As state legislatures begin to pick up speed early in 2012 sessions, a growing number of states that passed broad anti-immigrant laws over the past two years are seeing the error of their ways. Citing widespread economic devastation, a dramatically-worsened business climate, and a loss of public support, four states out of the five that passed laws based upon Arizona and Alabama’s flawed models are now seeking to repeal their anti-immigrant laws.
A proposal to create a state-owned bank is gaining momentum in Washington State, where a bill modeled after the successful Bank of North Dakota was introduced in January with 44 co-sponsors in the House. In a speech at the outset of the legislative session, Speaker of the House Frank Chopp called it one of the caucuses’ key priorities this year.
Faced with a rapidly approaching deadline for establishing state-based health exchanges under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more than half of all states — including several with conservative control of their legislatures and governor’s offices — have already taken steps to implement this critical piece of the health law set to come online in 2014.
"They are a bunch of global corporations that are scheming to write local laws that boost the corporate benefactors at the expense of people in the state. This is not a fair-minded organization."
— Utah Democratic Party Chairman Jim Dabakis on the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), after the controversial organization awarded the state the top spot in its yearly economic rankings (based on a corporate wish list of anti-middle class policies).
Reports from Demos on the need for new measures beyond GDP, Families USA on the Massachusetts health care plan vs. the Affordable Care Act, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the National Academy of Social Insurance on Medicaid and health exchanges under the ACA, the Corporation for Enterprise Development ranking the 50 states by the financial security of residents, and the Center for Business and Economic Research at the University of Alabama on the billions of dollars the state is set to lose thanks to their anti-immigrant law.
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Progressive States Network works to build a network of progressive legislators, grassroots advocates, progressive policy institutions, unions and community groups to move progressive policy and transform the political debate across the fifty states.