This week, as the White House announced plans for yet
another push on federal comprehensive immigration reform, a network of
lawmakers so far representing 28 states — from border states to the
heartland — announced their rejection of Arizona’s mean-spirited and
economically disastrous approach to immigrants, SB1070.
Last fall, Rhode Island Health Department Director David Gifford missed a key press briefing about the state’s effort to combat the H1N1 flu pandemic. He wasn’t shirking his duty — in fact, Rhode Island received national praise for its H1N1 response, and ranked first among states in the rate of vaccination. On the contrary, Dr. Gifford was doing what he advised all Rhode Islanders to do: he stayed home that day because he was feeling sick.
With two landmark health care reform bills now on her desk, Gov. M. Jodi Rell has to decide whose side she is on -- small businesses and families struggling under the weight of high health care costs, or the state's health insurance industry, which has a big stake in preserving the costly status quo. Will she allow precedent-setting health care reforms to proceed, or will she, for the second year in a row, be the "Governor of No"?
Now more than ever, we need a rational and respectful dialogue about
how to fix our country’s broken immigration system. But comments like
Texas Representative Betty Brown’s recent assertion that legal Chinese
American immigrants should adopt Anglophone names that are “easier for
Americans to deal with” represents precisely the kind of divisive
rhetoric that will keep us from such a levelheaded debate.
Brown’s callous suggestion that Chinese American citizens are not
American is symptomatic of the veiled bigotry that underlies much of
the immigration debate across the nation. It also begs the question of
why state legislators across the country would want to associate with
the organization that Brown helped found to propagate racially divisive
In order to comply with new transparency requirements under the
American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, state governments across the
country are scrambling to report to the public how they spend recovery
dollars. Unfortunately, no existing state government Web sites that are
accounting for the recovery funds report the number of jobs created by
private contractors. Without such data, the sites are close to
Fortunately, Oregon is leading an effort to require contractors to
report the number of jobs they create, as well as the hours worked and
wages received by their employees. These proposed requirements would
ensure Oregonians' tax money actually goes toward creating quality