ME: Polling Reveals Uphill Struggle to Defeat TABOR

A new poll in Maine reveals the uphill battle progressives face in educating the public about the dangers of TABOR-style spending caps. The poll reports that nearly three in four voters say they would vote for TABOR if the option was put in front of them today.

Preventing the Revolt: Progressive Strategies on Property Taxes

For decades, property tax revolts have been a thorn in the side of progressives. California's Proposition 13 remains the highest profile example of the property tax revolt, but just about every legislator in the country can attest to the level of frustration many Americans feel about property taxes.

The Political Landscape

As November 2006 approaches, political observers have their eyes on changing political winds. A number of observers are also keeping a close eye on the states, where many outcomes are up in the air and the stakes are high. Control of 29 legislative chambers -- almost one in three -- is up for grabs and leaders of both the Republicana and Democratic parties are pledging to put major resources into winning legislative seats.

CT: The Political Strength of Health Care for All

Both Democratic candidates for Governor, federal candidates, and legislative candidates from both parties have either released their own plans for Health Care for All in Connecticut or expressed their support for the concept.

UT: Moderation on Immigration a Political Strength

While some politicians express angst about sounding moderate on the immigration issue by eschewing xenophobic measures, a Utah primary election last week shows just how weak the hard-line anti-immigrant stance is with real voters.

NY: Child Care Workers Poised to Win Bargaining Rights

Despite a veto by the governor, the New York State legislature is poised to override and enact reforms to allow day care workers to form labor unions.   The bill, A10060, sponsored by Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat (a Progressive States board member) and Senator Nick Spano, would effect an estimated 52,000 day care workers in facilities subsidized by state funds, given them standing to negotiate with the state for wage increases, as well as benefits like health care, workers' compensation, paid vacation or sick days. 

DC: Big Box Wage and Benefits Bill Introduced

Following Chicago's lead, DC Councilman Phill Mendelson has introduced a bill to require large retailers such as Wal-Mart and Costco to pay employees a living wage of $11 an hour plus health benefits worth at least $3 a hour. The bill also would give labor groups and the public access to public areas of a firm to communicate with employees about their rights. As we detailed in last week's Dispatch, a major committee and a majority of Chicago City Council members have endorsed a similar bill for that city.

SCOTUS Strikes Down Campaign Finance Laws; Public Financing Strongest Constitutional Option

This week, the Supreme Court struck down Vermont's strict limits on campaign contributions and expenditures by candidates.  In a set of fractured opinions in Randall v. Sorrell, the Court did not put an end to all campaign finance limits but did put a roadblock in the way of anything much more restrictive than most present laws.  So if there is going to be more serious reform to lessen the power of special interest money in politics, the only real remaining route to reform are systems of public financing of elections like Maine and Arizona.

Reforming Failed Tax Subsidies

Back in April, the Stateside Dispatch profiled successful job creation programs where states not only invest in dynamic high-tech and inner-city startup companies, but make money for the taxpayer from many of their investments.

Clean Elections: Good Politics

We already knew that clean elections were good policy. In fact, we brought together over 100 policymakers and activists in New Hampshire to spread the word on clean elections (see the resulting Resource Sheet). Now, new polling data shows that clean elections are also good politics. Polling undertaken for Public Campaign Action Fund and Common Cause shows that Americans overwhelmingly (74%) support public financing.