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Accountability & Transparency of Subsidies

Saving Jobs: More Federal Action Needed on State Fiscal Relief

Dealing with the Recession and State Fiscal Crises, New Resources for Health Care Reform, and Much More

Dealing with the Recession and State Fiscal Crises, New Resources for Health Care Reform, and Much More

Banks Take Advantage of States in Fiscal Crisis

On the Ballot: Defeating TABOR, Defending Relationship Equality Laws & A Roundup of Other Ballot Issues

Along with giving a roundup of the range of initiatives on the ballot in this off-year election, this Dispatch will give special focus to the campaigns against TABOR and defending relationship equality laws.

Some States Wasting Money on Job Bidding Wars and Corporate Subsidies

Overall, federal recovery spending is working as intended, helping states provide needed services and avoid layoffs that would be worsening unemployment rates.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities estimates that these funds are providing states with 40 percent of what is needed to help their budgets in balance over the next few fiscal years.  The recovery plan has provided states with flexibility in addressing key programs and priorities. Unfortunately, a number of states have wasted budget funds on trying to steal jobs from one another, as highlighted by Good Jobs First.

Permanent, No-Excuse Vote by Mail Law Approved in New Jersey; First State East of Mississippi River to Do So

On June 30th New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine signed the Vote by Mail Law of 2008, which allows all voters to permanently register to vote-by-mail, referred to as permanent absentee voting. The law, sponsored by Senator Raymond Lesniak and Assemblywoman Joan Quigley, also replaces New Jersey's multiple absentee voting systems with one streamlined system for all mail-in voters.

Today's Dispatch outlines this new law, the AZ Legislature's success in defeating all anti-immigrant bills, and how some states are wasting money on job bidding wars and corporate subsidies. All this plus the Steps Forward and Back and the weekly research roundup.

Green Jobs Programs to Drive Economic Recovery

This Dispatch will focus on the long-term investments andpolicies that will be central to the creation of good jobs in a 21stcentury green economy.

Overview

In a debate too often dominated by rightwing tax cut rhetoric, there is a real opening for progressives to demand a fairer, more accountable tax and budget system.  The public has a strong commitment to funding both social services and the long-term investments needed for economic growth, but state residents are frustrated by governments that they believe tax low- and middle-income residents too much and upper-income residents and corporations too little.  Hidden economic giveaways to companies receiving tax breaks and government contracts only add to voters' suspicion that state budgets serve those with money, not the average taxpayer.  In response, a range of reforms at the state level are creating more transparent tax and budget decisions and strengthening voters' trust that their tax money will actually go towards the important public services that they do support.  These approaches include: