This messaging resource will help unpack the provisions being challenged, sketch out likely outcomes for the decision, and frame the debate in ways that spotlight the failings of the SB 1070 approach and the way forward: through common-sense immigration policies that expand economic opportunity for all residents, both immigrant and native-born.
Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have separately adopted at least one of the consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act as state law. No matter what the Supreme Court decides about the federal law, consumers in those 48 states continue to have at least some protection from the abusive practices of health insurance companies.
"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."
This week, we authored a report grading states on how well they protect a fundamental workplace right: getting paid what you are legally owed. This right is so basic and common-sense that most people are still unaware of how commonly it is violated. Wage theft, or the illegal underpayment of workers, has become so widespread, it affects millions of workers across the country and is nearly ubiquitous in certain industries: retail, restaurants, hospitality, day-labor, warehousing, child care, and construction. That’s a lot of people – already not getting paid enough – whose bosses illegally make their paychecks even lighter.
This 50-state survey of states’ wage theft laws reveals the majority of state laws to be grossly inadequate, contributing to a rising trend in workplace violations that affects millions of people throughout the country. The growth of this and other forms of the “underground economy” also have a serious impact on state revenues, amounting to billions of dollars per year in tax and payroll fraud. Several states are acting to address these problems by strengthening their laws against unscrupulous employers.
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.
Reports from both Enterprise Community Partners and ProPublica on how states are spending their share of the $2.5 billion they collectively received in direct payments from the foreclosure settlement with big banks, the National Partnership for Women and Families surveying laws that help new parents in all 50 states, the Pew Center on the States on the findings of their first analysis of economic mobility at the state level, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on how state budgets continue to feel pain from the effects of the recession, the Urban Institute on how almost every state has seen access to health care deteriorate for their adult residents over the past decade, the Center for Economic and Policy Research on both the significant savings states could experience through work-sharing and the size and characteristics of states’ unionized workforces, the Economic Policy Institute on the declining labor force participation rate and whether it is due to cyclical or structural changes in the economy, and the Commonwealth Fund on how most private individual health plans will fall short of what can be sold through the health exchanges as of 2014.
A state that asks everyone, including the luckiest few, to pay their fair share during a time of historic inequality. A state with a minimum wage above the federal floor that helps boost consumer spending and power the economy. A state that has been able to avoid economically devastating budget cuts and public sector job losses by seeking responsible budget solutions.
What one word might describe a state that has adopted policies like the above to rebuild their economy? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has one in mind: “poor.”