is pushing to expand a controversial program that uses federal Medicaid
funds to provide free birth-control pills, vasectomies and other forms
of contraception to low-income people, an effort made possible by the
federal health-care overhaul.
and 26 other states already provide free contraception and other
reproductive-health services through a Medicaid pilot project to
lower-earning women who otherwise wouldn't qualify.
In a year dominated by issues of job creation, child care reform, and
discussions of how to expand mass transit, Wisconsin also made fantastic
strides in efforts to green the state, protect pedestrians, create
domestic partnership benefits, and ease the consequences of license
suspension on low-income communities.
In the weeks following the signing of the Patient Protection and
Affordable Care Act, lawsuits
challenging the constitutionality of health care reform were joined by
multiple, conservative Attorneys General from states across the nation,
despite widespread condemnation that such challenges were frivolous, wasteful, and
certain to fail in the courts. In early April, Secretary of Health
and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius commented
that she believed the lawsuits had "more to do with politics than
Last week the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of disenfranchised felons in Washington, holding in a summary judgment order
that the state's practice of denying the vote to felons violates the
federal Voting Rights Act (VRA). Notably, instead of basing their
argument on the nature of the felon disenfranchisement law at issue,
the case centered on the interaction between felon disenfranchisement
and the discrimination in the criminal justice system itself.