TODAY at 3pm EST: Accountability as a Tool for Recovery and Growth
We invite you to join us for a timely, national webinar on effectively utilizing transparency and accountability as guiding principles for economic development and recovery. The webinar will feature three new tools recently released by Good Jobs First. Also speaking on the call will be Maine State Representative Diane Russell and Deidre Cummings of MASSPIRG.
With new, sometimes-confusing ID requirements coming online in a number of states, and continued partisan polarization of both the political landscape generally and the state electoral apparatus, protecting the franchise remains a major challenge. Three experts will discuss election protection successes and failures of the last election, and will look forward to 2012 and talk about what states and advocates can do in the next two to prepare.
Eddie Hailes, Voter Protection Expert for the Advancement Project
Penda Hair, Voter Protection Expert for the Advancement Project
Tova Wang, Senior Democracy Fellow for Demos
This week, New York Governor David Paterson signed the Wage Theft Protection Act into law, ending a long grassroots and legislative campaign to address the myriad ways workers are routinely cheated out of a fair day's pay by their employers, all in direct conflict with federal and state wage and hour laws. The problem is widespread, and of colossal proportions in many low-wage industries, including the garment, retail, and service sectors.
The precarious economic and fiscal circumstances states confront merit a more detailed and scrupulous review of spending on economic development subsidies. Near double-digit unemployment, massive revenue shortfalls, and a slow recovery continue to batter state budgets and dim growth prospects. Without needed accountability reforms, states are placing taxpayers, budget sustainability, and economic recovery at risk. Within this context, Good Jobs First released three key resources to track and evaluate state spending on job subsidies.
Thanks to a HB 301 introduced by State Representative Mike Foley, Ohio will go ahead with a popular program that supports renewable and advanced energy projects. The program, the Advanced Energy Fund, was set to expire by the end of this year but was extended for an additional three years. The Fund uses grants, contracts, loans, linked deposits, and production incentives to encourage and develop a green energy economy.
This week, U.S. District Court Judge Henry Hudson in Virginia became the first judge in any courtroom to issue a ruling declaring part of the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. Despite being preceded by two rulings in similar lawsuits that fully rejected the plaintiffs’ arguments and declared the entire law constitutional, and despite the dismissal of least a dozen other similar challenges out of a total of twenty-four nationwide, Judge Hudson’s decision (which was described by Professor Timothy Jost as “defective”) set off a media firestorm as opponents of the health care law happily fanned the flames.
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