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IL: Chicago Advances Ordinance to Raise Wages

Recently, in our Stateside Dispatch highlighting alternative strategies to raise wages around the country, we highlighted a proposed ordinance with widespread support in Chicago. That proposal -- which raises the bar on wages for large retailers -- has now passed through the city's finance committee and is moving closer to a vote of the full council.

CA: San Francisco Proposes Universal Health Care

The City of San Francisco is taking steps to provide health care to all of its 82,000 uninsured residents, paid for by a combination of public money and assessments on employers that do not provide health care for their employees:

The Taxpayers' Bill of Goods

With the 2006 elections quickly approaching, a small group of highly energized right-wing activists are working hard to export a failed policy from Colorado to other states around the nation. The idea is known variously as the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR), the Stop OverSpending Amendment (SOS), or as Tax and Spending Control (TASC). Fundamentally, though, all of the amendments boil down to a single policy idea: arbitrarily capping increases in state spending based on only two factors -- population growth and the consumer price index.

Western Governors Demand Action on Global Warming

The Western Governors Association on Sunday acknowledged an inconvenient truth. The bipartisan group of Governors from West Coast, Rocky Mountain, and Great Plains states came together to unanimously pass a resolution (PDF) that says that global warming is real, at least partially human-caused, and that now is a time for action.

Institutional Investors, Including State Funds, Demand Disclosure on Financial Risks from Climate Change

Companies are required to calculate the risks to their businesses based on a range of potential threats to their business models, but there is currently no requirement that they calculate the potentially catastrophic costs of climate change. A few U.S. companies do so voluntarily, but most do not.

More on Defining Down Health Care

The Washington Post details some of the changes states are making in the Medicaid program, party based on federal waivers and partly due to a new federal law passed last December that allows states to offer unequal benefits to different Medicaid recipients.

 

Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat

New York Assemblyman (and Progressive States board member) Adriano Espaillat has been doing more than his fair share to stake out a clear progressive agenda on economic issues this year. From passing legislation to extend union protections to home day care workers to sponsoring a bill to hold management accountable for actions that force illegal strikes.

Rep. Morgan Carroll

Morgan Carroll quickly gained a reputation with both legislators and lobbyists when she won election to the Colorado House. Fighting for health care reform left her with a passion for lobbying ethics rules, resulting in her recent aggressive push for new legislation and for an audit of current lobbying records.

Rep. Garnet Coleman of Texas

When progressives have control of a legislative chamber, the measure of their leadership is how they improve the lives of the residents of their states. But when they are in opposition, the measure of leadership is how they stand up for principle and highlight the abuses of rightwing power.

Backwards Conservatism: Feds Routinely Move to Limit State Power

A new Congressional report by minority staff in the House found that the House and the Senate have voted 57 times in the last five years to preempt state laws and regulations. These votes, the authors declare, make clear "that there exists a wide gulf between the pro-states rhetoric...and the actual legislative record."