Skip to main content
Resolutions & Amendments

38th International Convention - San Francisco, CA (2008)

State Legislative Agenda

Resolution No. 13
38th International Convention
Moscone West
July 28 - August 1, 2008
San Francisco, CA

The national economy is suffering from a significant slowdown and possible recession, and the housing and credit markets are in freefall; and

State governments, local governments and school districts inevitably face fiscal problems during economic downturns due to reduced revenues and increased demands for government services; and

State governments failed to reconcile long-standing structural budget issues prior to this economic downturn; and

Local governments and school districts face especially severe fiscal problems due to the downturn in the national housing market, which will be compounded by likely cuts in state aid; and

Federal cuts to programs carried out by states, such as Medicaid for the growing numbers of workers whose employers do not provide health insurance coverage, compound these fiscal challenges; and

Many state legislatures and governors are making shortsighted fiscal policy decisions without considering structural and long-term budget challenges by spending temporary surpluses, failing to modernize their tax systems and providing tax breaks for businesses and special interests; and

Instead of modernizing their tax systems and making them more equitable, or making businesses and the wealthy pay their fair share of taxes, many state and local governments are proposing deep cuts in services and personnel, even though such cuts do more economic harm than good; and

Anti-tax groups, supported by moneyed interests, continue to mislead people about the valuable services public employees provide, including education, transportation, public safety and health care, in order to promote their agenda of de-funding public services and infrastructure; and

AFSCME has developed a State Legislative Agenda that shines a spotlight on hidden spending in state budgets and puts forward real solutions that will generate fair and adequate revenue for public services. This State Legislative Agenda includes “Truth in Spending” measures to disclose the cost of contracting out, tax expenditures and economic development incentives and ideas for reforming Medicaid to control high health insurance and prescription drug costs without compromising the quality of care.  It also includes ways to close corporate tax loopholes, make state tax systems modern and progressive and stop attacks on public revenues; and

The 2008 elections will bring increasingly progressive leadership to the states and provide us an opportunity to advance this bold agenda and revitalize public services.

That AFSCME affiliates and the International Union make it a priority to promote the AFSCME State Legislative Agenda in the 2009 legislative sessions in state capitals throughout the country--to reveal the hidden spending in state budgets, meaningfully address health care, and repair state revenue systems to make them adequate and equitable; and

That the International Union assist AFSCME affiliates that introduce State Legislative Agenda bills with research, fact sheets, testimony and other support; and

That AFSCME leaders and members make their legislators aware of our State Legislative Agenda, how it can protect public services in our states and its importance to us as a union; and

By aggressively advocating for these measures we can protect public services and the workers who provide them. We can maintain or restore staffing to safe levels, fight back privatization and protect our hard-earned wages and benefits.
SUBMITTED BY: Michael Downey, President and Delegate
Gail Meglio, Recording Secretary
AFSCME Council 94
Rhode Island