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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.

National Popular Vote Moves Forward in North Dakota and Nation

Legislators in North Dakota are promoting the radical idea that the candidate who wins the most votes for President should actually be President.  The legislature introduced a bill last week to award its electoral votes to the candidate who wins the popular vote nationally.  A national popular vote initiative was passed by both chambers in California last year, only to be vetoed by Governor Schwarzenegger.  For the upcoming legislative sessions, twenty-nine states have also already lined up sponsors to introduce "National Popular Vote" bills.

California: The Health Care Debate is On

The debate to reform California's health care system is on. This past Monday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed a sweeping reform of the state's health care system designed to achieve universal coverage through a mix of new rules and requirements targeting employers, insurers, and individuals. Last month, two of the legislature's leading legislators, Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata and Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, released their own separate reform proposals that are just as comprehensive.

Schwarzenegger Health Care Plan Mix of Good and Bad

California Health Care Plan is Comprehensive -- but Places too High a Price on Working Families with an Individual Mandate while Exempting Many Businesses from Responsibility Missoula, MT ”“ Responding to universal health care initiatives from the state legislature, Gov.

Protecting the Freedom to Form Labor Unions

The past thirty years have seen a marked decline in job quality for a substantial portion of the U.S. workforce: stagnant wages, shrinking health benefits and less job security. While a number of factors explain this decline, there is little question that the decline in the strength of labor unions in the US has played a major role.

Renewable Portfolio Standards Across the States

State governments are not waiting on D.C. to develop an energy independence policy for their states. Instead, almost half the states have taken the lead on promoting and utilizing renewable energy.

What States Can Do for Darfur

Since the Bush administration first recognized the genocide in Darfur, over 250,000 men, women, and children have died. This number does not count the countless women and children that have been raped or attacked as a result of the Sudanese government's campaign to kill and drive out Darfur's ethnic African populations. The violence and genocide is now spilling over into Chad and the Central African Republic. Yet, even with such horrifying statistics, the situation deteriorates day by day.

Penny Wise, Pound Foolish on Global Warming

In the latest in a series of articles looking at whether or not the world is moving towards a more energy efficient future, the New York Times addresses the economics of climate change. The article points out that global warming is not only an environmental hazard, but it is also a challenge for economic policy.

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.