Session Review

2008 Session Roundups: Wisconsin

The biggest news coming out of Wisconsin this year may be the retirement of the Green Bay Packers' beloved quarterback, Brett Favre, but lawmakers were largely able to keep to the task at hand and pass a budget before the end of the shortened 2008 session.  However, they may find themselves back in Madison to deal with a worsening budget situation.  Despite leaving some key issues on the table due to partisan divisions, lawmakers laid a solid foundation for future success in 2009.

2008 Session Roundups: Washington

In just sixty days, the Washington State legislature passed a remarkable 335 bills. The legislature passed strong bills protecting the environment, consumers, and people affected by the mortgage crisis, making the state one of the country's leaders in progressive victories.

California Legislative Roundup: Legislature's Gains Muted by Governor's Veto Pen

The breadth of issues addressed by the California Legislature was impressive as legislative leaders moved aggressively on the environment and clean energy, education, workplace family issues, and health care. However, because of the Governor's veto pen and the minority party's ability to block revenue bills with just one-third of the vote, the extent of the progress the Legislature made on these issues was far less than it could have been.

North Carolina Legislative Roundup

North Carolina had a session with important victories for working families, but the hands of energy and insurance lobbies ended up diluting the environmental and health-care reforms passed in the end.

Colorado Legislative Roundup


With a new Governor, progressive legislative leaders in Colorado marked a new day by enacting a range of legislation benefiting working families in the state.

Hawaii Legislative Roundup

With a similar partisan divide between a Democratic legislature and Republican governor, Hawaii achieved solid progressive achievements with less rancor and friction.

Minnesota Legislative Roundup

Conversely, Minnesota showed how a governor in the pocket of monied interests can undermine a bold, progressive vision by state legislative leaders.

Texas Legislative Roundup


With a raucus session that ended with Texas state House legislators trying to depose the autocratic speaker, the legislature passed a range of bills, many reversing extreme laws passed in past sessions:

Oklahoma Legislative Roundup


With new right-wing dominance of the state legislature, the Oklahoma session was dominated by tax giveaways to business, extreme social legislation, threats to consumer rights and one of the most anti-immigrant laws in the country.

Kansas Legislative Roundup


Kansas' legislative session was dominated by cutting taxes on business and a few new investments in education around the state