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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.

Progressive Legislators Challenge Right-Wing Obstruction on Health Care

Even as right-wing state legislators and attorneys general from various states unleash a barrage of attacks in an attempt to halt federal health reform before it starts, progressive state legislators and officials have been pushing back, highlighting the benefits that states will receive and the increased provision of quality and affordable care for families through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. 

WA: Legislators Move to Block Attorney General McKenna Lawsuit Against Federal Health Law

Democrats have tightened the purse strings on Attorney General Rob McKenna in an attempt to limit Washington's role in challenging health care reform.

At lawmakers’ behest, the governor’s budget office has subjected the Republican’s agency to a freeze on state contracts, canceling an exemption awarded days earlier.

State leaders might go further. Gov. Chris Gregoire said Wednesday that she is open to an idea being weighed by legislative leaders: a budget proviso that would block McKenna from spending state money on a 13-state lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the health care reform effort signed into law Tuesday by President Barack Obama.

Washington State Latest to Sign Bill Against Wage Theft

Washington state Governor Christine Gregoire signed a bill to combat wage theft this week, adding Washington to a growing number of states and counties, including Miami-Dade County, cracking down on employers who underpay workers (many of them undocumented immigrants) and violate minimum wage and overtime rules.