2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Washington

Despite confronting a $2.8 billion deficit and 9.5 percent unemployment rate, Washington state lawmakers were able to score key progressive victories this year.  Although tax and budget issues were undoubtedly the predominant legislative focus, elected officials made significant strides on several issues during both the regular and special session, including, children's health, workers' rights, weatherization, and providing initial foundation for the implementation of federal health care reform.

Update: Options for Reining in Corporate Election Cash in Wake of Citizens United Supreme Court Decision

The Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission (FEC) decision earlier this year gave corporations the same First Amendment rights as citizens with regard to advocating for or against political candidates, unleashing a flood of new corporate cash into state races and a range of new state policy initiatives that aim to protect the integrity of their elections.  In response, states are pursuing other reforms, such as requiring shareholder approval for corporations spending election cash, tighter public disclosure and attribution in ads, public financing of elections, and calling for a federal constitutional amendment to reverse the Citizens United decision.