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What the Supreme Court’s SB 1070 Decision Means for Other States

This morning, the Supreme Court handed down its decision on SB 1070, Arizona’s economically devastating anti-immigrant law. The Court struck down three of SB 1070’s four provisions and issued strong guidelines to limit the scope of Section 2(b), the only piece of the law that was upheld. Section 2(b), the racial profiling provision popularly known as “papers please,” continues to expose immigrants and communities of color to discrimination at the hands of law enforcement. Today’s decision assures future challenges to the provision and virtually ensures that it will not survive in the real world. As this decision gets returned to the lower courts to define the contours of the guidelines around the “papers please” section, other states should be increasingly wary of following Arizona’s economically destructive and divisive path.

Map: Are You Protected From Insurer Abuses No Matter How SCOTUS Rules on Health Care?

Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have separately adopted at least one of the consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act as state law. No matter what the Supreme Court decides about the federal law, consumers in those 48 states continue to have at least some protection from the abusive practices of health insurance companies.

PSN at Netroots Nation 2012

How have progressives been fighting back against the right-wing onslaught in statehouses in 2012? How can legislators, organizations, and activists work together to advance a positive vision in the states in 2013 and beyond? What can we all learn from policy battles this year going forward? Those are just some of the questions on the agenda for Netroots Nation, taking place this weekend in Providence, RI. Progressive States Network (along with our partner Progressive States Action) will be at Netroots Nation this year - if you see us, stop by and say hi! On Saturday June 9th at 10:30am, PSN's Suman Raghunathan will be moderating a panel on progressive legislative caucuses at the state and local level.

Wage Theft: A Crime You Can Get Away With

This week, we authored a report grading states on how well they protect a fundamental workplace right: getting paid what you are legally owed. This right is so basic and common-sense that most people are still unaware of how commonly it is violated. Wage theft, or the illegal underpayment of workers, has become so widespread, it affects millions of workers across the country and is nearly ubiquitous in certain industries: retail, restaurants, hospitality, day-labor, warehousing, child care, and construction. That’s a lot of people – already not getting paid enough – whose bosses illegally make their paychecks even lighter.

States Fight ALEC-Inspired Deregulation of Internet Services

A spate of destructive broadband bills has been sweeping across the country, spurred on by the corporate-backed American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). Unbelievably, just as broadband Internet becomes an essential tool for millions of Americans, these states, following the pattern of the model ALEC bill, are making moves toward depriving states of any power to ensure reliable, competitive, and affordable service that serves all state residents — from small businesses to those on the other side of the digital divide. The companies behind these bills want the ability to choose to serve only the locations and the individuals that yield the greatest profits. It is simply not smart governance to leave state authorities without the power to ensure everyone can use such a critical asset.

Sunshine State Again a Flashpoint for Voting Rights

Florida last week marked two victories that will help protect the integrity of the state’s elections, becoming the latest state where conservative efforts to suppress voter participation have stalled. As Progressive States Network has noted previously, conservatives emboldened by recent successful efforts to make it harder for people to vote should not count their chickens before they hatch in 2012.

Voter Suppression Campaigns Hit Roadblocks

As “The Year of Voter ID” continues, pushback from outraged voters in a number of venues is leading to a growing realization that these supposed efforts to maintain election integrity are actually intended to suppress the vote this November. As a result, backers of voter suppression measures are facing unexpected obstacles at both the state and federal level in their efforts to tilt the electoral scales.

The Policies That Make a State "Poorer," According to ALEC

A state that asks everyone, including the luckiest few, to pay their fair share during a time of historic inequality. A state with a minimum wage above the federal floor that helps boost consumer spending and power the economy. A state that has been able to avoid economically devastating budget cuts and public sector job losses by seeking responsible budget solutions.

What one word might describe a state that has adopted policies like the above to rebuild their economy? The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) has one in mind: “poor.”

A “New Low” in Alabama as State Passes Second Divisive Anti-Immigrant Law

Last Friday, Governor Robert Bentley signed into law a head-scratcher of a bill, HB 658, which not only fails to address the catastrophic provisions of HB 56, but doubles down on its failed attrition-through enforcement strategy and cements Alabama’s standing as home to the most extreme anti-immigrant legislation in the country.

New PSN Report Surveys State Wage Theft Laws, Highlights New York as National Leader

One year after New York State took a major step to simultaneously plug its budget deficit and improve millions of families’ economic security by enacting the Wage Theft Prevention Act, a new report by Progressive States Network is naming New York state as a leader in wage theft prevention among the 50 states.