Research Roundup: Voting Restrictions, Millionaires Tax by State, AL's Immigration Law and More

In this week’s Research Roundup: Reports from the Brennan Center on the 5 million voters who could be affected by this year’s wave of new state voting restrictions, the Center for American Progress on what Alabamians are saying about their state’s draconian and economically disastrous anti-immigrant law, the Keystone Research Center on the impact of each of proposed weakening of Pennsylvania’s prevailing wage law, and Citizens for Tax Justice on the state-by-state effect of the “millionaires tax” surcharge currently being debated in Congress.

Voting Law Changes in 2012 — This new report from the Brennan Center examines in detail the wave of legislation imposing new restrictions on voting that has swept statehouses across the nation this year and the impact it will have on turnout in the 2012 elections. It concludes that more than five million Americans could be affected by the new state laws restricting voting that were put in place this year -- a number, the authors point out, that is larger than the margin of victory in two of the last three presidential elections.

Not-So Sweet Home Alabama — This Center for American Progress highlights the effects of Alabama’s draconian and economically disastrous anti-immigrant law (H.B. 56), and what prominent and how different Alabamians are reacting to the decision by a federal judge to uphold major pats of it. It includes quotes from prominent Alabama educators, leaders of faith, civil rights, and business leaders explaining how the law will harm communities, endanger families, cause taxpayers to flee, and damage entire sectors of the state economy.

Benefits of State Prevailing Wage Laws — As the Pennsylvania House’s Labor and Industry Committee votes on proposals to weaken the state’s construction sector prevailing wage law, the Keystone Research Center released this policy brief examining the impact of each of the proposed laws. The report concludes that the existing prevailing wage laws “do not raise construction costs on public projects but do increase investment in skills, improve health and safety, and lower dependence of construction workers on safety net programs,” and that repeal would result in less workforce training, a less educated and less experienced workforce, higher injury rates, lower wages and lower health and pension coverage.

State-by-State Figures on Proposed Millionaire SurchargeCitizens for Tax Justice released this fact sheet detailing the state-by-state effect of the “millionaires tax” surcharge currently being debated in Congress as a potential method of paying for President Obama’s American Jobs Act. It concludes that a mere one-fifth of one percent of American taxpayers would pay the surcharge (as it is currently being proposed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in the Senate). In a majority of states, only one-tenth of a percent of taxpayers would pay the surcharge if enacted in 2013, and in only in one state, Connecticut, would the share of taxpayers paying the surcharge exceed one percent.