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DISPATCH: Contraceptive Coverage In The States, Tuition Equity Advancing, and More

View this email online at http://www.progressivestates.org/pubs/stateside-dispatch/2012-02-17

As National Debate Flares, Surveying Contraceptive Coverage In the States

Healthcare   *   Julia Crowley

In the furor surrounding the Obama Administration’s decision this month that contraceptive coverage be provided to women by their employer or insurer, the leadership provided by states in the debate about women’s health has often been overlooked. States have been on the forefront of the fight to ensure that women have access to contraceptives, with 28 states having laws on the books requiring access.

Why Sweeping State Tax Cuts Don’t Spur Economic Growth

Tax & Budget Reform   *   Ben Secord

Conservatives have long wanted state lawmakers to believe that enacting sweeping tax cuts is the key to spurring economic growth. As most legislators across the country grapple with another year of difficult budget choices, controversial economist Arthur Laffer and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have been pushing a comparative analysis which aims to prove that the nine states with no state income tax (Alaska, Florida, Tennessee, Washington, Nevada, Texas, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Wyoming) have dramatically outperformed the economies of the nine states with the highest income tax rates (California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Vermont).

Tuition Equity Bills Continue to Build Momentum in State Legislatures

Tuition Equity   *   Suman Raghunathan

While federal efforts to fix our broken immigration system remain on hold, support is growing among state lawmakers for common-sense, proactive approaches that welcome immigrants and expand opportunity for all, both immigrant and native-born. Across the country, a growing and diverse number of forward-thinking state legislators are turning away from unconstitutional, divisive, and economically devastating approaches taken by states such as Arizona and Alabama. Instead they are advancing inventive policies that make economic sense for states’ bottom lines and uphold their reputations. One such approach, tuition equity, continues to gain political and popular support and build momentum in statehouses across the country.

Quote of the Week

 

"I've found that Minnesotans don't want their laws written by lobbyists for big corporations."

— Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton to reporters on Friday, announcing his veto of bills reforming state courts pushed by the corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC).

Steps Forward

FL: Proposal to Create "Largest Private Prison System in America" Defeated

WA: State Passes Same-Sex Marriage, Ballot Measure Could Face VotersThis Fall

HI: Hearings Held on Paid Sick Days Bill


Steps Back

AZ: Wisconsin on Steroids? Arizona GOP Wants to Make State Most Anti-Union in Nation

US: Conservative State AGs and Activists Challenge Section 5 of Voting Rights Act

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Research Roundup: Small Business Opinions on Taxes, Self-Deportation, and more

 

In this week’s Research Roundup: New polling of small business owners from the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance,andSmall Business Majority. Also, new reports from Immigration Policy Center on so-called “self-deportation” strategies, the Economic Policy Institute on the beneficial effects of restoring the minimum wage in Illinois, the Kaiser Family Foundation on Medicaid’s role for women and an update on state Medicaid budgets, and CLASP on the troubling trend of states requiring drug testing for recipients of unemployment insurance.

Poll: Small Business Owners Say Big Businesses, Millionaires Not Paying Fair Share of Taxes — Among the findings in this new scientific nationwide survey of small business owners commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance,andSmall Business Majority are that small business owners “support increasing taxes on millionaire incomes, allowing high-end tax cuts to expire, and closing the carried interest loophole that gives big tax breaks to hedge fund managers.”

Discrediting “Self Deportation” as Immigration Policy: Why an Attrition Through Enforcement Strategy Makes Life Difficult for Everyone —This report by Michele Waslin for the Immigration Policy Center examines so-called “Self Deportation” or “attrition through enforcement” efforts in states that have adopted broad anti-immigrant laws. Among its conclusions is that “implementation of these provisions has made life in the state difficult for many residents and businesses, not just immigrants,” and that in states where such a strategy has been adopted, public safety has been compromised, it has had severe costs taxpayers and businesses.

The benefits of raising Illinois’ minimum wage: An increase would help working families and the state economy — As many states consider and adopt minimum wage increases this session that are bringing the rates closer in line with the standard of decades ago, this report by Doug Hall and Mary Gable at the Economic Policy Institute takes a look at proposed legislation to restore Illinois’ minimum wage to its historic “pre-erosion” rate of $10.65 an hour, and finds that it would create 20,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in increased economic activity.

Medicaid's Role for Women Across the Lifespan: Current Issues and the Impact of the Affordable Care Act — This issue brief by Kaiser Family Foundation discusses the role of Medicaid for women and examines how changes under the health reform law will affect the program and women covered by Medicaid. The brief explores Medicaid’s role for women across their lifespans including reproductive health services, care for chronic conditions and disabilities, and long-term care services. And it provides new state-level data on enrollment and coverage policies on services of importance to women.

A Mid-Year State Medicaid Budget Update for FY 2012 and A Look Forward to FY 2013 — This update from Kaiser Family Foundation highlights key findings around state Medicaid budgets and looks forward to the new fiscal year, noting that “the majority of states are experiencing Medicaid spending and enrollment growth equal to or below original growth projections, and 10 states reported mid-year Medicaid cuts.”

UI Drug Testing: A Bad Cure in Search of a Problem — This report by Elizabeth Lower-Basch at CLASP takes a look at the troubling trend of states requiring drug testing for recipients of benefits including unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Among its findings are that widespread drug testing of UI recipients is likely to be both expensive and inefficient, “costing thousands of dollars for every individual who tests positive.” The report also notes how it is “unfair to workers to deny them benefits they have earned based on their employment history, and highlights that “similar drug testing laws for other public benefits have been found unconstitutional.”

 

Please email us leads on good research at research@progressivestates.org

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The Stateside Dispatch is edited by:

Charles Monaco, Director of Communications and New Media

Contributors to the Dispatch include:

Suman Raghunathan, Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships
Devin Boerm, Legislative Director - DC
Cristina Francisco-McGuire, Senior Policy and Program Specialist
Tim Judson, Senior Policy Specialist - Workers' Rights
Alvin Melathe, Immigration Policy Associate
Ben Secord, Senior Outreach and Program Coordinator

Mike Maiorini, Online Technology Manager

Please send us an email at dispatch@progressivestates.org if you have feedback, tips, suggestions, criticisms,or nominations for any of our sidebar features.

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