I've always been fascinated by states where one party is completely destroyed and the other party has to govern without an opposition party to speak of. The ones I watch closely are California and South Carolina, but there are others. This article
looks at what policies are coming out of states where one party has complete power.
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 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.
Again, this is not a complete list of policies being enacted in a huge swath of the states. (We purposefully left out abortion, which is covered in more detail here.) And some of these ideas have crossed the red-blue divide — for example, some GOP-controlled states, like North Dakota, are joining the push to decriminalize marijuana, and many blue states, including California and New York, have enacted anti-BDS provisions.
It’s also worth noting which policies are not proliferating at the state level. Despite national momentum in the Democratic Party for enrolling more people in Medicare-style government-run health insurance plans, only Washington has adopted a so-called public option at the state level. And even as some of the party’s presidential candidates emphasize hiking rates on the wealthiest Americans, totally controlled Democratic states haven’t been as enthusiastic. New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy’s push for a major tax increase on millionaires, for example, is facing strong resistance from his fellow Democrats in the state legislature.
On the GOP side, national Republicans, particularly Education Secretary Betsy Devos, are strong supporters of charter schools, as an alternative to traditional public schools. But of the six states that don’t currently have laws allowing for the creation of charters, four (Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia) are totally controlled by the GOP.
My take in SC and California is that when the remnants of the other party are completely slain, the remaining party actually tried to govern instead of writing laws to score political points. SC built a stable tax system and started funding roads and infrastructure. California balanced a budget that was completely out of control a decade ago.