As the middle class remains under sustained attack in state legislatures, media attention is increasingly turning to the corporate interests orchestrating a national spread of industry-written bills seeking to weaken state economies, strip workers of their rights, suppress voter turnout, and capitalize on the politics of division and fear – all in pursuit of private profit. In a spate of recent reports, specific scrutiny is being focused on the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in allowing corporations access to influence state laws that benefit their bottom lines at the expense of the economic security of families.
As voter ID legislation continues to be rammed through state legislatures across the country, conservatives are celebrating passage of these bills, intended to suppress turnout among traditionally progressive constituencies, as a victory. However, no one is actually winning – not minority, low-income, and other historically disenfranchised voters who will be disproportionately affected by the new laws, and certainly not already-squeezed state budgets forced to find millions of dollars to make these bills a reality
As we have noted, even more than attacking the rights of Wisconsin workers, Governor Scott Walker’s budget proposal threatens the economic security of Wisconsin families. Among the many damaging proposals that Walker is attempting to unilaterally force through in the budget “fix” bill is Provision 16.896, which would allow the sale of the state’s heating, cooling, and power plants to private corporations without the solicitation of bids.
The health care debate continues to boil in the states – all the more evident in Wisconsin, where a newly elected conservative majority in the state legislature is joining with Gov. Walker to eye draconian cuts to Medicaid. As part of Gov.