Washington, DC – A new report released today by the Center for American Progress Action Fund outlines state policies necessary to help state elected officials bypass federal gridlock and strengthen the middle class.
“The evidence is clear. The failed philosophy of trickle-down economics only helped the most wealthy while severely hurting the middle class and weakening our economy,” said Tom Hucker, Maryland State Delegate and co-author of the report. “By adopting the proposals outlined in this report, state leaders will rebuild the America’s middle class by restoring the American ideals of fairness, equality and opportunity.”
The report, “States at Work: Progressive State Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class,” offers more than 100 recommendations to create a significant number of jobs, boost incomes for a large percentage of the population and meaningfully cut costs for middle-class necessities among others.
Among Maryland’s numerous successful policies:
- Maryland’s living wage law has been found to improve the competitiveness of government contracting. An official state study of Maryland’s living wage law found that the average number of bids per contract increased nearly 30 percent after the law was passed, and nearly half of contracting companies interviewed by state researchers said that the new labor standards encouraged them to bid on contracts because it “leveled the playing field;”
- The Maryland General Assembly passed a DREAM Act in 2011, and voters approved the law in a November 2012 referendum to allow undocumented immigrants who graduate from state high schools and meet certain requirements to pay in-state tuition at public universities; and
- Maryland is expected to save $19 million by forming purchasing pools with other states to negotiate lower prices or rebates for prescription drugs.
“The American dream is based on the idea that working families deserve security, safety and opportunity for their children,” said Héctor J. Figueroa, President of 32BJ Service Employees International Union, the largest property services union in the country. “We have a responsibility as a society to keep the pathway to the middle class clear of unfair obstacles so that working people have access to good jobs with benefits, quality healthcare, affordable housing, and a decent education. This report shows that states’ efforts to protect working families have a powerful and positive impact, and should be expanded and encouraged.”
The report includes more than 100 policy reforms to:
- Improve the quality of existing jobs
- Reform the tax code so that it raises sufficient revenue fairly and efficiently
- Stabilize the housing market, ensure affordable rental housing, and help rebuild communities affected by the foreclosure crisis
- Improve the quality of education for all students
- Ensure affordable, quality health care for all
- Rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure
Read the full report: States at Work: Progressive State Policies to Rebuild the Middle Class by Karla Walter, Tom Hucker, and David Madland
To speak with an expert on this topic, please contact Katie Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.741.6285.
The Center for American Progress Action Fund is the sister advocacy organization of the Center for American Progress. The Action Fund transforms progressive ideas into policy through rapid response communications, legislative action, grassroots organizing and advocacy, and partnerships with other progressive leaders throughout the country and the world. The Action Fund is also the home of the Progress Report.
With more than 120,000 members in nine states, including 17,000 in the D.C. Metropolitan Area, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.