Category Archives: Legislation

A reform agenda for voting rights

Despite all the horror stories about “red state” voter suppression efforts in this election, there was also some good news for voting rights in the states as well. The New York Times reports, Before the Fights Over Recounts: An Election Day Vote on Voting:

In Tuesday’s elections [there was] a wave of actions aimed at making voting easier and fairer that is an often-overlooked strain in the nation’s voting wars.

Floridians extended voting rights to 1.4 million convicted felons. Maryland, Nevada and Michigan were among states that made it easier to register and vote.

From the Brennan Center for Justice:

Automatic Voter Registration (AVR) is gaining momentum across the country. Currently fifteen states and D.C. have approved the policy, meaning that over a third of Americans live in a jurisdiction that has either passed or implemented AVR. A brief history of AVR’s legislative victories and each state’s AVR implementation date can be found here. This year alone, twenty states have introduced legislation to implement or expand automatic registration, and an additional eight states had bills carry over from the 2017 legislative session. A full breakdown of these bills, as well as those introduced in 2015, 2016, and 2017, is available here.

Where AVR Has Passed 11-8-18

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Democrats need to start laying the Progressive Foundation for 2020 now.

As other pundits in the national and local media have pointed out, It will be tempting these next several months to focus on the Popular Vote Loser’s (Presidents) tweets, outrageous comments and behavior, and potentially criminal acts that will be adjudicated in the courts.

Now that they will be in control of the House of Representatives, Democrats do have a responsibility to provide oversight of the Executive Branches actions that the Trump (Republican) Party failed to undertake. That is only right and proper.

Democrats and Progressives, in the federal government and in the state government offices they triumphed in, should also take this as an opportunity to advance progressive policies (both incremental and ambitious) that will further attract supporters in the rural, urban, and suburban parts of the country.  They should attempt to create bipartisan consensus with the Trump Party but be prepared to fight for and campaign on what the Trumpists obstruct in the Senate and the Oval Office.

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The Arizona Republic: No on Prop. 305

The Arizona Republic recommends a “no” vote on Prop. 305, the citizens referendum on the “vouchers on steroids” bill passed by the legislature and signed by Governor Ducey, but then blocked by the activism of the citizens of this state. Prop. 305 won’t solve Arizona’s school voucher debate. Here’s what it will do:

Looks are deceiving when it comes to Proposition 305.

But you don’t have to be confused.

The measure amounts to asking voters if Arizona should expand a program that allows parents to take public funding intended to educate their children in K-12 public schools and use it for private school tuition or other educational options.

What does a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ vote mean?

In 2017, lawmakers and Gov. Doug Ducey approved expanding the voucher program to any K-12 student.

The expansion was put on hold because a public-school advocacy group used an option in the state Constitution to require a public vote before it could go into effect.

The group, Save Our Schools, gathered enough signatures to refer the matter to the voters.

A “no” vote on Prop. 305 represents a rejection of this expansion, maintaining the limited voucher program. A “yes” vote allows the expansion to become law.

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Martha McSally is not the Champion for her Sister and Brother Veterans she Pretends to be.

Republican Senate Nominee Martha McSally and Democratic Senate Nominee Kyrsten Sinema

During the course of this election season, Republican Senate Nominee Martha McSally has made much of her military background and her championing of veterans causes in general. However, voters should be made aware that on issues such as the recent tax cuts and the attempted repeal of the Affordable Care Act, McSally embraced the Republican gospel of voodoo trickle down economics and the harshness towards the ill and desperate rather than advocating the needs and welfare of her sister and brother veterans.

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GOP sabotage policy undermines GOP lies about protecting people with pre-existing conditions

To hear Republican candidates tell it, they are fully on board with the Affordable Care Act’s protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions. Donald Trump, in particular, tells his Nuremberg-style campaign rallies that Republicans will always protect people with pre-existing conditions, but the evidence doesn’t support his message.

Steve Benen makes a good catch on a little-reported news item from Monday that undermines this Big Lie. On pre-existing protections, watch what the GOP does (not what it says):

By any sane measure, the argument is indefensible. Not only have these GOP politicians spent years trying to tear them down, they’re also championing a lawsuit that would strip millions of families of the protections Republicans now pretend to support.

As Benen has previously noted:

There’s currently a Republican lawsuit pending in federal court that’s trying to tear down the ACA’s existing protections for those with pre-existing conditions. Trump not only refused to defend the current law in court, he also endorsed the litigation that would undermine Americans’ health security.

But the lie runs deeper. Trump’s agenda includes pushing short-term plans, which not only undermine the marketplace, they also allow insurers to sell plans that – you guessed it – don’t fully protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.

This comes on the heels of multiple Republican legislative proposals – each of which enjoyed the White House’s support – which featured the same unpopular flaw.

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