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White House Invites State Lawmakers    12/06 06:05

   The White House is playing host to roughly 50 Democratic state lawmakers 
from 31 states this week as legislatures prepare for their upcoming sessions, 
aiming to talk over strategy on top issues like climate change, gun violence, 
abortion rights and voting rights.

   WASHINGTON (AP) -- The White House is playing host to roughly 50 Democratic 
state lawmakers from 31 states this week as legislatures prepare for their 
upcoming sessions, aiming to talk over strategy on top issues like climate 
change, gun violence, abortion rights and voting rights.

   Those expected to attend the meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday include 
Georgia House Minority Leader James Beverly, Florida House Minority Leader 
Fentrice Driskell and Idaho House Minority Leader Ilana Rubel, according to the 
White House.

   The aim is to give state lawmakers a to-do list for the upcoming legislative 
session, though meeting those goals will be nearly impossible in states where 
Republicans are in control. The meetings come as Democrats are increasingly 
focused on making inroads in state governments in part through better alignment 
on top issues, a political tactic that helped the GOP secure leadership in 23 
states.

   The legislators will meet with Biden administration policy experts on drug 
control, veterans affairs, environmental quality, criminal justice, violence 
prevention and climate change.

   The discussion panels will include a session on how states can develop 
better clean energy and increase wind and solar projects. Another will look at 
the protection and expansion of health care coverage, with suggestions on how 
to expand postpartum Medicaid coverage, strengthen mental health care and 
expand access to naloxone, a drug that can stop an opioid overdose. There will 
also be discussions on economic security, including minimum wages, rent 
discrimination and affordable housing.

   Other areas of focus include protecting rights for LGBTQ Americans and 
voting rights, civil rights and the preservation of democracy. Additional 
topics will include gun violence prevention, community policing and investments 
in public safety.

 
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