DISPATCH: A Tipping Point for Paid Sick Days, and More

Stateside Dispatch
Saturday, March 30, 2013

Welcome to the Stateside Dispatch, Progressive States Network's roundup of the latest state policy news. Here's what happened in the states this week:

A Tipping Point for Paid Sick Days

After years of debate and delay, paid sick days may soon become a reality for approximately one million New Yorkers who do not currently have access to them. After bottling up a bill that had earned strong backing among the public and her colleagues, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced in a turnaround this week that she had struck a deal on a compromise paid sick days bill that will begin to go into effect April 1, 2014. The victory in New York City looks likely to add momentum to a number of other paid sick days campaigns currently underway in the states:

More from Progressive States Network on both the NYC deal and the state of paid sick days fights in the states. [PSN]

The NYC law will initially cover 964,000 workers at employers with 20 or more employees and go into effect on April 1, 2014. [RH Reality Check]

"Whether the sick leave is paid or unpaid, companies will be legally forbidden from firing workers for taking such time off." [New York Times]

Mayor Bloomberg says he'll veto the bill, reports Bloomberg (but the city council is set to override). [Bloomberg]

How the issue was "forced onto the political agenda as the result of years of tireless organizing and advocacy" -- Amy Traub. [Demos]

NYC was the third U.S. city this month alone to pass paid sick days legislation. [Economic Opportunity Institute]

“We’re seeing a wave of wins that will move us closer to the tipping point... and the tipping point is when Congress says, ‘What are we doing? Why aren’t we passing this?’” -- Ellen Bravo, executive director of Family Values @ Work. [Bloomberg News]

A great comparison of enacted paid sick days laws in other cities (and the state of CT). [National Partnership for Women and Families]

A Michigan state Senate committee advanced a bill this week that would preempt cities from enacting paid sick leave laws. [Detroit Free Press]

The fate of Philadelphia's paid sick leave bill, approved by the City Council earlier this month, rests with the veto pen of Mayor Michael Nutter. []

The national attention focused on the issue this week has some asking whether paid sick days will become the next progressive "litmus test" issue. [Salon]

State legislators: Sign up to join PSN's Economic Security Working Group of state legislators to learn more about state efforts on paid sick days and other workers' rights issues.

Map of the Week:

Map: Relative Upward Mobility, State-by-State

Of the 15 states whose residents have less upward mobility than the national average, 14 are so-called "right-to-work" states. 

Of the 13 states whose residents have higher upward mobility than the national average, 12 are non-RTW states -- including Michigan, which saw its anti-union "right-to-work" law go into effect this week. [Pew Charitable Trusts, via ThinkProgress]

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Also this week:

The same week that the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on California's Proposition 8 and DOMA, a Nevada Senate panel debated a resolution introduced by Sen. Tick Segerblom that would repeal the state's constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. [Las Vegas Sun]

A mid-session roundup of pro-immigrant measures making gains at the state level. [Immigration Impact]

More states are looking to limit deportations through passing "Trust Acts" -- "essentially the polar opposite" of SB1070-type anti-immigrant laws. [Stateline]

Work-sharing legislation is gaining ground in Ohio and across the states, reports Arthur Delaney. [Huffington Post]

Hundreds took to the streets of Chicago to protest the city's plan to close 54 public schools. [MSNBC]

The continuing loss of education jobs in public schools in states across the nation is continuing to provide a drag on the economy. [Reuters]

The controversy over a "parent trigger" bill in Florida looks set to get a lot louder next week. [Orlando Sentinel]

Iowa's Senate approved a Medicaid expansion bill, setting up a showdown with Gov. Terry Branstad. [Des Moines Register]

The drumbeat in Texas is getting louder on Medicaid expansion -- with even some city Chambers of Commerce getting on board. [Burnt Orange Report]  

Despite his initial rejection, reports are that Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett "hasn't closed the door" on expanding Medicaid. [Pocono Record]

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R) signed a health exchange bill into law this week. [AP]

Will governors who "purposefully do a very bad job" implementing the Affordable Care Act at this point end up hurting the ACA, or only their states and themselves? [Washington Post]

Will Washington state have more luck passing a Reproductive Parity Act to expand insurance coverage for abortion this year? [RH Reality Check]

Will Florida state legislators stop their "assault" on local fair wage laws? [Miami Herald]

Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe vetoed a Voter ID bill this week. [AP] 

A proposed ban on school bus drivers and other workers receiving unemployment benefits failed on the last day of the session in Georgia. [Atlanta Journal Constitution]

New York's legislature passed a budget that included an extension of the state "millionaire's tax" and a minimum wage increase to $9 by 2016. [Bloomberg News]

And the Kansas House approved a bill requiring drug testing... both for welfare applicants and for themselves. [Huffington Post]


Follow @PSNwire on Twitter for the latest state policy news.

Research Roundup

Following the Money 2013: How the 50 States Rate in Providing Online Access to Government Spending Data [U.S. PIRG]
"This report, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s fourth annual evaluation of state transparency websites, finds that states are closer than ever before to meeting the standards of 'Transparency 2.0' -- encompassing, one-stop, one-click checkbook transparency and accountability."

Consider the Source: 100 years of Broken Record Opposition to the Minimum Wage [National Employment Law Project and the Cry Wolf Project]
This report "chronicles the history of unchanging sky-is-falling rhetoric by business interests opposed to minimum wage laws. The report is a comprehensive analysis based on decades of congressional hearing testimony, archives of leading business organizations and newspaper archives. It includes a detailed chronology of a century of standard opposition arguments."

Medicaid Expansion Under the Affordable Care Act [Kaiser Family Foundation]
"This March 2013 Visualizing Health Policy infographic looks at how expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act will impact low-income and uninsured people, and how these groups will be affected in states that do not expand the program."

What the Public Really Thinks About Guns [Center for American Progress]
"In this issue brief -- co-authored by a bipartisan team of pollsters who have each conducted public-opinion research on attitudes toward guns in recent years -- we hope to set the record straight and provide tools for polling outlets and reporters going forward."

Election Legislation 2013: Threats and Opportunities Assessment [Project Vote]
This report "analyzes all of the voting related bills introduced, passed, or rejected across the country in the first quarter of 2013, and finds that the recent trend towards disenfranchisement continues.... 30 states introduced laws that restrict voting. While the lawmakers’ continued focus on voter restrictions is disturbing, the report also finds a groundswell of support for ways to protect and improve access to the democratic system."

Email us at with research roundup suggestions.

Quote of the Week

"There’s no evil force that’s out there that’s trying to destroy marriage. It was people that just wanted to fall in love, and have stable families and monogamous relationships just like I do. That’s what changed my mind."
-- Former State Senator Jeff Angelo (R-IA) on why he now supports marriage equality, four years after sponsoring a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage in his state.

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