Pages tagged "PLI Bulletin"


Keep Bosses Out, Ten Policy Myths, Take On Hate and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Keep Bosses Out of the Bedroom Act: Employees should be judged by their performance at work, without regard to their personal, private health care decisions. Yet, in recent years there have been a number of bosses retaliating against employees for their reproductive health care decisions. The Keep Bosses Out of the Bedroom Act would prohibit employers from taking an adverse action against an employee based on the employee’s reproductive health decisions.

Can we talk about Assault Weapons? We all know that some guns should be banned or severely restricted. What about assault weapons like the AR-15 used to murder 14 in San Bernardino? There is more reason to ban this weapon than almost any other. Read why on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

Ten myths that drive the enactment of failed policies, and how to separate fact from fiction: Wednesday, December 16 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. State and local governments are often trumpeted for policy innovation and expertise. Yet the reality is that, more often than not, they repeatedly enact failed policies that past research shows do not work. Professor David Schultz of Hamline University and the Minnesota School of Law will describe ten myths that have driven the enactment of failed policies and explain how to separate fact from fiction. Register for the webinar here.

“Take On Hate” Pledge: Welcoming Michigan and Take On Hate have launched a pledge campaign to show support for the state’s diversity, stand up for the values of equality and dignity, welcome refugees and immigrants, and condemn threats against them. You might consider this strategy in your own jurisdiction.

COMING VERY SOON—A Playbook for Abortion Rights! With 27 model bills and 2 model resolutions, our new Playbook for Abortion Rights will be a unique resource for both state and local policymakers. Click here for the Table of Contents with bill descriptions.

Latest Compendium of State and Local Legislation in 2015: What’s happened in 2015? Read about it in our Compendium. If you have additions to suggest, please contact mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org.


Job Piracy, Populist Platform, the Supreme Court and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Job Piracy Cease Fire Act: Neighboring jurisdictions are continuously trying to steal jobs from one another by bribing employers to move. This is a horrible use of taxpayer funds and unfairly tilts the economic playing field to favor some companies over others. The Act prohibits a jurisdiction from offering subsidies to companies from jurisdictions that have enacted their own Job Piracy Cease Fire Act.

A Populist Platform for 2016: Want a policy platform to suggest to a lawmaker, candidate or advocacy organization? A simple one-page statement reflects American values and includes economic policies that are all wildly popular. Read about it on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

How a new Supreme Court case impacts the abortion rights debate: Thursday, December 3 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. The U.S. Supreme Court will hear a challenge to Texas’ strict anti-abortion law and that case will have a major impact on abortion legislation everywhere. It could also affect the 2016 presidential and congressional elections. David Brown, an attorney working on this case for the Center for Reproductive Rights, will explain the case, its timeline, messaging, and will take all your questions. Register for the webinar here.

Podcasts from SSN: The Scholars Strategy Network has just launched its podcast, No Jargon. You can find it on iTunesStitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. For example, check out Episode 6: Planned Parenthood, Abortion, and Birth Control.

Party affiliation determines position on Syrian refugees: There is huge split between Democrats (63% yes) and Republicans (68% no) on the question of allowing Syrian refugees into the United States. PollingReport provides the topline on this and related questions.

Latest Compendium of State and Local Legislation in 2015: What’s happened so far in 2015? Read about it in our Compendium. If you have additions to suggest, please contact mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org.


Too Young to Test, End of Life Options, Ballot Initiatives and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Too Young to Test Act: A recent report from the Council of the Great City Schools found that there is far too much reliance on standardized testing in public schools, hurting schoolchildren, teachers and administrators. The federal No Child Left Behind law requires testing in grades 3-8, but most school systems go beyond that mandate and test in grades K-2 as well. This is developmentally inappropriate—the Too Young to Test Act would stop it.

Our goal is not to change beliefs, it is to change behavior: In almost every jurisdiction, in order to win political battles, we must persuade at least some non-aligned or “swing” voters. But these “persuadable voters” are hardly interested in or informed about politics and policy. Simultaneously, “confirmation bias” makes it almost impossible to change their beliefs. Read about how to handle the problem on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

End of Life Options: Tuesday, November 17 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. California Governor Jerry Brown recently signed the End of Life Option Act, authorizing medical aid in dying. The fact is, end of life policies are being enacted all over the nation. Come learn about it from our special guest, Charmaine Manansala, National Field Director for Compassion & Choices. Register for the webinar here.

AP analysis of the 2015 elections: The Associated Press concludes that it was not a good election for either party. Red states stayed red and blue states stayed blue. The full story is here.

Democracy won at the ballot box: Three very significant ballot initiatives recently won. Maine voters approved a strengthening of their Clean Elections Act. Ohio voters approved a bipartisan redistricting commission. And voters in Seattle set up a unique system of campaign finance called “democracy vouchers.” Bill Moyers explains here.

Latest Compendium of State and Local Legislation in 2015: What’s happened so far in 2015? Read about it in our Compendium. If you have additions to suggest, please contact mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org.


Public Services, Standardized Testing, Message Framing and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Access to Public Services for Non-English Speakers Act: Millions of residents can’t easily interact with government agencies because they a have limited ability speak or read in English. The Access to Public Services for Non-English Speakers Act would require a city, county or state to take reasonable steps to provide access for many non-speakers of English.

Did Arne Duncan Just Surrender on Standardized Testing? Days ago, the U.S. Department of Education announced a major policy shift, claiming they would now help states and school districts to decrease standardized testing in public schools. One of the DOE’s proposals, to limit testing to 2% of yearly school hours, is meaningless. But there are other provisions. Read about them on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

Message Framing 101: Tuesday, November 3 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. This is an explanation of the fundamentals of message framing which we provide every year or so. We will explain the behavioral science behind why it is so hard to persuade people, offer three rules that help you structure persuasive arguments on any topic, and provide examples of how those rules apply to a wide variety of controversial political issues. Register for the webinar here.

Seattle plan would allow collective bargaining for Uber drivers: A landmark bill was unanimously approved by a legislative committee in Seattle to classify all for-hire drivers as employees instead of independent contractors.

End of Life Options: California Governor Jerry Brown just signed the End of Life Option Act, authorizing medical aid in dying. This Compassion & Choices webpage lists what is happening on the issue in many states all over the country.

Latest Compendium of State and Local Legislation in 2015: What’s happened so far in 2015? Read about it in our Compendium. If you have additions to suggest, please contact mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org.


Automatic Registration, Charter Schools, Smoking Age and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Automatic Voter Registration: Oregon and California recently enacted legislation automatically registering to vote any resident who has a driver’s license or state ID card unless the individual opts out. The Brennen Center describes the momentum for this important policy here. Oregon’s HB 2177 is a simple model that any state can follow.

What Can We Do About Guns? Americans strongly support gun control: 93% favor background checks on all guns, 76% favor gun registration, 77% favor gun licensing. What we have is a political challenge. There are three practical things we can do to address the problem. Read about them on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

When to use political labels like Liberal, Conservative, Progressive and Socialist: Wednesday, October 21 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. Bernie Sanders embraces the label “Socialist.” Hillary Clinton said she is a “Progressive.” We’ll discuss which political labels are popular and which aren’t (e.g. “Feminist” and “Pro-Choice”), what to call yourself and what to call your opponents. Register for the webinar here.

Recommendations for Charter School Accountability: In most jurisdictions, the laws governing charter schools promote educational chaos. The Annenberg Institute for School Reform wrote an excellent report describing seven types of restrictions that should be placed on charter schools.

Should the Smoking Age Be 21? Pew’s Stateline published a recent article reporting that Hawaii enacted a law raising the smoking age from 18 to 21, a similar bill passed the California Senate, and such bills were introduced in seven other states. What about your jurisdiction?

Latest Compendium of State and Local Legislation in 2015: What’s happened so far in 2015? Read about it in our Compendium. If you have additions to suggest, please contact mweiss@progressivemajority.org.


Juvenile Justice Reform, Pope Francis, Federal Budget, and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Juvenile Justice Reform Act: This model combines three urgent reforms. The Juvenile Justice Reform Act restricts pretrial confinement to youths who pose a danger or may flee from justice; it limits the circumstances when judges can transfer defendants from juvenile to adult courts; and it protects accused children by ensuring that they do not waive their constitutional right to counsel.

Pope Francis Suggests a Progressive Freedom of Religion! Last Saturday the Pope gave an address on religious freedom in Philadelphia. Instead of hard-line opposition to abortion, contraception and LGBT rights, Pope Francis said not a single sentence that could not be embraced by progressives. What is this progressive view of religious freedom? Read about it on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

How the federal budget (and any future shutdown) affects you: TODAY! Thursday, October 1 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. Right wingers have been trying to shut down the federal government supposedly to defund Planned Parenthood. Campaign for America’s Future co-director Bob Borosage will explain what’s going on and how it will affect state and local governments, as well as individuals everywhere. Register for the webinar here.

Most voting machines are obsolete or nearly so: Voting machines operate well for only 10-15 years and most jurisdictions use machines at least that old. The Brennan Center issued a recent report surveying the problem—see if your jurisdiction needs to go shopping soon.

Toolkit for enacting Ban the Box: The National Employment Law Project recently published a tool kit for Ban the Box—legislation that removes questions about criminal history from job application forms. Nineteen states and more than 100 cities and counties have banned the box; you can too.

See us at upcoming conferences: The Public Leadership Institute will participate in the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) conference October 1-3, WiLL/WAND conference October 4-6, Local Progress conference October 26-27, and National League of Cities November 4-6. If you’ll be at any of these, please alert mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org and we’ll look out for you. 


Prescription Drug Transparency, Violent Crime, the Shutdown, and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Prescription Drug Price Transparency: There is a movement in states toward requiring drug companies to disclose costs and profits in order to help drive down prices. In Massachusetts, SB 1048 would require such disclosure for a fairly small number of drugs on a “critical prescription drug list.” Other disclosure bills have been introduced in California, North Carolina, Oregon and Pennsylvania.

What, if anything, is causing violent crime to increase? The media have saying that violent crime is on the rise, and it seems to be true—but only in some jurisdictions and not others. Is there a logical reason why homicide has increased significantly in cities like Baltimore and Washington, D.C. while other places like Philadelphia and New York have seen little change? Yes. Read about it on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

How the federal budget (and the shutdown) affects you: Thursday, October 1 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. Once again, the federal government may shut down on October 1, this time because of an absurd plan to defund Planned Parenthood. Campaign for America’s Future co-director Bob Borosage will explain what’s going on and how it will affect state and local governments, as well as individuals everywhere. Register for the webinar here.

California passes strong climate change bill: The legislature passed SB 350 which requires the state to increase from 33 to 50 percent the proportion of electricity the state derives from renewable sources. The Environmental Defense Fund considers the bill a historic victory but some compromises were made.

California passes automatic voter registration: The legislature passed AB 1461, the New Motor Voter Act, which automatically registers to vote any adult citizen who gets or renews a driver’s license, gets a state ID card, or fills out a change of address form with the Department of Motor Vehicles—unless he or she declines to be registered.

Latest update on legislation at the state and local levels: Read our newly-updated Compendium. And we welcome input! If you have additions, please contact mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org.


Synthetic Drugs, Common Core Results, Progressive Economics and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Controlling Synthetic Drugs: One of the most likely causes of the spike in urban violent crime is the steep rise in the use of synthetic drugs. These substances, which are cheap and widely available in high-poverty neighborhoods, are believed to cause some to become unusually violent. The National Alliance for Model State Drug Laws has three model bills here to deal with these “Novel Psychoactive Substances.”

Common Core “Results” Aren’t Actually Test Scores: Over the next couple of months we can expect a flood of PR efforts to tout the results of Common Core standardized tests. But these will be largely misleading because they will reflect subjective lines in the sand, not actual test scores. Read about it on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

Three Principles of Progressive Economics: Thursday, September 10 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. Americans generally understand conservative economic principles: free markets are essential, the rich deserve their wealth, the rich are job creators, government should be small and taxes need to be low. How do we push back and talk about progressive economics? Register for the webinar here.

State Earned Income Tax Credits: State EITCs are among the simplest and most effective of anti-poverty measures. Here is a simple explanation of the policy from our friends at the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities.

Auto Insurance Discrimination: Companies charge low-income residents more for auto insurance by increasing rates based on credit scores, occupation and level of education. Some states are now limiting what insurers can consider in calculating premiums, explains the Pew Trust’s Stateline.

Looking for policies to introduce in 2016? Our Progressive Agenda for States and Localities contains hundreds of ideas for new laws on many subjects, including hyperlinks to model bills. It’s all right here.


Credit Checks, Death Penalty, Public Education and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group organized to raise public awareness on key issues and to develop public leaders who will improve the economic and social conditions of all Americans. To join, click here.

Prohibit credit checks for employment: Ten states prohibit or strongly restrict the use of credit checks in hiring, including CA, CO, CT, HI, IL, MD, NV, OR, VT and WA, because the practice irrationally discriminates against many people (like those who had earlier been sick or injured). The Fair Employment Practices Act, based on District of Columbia legislation, bans such use.

Time to kill the death penalty: Opponents of the death penalty can follow their consciences while simultaneously arguing from a strong moral and factual position: that we should instead spend society’s time and money on policies that actually reduce crime and make law-abiding Americans safer. Read about it on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

How to talk about public education: Wednesday, August 26 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. Public schools are under attack from conservatives who are, essentially, trying to demolish public education. To win this argument, we need to understand public opinion and use points of agreement to push back against vouchers, school closings, narrowing of the curriculum, and ideological attacks on teachers. Register for our webinar here.

New government accounting standards for tax subsidies now apply: For the first time, rules applying to both state and local governments require that Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFRs) include a wide range of tax subsidies. Read about it here.

E-cigarette usage surges, legislators respond: Ten percent of U.S. adults now vape, about four times more than in 2013. Big tobacco companies have largely bought the vaping industry. Many states and localities have responded with new laws, but there is much more to do.

Looking for interesting new policy ideas? Our Progressive Agenda for States and Localities contains hundreds of ideas on many subjects, including hyperlinks to model bills. It’s all right here.

 


Body Cameras, Conservative Message, Rent Control and More


The Public Leadership Institute is a nonprofit educational group that helps turn state and local elected officials, advocates and grassroots activists into progressive champions. To join, click here.

Police Body-Worn Camera Act: The indictment for murder last week of a University of Cincinnati police officer once again proves the need for police body cameras. The prosecuting attorney admitted that the officer would have gotten away with his alibi except that the body camera disproved it. The Police Body-Worn Camera Act is a strengthened version of South Carolina’s SB 47, the first law to require body cameras statewide.

Why is the generic conservative message so popular? About 40 percent of voters call themselves “conservative” and even most Democrats hold some conservative beliefs. Why is that and how should we respond? Read about it on IdeaLog, our blog intended to raise eyebrows and engage minds.

How to answer ten tough policy questions: Wednesday, August 12 @3pm Eastern, 2pm Central, 1pm Mountain, Noon Pacific. Let’s talk about some of the toughest questions in any political debate, like the death penalty, gun control, abortion and climate change. Bring your best answers and let’s have a real interactive discussion. Register here.

Cities now considering an old idea—rent control: An article in Stateline outlines a renewed interest in governments holding down the skyrocketing cost of rent.

In most states you don’t need a high school diploma to home school your child: Thirty-seven states have no requirement that home school instructors have at least a high school diploma, according to a study by the Education Commission of the States.

If you’re pro-choice and want to participate in a new PLI project, please contact us: The Public Leadership Institute is starting a new effort to win proactive pro-choice policies in both states and cities. If you’re interested in participating, please email mweiss@publicleadershipinstitute.org.  


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