RICHMOND, Va. — Nearly two dozen attorneys general said Monday that they support the effort to give the nation's capital statehood. Among those giving their backing was Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring.

In the first-of-its-kind statement, the group, which consisted of Herring and 19 other state attorneys general and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine, called on Congress to pass a bill introduced by Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton who represents the District in the U.S. House.

Holmes Norton's H.R. 51 is called the Washington, D.C. Admission Act.

The statement from the attorneys general said:

The District’s over 700,000 residents work hard, raise families, and pay the highest federal taxes per capita, and yet they are deprived of the fundamental right to participate meaningfully in our representative democracy. The District of Columbia deserves a voice in this country’s legislature and should be able to govern itself like any other state. The District’s residents deserve equal voting rights and autonomy under the law. We support Statehood for the District of Columbia and urge passage of H.R. 51 to accomplish this goal.

The 20 attorneys general who declared their support for D.C. Statehood are:

  • California Attorney General Xavier Becerra 
  • Connecticut Attorney General William Tong
  • Delaware Attorney General Kathy Jennings
  • District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine
  • Hawaii Attorney General Clare E. Connors
  • Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
  • Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller
  • Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear
  • Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh
  • Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey
  • Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel
  • Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison
  • Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford
  • New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas
  • New York Attorney General Tish James
  • North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein
  • Oregon Attorney General Ellen F. Rosenblum
  • Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro
  • Virginia Attorney General Mark Herring
  • Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson

On March 8, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1, which endorses full congressional voting rights and self-government for the District.

H.R. 51 has a record-breaking 201 co-sponsors from 42 states. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi supports the bill, and House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings wants to hold a hearing on it later this year.