DISPATCH: Cost of ALEC’s Anti-Middle Class Agenda Revealed, Shareholders Push Corporate Accountability, and Legislators Show Solidarity Across State Lines

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Spotlight Shines on ALEC’s Anti-Middle Class Agenda – and its Cost to States

Charles Monaco


As the middle class remains under sustained attack in state legislatures, media attention is increasingly turning to the corporate interests orchestrating a national spread of industry-written bills seeking to weaken state economies, strip workers of their rights, suppress voter turnout, and capitalize on the politics of division and fear – all in pursuit of private profit. In a spate of recent reports, specific scrutiny is being focused on the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in allowing corporations access to influence state laws that benefit their bottom lines at the expense of the economic security of families.


New Disclosure Policy at News Corp a Win For Shareholders

Clean and Fair Elections   *   Cristina Francisco-McGuire


As dozens of publicly traded companies consider shareholder resolutions to increase corporate accountability around political spending, one, in particular, is helping to lead the way. News Corporation, the media company owned by Rupert Murdoch whose holdings including Fox Broadcasting Company, recently announced that it will voluntarily disclose its political contributions on its website once a year. Additionally, all corporate political contributions must be pre-approved by News Corp’s Executive Vice President for Government Affairs. Though News Corp’s new policy is not perfect, it is an encouraging step forward for concerned citizens who want their voices heard.


Legislators, Faith, and Labor Leaders Work Across State Lines to Fight Attacks On Workers

Wage Standards and Workplace Freedom   *   Ben Secord


Last weekend, members of the Ohio Legislative Black Caucus, local clergy and labor leaders were joined by Wisconsin State Senator Lena Taylor to protest attacks on workers’ rights in Ohio similar to those that have sprung up in numerous states this year. The town-hall style gathering in Cleveland focused on the recent passage of Senate Bill 5, which stripped collective bargaining rights for public sector employees in Ohio. Speaking to the breadth of attacks on workers’ across the country, Taylor told those in attendance, “This is not a Wisconsin fight. This is not an Ohio fight. This is a fight for everybody.”


Quote of the Week



“In my time as a CEO, in my years spent in the private sector turning around companies, and in my seven years as Governor, I have never seen the so-called right-to-work law serve as a valuable economic development tool.”

New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch (D), in a statement vetoing HB 474, a so-called “right-to-work” bill that he also claimed was “largely driven by national outside interest groups.”


Steps Forward


CA: Legislature approves easier unionization by farm workers

WA: Gov. signs health care bills into law, state becomes 4th in nation to enact exchange

US: Lawmakers in several states turning against mandatory "Secure Communities" immigration policy


Steps Back


LA: Bills would halt state income taxes

TX: Voter suppression bill heads to governor's desk, fight likely to move to courts


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Research Roundup: Cuts to Low-Income Families, Progressive Revenue Solutions, and More



  In this week’s PSN Research Roundup:

Reports by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on state cuts to low-income families, the Economic Policy Institute refuting the idea that the nation is broke, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy on progressive revenue components of the recently enacted state budget in Connecticut, and the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy on how low-wage jobs have dominated New York City’s job growth since the bottom of the Great Recession.
Many States Cutting TANF Benefits Harshly Despite High Unemployment and Unprecedented Need – A new report by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities finds that states are implementing some of the harshest cuts in recent history to the federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) block grant. The cuts to TANF, which provides assistance to many of the nation’s most vulnerable families with children, will affect 700,000 low-income families that include 1.3 million children; these families represent over one-third of all low-income families receiving TANF nationwide.

We’re not broke, nor will we be – This briefing paper by Laurence Mishel at the Economic Policy Institute states emphatically the reasons why “it is clear that ‘we’ as a nation are not broke,” despite the protestations of pundits to the contrary, many of whom who seek to justify budget cuts. Statistics cited include that in the 30 years between 1980 and 2010, income per capita grew 66.4% and wealth per capita grew 73.2%, and that over the next 30 years, “per capita income is projected to grow by a comparable 60.6%.”

States Should Look to Connecticut on Tax Policy – A new report by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) highlights “mostly progressive” revenue components of the recently passed and signed budget in Connecticut and the fact that the state was able to “raise more than $1.4 billion in new taxes to mitigate cuts to core services.” Also cited as models for other state policymakers are a new 30 percent refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, increases in personal income taxes for the states’ wealthiest residents, and a corporate tax surcharge.

Low-Wage Jobs Dominate City’s Job Growth – This new Drum Major Institute for Public Policy report examines New York State Department of labor data to reveal “the startling extent to which recent job growth in New York City has been dominated by the city’s lowest-paid industries.” The report notes that, since the bottom of Great Recession employment levels in New York City, new job growth has been dominated by industries that pay lower wages. The analysis shows that the two leading city industries for job growth (accommodation and food services and retail trade) accounted for 52 percent of NYC’s net job gains, and the five lowest-paid industries made up 82 percent of all job growth over the past year.


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The Stateside Dispatch is edited by:

Charles Monaco, Press and New Media Specialist

Contributors to the Dispatch include:

Nora Ranney, Legislative Director
Marisol Thomer, Outreach Director
Devin Boerm, Health Policy Specialist
Fabiola Carrión, Broadband and Green Jobs Policy Specialist
Cristina Francisco-McGuire, Election Reform Policy Specialist
Tim Judson, Workers' Rights Policy Specialist
Suman Raghunathan, Immigration Policy Specialist
Altaf Rahamatulla, Tax and Budget Policy Specialist
Mike Maiorini, Online Technology Manager
Ben Secord, Outreach Specialist

Please send us an email at if you have feedback, tips, suggestions, criticisms,or nominations for any of our sidebar features.

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