Session Review

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Arizona

Arizona's conservative Legislature made national headlines by passing a discriminatory, anti-immigrant bill, SB 1070.  Confronting one of the steepest budget shortfalls in the nation, the Legislature lurched from privatization schemes to attempting to completely eliminate its health care program for children.  Even as the state's economy remained in crisis, the legislative session was dominated by right-wing obsessions like banning the regulation of greenhouse gases, gun lobby priorities, attacks on ethnic study classes, and bans on embryo and stem cell research.  A few progressive initiatives like encouraging youth voting and transparency for local budgets were approved, but extreme right-wing posturing marred the session and failed to address the state's precarious economic and fiscal standing.

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Alabama

Alabama’s three month legislative session that adjourned on April 22 was dominated by three issues -- passing a state budget, a controversial bill to bring a referendum on whether to make electronic bingo legal and legislation to bail out the state’s popular pre-paid college tuition program.

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Wisconsin

In a year dominated by issues of job creation, child care reform, and discussions of how to expand mass transit, Wisconsin also made fantastic strides in efforts to green the state, protect pedestrians, create domestic partnership benefits, and ease the consequences of license suspension on low-income communities.

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Kentucky

Although the General Assembly met this year in regular session from January-April, the session was overshadowed by negotiations over how to resolve a $1.5 billion budget gap in 2011 and 2012.  Governor Steve Beshear’s initial proposal to close the shortfall relied heavily on new revenue from the expansion of gaming.  The House agreed to support the increase in gaming revenue, but Senate leadership refused to consider it.

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Connecticut

Progressive legislators in Connecticut made some very solid gains in their 2010 session by enacting major legislation on a number of policy fronts.  First and foremost, the General Assembly concluded their work on the state’s biennial budget last Friday by passing a near unanimous, bi-partisan $19 billion budget for the next fiscal year while also avoiding any increases to income, corporate or sales taxes.

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Florida

Confronting a mid-year deficit of $147 million and a projected $4.7 billion FY2011 shortfall, revenue and economic issues were a major focus for Florida lawmakers. The state's right-wing dominated Legislature also passed a series of divisive bills, including an extremely controversial effort endangering womens' reproductive rights, that will only serve to harm the state's working families and vulnerable populations.

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Maryland

In spite of the recession, the Maryland Legislature maintained a balanced budget of $32 billion for fiscal year 2011.  During its 90-day session, the Maryland government focused on funding vital issues such as education as well as ensuring that more Marylanders gain access to health care.  As significant as these accomplishments are, several good bills did not pass the legislative threshold because of time wasted on less relevant matters.

2010 Legislative Session Roundups: Connecticut, Florida, and Maryland

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Maine

In spite of difficult budget decisions, Maine leaders enacted significant progressive initiatives this year, from first-in-the-nation health reforms to clean energy bills to consumer protections to campaign reforms.

2010 Legislative Session Roundup: Alaska

Unlike most states in the country, Alaska was able to increase spending and maintain a surplus due to increased gas and oil tax revenue. However, the state has not been immune from the economic impact of the downturn as the unemployment rate has increased over the past year and reached 8.6 percent in March.  Nevertheless, the state took significant steps to protect children, expand health care access, and establish a statewide energy efficiency plan.