State legislators made major progressive gains during the 2007 sessions in areas ranging from health care to the environment to gay and lesbian rights. Maryland passed the nation’s first ever statewide living wage law, and Washington state passed legislation expanding health care for up to 38,000 children. In May, Washington state became only the second state to offer paid family leave and now legislators in New Jersey are pushing for the benefit. And Iowa passed legislation calling for the state to have renewable fuels like ethanol and biodiesel meet 25 percent of in-state fuel needs by 2020.
The Progressive States Network and the Center for American Progress Action Fund are hosting a panel to showcase these and other successes. The panelists will discuss the gains progressives made in statehouses in 2007, with a focus on working families, health care, and the environment. State legislators from Iowa, Maryland, and Washington will discuss the progress they spearheaded in their states in global warming, paid family leave, children’s health care, and creating a living wage, as well as the strategies they are using to build the groundwork for a new era of progressive reform.
As progress in Washington, D.C. is stymied by partisan conflict and special interests, the states are serving as a testing ground for national policies and are reaffirming a vision of politics as the art of the possible. Please be sure to join us and our guest speakers on June 14.