The overwhelming majority of Americans support immigration reform with a real deal on citizenship for aspiring citizens. Tomorrow, many of these ordinary Americans across the country will be rallying and marching in the streets to demand that our lawmakers in the Capitol make good on their promise. On October 5, members of the faith, immigrant, labor, and civil rights communities will be calling on Congress to pass meaningful, comprehensive legislation that reflects the dignity and respect that immigrant families in America deserve.
This week, state legislators from across the nation are converging on Atlanta, Georgia for the annual Legislative Summit of the National Conference of State Legislatures - and Progressive States Network will be there as well!
State legislatures have seen an onslaught of anti-worker legislation in the past two years, with conservative legislators exploiting economic fears to dismantle collective bargaining rights and impede progress on labor standards. Yet, in statehouses across America this year, progressive leaders remained dedicated to fighting for workers’ rights and continued to advocate for legislation that will ensure greater economic security for all citizens. Here is a look at some of the inspiring victories and continuing challenges faced by state lawmakers who sought to advance policies to ensure economic security for working families in sessions this year:
On the fourth anniversary of the last federal increase in the minimum wage, a leading national group of state legislators joined other elected officials across the nation in calling for an increase in the minimum wage at both the state and federal levels, stressing the positive impact that raising the wage would have across the entire economy.
Today, state legislators across the country are joining other elected officials, workers, and advocates in a day of action to highlight the need to raise the minimum wage to improve the economy for all.
On Friday afternoon, after a week of emotionally charged protest and national debate over a not guilty verdict in the Florida trial of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, President Obama expanded on his previous comments on the case in remarks to the White House press corps, outlining what he saw as some potential positive steps forward for the nation. Among those steps: asking states to revisit so-called "Stand Your Ground" laws.
With 2013 legislative sessions largely adjourned in statehouses across the nation, this is the fourth in a series of issue-specific session roundups from Progressive States Network highlighting trends in different policy areas across the fifty states.
Earlier this year, the conservative theory of austerity was thoroughly debunked, with leading economic experts concluding that there is not “even a shred of evidence” that austerity promotes growth and that it instead worsens economic downturns. Despite the conclusions of empirical research, state policymakers have proposed widely divergent ideas about how best to collect and invest taxpayer dollars in 2013. Some states raised revenue to help stimulate a robust economy over the long term by investing in education and other infrastructure. Other states bought the conservative snake oil and refused to fund critical programs and services that contribute to a prosperous and sustainable economy. Below are some highlights and significant trends we saw in state tax policy over 2013 legislative sessions.
The last few years have seen a wave of proposed and enacted restrictions on abortion rights. 2013 began no differently, with the first three months of the new year seeing legislators in 14 states introduce bans, including 10 proposals that would ban nearly all abortions. But recently, from Texas to Ohio to North Carolina, the pace and intensity of these attacks has picked up even more, drawing local protests, national attention, and displays of solidarity from state lawmakers across the country.
This year, the national call for progress on immigration energized state fights for more inclusive immigration policy and, notably, stemmed the flow of anti-immigrant bills that seemed omnipresent just two short years ago. While the long-awaited federal package for immigration reform makes its way through the legislative process, here’s a recap of the action legislators took in states across the country.
State Senator Joe Bolkcom (Iowa), Chair of the Board of Progressive States Network, released a statement in reaction to the 5-4 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.