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2014 Immigration Session Roundup

President Barack Obama kicked off 2014 with a strong statement of support for immigration reform, declaring, “It is time to heed the call of business leaders, labor leaders, faith leaders, and law enforcement – and fix our broken immigration system.” In the months since the State of the Union Address, the frustrating stagnation in Congress has led many to become disheartened with the prospect of federal reform. Though a great deal of focus on immigration reform has been at the federal level, states have continued to make progress while the matter is considered by Congress

Good Workplace Practices Lead to a Vibrant Economy

As state legislatures across the country wrap up their deliberative sessions it’s a good time to review what they accomplished on behalf of working families and small businesses. From Minnesota to Hawaii, states considered and passed minimum wage increases. States also looked at providing seniors with a more secure retirement and low-income workers with the safety of paid leave for illness or family care. These policies represent our vision for the economy, one that is pro-worker and pro-business and makes our workplaces healthier, drives more customers to local businesses, secures a future of prosperity for workers of all ages, and grows our country’s economy.

2014 Health Reform Session Roundup

With 2014 legislative sessions largely adjourned in statehouses across the nation, this is the first in a series of issue-specific session roundups from Progressive States Network highlighting trends in different policy areas across the fifty states. This year, the moment we have been waiting for finally arrived: the major provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect on January 1. After a rocky launch, the Affordable Care Act is now in full swing and boasting 8 million signups, the majority of which are newly insured individuals. For 24 states and the District of Columbia, Medicaid expansion went into effect. However, the 2012 U.S. Supreme Court decision meant that states had the option of refusing to expand Medicaid without consequences (other than to its own citizens), and whether to expand Medicaid was an issue hotly debated in the 26 states that did not expand prior to this legislative session.

State Legislators & Partners in Action: Here’s What Happened!

The 2014 National Week of Action for Real Prosperity took place the second week of April and it was a huge success! Spearheaded by PSN’s Economic Security Working Group, the Week of Action engaged over 50 legislators in 20 states

Stories Out Of Colorado: Why The State Needs Stronger Paid Leave Policies

Among the policy priorities Colorado State Senator Jesse Ulibarri and State Rep. John Salazar have long sought to elevate, especially during the National Week of Action, is the need to expand Coloradans' access to paid leave. These stories from 9to5.org illustrate the need in Colorado. 

Rhode Island Sen. Gayle Goldin: Equal Pay For Women Means Real Prosperity For Middle Class

In an op-ed, Rhode Island State Senator Gayle Goldin writes that to create real prosperity for all, we must demand that jobs pay a living and equitable wage, create pathways to success, and recognize the complexity of balancing a career while managing a family.

Georgia State Senator Nan Orrock On Working Families Agenda: "The Mission Before Us Is Clear"

In the lead-up to the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, 2014, the Department of Labor Women's Bureau is hosting regional forums across the country -- including one in Atlanta, Georgia, which was held today. Georgia State Senator Nan Orrock, who is also the President of the Women Legislators' Lobby and a member of PSN's Board of Directors, gave the opening speech as part of her participation in the National Week of Action

ThinkProgress: Lawmakers Take The ‘Minimum Wage Challenge’ To Eat Off A Reduced Budget For A Week

What's it like to live on the minimum wage in this day and age? Michigan state legislators are finding out just that this week as part of the National Week of Action for Real Prosperity Across America. Here's ThinkProgress.org reporting in.

Washington State Senators Tackle Retirement Insecurity In Work Session: "Retirement Shouldn’t Be A Gamble"

Held as part of the National Week of Action for Real Prosperity Across America, Washington State Senators participated in a work session on Tuesday to address retirement insecurity. “We have a retirement income crisis that threatens Washingtonians and Americans, we are less prepared to retire than in past decades.” said Sen. Steve Conway. “Retirement shouldn’t be a gamble."

Florida Legislators' Show Of Force On The Minimum Wage

As part of the National Week of Action For Real Prosperity Across America, Florida State Senator Dwight Bullard and State Reps. Cynthia Stafford, Victor Torres, Jose Javier Rodriguez, Kionne McGhee, Shevrin Jones, Bobby Powell, Clovis Watson, and Ricardo Rangel are taking the Minimum Wage Challenge. Here's a mid-week check-in.