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.
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.
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.
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:
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