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Comprised of over 20 policy options spanning a range of issues, the Blueprint weaves together state policies that have already proven effective, pragmatic, and popular, organizing these proposals under four broad frames that reflect many of the top concerns of American families: building an economy that works, making government work for people, protecting and supporting families, and revitalizing a middle class that continues to be largely left out of the economic recovery.

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This report, released by more than 20 of America’s leading organizations on work and the economy, describes common sense policies towards making today’s jobs better and tomorrow’s jobs good. The core value guiding this road map is that work lies at the center of a robust and sustainable economy; that all work has dignity; and that through work, all of us should be able to support our families, educate our children and enjoy our retirements.

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This messaging resource will help  unpack the provisions being challenged, sketch out likely outcomes for the decision, and frame the debate in ways that spotlight the failings of the SB 1070 approach and the way forward: through common-sense immigration policies that expand economic opportunity for all residents, both immigrant and native-born.

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The Supreme Court will soon decide the constitutionality of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act. This guide highlights the impact of the ACA in each state.

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This 50-state survey of states’ wage theft laws reveals the majority of state laws to be grossly inadequate, contributing to a rising trend in workplace violations that affects millions of people throughout the country. The growth of this and other forms of the “underground economy” also have a serious impact on state revenues, amounting to billions of dollars per year in tax and payroll fraud. Several states are acting to address these problems by strengthening their laws against unscrupulous employers.

 

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The Supreme Court will soon decide the constitutionality of key provisions of Arizona’s anti-immigrant SB 1070 law in Arizona v. United States. While the decision is likely to be handed down in late June, it is very important that legislators, advocates, and activists speak with a unified voice about this divisive and mean-spirited law. This PDF is a messaging resource that highlights the law’s unconstitutionality but also emphasizes the economically destructive nature of anti-immigrant legislation and the clear trend amongst the broad majority of state legislatures around the country that have chosen not to follow Arizona’s lead.

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Employers who engage in wage theft are not just stealing from hard-working families. By not paying workers what they are owed, dishonest businesses not only place law-abiding employers at a competitive disadvantage. They slow down the economic recovery by depressing consumer spending needed to fuel economic growth and defrauding taxpayers to the tune of millions of dollars. This brief previews a forthcoming Progressive States Network report on state wage theft laws by taking a closer look at the WTPA and comparing it to model policies being advanced in the states. Our forthcoming report will measure states’ existing wage theft laws against a comprehensive set of those model policies.

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State governments are facing mounting budgetary  pressures to cut Medicaid costs. Reducing eligibility or cutting covered services is the obvious, but short-sighted, cost-cutting strategy. Such cuts will leave already ill people more ill,  shift treatment costs to other payers (including small businesses, individual insurance policyholders, and medical providers), and forego significant federal funding that frequently exceeds any state budget savings.

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E-Verify is a federal pilot employment-verification system that filters a worker’s identification information through the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Social Security Administration (SSA) databases---in theory, flagging as ineligible any worker whose information doesn’t match up with federal records. This controversial system has become a go-to talking point for anti-immigrant officials intent on a misguided “self-deportation” policy, which does nothing to address the root causes of America’s broken immigration system.

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The current state of the economy reminds us that American families will likely continue to face the stark reality of economic insecurity in 2012. With the political terrain still treacherous in many states, identifying and disseminating successful ways to frame, communicate, and advance effective economic policies will be key to changing the policy debate in statehouses — and through the states, helping to turn the tide in the nation as a whole.

 

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As state legislative chambers begin new sessions—many with new right-wing leadership—the condition of our shaky state economies hangs in the balance. The nation’s most pressing issue—nationally and locally—will continue to be jobs and the economy. Progressive States Network is working with state legislators and advocates across the country to collaborate on messages and policy solutions that will build security into three broad areas that affect people’s everyday lives: our state economies, our jobs, and our health.

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Progressive States Network’s immigration-related work falls into a few key categories including: Wage Enforcement and Workers's Rights, Immigrant Integration, Community Policing, and Support Women and Minority Entrepreneurs as Potential Engines of Economic Growth and Job Creation.