MI: Opposition to Video Franchise Bill that Fails Michigan's Communities

Like many other states, Michigan is struggling with how to build a technology infrastructure that can grow the state's economy and educate its children. Unfortunately, meeting in a lame-duck session, the Michigan's State Senate is considering an industry-backed bill, HB 6456, to create statewide franchises for video services by cable and telephone companies that will just increase company profits at the expense of consumers, low-income families, and technological innovation. Opponents of the bill range from the Michigan Municipal League protesting the destruction of community control to groups, led by Free Press, demanding Net Neutrality in access to Internet services.

Michigan Anti-Affirmative Action Initiative Opposed by Broad Bipartisan Coalition

In the final days leading up to the election, there is an ugly trend of dishonesty running through state ballot initiatives. Deceptively titled initiatives are confusing voters and masking their true nature: "property rights protection" would actually result in a huge burden to tax payers and severly hinder environmental protection and in Michigan you have a "Civil Rights Initiative", Proposition 2, which is anything but a civil rights initiative.

One Eye on the Ballot

It's a big year for ballot issues. Mid-term elections, when no President is being elected, typically see less activity on the ballot issue front than Presidential years, but 2006 is proving to be an exception. Eighteen states will consider 76 ballot issues this fall, as high as its been since 1914 for a non-Presidential year.

MI: Vaccinating Against Cancer

A bipartisan group of Michigan legislators have made a bold move to fight cancer by announcing new legislation to require a cervical cancer vaccination in students entering the 6th grade. 70% of cervical cancer is caused by the Human Papilloma Virus (HPV), a sexually transmitted infection that can now be prevented through vaccination, although the vaccine is ideally administered at a young age.

Rightwing Fraud Derails Tax Revolt

The libertarian movement backed by a super-wealthy New York developer is proving why it hates the government so much: they appear constitutionally unable to follow the law. Howard Rich and his cronies have been behind efforts to clone Colorado's disastrous TABOR spending cap measure, various knock-off proposals based on Oregon's anti-land use planning law Measure 37, and various assaults on the judicial system.

MI: Stepping Up to Fight Cervical Cancer

A bipartisan group of Michigan legislators have made a bold move to fight cancer by announcing new legislation to require a cervical cancer vaccination in students entering the 6th grade.

Multi-state Advertising Campaign Targets Public Employees

For public employees in four states, this may have been a rough week. As if balancing typical duties of work and family is not enough, a front group for anonymous business interests this week began running ads in Michigan, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon accusing public employees of being lazy and overcompensated. The campaign is connected to the well-orchestrated rightwing attempt to impose TABOR-style spending limits in numerous states through ballot measures this fall.

Illinois Joins Pre-School for All Movement

This past week, Illinois Governor Blagojevich signed the first law in the nation that establishes the goal of universally-available public preschool for all 3- and 4-year olds in that state.

Progress on the Minimum Wage

After years of stagnating wages for working Americans and inaction by Congress, legislators and activists across the country are taking the lead in securing higher minimum wages on a state by state basis. They are achieving some outstanding results. Here's where the minimum wage fight stands in a number of states:

Takings In Your State

As far-right funders like Howard Rich work across the country, dumping literally millions simply into qualifying these atrocious measures for ballots, progressives have experienced some good news and some bad news. Here's where the campaign stands in various states: