Report: States Failing on Fracking: OMB Watch released a report this week taking a comprehensive look at the actions of state governments to require disclosure of the chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing (or "fracking"). On even this most basic requirement, states are failing to safeguard the health of their residents. Read more here.
In addition to the historic Supreme Court decisions on health care and immigration handed down last week, the Court also ruled recently on several important, elections-related cases as well – decisions which constitute a mixed bag for the health of America’s democracy.
Most states are on track to expand Medicaid by 2014. In doing so, they will expand health coverage to millions of working individuals and families who are not able to afford health coverage and prevent their residents from falling into the donut hole. This infographic shows just what is at stake for states that refuse to expand Medicaid, highlighting the number of people in each state who would be left uninsured, and explaining how a family of four could end up in a new Medicaid donut hole.
A federal court case arising out of Vermont could have dramatic implications for state sovereignty and the ability of legislatures to regulate corporate activities within their borders. Nine states and the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) are standing in support of the State of Vermont in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd Circuit. Vermont is appealing a controversial lower court ruling that, if upheld, would overturn decades of case law defining how courts determine legislatures’ “intent” and whether their actions are preempted by federal authority. Should Vermont lose, NCSL predicts a chilling effect in legislatures across the country and a move toward limiting public debate and open government.
The California State Senate affirmed their state’s commitment to smart and cost-effective immigration enforcement by passing the TRUST Act (AB 1081) by a 21-13 vote. The bill’s focus on maintaining trust with community members statewide by prioritizing violent and serious criminals instead of casting a wide, expensive, and counter-productive dragnet has spurred many to call it the “anti-Arizona.” The legislation seeks to clarify the relationship between local jurisdictions and the federal Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities (S-Comm) program.
Reports from Families USA on the deadly consequences of being uninsured, the Corporate Reform Coalition surveying all 50 states’ legislative responses to the Citizens United ruling, the National Employment Law Project on the looming financial cliff for the long-term unemployed, the Urban Institute on how states would spend at least $90 billion less with the Affordable Care Act than without it, the Center for American Progress on the effects of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Medicaid, the Guttmacher Institute takes on declining but still worrying state legislative trends around attacks on reproductive rights so far in 2012, and the Brennan Center for Justice on the growing costs of criminal justice debt to states and communities.
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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.