There are stark differences between the two presidential campaigns'
approaches to federal-state relationships. Differences range from the
amount of funding appropriated for programs run by the states to
whether the candidates would strengthen or weaken state regulatory
A couple of weeks ago, we outlined the rash of voter suppression
activities cropping up, like clockwork, around the nation. This week we
cover the new suppression efforts that have come to light since.
The new federal mental health parity law, passed as part of the recent $700 billion financial bailout
package, is a real piece of help for families around the country. Even
better, the law will not preempt stronger state parity legislation. The
law will help states achieve their parity goals because it applies to
self-insured health plans which are not subject to state regulation.
Voter purges, which became infamous in Florida in the 2000
election, seem to have become a consistent problem since then based on
anecdotal evidence. But few have looked across states to see how
routine purges to “clean” the voter rolls of ineligible voters are
actually carried out when they don’t make headlines. The Brennan
Center for Justice has investigated and what they report
is troubling. Their findings point to the critical need for vastly
greater oversight, accountability and consistence in e
According to The Wall Street Journal, "Fed and Treasury
officials have identified the disease. It's called de-leveraging, or
the unwinding of debt. During the credit boom, financial institutions
and American households took on too much debt." But let's not buy into a false equivalence of "financial
institutions" and those "American households" borrowing beyond their
According to The Boston Globe,
a national shortage of primary care doctors is hitting Massachusetts
especially hard. The state's 2006 health insurance mandate has
resulted in an additional 439,000 newly insured residents trying to
seek care from an already over-stressed medical profession. According
to an annual survey by the Massachusetts Medical Society, wait times
for new patients to see primary care doctors are running an average of
50 days, though some doctors report delays up to 100 days.
Instead of allowing the right-wing to scapegoat undocumented immigrant
workers, Progressive States Network will be working with progressive
leaders across the country to introduce wage enforcement laws that
emphasize that native and immigrant workers both suffer under illegal
working conditions. See State Immigration Project: Policy Options for 2009 for the full range of immigration policies Progressive States Network is supporting in upcoming legislative sessions.
The good news is that next week, ten Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states will begin holding first-in-the-nation auctions of greenhouse gas allowances, an initiative aimed at capping the pollution causing global climate change.