Navigation

From the Dispatch

VT: Maybe Universal Health Care

Vermont cut a deal today for a plan promising universal health coverage, although the deal still leaves a few potential details up in the air for the future.

How About a Family-Friendly Workplace for Mothers Day?

Want a good Mothers Day present?

How about making our workplaces more family-friendly, so that a sick child doesn't mean a crisis for a parent having to beg for time off?

Ohio: ALEC Says, "It Wasn't Me!"

The Cleveland Free Times takes a long, hard look at the American Legislative Exchange Council's (ALEC) operating methods in Ohio. As usual, it ain't pretty. The right-wing, corporate-funded network of state legislators is exposed quite thoroughly.

Private Prisons Steer Money to Influence Sentencing Laws

The Institute on Money in State Politics, a tireless group of people who compile campaign finance data for all fifty states and regularly report national trends, have a new report "Policy Lock-Down: Prison Interests Court Political Players" looking at the $3.3 million private prison companies have donated to state-level actors in the last two election cycles.

TX: Cleaning Up the School Finance Mess

Facing state Supreme Court decisions demanding both equitable financing of public schools and reforms to the state property tax, the special session in the Lone Star State accomplished one big item of business yesterday -- reforming the bizarre loophole-ridden state franchise tax and actually applying it to a broad range of businesses, thereby lowering the rate but also raising $3.4 billion when it starts in 2008.

Real Solutions on Immigration

Yesterday, the Washington Post reported that with the federal government failing to act on immigration issues, states are taking the lead. Unfortunately, the Post quickly turns the article into the same tired dichotomy of bills either "get[ting] tough" or "making life easier" for immigrants -- failing to consider whether any of the measures actually solve the problem.

Lowering the Bar: America's Worst Governors

The story of American democracy is one of heroes and disappointments. Every day in this great nation, elected leaders make their constituents proud by fighting for democracy, working families, and American families. And then there are the disappointments: the elected officials who play politics with people's lives and shill for special interests.

WI: Real Health Care for All Workers

After the botched Massachusetts health care bill, it's nice to see Wisconsin is stepping up with a really bold health care plan.

New Latino Voters May Change Political Map

"Today we march, tomorrow we vote!" - the chant at the recent immigration rights rallies -- may translate into a changed electoral landscape in many states across the country.

Investing in Estate Tax Reform: How 18 Families are Working to Strip Billions From the States

What was once a brilliant line from a screenwriter is now a solid rule of politics: "Follow the money." And true to that adage, when the federal government scaled back the estate tax, eighteen billionaire families were behind it, as documented in a new report by Public Citizen and United for a Fair Economy. And that "billionaire club" assault means that thirty-two states that peg their estate taxes to federal law lose as much as $5 billion per year in revenues.