Grappling with its own large budget deficit, the Utah State legislature
found time to move a number of initiatives, both positive and negative.
Public education and higher education both suffered significant cuts,
although not as bad as the worst proposals, with a tobacco tax the major
revenue approved to close budget gaps.
As legislative sessions come to a close, PSN highlights positive gains,
legislative defeats, and unfinished business. This Dispatch
will feature state legislative session roundups for New Mexico, West
Virginia, Indiana, Utah, and Wyoming.
Progressive States Network will be working with state leaders around the
country to promote policies to improve enforcement of minimum wage, overtime and
related wage laws in the states. This Dispatch will highlight the
chronic wage violations in the workplace, model wage law enforcement language
for states to promote, messaging to support those campaigns, and specific ways
such an approach has the added benefit of undercutting anti-immigrant attacks in
The Nebraska Legislature ended three days ahead of the originally scheduled adjournment date. During the 2009 session, 236 bills were passed,
including budget bills and issues ranging from encouraging wind energy
development and establishing lethal injection as the state’s method of
While immigration continued to be debated in states across the country
this session, most anti-immigrant bills were defeated and more positive
approaches to new immigrants were debated. Even in sessions dominated
by budget crises, positive policies were enacted in many states.