SIX FROM SiX - State Innovation Exchange Weekly News & Updates.
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1) In Wake of 2016 Election Results, SiX Calls on Progressives to Focus on State-Based Strategy

This week, following the results of the 2016 election, SiX Executive Director Nick Rathod released a statement calling on progressives to focus on a rebuilding strategy that starts in states and cities across the country. "It is time for progressives to think differently about how we strategically engage and govern in this country, and that shift should begin far from Washington -- at the state and local level -- closest to the people whose lives we seek to improve," said Rathod. The full statement is available here.

2) Despite Losses, Some Glimmers of Hope in State Legislative Election Results

While this week's election results took a serious toll on progressives across the country, there was some positive news for races at the state legislative level -- particularly in the Southwest. Despite tough losses in Minnesota and Iowa, for example, Democrats picked up control in the Nevada House and Senate as well as the New Mexico House. We also saw incremental gains in many places, picking up seats in more than two dozen state legislative chambers across the country. More detailed results can be found here

3) New York City Mayor Signs Executive Order Aimed at Helping to Close the Gender Pay Gap

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio has signed an executive order banning municipal employers from asking prospective employees about their salary history. This practice often perpetuates the wage gap, since many women start a job at lower salaries than their male counterparts. “We had to figure out what was the quickest thing we could do in working toward pay equity," said Mayor de Blasio.

4) Voters in Multiple States Approve Family-Friendly Economic Policies via Ballot Initiative

In a positive outcome of the 2016 election, Colorado and Maine approved ballot measures that will increase the minimum wage to $12. Voters approved a similar measure in Arizona that will gradually raise the minimum wage to $12 in 2020, in addition to requiring employers to provide paid sick days to workers. And in Washington state, voters approved a minimum wage hike to $13.50; that same initiative will also allow workers to earn paid sick time.

5) Alaska Voters Approve Automatic Voter Registration, Expected to Add 70,000 New Voters

Tuesday night's election results also saw an important victory for automatic voter registration, with Alaska voters approving a ballot measure that will allow for AVR when Alaskans apply for their annual Permanent Fund Dividend. As a result, more than 70,000 new voters are expected to be registered within one year. The measure had significant support from progressives and conservatives alike.

6) South Dakota Voters Back 36% Cap on Payday Loan Interest Rates, Tighter Campaign Finance and Lobbying Laws

South Dakota voters approved multiple ballot measures this week. One will cap the amount of interest and fees that payday loan companies can charge at 36% per year. Additionally, voters rejected an amendment backed by the payday lending industry, which contained a loophole allowing lenders to charge any amount they want as long as a borrower signs an agreement. Another measure approved by South Dakotans will allow voters to tap a state fund to send two $50 credits to participating political candidates. It will also tighten campaign finance and lobbying laws.

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The State Innovation Exchange (SiX) is a resource and strategy center that supports state legislators to advance progressive policies across the country. We have a long-term vision of building progressive power and infrastructure at the state level. SiX is the result of an unprecedented merger of four organizations who combined forces to ensure that state legislators are empowered with top-notch research, training, policy expertise, communications support, political strategy and a space to network and share ideas. Together, we are working to advance and defend policies that support working families, protect the environment, promote civil rights and strengthen our democracy.