In the State of the Union speech, President Barack Obama stated, "...jobs 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.
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.
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.
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.