The midterm elections are now behind us, and there have been some important takeaways from this year’s results. Aside from the obvious shift of power in the U.S. House of Representatives, which brings in an admirably diverse group of freshmen Congresspeople, some notable policy aims were achieved on Election day through ballot initiatives:
- Minimum Wage Increases:Voters in two states approved higher minimum wages for workers in their states (Arkansas and Missouri), while voters in Flagstaff, AZ, rejected an effort to roll back a previously enacted minimum wage increase.
- Medicaid Expansion:Voters in three states approved an expansion of Medicaid to cover adults under the age of 65, living at or below 138 percent of the poverty level (Idaho, Nebraska, and Utah).
- Preventing Gerrymandering:Voters in three states chose to put a stop to gerrymandering by setting up independent commissions for redistricting (Colorado, Michigan, and Utah).
- Voting Rights:In mixed news for voting rights restoration, two states instituted further barriers to voting by imposing a Voter ID law (Arkansas and North Carolina), while voters in three other states chose to reduce the barriers to voting, including automatic voter registration in Nevada, same-day voter registration in Maryland, and the restoration of voting rights to over one million formerly incarcerated felons in Florida (with some exceptions) who have paid their debt and re-entered their communities.
Overall, it was not a bad night for policies for which the PC(USA) General Assembly has expressed support.