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Michigan

The Taxpayers' Bill of Goods

With the 2006 elections quickly approaching, a small group of highly energized right-wing activists are working hard to export a failed policy from Colorado to other states around the nation. The idea is known variously as the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR), the Stop OverSpending Amendment (SOS), or as Tax and Spending Control (TASC). Fundamentally, though, all of the amendments boil down to a single policy idea: arbitrarily capping increases in state spending based on only two factors -- population growth and the consumer price index.

Rethinking the Ways We Vote

The 2000 election sparked an interest in electoral reform. Paired with a rising tendency among voters toward self-declared independence from the two major parties and a new wave of reforms have started growing in popularity across the country. In statehouses and in voting booths, reforms are moving forward to give Americans more real options at the polls.

Correction

Last Thursday's Dispatch incorrectly stated that the minimum wage ballot initiative in Michigan
would raise the minimum wage to $7.40. In reality, the $7.40 figure
appears in the bill being pushed by rightwing legislators. Rightwing
legislators are attempting to undercut the initiative that ties the
minimum wage to cost-of-living adjustments. The Republican bill would
provide a higher minimum wage than the initiative for a period of
several years. In the long term, the initiative would be a better deal
for workers.

Playing Games With Workers' Wages

An old rule of politics is to not let the perfect be the enemy of the good. A new corrolary may be: Be wary of letting the good become the enemy of the perfect. In both Michigan and Pennsylvania, conservatives reading the polls are looking to defuse a ticking political time-bomb: the minimum wage.

MI: GOP-controlled Legislature Raises Minimum Wage

Illustrating the political juggernaut of the nationwide minimum wage movement, the Michigan House voted today to raise the minimum wage $1.80 per hour-- the first increase in nine years.

Congress Eyes Preempting States on Food Safety

Hard-pressed to find something to do less popular than sell-out for campaign contributions or outsource port operations to foreign governments, the U.S. Congress is now considering a bill to gut state food safety protections.

The Minimum Wage, Conservative Posturing, and Progressive Success

Fully aware that their anti-worker policies are anathema to most Americans, corporate conservatives often posture and position themselves on worker issues to avoid bearing the full brunt of the backlash from their noxious positions and to try to fix blame on their opponents, who really are working for the common interest.

Smart Growth to Protect Rural America

After winning the Governor's seat in New Jersey, Jon Corzine decided to keep a Republican in the position of Agriculture Secretary. It was a good move. Charlie Kuperus has held the position in 2002 and has won broad support from both parties for his support of a number of measures in support of rural New Jersey.