As this Dispatch will detail, after considerable media hype about Arizona-style bills sweeping across the nation, the reality is that from from Nevada to Arkansas to Massachusetts to Kansas and Rhode Island,
anti-immigrant bills and ballot initiatives largely didn't move or
failed to make this fall's ballot. A key reason: most state leaders
and police chiefs recognize that requiring local governments to assume
immigration enforcement responsibilities from the federal government
will distract them from fighting violent crime and undermine trust with
local residents that are essential to successful community policing.
National Popular Vote Victory in Massachusetts Adds Momentum to Changing Presidential Vote System
Last week, the Massachusetts Senate passed National Popular Vote (NPV) legislation by a 28-10 vote, a little more than a month after the state’s House of Representatives approved NPV by an overwhelmingly bipartisan majority.
Yet another set of anti-immigrant proposals, this time offered as
last-minute amendments to a Massachusetts state budget bill, failed
to gain traction last week. Twenty-seven pages of draconian anti-immigrant
amendments were reduced to text that simply re-states existing bars on
undocumented residents applying for public benefits.
On June 7, the New York
Senate passed S2286A,
the National Popular Vote (NPV) bill, with over two-thirds of both
political parties supporting the bill in a 52-7 roll call. Although it
has received bipartisan support ever since it was first introduced in
2006, the overwhelmingly bipartisan support it received during Monday's
vote was unprecedented. Twenty-two of the Chamber's 30 Republicans
voted for the bill, not far off from the 79%
support in New York for a national popular vote for
Last week, the Massachusetts House unanimously passed the
Revenues and Expenditures Transparency Act, H
2972, to create a searchable, online database that details state
spending and revenue sources. Lawmakers also approved an amendment to
create greater taxpayer accountability by providing increased
transparency around some business tax credits. As House Chairman of the
Joint Committee on Revenue Rep. Jay Kauffman explains,
"[p]ublic access to the way we raise and spend money is essential,
enabling us to make more-informed decisions for the tax-paying
constituents who elect us to serve on their behalf."