In the coming weeks, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two high-profile challenges affecting states directly: Shelby County v. Holder, a challenge to the constitutionality of Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, as well as two cases on same-sex marriage. Arguments in the Voting Rights Act case are scheduled for February 27th, while arguments in the two marriage cases, Hollingsworth v. Perry and United States v. Windsor, are set for late March. States and the Obama administration are already filing briefs in advance of both cases. At the same time, efforts to advance marriage equality continued this week in state legislatures including Minnesota and New Jersey:
The same week that both President Obama and a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators released proposals for comprehensive federal immigration reform, pro-immigrant policies continued to gain traction in the states on issues including tuition equity and driver's licenses for DREAMers. Nearly three years after Arizona passed SB 1070, anti-immigrant forces are clearly finding themselves increasingly isolated at both the state and federal level in 2013:
As goes California, so goes the nation? The conservative anti-tax revolt that began in the Golden State over 30 years ago was rebuked by voters this past November when they approved Prop 30. Early in sessions in 2013, other states are showing signs of following a similar path and refusing to rely on economically destructive cuts:
Last month, California Governor Brown turned his back on California telephone consumers by signing into law a bill that strips the oversight authority of the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC). Specifically, the law removes rate and quality protections for consumers of phones that function through Internet technology. This technology, called Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), routes phone calls over Internet signals, and is offered by cable or DSL companies like Verizon’s FiOS, Comcast’s Digital Voice, and AT&T’s U-Verse. The experience is just like using a traditional phone since increasingly landline phones need Internet Protocol to be connected. The bill signed into law, SB 1161, effectively eliminates common-sense protections for all of California’s consumers who will be helpless when issues arise with their phone service, while tying the hands of the CPUC and local governments alike.
State Legislators for Progressive Immigration Policy, a diverse group of over 100 state lawmakers representing 40 states, released the following statement in reaction to California Governor Jerry Brown's veto of the TRUST Act.
With minutes ticking down to a midnight deadline to sign bills passed by the state legislature this session, California Governor Jerry Brown issued two vetoes that will disappoint many Californians as well as workers' rights and immigration advocates: the Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights (AB 889) and the Trust Act (AB 1081).
This fall, voters in some states and cities will have the chance to do more than just push back. Initiatives are on the ballot that would directly confront the destruction that austerity economics has wrought on communities, while building national momentum behind policies to revitalize our economy and protect our democracy. All kinds of issues are at stake, from workers’ rights to corporate influence in politics, to whether corporations and the luckiest few will pay their fair share in taxes. While voters will be electing a president, governors, Congress, and thousands of state legislators this November 6, here are a few places where a progressive vision will also be on the ballot:
James Carville famously said about the 1992 election, "It's the economy, stupid." But right afterwards, he also said, "Don't forget about health care."Republican presidential nominee's pick of Paul Ryan as his vice presidential candidate solidifies what was already clear--that this election will be the most consequential election for health care in this country's history.
Speaker Perez announced changes to his Assembly leadership team, and appointed new committee chairs to serve out the 2011-12 Regular Session today.We thank Assemblymember Bill Monning for his leadership of the Assembly Health Committee and welcome Assemblymember Richard Pan as he assumes leadership of this crucial committee that will continue to oversee the implementation of the Affordable Care Act