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New York

States Stand Up for Workers By Passing Wage Theft Protection Laws

This week, New York Governor David Paterson signed the Wage Theft Protection Act into law, ending a long grassroots and legislative campaign to address the myriad ways workers are routinely cheated out of a fair day's pay by their employers, all in direct conflict with federal and state wage and hour laws. The problem is widespread, and of colossal proportions in many low-wage industries, including the garment, retail, and service sectors.

In Recession, New York May Still Create Green Jobs While Retrofitting Homes and Businesses

During a special legislative session, New York state officials again have the opportunity to pioneer an energy efficiency policy that guarantees payment for retrofits for 1 million homes and businesses without touching the state budget.  The proposed legislation guarantees the creation and preservation of green jobs in the state while also providing healthier living and working environments for the people of New York.

Department of Justice to States: Don’t Sue Polluters

In a blow to states’ leadership over clean energy, the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a brief before the U.S. Supreme Court arguing that states cannot sue power plant operators that generate pollution. The Justice Department alleges that: (1) the Environmental Protection Agency has already started to regulate greenhouse emissions; and (2) states lack standing to assert a federal nuisance claim.

NY: Senecas file suit to block state tax

Albany Times Union:

The Seneca Indian Nation sued the Paterson administration in U.S. District Court in Buffalo on Tuesday to block enforcement of a plan to gain tax collections on sales of cigarettes at Native American stores.

New York: One Signature Away from Ending Prison-Based Gerrymandering

Legislation to end the practice of prison-based gerrymandering in New York, included within the 2011 state budget, passed both the Senate and Assembly last week. Once Gov. Patterson approves the budget package, the bill will go into effect in time for next year's redistricting efforts.

NY: State Set for Boon in Aid

The Wall Street Journal:

New York finally got some good news from Congress on Wednesday when the Senate pushed forward $2.6 billion in aid for the state, after two months of lost votes on the issue threatened to blow big holes in local and state budgets.

NY: 125 Days Late, a State Budget With New Taxes

The New York Times:

Lawmakers completed one of the latest budgets in New York State history on Tuesday night, passing a last piece of legislation that will raise an additional $1 billion — in part by increasing taxes on the sale of clothing and on a variety of businesses. 

NY: Legislature Delivers for Midwives

Midwives and their supporters in New York have occasion to cheer these days. A few nights ago, the legislature approved the Midwifery Modernization Act, which removed requirements for midwives to have written practice agreements with doctors and/or hospitals. Despite opposition from the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the bill now awaits the signature of Governor David Paterson. Let’s listen in on a few of the celebrations ”¦

Delaware Becomes 2nd State to End Prison-Based Gerrymandering

Last week, Delaware became the second state in the country to pass legislation that would adjust US Census data to count incarcerated people as residents of their home addresses for redistricting purposes.  It is currently waiting for Gov. Jack Markell’s signature.