DISPATCH: A New Low in Alabama, News on Voter Suppression, and More ALEC Wrongness

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A “New Low” in Alabama as State Passes Second Divisive Anti-Immigrant Law

Immigration   *   Alvin Melathe


Last Friday, Governor Robert Bentley signed into law a head-scratcher of a bill, HB 658, which not only fails to address the catastrophic provisions of HB 56, but doubles down on its failed attrition-through enforcement strategy and cements Alabama’s standing as home to the most extreme anti-immigrant legislation in the country.


Voter Suppression Campaigns Hit Roadblocks

Fighting Voter ID   *   Cristina Francisco-McGuire


As “The Year of Voter ID” continues, pushback from outraged voters in a number of venues is leading to a growing realization that these supposed efforts to maintain election integrity are actually intended to suppress the vote this November. As a result, backers of voter suppression measures are facing unexpected obstacles at both the state and federal level in their efforts to tilt the electoral scales.


The Policies That Make a State "Poorer," According to ALEC

Tax & Budget Reform   *   Charles Monaco


A state that asks everyone, including the luckiest few, to pay their fair share during a time of historic inequality. A state with a minimum wage above the federal floor that helps boost consumer spending and power the economy. A state that has been able to avoid economically devastating budget cuts and public sector job losses by seeking responsible budget solutions. What one word might best describe a state that has adopted policies like the above to rebuild their economy? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has one in mind: “poor.”





Progressive States Network Board Member and former Maine Speaker of the House Hannah Pingree was on MSNBC's Up with Chris Hayes on Sunday May 13, 2012 — Mother's Day — discussing how state and federal policy affects moms — with her mom, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME).

Watch the video here.


Quote of the Week



“It is not good public policy.”

Kansas state Sen. Steve Morris (R-Kansas), the president of the state Senate, on radical tax cuts signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback this week that, as the Wall Street Journal reported, would require cuts in spending on education and social services to cover estimated revenue shortfalls that would “exceed $800 million by 2014.”


Steps Forward


US: 22 States Back Montana in Supreme Court Fight Against Citizens United

MD: Maryland Enacts More Progressive Income Tax

MN: Michigan Pushes Plan to Welcome Immigrants and their Revitalizing Power to State


Steps Back


MO: Missouri Legislature Approves Bill Allowing Employers To Deny Access To Birth Control

US: 230k Long-Term Unemployed Lose Jobless Benefits


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Research Roundup: How States are Spending Foreclosure Settlement Money, How States Can Save with Work-Sharing, and much more



In this week’s Research Roundup:

Reports from both Enterprise Community Partners and ProPublica on how states are spending their share of the $2.5 billion they collectively received in direct payments from the foreclosure settlement with big banks, the National Partnership for Women and Families surveying laws that help new parents in all 50 states, the Pew Center on the States on the findings of their first analysis of economic mobility at the state level, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on how state budgets continue to feel pain from the effects of the recession, the Urban Institute on how almost every state has seen access to health care deteriorate for their adult residents over the past decade, the Center for Economic and Policy Research on both the significant savings states could experience through work-sharing and the size and characteristics of states’ unionized workforces, the Economic Policy Institute on the declining labor force participation rate and whether it is due to cyclical or structural changes in the economy, and the Commonwealth Fund on how most private individual health plans will fall short of what can be sold through the health exchanges as of 2014.

Read the full roundup here.


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