In the furor surrounding the Obama Administration’s decision this month that contraceptive coverage be provided to women by their employer or insurer, the leadership provided by states in the debate about women’s health has often been overlooked. States have been on the forefront of the fight to ensure that women have access to contraceptives, with 28 states having laws on the books requiring access.
Conservatives have long wanted state lawmakers to believe that enacting sweeping tax cuts is the key to spurring economic growth. As most legislators across the country grapple with another year of difficult budget choices, controversial economist Arthur Laffer and the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) have been pushing a comparative analysis which aims to prove that the nine states with no state income tax (Alaska, Florida, Tennessee, Washington, Nevada, Texas, South Dakota, New Hampshire and Wyoming) have dramatically outperformed the economies of the nine states with the highest income tax rates (California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, and Vermont).
While federal efforts to fix our broken immigration system remain on hold, support is growing among state lawmakers for common-sense, proactive approaches that welcome immigrants and expand opportunity for all, both immigrant and native-born. Across the country, a growing and diverse number of forward-thinking state legislators are turning away from unconstitutional, divisive, and economically devastating approaches taken by states such as Arizona and Alabama. Instead they are advancing inventive policies that make economic sense for states’ bottom lines and uphold their reputations. One such approach, tuition equity, continues to gain political and popular support and build momentum in statehouses across the country.
Research Roundup: Small Business Opinions on Taxes, Self-Deportation, and more
In this week’s Research Roundup: New polling of small business owners from the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance,andSmall Business Majority. Also, new reports from Immigration Policy Center on so-called “self-deportation” strategies, the Economic Policy Institute on the beneficial effects of restoring the minimum wage in Illinois, the Kaiser Family Foundation on Medicaid’s role for women and an update on state Medicaid budgets, and CLASP on the troubling trend of states requiring drug testing for recipients of unemployment insurance.
Poll: Small Business Owners Say Big Businesses, Millionaires Not Paying Fair Share of Taxes — Among the findings in this new scientific nationwide survey of small business owners commissioned by the American Sustainable Business Council, Main Street Alliance,andSmall Business Majority are that small business owners “support increasing taxes on millionaire incomes, allowing high-end tax cuts to expire, and closing the carried interest loophole that gives big tax breaks to hedge fund managers.”
The benefits of raising Illinois’ minimum wage: An increase would help working families and the state economy — As many states consider and adopt minimum wage increases this session that are bringing the rates closer in line with the standard of decades ago, this report by Doug Hall and Mary Gable at the Economic Policy Institute takes a look at proposed legislation to restore Illinois’ minimum wage to its historic “pre-erosion” rate of $10.65 an hour, and finds that it would create 20,000 jobs and $2.5 billion in increased economic activity.
Medicaid's Role for Women Across the Lifespan: Current Issues and the Impact of the Affordable Care Act — This issue brief by Kaiser Family Foundation discusses the role of Medicaid for women and examines how changes under the health reform law will affect the program and women covered by Medicaid. The brief explores Medicaid’s role for women across their lifespans including reproductive health services, care for chronic conditions and disabilities, and long-term care services. And it provides new state-level data on enrollment and coverage policies on services of importance to women.
A Mid-Year State Medicaid Budget Update for FY 2012 and A Look Forward to FY 2013 — This update from Kaiser Family Foundation highlights key findings around state Medicaid budgets and looks forward to the new fiscal year, noting that “the majority of states are experiencing Medicaid spending and enrollment growth equal to or below original growth projections, and 10 states reported mid-year Medicaid cuts.”
UI Drug Testing: A Bad Cure in Search of a Problem — This report by Elizabeth Lower-Basch at CLASP takes a look at the troubling trend of states requiring drug testing for recipients of benefits including unemployment insurance (UI) benefits. Among its findings are that widespread drug testing of UI recipients is likely to be both expensive and inefficient, “costing thousands of dollars for every individual who tests positive.” The report also notes how it is “unfair to workers to deny them benefits they have earned based on their employment history, and highlights that “similar drug testing laws for other public benefits have been found unconstitutional.”
Enjoy the Dispatch? Find it useful? Help support PSN.
Progressive States Network works to build a network of progressive legislators, grassroots advocates, progressive policy
institutions, unions and community groups to move progressive policy and transform the political debate across the fifty