A group of state legislators who support the health law have discussed what they could do to replace the insurance mandate, if the court strikes it down, said Karen Keiser, a Democratic state senator in Washington who chairs the group. Possibilities for replacing a federal mandate include the “politically difficult” route of passing state versions of the mandate, or replacing private insurers with government-run coverage in some states, Keiser said. “It’s much more likely that states would step in and take it on because it seems the Congress is really at impasse,” she said by phone. In states that choose not to act, she said, “a large number of Americans would be left out and left behind.”
Maine state Rep. Sharon Anglin Treat, D-Hallowell, walked out of the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday after listening to the first round of oral arguments over President Obama's health care law and shook her head at the contrast. Inside the august chamber, where Treat snared a third-row seat after getting in line at 5:20 a.m., the justices quizzed all sides on fine legal points as the rapt audience looked on.
State officials and insurance executives are devising possible alternatives to the coming federal requirement that most Americans buy health insurance, even as the Supreme Court hears arguments about the constitutionality of the mandate.
More than 480 state lawmakers plan to file a brief Thursday urging the Supreme Court to uphold President Obama's healthcare law. The group includes at least one lawmaker from every state, including the 26 states whose attorneys general are suing to overturn the healthcare law's individual insurance mandate. The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in March and will likely rule on the law this summer.... The brief is a joint effort of the Progressive States Network, the Working Group of State Legislators for Health Reform and the Constitutional Accountability Center.
Veinte Asambleas legislativas (Congresos estatales), entre ellas 10 controladas por mayorías republicanas, descartaron durante 2011 aprobar leyes migratorias inspiradas en la polémica SB1070 de Arizona, reveló un informe del Consejo Nacional de la Raza (NCLR, el principal grupo hispano de Estados Unidos) difundido el martes.
What a difference a year makes! Last year The Nation’s Honor Roll recognized courageous, if often lonely, battlers against an austerity agenda, an ascendant Tea Party and a Republican electoral wave that had put Democrats, working folks and the unions that represent them on the defensive nationwide. This year we celebrate the remarkable movements that have arisen not just to stem the conservative tide but to build a new vision of progressivism for the twenty-first century. How much has changed? As 2011 finished, even Barack Obama was sounding populist themes. And progressives were organizing, fighting and winning critical battles on the streets, in the polling places and in the media. The events of 2011 did not transform America. But they did confirm that millions of Americans are ready to fight for the 99 percent....
Last week, voters nationwide said no to the right-wing efforts of some state political leaders. Those in west Mesa's Legislative District 18 ousted one of Arizona's most powerful conservatives, partly because of his focus on illegal-immigration enforcement. Phoenix and Tucson elected Democratic mayors. In other states, voters overturned legislation that would have restricted unions and also rejected a ballot measure to ban all abortions. The outcomes of these elections have politicians and analysts wondering whether the nation is moving left.
Two days after voters soundly rejected many high-profile right-wing ballot initiatives, a group of progressive state legislators are meeting in Baltimore, Md., to share success stories and figure out how to move forward in 2012. More than 60 state legislators are gathering for the invite-only leadership retreat hosted by the Progressive States Network, a group providing research, networking, policy and messaging support to progressive lawmakers at the state level.