Press Releases

  • Jun 17, 2009
    WASHINGTON, D.C. - As battle lines are drawn on Capitol Hill in the coming battle over health care reform, state legislators are taking on a central role in the debate. Today, at a Capitol Hill press conference hosted by Sen. Tom Harkin and a White House meeting with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Director of the White House Office of Health Care Reform Nancy-Ann DeParle, a delegation of state legislators organized by the national group Progressive States Network delivered a letter urging comprehensive health care reform within the year. The letter, which was signed by 700 legislators from 47 states, called for any federal reform bill to include a public health insurance option, strong affordability protections, and shared employer responsibility for health care costs.
  • May 21, 2009
    NEW YORK - The Progressive States Network warmly applauds the Connecticut House of Representatives' passage last night of two landmark bills that would each create the choice of a public health insurance plan in the state, the Connecticut Health Partnership, and SustiNet.  The votes underscore the growing momentum at the state level for the choice of a public plan, a priority for reform endorsed by many health care advocates and lawmakers at the national level.

    Said Progressive States Network Senior Health Care Policy Specialist Adam Thompson, “If lawmakers in the insurance industry capital of the world can build the political will to pass legislation including the choice of a public health insurance plan, then surely our leaders in Washington DC can do the same.” 
  • May 19, 2009

    NEW YORK — Today, Progressive States Network (PSN) lauded President Obama's decision to accept California's tough new 35.5 miles-per-gallon fuel emissions standards. The group hailed today's victory as a landmark example of states' power to set national policy by outpacing federal legislation.

    Said PSN's Interim Executive Director, Nathan Newman, "The spin from auto industry executives is that Obama's decision demonstrates the wisdom of letting the federal government set a unified national standard instead of a 'patchwork' of state regulations. In fact, the complete opposite is true. If it weren't for California pushing to set standards that outpaced the Bush Administration's pitifully low ones, there would be no new regulatory framework to enact today."
  • May 14, 2009

    NEW YORK — Today, the Progressive States Network (PSN) began publicly circulating an open letter from state legislators to President Obama and Congress urging them to pass comprehensive health care reform within the year. The letter has already been signed by over 100 legislators from 27 states, including 19 health care committee chairpersons, and is gathering more signatures daily.

    The letter maintains that “the private sector alone has proven incapable of creating a high-quality, fair, and accountable health care system that works for all families,” and that our “disjointed health care system has formed a choke-hold on our economy.” The letter calls for a “robust federal-state collaboration” to deliver Americans “the choice of a public health insurance plan that is available to businesses, individuals, and families.”

  • May 01, 2009

    NEW YORK — The Progressive States Network, a national network of state legislators and advocates, is in full support of Labor Secretary Hilda Solis’ new priorities for the department. In her remarks yesterday at a press conference with New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine, Solis reiterated her commitment to ensure basic protections for all workers, native and immigrant alike.

    Solis has committed the Labor Department to investigating wage and hour law violations by employers and health and safety concerns. This much needed policy will help address the pervasive problems of the underground economy by preventing unscrupulous employers from threatening and exploiting undocumented workers, thus maintaining higher labor standards for all.

  • Apr 28, 2009

    OLYMPIA - With Gov. Gregoire's signature, Washington State today became the fifth state in the nation to enact theNational Popular Vote bill, joining Maryland, New Jersey, Hawaii andIllinois. The state's 11 electoral votes combine with 50 from the otherfour states to bring the total number of electoral votes to 61 — 22% ofthe 270 needed to implement a National Popular Vote. In addition totoday's victory, legislative chambers in Arkansas, Colorado, NewMexico, Oregon and Vermont have passed popular vote legislation so farthis year.
  • Apr 16, 2009
    NEW YORK  -  Today, Progressive States Network (PSN) issued a call for state legislators across the country to denounce Texas State Rep. Betty Brown’s recent assertion that that legal Chinese American immigrants should adopt Anglophone names that are  “easier for Americans to deal with.”

    According to PSN policy analyst Caroline Fan, herself a second generation Chinese American immigrant, “Now more than ever, we need to have a rational and respectful dialogue about how to fix our country’s broken immigration system.  Rep. Brown’s comments, which imply that Chinese Americans aren’t Americans, are precisely the kind of racially divisive rhetoric that will keep us from having such a dialogue.”
  • Mar 30, 2009
    JERSEY CITY, NJ — At a press conference this morning, Gov. Jon Corzine unveiled the results of his Blue Ribbon Panel on Immigration Policy, which included recommendations for the establishment of an Office on New Americans to help integrate immigrant families into the state’s culture and work force.  Policy experts at the Progressive States Network (PSN) were quick to praise the panel’s recommendations, which they placed within an emerging trend among state lawmakers to include working immigrant families into plans for shared economic growth.

    According to PSN Interim Executive Director Nathan Newman, who authored a comprehensive 50-state analysis of state immigration policy last September, “The story that states are rushing out to punish undocumented immigrants is really a smoke screen. When you look at the facts, you see that more and more states are finding ways to integrate immigrants into a growing workforce and thriving small business community.  States like New Jersey realize that there is a far better economic future in working together than there is in dividing the population against itself.”
  • Mar 06, 2009
    Salem, OR — Amidst renewed calls from the Obama administration for accountability from private contractors on the federal level, the Oregon State House of Representatives is considering a bill that would far outstrip the contractor accountability provisions maintained by any state governments to date.

    This Monday at 8am, leading transparency experts from the national Coalition for an Accountable Recovery (CAR) will testified before the Oregon House Business and Labor Committee in support of the bill, HB 2037, which would require private contractors in Oregon to disclose the number of employees and the wages, they pay. This is especially important with the federal government requiring transparency on jobs created through the $6.48 billion in federal funds set aside for Oregon under the recovery plan.
  • Feb 20, 2009
    Poised to receive billions in federal grant money amidst unprecedented budget shortfalls, state governments across the country face a host of difficult decisions over how to identify and allocate the resources they need to turn their ailing economies around.  Amidst this daunting backdrop, Progressive States Network, in partnership with a broad coalition of advocacy organizations, today launched an initiative to assist state legislators in understanding funding guidelines and identifying progressive policy priorities as they move forward to implement the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.