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All 50 States

Supreme Court Shuts Down Range of State Banking Laws in Gift to Predatory Lenders

In a blow to consumers, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that mortgage lending subsidiaries of national banks are exempt from state regulation.  Every state attorney general and bank regulator had urged the High Court to protect these state laws, especially in light of federal inaction in the face of abuse by predatory lend

Supreme Court Rules for State's Rights and the Environment

In a huge win for the states, and more importantly for the environment, the Supreme Court ruled this week that the EPA has the authority to regulate heat-trapping gases in automobile emissions.  12 states filed the suit to challenge the Bush Administration's claim that the EPA does not have the responsibility to regulate carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases under the Clean Air Act, and even it if did, it would not use the authority.

Right Wing Lobbying Strategies in the States

Even as progressives are making major headway in this session on issues ranging from renewable energy to the minimum wage to voting reform, the corporate Right, led by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and its associated "research" front groups, is still out there in the states pushing their model bills and corporate-funded propaganda. 

The Predatory Lending Bubble and How the Feds Made it Worse

The trouble in the subprime lending market is sending ripples through Wall Street.  One of the biggest subprime lenders, New Century, has been de-listed from the New York Stock Exchange.

Ex-Prisoner Reentry and Reintegration

Nearly 650,000 people are released from state and federal prison every year, with larger numbers reentering communities from local jails. Over 50 percent of those released from incarceration are sent back to prison for a parole violation or new crime within 3 years.

Voter ID Laws Suppressing Voter Turnout

Concerns that new voter identification rules are discouraging voter turnout, especially by voters in communities of color, is proving justified, new research shows.  A report prepared for the federal Election Assistance Commission finds that in states with voter ID requirements, such as forcing people to present utility bills or other documents:

Research Roundup

 

If you want to know how cuts in education and social programs proposed in President Bush's budget are likely to effect your state, check out this state-by-state analysis prepared by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Making Legislative Pay Match the Workload

One of the most politically challenging, and politically assailable, decisions a legislator can make is a vote increasing legislative pay.  Yet, with legislative pay a mere pittance in most states, increasing it is necessary to prevent wealth from becoming a prerequisite to hold public office.

Affordable Housing as Smart Growth

When you hear the term "smart growth" what comes to mind?  Anti-sprawl?  Open-space preservation?  Often overlooked in discussions of smart growth policies is the need for affordable housing as a key component of growth planning.

Kids are collateral damage in immigration witch hunt

Well, the feds have done it again.  They've stepped in where states are doing good work and messed things up.  In an effort to prevent illegal immigrants from enrolling in Medicaid, new federal citizenship identification requirements are instead causing US citizens to lose coverage and increasing state Medicaid administrative costs.  Children are the biggest losers.