Job Creation and State Fiscal Relief Resolutions Moving in the States

In the State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama stated, " must be our number-one focus in 2010, and that's why I'm calling for a new jobs bill." With the fiscal crisis forcing states to layoff hundreds of thousands of teachers, nurses and police officers, the need for more federal job creation and state fiscal relief support is clear.  And there is substantial momentum building around this issue in the states.

Vermont Session Roundup

Despite the economic downturn, Vermont lawmakers made important gains in several areas, notably in gay marriage, reducing Rx costs, renewable energy, transportation, and an economic stimulus package that utilizes federal stimulus resources.

Rx Model Bill to Limit Drug Industry Marketing Enacted in Vermont

Vermont lawmakers enacted the nation's strongest measure limiting the drug industry's marketing influence over physicians.  The bill, S 48, bans gifts from the industry to physicians, including meals and travel, and requires unprecedented disclosure and transparency of relations between the industry and providers.  Said Sharon Treat, Director of the National Legislative Association on Prescription Drug Prices (NLARx) and Maine State Representative, "Vermont now joins Minnesota and Massachusetts in tackling head-on the pervasive influence of payments and gifts on medical practitioners through a ban on many gifts.

Marriage Equality Scores Historic Victories: Vermont and Iowa Become 3rd and 4th States to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages

The number of states giving full state marriage rights to same-sex couples has doubled in under a week as first Iowa and then Vermont joined Massachusetts and Connecticut in achieving marriage equality.  Additionally, the District of Columbia City Council recently voted to recognize same-sex marriages conducted in other states.