Missouri's legislative session was largely a repeat of last year
- the best that can be said is that some particularly bad bills failed
to pass. Unfortunately, others did. The state passed a particularly
regressive immigration bill, but failed to take action on voter ID
legislation. Beyond those issues the session mostly played out as a
In a solid session of achievement, the Iowa legislature made
significant progress on expanding health care coverage, expanding
public school and pre-K funding, advancing clean energy proposals,
protecting veterans and students, taking on foreclosure abuses,
expanding workers' rights, and improving the integrity of state
ballots. However, the session was marked by a few significant
setbacks, including the governor's veto of a major labor rights bill.
Rising Inequality: In a state-by-state analysis of rising income inequality, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
finds that since the late 1990s, incomes of the bottom fifth of
families has declined by 2.5% among the bottom fifth of families, even
as the top fifth has seen a 9.1% increase. In recent years,
Mississippi, Alabama, New Mexico, Connecticut and Indiana have seen the
greatest increases in income inequality.
With a new website, Truth in Immigration, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
has created a national clearinghouse for refuting immigration
falsehoods that seeks to "refute legal and factual inaccuracies about
immigrants and/or Latinos."
Incremental steps to improve the health care system can lay the
foundation for comprehensive reform that provides health care for all.
Comprehensive reforms enacted in Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine and San Francisco were, in large part, the result of pragmatic incremental steps those states had already taken. For example, a Families USA report discusses the many reforms Massachusetts put in place over the years that led to its comprehensive 2006 reform. Not every state is as far along in moving comprehensive health care reform, but
each state does have numerous options for increasing access to
coverage, reducing the growth of health care costs, and improving the
quality of care.