marginalized communities.

Washington

  • SB5476
    • Why we’re watching: Addiction is not a crime. That outdated view of a public health issue is how the overpolicing of marginalized communities ramped up in the 1980s during the War on Drugs. Under this bill, law enforcement would be encouraged to connect those with substance abuse disorders to services that can provide treatment and recovery instead of throwing them in jail.

What do you think of the bills in this week’s roundup? Did we miss anything? Drop us a line on any of our social channels or at info@neighborhoodforward.com or you can contact us through our contact us form. Let us know what’s happening in YOUR neighborhood!

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