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Minnesota

Health Care in 2007

As the first month of the 2007 legislative session comes to a close, expanding access to health care is clearly a top priority for governors and legislative leaders across the country. From comprehensive health care for all in California and Pennsylvania to incremental cover all kids in North Carolina and to targeted program expansions in New Mexico, the proposals represent an unprecedented focus in states to address the health care crisis that grips our families and businesses.

Election Day Registration

One of the biggest challenges in raising voter turnout is address the rate of voter registration. The vast majority of states have registration deadlines weeks before Election Day. The schedule poses problems for busy Americans who simply forget to register or re-register and find themselves unable to vote on Election Day. During the 2000 Presidential election alone, nearly 3 million voters were disenfranchised due to registration problems. Luckily, a simple solution is available: Election Day Registration (EDR).

MD: Zoning a Path to Affordable Housing

The Baltimore City Council is considering a bill that would require developers to include affordable housing units in all of Baltimore's residential projects. Under the proposal, up to 20 percent of all housing units would be reserved for low to moderate income people. Baltimore is not the first city in Maryland to consider such a proposal. Montgomery County, MD, in an effort to combat the loss of affordable housing, requires between 12.5 and 15 percent of the total units in every new subdivision or high-rise building be sold or rented at specified, affordable prices.

MN: Blue Cross Calls for Forced Universal Health Coverage

The Blues have joined the health care for all bandwagon in Minnesota. The state's Blue Cross Blue Shield is endorsing a bill based on the Massachusetts model of achieving health care for all through compelling the purchase of insurance, highlighting both a key strength and a key weakness of the model. The mandatory nature of the law builds bridges to new interested parties: insurance firms well positioned to benefit from a law requiring that the public purchase their product.

MN: State Moves to Promote Plug-In Hybrids

The Institute for Local Self-Reliance, a top-notch Minnesota-based outfit, is proudly declaring victory following Governor Pawlenty's signature of a bill that passed both chambers unanimously. The legislation requires that the state purchase "plug-in hybrids on a preferred basis when they become available." H.F.

New Latino Voters May Change Political Map

"Today we march, tomorrow we vote!" - the chant at the recent immigration rights rallies -- may translate into a changed electoral landscape in many states across the country.