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NY: Ambitious "Fair Share" Bill Introduced with Bipartisan Support

New York State could take national leadership in health care reform if it approves the ambitious health care bill introduced this week based on a proposal by the New York Working Families Party. The bill would require all companies in the state with one hundred employees or more to provide health care to their employees, or pay a tax of $3 an hour per worker to cover the states expenses in caring for

Plan B: How State Laws Changed WalMart's National Policies

After Massachusetts last month ordered Wal-Mart to stock the "Plan B" emergency contraception pill, Wal-Mart this past Friday announced that, effective March 20, all Wal-Mart pharmacies nationwide will carry emergency contraception, reversing the companies previous policy-- part of a trend of Wal-Mart changing its national policies in response to state laws.

GA: More Rightwing Scapegoating of Immigrants

A new proposal in Georgia supposedly to deter undocumented immigration has all the earmarks of failed conservative policy-- it punishes individual immigrants while doing nothing to end the exploitation of immigrants that makes employing them so attractive to businesses. The bill sounds tough-- businesses can be fined for hiring undocumented immigrants or denied public contracts if they do so, but as long as an immigrant has a fake document, the employer cannot be penalized.

NY: Protecting Labor Rights by Protecting Immigrants

New York's high court ruled this last week that undocumented workers injured on the job had the right to sue employers over the unsafe working conditions that led to those injuries.

WA: Speaker Kills Fair Share Health Care

Despite the fact that a coalition of labor unions, businesses, and religious groups had come together to support a fair share health care bill modeled on Maryland's recent legislation, the bill was killed by the Speaker of House who opted instead to study the issue. The bill had the support of a majority of the House.

IL: One State's Progressive Agenda

A few days ago, Illinois's governor proposed a new initiative to extend pre-kindegarten education to all three and four-year olds in the state, a proposal that would help middle class families struggling with early education expenses on their own. This is just an example of how Illinois has been quietly emerging as a national font of progressive ideas and legislation.