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Making Corporations Pay Their Fair Share

Economic Security Across the Border: Illinois Chooses a Better Path

State legislators from Wisconsinand Indianawho have recently sought out-of-state refuge to block votes on major anti-labor bills have all made their way to one neighboring state: Illinois.

Blueprint: Rebuilding Prosperity for States and Working Families

2011 presents states with a stark choice: austerity and inequality or progress and growth. This Dispatch will address three key progressive policy options for legislators to promote economic security by rebuilding prosperity in the states: Corporate TransparencyProgressive Tax Reform and Revenue Generation, and proactive Economic Development policies.

Illinois Enacts Tax Reform, A Step In The Right Direction

This past week, Illinois lawmakers approved legislation to raise the state corporate and personal income tax. In explaining the need for the effort, Gov. Pat Quinn explained that the state's "fiscal house was burning." Indeed, faced with a revenue shortfall of $15 billion, legislators garnered the political will to enact sensible means to generate sorely-needed revenue.

Austerity vs. Progress: The State Tax and Budget Battle in 2011

As states confront collective shortfalls amounting to almost $140 billion in the coming year, progressive leaders face an enormous challenge in building support for necessary investments, even as the general public has grown skeptical of the ability of government to deliver on its promises. To counter this dynamic, progressives are championing several innovative and sound policies to protect taxpayers, promote economic security, support the interests of the middle class, and ensure sound investments in public structures and local communities.

Moving Forward: Championing the Middle Class and Promoting Transparency

In the wake of last week's results, progressives must continue to pursue policies to promote economic growth and equity, address revenue shortfalls through sound tax reform, alleviate the burden on working families, and support public programs. This is especially necessary as conservatives in legislatures and governor's seats are promising a slew of heinous cuts to state programs and several other fiscally irresponsible proposals.

What's on Your Ballot? States Decide on Taxes, Clean Energy, Pot, and More on Tuesday

On Tuesday, in addition to electing federal, state, and local officials to a new term, voters in 37 states will decide on approximately 160 ballot measures, including statewide initiatives, proposed amendments to state constitutions, and legislative and popular referenda. The total number of ballot measures across the nation is down this year from recent highs in midterm election years - according to the Ballot Initiative Strategy Center, there were 224 ballot measures nationwide in 2002 and 226 in 2006.

Reports On The Overpaid Public Employee Myth, State Corporate Income Taxes, and More

Debunking the Myth of the Overcompensated Public Employee - This Economic Policy Institute analysis demonstrates that state and local public employees are under compensated. On average, state and local government workers receive 3.75 percent less compensation than comparable private sector employees. On top of that, the benefits public employees receive do not offset the lower wage rate.

Great Recession Devastating Worker Paychecks, Unionization and Those in Poverty

Recession Hits Workers’ Paychecks: Wage growth has collapsed - Wages are growing at less than half the rate they were before the recession, according to this Economic Policy Institute report. The report recommends providing fiscal relief to states to preserve government and private-sector jobs, while raising the minimum wage.

Senate Approves FMAP and Schools Funding -- But At the Cost of Food Stamp Cuts

This week, the U.S. Senate finally overcame a filibuster by conservative Senators to move emergency Medicaid funding through the first half of 2011 and provide key funding for education jobs. This action is critical for state budgets and will protect both medical services and education programs in states across the country. Unforuntately, due to over-hyped deficit concerns, the total cost of the package is offset by spending cuts, including an $11 billion cut in Food Stamps, along with closing a tax loophole for multinational corporations.

State Job Creation Strategies for 2011

The fundamental challenge in this recession is that the growth that preceded it was a mirage.  Bubble era borrowing created a network of financial jobs, real estate jobs and construction jobs that collapsed with the end of the bubble.  Many of those jobs will never return.

An extremely high proportion (75%) of job losses in this recession are permanent rather than temporary.  States will need to nurture completely new industry sectors and the infrastructure to support those jobs, while the jobless will need retraining in new skills to participate in those sectors.