The growing participation of Latino voters shows a heightened responsibility and a need to continue voter reform efforts to further boost Latino voter participation. That’s the message the Progressive States Network is taking from new Pew Hispanic Center data.
Several states — including Colorado, Connecticut, Oregon and Rhode Island — may still pass similar laws to Maryland’s this year, said Suman Raghunathan, an immigration policy specialist for the Progressive States Network, a group that supports tuition-equity laws.
Nineteen state legislatures have considered Arizona-style proposals this year, according to Suman Raghunathan at Progressive States Network. Ten of these proposals have been defeated, but they remain alive in several states, including South Carolina, Florida, Alabama and Oklahoma.
Six Progressive Ohio Legislators have joined over 150 lawmakers from 26 states, organized by the Progressive States Network, to deliver a powerful message to the Federal Appellate Court currently considering the Tea Party-fueled challenge to the health care law: that the framers of the U.S. Constitution, including George Washington and Alexander Hamilton, would have supported the constitutionality of the law.
The lawmakers were scheduled to hold a hearing Tuesday afternoon with public employees and private-sector union workers from Wisconsin, Ohio and Indiana to talk about how proposals in their respective states will affect them. Scheduled witnesses include workers' rights policy specialist Tim Judson of the Progressive States Network.
More than 270 state legislators from 44 states and two territories have signed a letter standing with the Democratic state senators in Wisconsin, who left the state to prevent their Republican colleagues from pushing through a controversial budget repair bill. The battle over collective bargaining in the Midwest has convinced many of these lawmakers that they need to work together more, across state lines, in order to advance labor priorities, they told The Huffington Post.
Seventy-one state lawmakers from 26 states have asked to be allowed to file a brief opposing the main legal challenge to the healthcare reform law. The bipartisan group of legislators says it is best suited to push back against claims that the new law — particularly its expansion of Medicaid — infringes on states' rights. That's one of the claims made in the largest healthcare reform lawsuit, which was filed March 23 in Florida and includes 20 states.
With the healthcare freedom act, the group's legislative members followed ALEC's lead, filing or prefiling bills in thirty-eight states, according to the organization.... "It's not real," says State Representative Kyrsten Sinema, the second-ranking Democrat in Arizona's House. "The only thing that will change in Arizona if this amendment passes is, we'll have another expensive lawsuit on our hands." Sinema is on the board of the Progressive States Network, a national group of state legislators, and she has met with her peers around the country to help them counter healthcare freedom acts. As their greatest success, she cites the twenty-six states that did not pass the measure.
Advocates demanding stricter rules against illegal immigration -- including those backing Arizona's new law clamping down on undocumented immigrants -- have long argued that state lawmakers have been forced to act because of Congress's reluctance to take the lead.
But with little sign that Congress will act on comprehensive immigration reform this year, advocates for immigrants are also taking matters into their own hands. Like their political opponents, they have turned to their state legislatures to fight back.
In states from Pennsylvania to Utah, a battle of bills has been taking place between those who want to reproduce the Arizona law, which hands police more power to detain anyone they suspect of being in the country illegally, and those who want to extend further rights to immigrants.
Legislators in at least 10 states— Utah, Oklahoma, Colorado, Ohio, Missouri, Georgia, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, and Maryland— have called for laws that would mirror Arizona’s Senate Bill 1070, according to the Progressive States Network and reporting by New America Media.