Hawaii is the latest state moving in that direction with a proposed Hawaii Innovations Fund which could grow to $200 million in government funds over four years to invest in Hawaii's renewable energy, life science and technology companies.
While investments in high technology get a lot of attention, a
number of these new state government investment strategies are also
looking to revive areas devastated by deindustrialization and chronic
poverty. Around the world, "emerging markets" are hotspots for
investment, so many states are treating these poor domestic areas as
"domestic emerging markets" that just need a bit of patient capital to
Last week, the state of Marylandjoined the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a consortium of states -- now eight with Maryland's
membership -- that have committed to reduce emissions on four
pollutants and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions 10 percent by 2019.
We've written before about the new 75-year lease of an Indiana
toll road to a Spanish-Australian partnership, and the bad deal for
taxpayers and democracy that it represents. The state's largest
consumer group filed a lawsuit yesterday saying that the deal was so bad that it violates the state constitution. The Citizens Action Coalition
argues that the state constitution requires lease proceeds to pay down
public debt, rather than diverting long-term returns from a lease to
immediate public spending. The lawsuit highlights the core problem with
this kind of privatization -- it's essentially a theft from future
taxpayers and consumers to help pay for government spending today.
The 2000 election sparked an interest in electoral reform. Paired with
a rising tendency among voters toward self-declared independence from
the two major parties and a new wave of reforms have started growing in
popularity across the country. In statehouses and in voting booths,
reforms are moving forward to give Americans more real options at the
While conservative organizations like the American Legislative Exchange
Council (ALEC) have coordinated takeovers of state legislative agendas
across the countryï¿½a reality documented in our report, Governing the Nation from the Statehouses
ï¿½ they are usually helped locally by a range of organizations and
political networks that the rightwing have been funding for years.
Since the invention of the Internet, net neutrality has been a
fundamental operating principle of the networks that maintain it -- all
content is equal. Whether an Internet user wants to read an
advertisement from ExxonMobil, an email from MoveOn, or a blog run by
their neighbor, the decision about what to access has belonged to users
and the network has responded equally to all requests.
Following the 2000 election, everyone saw just how flawed an election
could be. In 2004, even without the same closeness, America witnessed
other problems including extremely long waiting times to vote: a sign
that America was no longer even preparing for moderately high turnout
elections. Meanwhile, one state was chugging along, doing just fine.
Fully aware that their anti-worker policies are anathema to most
Americans, corporate conservatives often posture and position
themselves on worker issues to avoid bearing the full brunt of the
backlash from their noxious positions and to try to fix blame on their
opponents, who really are working for the common interest.