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A Convenient Truth: States Can Seize the Lead on Global Warming

In the groundbreaking film An Inconvenient Truth, Vice President Al Gore makes an impressive case that it is now essential that the world act to prevent the potentially catastrophic implications of global warming. The film could not come at a more critical time. While the planet warms, Washington dawdles. The nation's political elite remains mired in a debate manipulated by powerful energy interests.

NY: Pataki Vetoes Credit Card Reform Bill

You sign up with a credit card promising you a fixed interest rate. You pay all your credit card bills on time and in full, but slip up paying a bill to a totally different company, say the power company, a bit late. Your credit card company suddenly changes the rules and raises your credit card rate to up to 35%, based on a provision buried in the fine print of credit card agreements called "universal default."

Accountability and Efficiency in Medical Services

In a system where profits, not patient health, is the top priority of many health care providers, states are beginning to develop "pay for performance" incentives and promoting other innovations to hold providers more broadly accountable.

 

How Rich: The Man Behind the Takings Initiatives

Diving into the world of campaign finance and investigating the funders of the takings initiatives quickly reveals a number of organizations involved: Americans for Limited Government, America at Its Best, the Fund for Democracy, and Montanans in Action. What is odd, though, is that with more digging, they all appear to be funded and controlled by the same individual: New York Developer Howard Rich.

NY: Child Care Workers Poised to Win Bargaining Rights

Despite a veto by the governor, the New York State legislature is poised to override and enact reforms to allow day care workers to form labor unions.   The bill, A10060, sponsored by Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat (a Progressive States board member) and Senator Nick Spano, would effect an estimated 52,000 day care workers in facilities subsidized by state funds, given them standing to negotiate with the state for wage increases, as well as benefits like health care, workers' compensation, paid vacation or sick days. 

Beyond the Minimum Wage: New Policies to Raise Wages

The reality for working Americans is that wages have been largely stagnant for over three decades.   For many workers -- especially those without a college degree -- pay has actually gotten worse, meaning that this generation is the first one in American history which is not doing signficantly better than the previous one.  Part of the reason for these stagnant wages is that inflation was allowed to erode the federal minimum wage-- its inflation-adjusted value dropping from $9.12 per hour in 1968 down to just $5.15 per hour in 2005.  

Progressive States Board Member Leads Charge to Protect 25,000 Workers

New York Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, a member of Progressive States' board of directors, successfully passed a landmark bill protecting day care workers.

06/01/06 Progressive States Board Member Presses Landmark Bill

Progressive States Board Member Presses Landmark Bill NY Assemblyman Espaillat Advocates for Day Care Workers New York, NY - ­Assemblyman Adriano Espaillat, a founding board member of the Progressive States Network, recently addressed a rally of over 1,000 family day care providers to urge the Governor to sign his bill extending union protections to these hard-working, low-paid workers. Espaillat sponsored the measure extending state worker protections to these employees who often toil for little pay.

Drilling for Oil in New York City

Instead of looking in Alaska for a massive source of energy, look at New York City.

NY: Protecting Domestic Workers From Abuse

The New York Times has an excellent story that encapsulates the American dream and a legislator helping fight to make it more achievable.

David Mejias' parents are immigrants. His parents' hard work paid off. He grew up to become an attorney and now serves on the Nassau County legislature.