Yesterday, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed into law controversial so-called “right-to-work” legislation intended to weaken unions and which studies have shown depresses wages and lowers quality of life for all. The signing followed the rapid passage of the bill in a lame duck legislative session, and came on the same day that massive protests took place in Michigan's state Capitol. Across the nation, state lawmakers and others spoke out against the legislation, proclaiming their solidarity with workers in Michigan and promising to continue to fight against similar efforts in their states.
In a matter of hours and as constituents filled the Michigan state Capitol in protest, conservative members of Michigan’s legislature introduced, debated, and then passed controversial “right-to-work” legislation during a lame duck session. Progressive States Network, a national non-profit organization dedicated to supporting the work of progressive state legislators around the country, released a statement strongly opposing the policy.
State Legislators for Progressive Immigration Policy, a diverse group of over 100 state lawmakers representing 40 states, released the following statement in reaction to California Governor Jerry Brown's veto of the TRUST Act.
With Census Bureau statistics released this week showing inequality rising and median household income declining to the lowest level in 16 years, Progressive States Network joined more than 20 of America’s leading organizations on work and the economy today in releasing a plan outlining 10 specific ways to rebuild America’s middle class. The new report recommends concrete proposals to strengthen the economy for the long-term by creating good jobs and addressing the economic insecurity that has spread to millions of U.S. families.
A federal district court in Atlanta struck down major provisions of state anti-immigrant laws in both Alabama and Georgia. The decisions, following June's Supreme Court decision striking down provisions of Arizona's SB 1070, send a strong warning to states considering similar measures. Progressive States Network’s Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships, Suman Raghunathan, issued the following statement following today’s rulings:
Immediately following today’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, leading state legislators from across the nation are already pledging to continue implementing the provisions of the law as fully and quickly as possible, as the focus of health care reform once again returns to the states.
Today, the Supreme Court voted in a 5-3 decision to strike down three provisions of Arizona’s controversial anti-immigrant SB 1070, while narrowly upholding a fourth part of the law that requires police to check the immigration status of anyone they suspect may be undocumented. The decision sends a strong warning to states still considering similar anti-immigrant measures. Progressive States Network’s Director of Policy and Strategic Partnerships, Suman Raghunathan, issued the following statement following today’s ruling.
"This morning’s announcement by the Obama administration that DREAM Act eligible students and others will be allowed to apply for deferred action and work authorization is a common-sense, humane, and responsible action that will immediately bring hope to hundreds of thousands young undocumented Americans seeking nothing more than to continue to live in their country and contribute to our economy. We applaud the administration for taking decisive, practical action today that immediately allows so many talented young people already living here to, for the first time, see a real future for themselves in their nation."
Wage theft, or the systemic non-payment of wages by unethical employers, is a growing problem affecting millions of workers across the country and costing states billions of dollars in lost tax revenue. Yet, only a few states are starting to address the problem in earnest through legislation – and the vast majority have laws that are grossly inadequate. Those are the conclusions of an extensive, first-of-its-kind evaluation of state laws, Where Theft is Legal: Mapping Wage Theft Laws in the 50 States, released by Progressive States Network. The report grades individual states across the broad body of state laws needed to comprehensively address this growing national crime wave, and concludes that 44 of the 50 states (plus Washington D.C.) deserve failing grades.
State Legislators for Progressive Immigration Policy – a growing national group of 96 state legislators representing constituents in 38 states and counting – issued the following statement today on last week’s signing of Alabama’s latest anti-immigrant bill, HB 658, into law: