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The Voter’s Speakeasy featuring unbiased reporting and insight into life at Vote Smart from our staff, interns, and volunteers.

Political Research Wrap-Up: Spring 2016

2016 April 27

Trending Legislation:

Immigration: REAL ID Laws & Sanctuary Cities

  • Kentucky and New Mexico passed legislation this session to comply with federally mandated REAL ID standards. Proponents of the legislation support it, because complying with these measures ensures that states receive federal funding. Opponents argue that these bills would have negative implications for undocumented immigrants.
  • This spring, "sanctuary cities" have been a hot-button issue for several states. These cities have policies wherein they do not provide information concerning immigration status to the federal government.
  • Florida and Virginia legislatures passed bills to ensure their states follow federal immigration policies to prevent sanctuary policies. Other legislation in Virginia would make cities liable for damages caused by an undocumented immigrant. In Wisconsin, cities may face reduced funding every day they do not comply with federal immigration policy. The state government could also prohibit cities from issuing an ID to any resident, reserving the authority to state agencies.   


Minimum Wage

  • Several bills regulating minimum wage passed this legislative session. Both Idaho and Alabama legislators voted to prohibit cities from increasing or setting their own minimum wage.
  • Conversely, California increased the state’s minimum wage to $15 dollars an ...

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