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Colorado

CO: Leaving Children Uninsured Has Serious Consequences

Two Colorado pediatricians have authored a new study finding dire consequences as a result of the low insured status among our nation's children. The consequences are both borne by these children and by society as a whole.

Progressive Ballot Issues For Turnout and Framing

There are few more potent tools for impacting the outcomes of elections than changing what appears on the ballot. And there are no more direct paths from public outcry to passed legislation than through ballot issues. For years, the rightwing has been advancing policy goals, shaping message, and marshalling voters through ballot issues (we've already highlighted many of their current-year endeavors in this very newsletter). Progressives increasingly are fighting back using ballot issues -- which shouldn't be surprising, since initiatives and referedenda were originally a progressive reform.

Corruption in Colorado? Follow the Trailhead

Don't ask for Colorado Governor Bill Owens to fulfill the state's duties under open records laws. He'll get lawyers funded by private political committees to threaten you in response. Owens, named earlier this year as one of America's worst Governors, is being questioned about his connections to a 527 named the Trailhead Group.

Progress on the Minimum Wage

After years of stagnating wages for working Americans and inaction by Congress, legislators and activists across the country are taking the lead in securing higher minimum wages on a state by state basis. They are achieving some outstanding results. Here's where the minimum wage fight stands in a number of states:

Takings In Your State

As far-right funders like Howard Rich work across the country, dumping literally millions simply into qualifying these atrocious measures for ballots, progressives have experienced some good news and some bad news. Here's where the campaign stands in various states:

ME: Polling Reveals Uphill Struggle to Defeat TABOR

A new poll in Maine reveals the uphill battle progressives face in educating the public about the dangers of TABOR-style spending caps. The poll reports that nearly three in four voters say they would vote for TABOR if the option was put in front of them today.

The Taxpayers' Bill of Goods

With the 2006 elections quickly approaching, a small group of highly energized right-wing activists are working hard to export a failed policy from Colorado to other states around the nation. The idea is known variously as the Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR), the Stop OverSpending Amendment (SOS), or as Tax and Spending Control (TASC). Fundamentally, though, all of the amendments boil down to a single policy idea: arbitrarily capping increases in state spending based on only two factors -- population growth and the consumer price index.

Western Governors Demand Action on Global Warming

The Western Governors Association on Sunday acknowledged an inconvenient truth. The bipartisan group of Governors from West Coast, Rocky Mountain, and Great Plains states came together to unanimously pass a resolution (PDF) that says that global warming is real, at least partially human-caused, and that now is a time for action.

CO: Aggressive Lobbying Disclosure Bill Becomes Law

As voters grow increasingly fed up with corruption in public office, a number of courageous legislators are taking the lead on issues like voter-owned elections and lobbying reform. In Colorado, the forces of reform just landed a major victory.

OH: Spending Cap Shuffle May Indicate Weakening of a Wedge

What political observer is not interested in changes in Ohio's political landscape? The state has a tendency to be decisive in Presidential elections and is gripped by high-profile races for Governor and Senator this year. So it is very interesting that conservatives appear to be edging away from a radical Constitutional spending cap modeled on Colorado's failed TABOR law.