On this Day …


1989 Tiananmen Square massacre takes place

1934 FDR asks for drought-relief funds

1919 Congress passes the 19th Amendment

1876 Express train crosses the nation in 83 hours

1862 Confederates evacuate Fort Pillow

 

 

 

 

 

85 years!? Iain Keith – Avaaz


Dear friends,
This weekend seven of the most powerful nations will meet at the annual G7 summit and Angela Merkel, who is hosting it, just announced climate is the priority and she’ll propose they commit to a deadline to get completely off fossil fuels.This is HUGE! Weeks ago we heard climate was not even going to be on the agenda. So Avaaz German members showed up at practically every major event calling on her to be a global climate hero with such creative stunts that we got her attention. And now she has stepped up, and France has got in behind her.

The problem now is Japan and Canada want the G7 to wait 85 years to get off fossil fuels, even though they know that only gives us a 66% chance to avoid climate catastrophe!

We have just four days to stop them, and experts say the best way is calling them out in the media and shaming them publicly for scuttling the entire global climate deal, and literally putting humanity’s survival at risk.

So here’s what we are aiming to do, fast — run newspaper and TV ads and opinion polls that show they are out of touch with the public, then welcome them to Germany with killer stunts. If we do this well Merkel will have new arguments to get them on board.

the Senate CONGRESS 6/4 the House


earthmylogo

The Senate stands adjourned until 9:30am on Thursday, June 4, 2015.

Following any Leader remarks, the Senate will resume consideration of H.R.1735, NDAA, with 30 minutes of debate equally divided on Portman amendment #1522 and Bennet amendment #1540. Upon the use or yielding back of time, the Senate will vote in relation to the amendments.

Approximately 10:15am – Up to 2 roll call votes:

  1. Portman SA #1522 (Stryker Lethality Upgrades)
  2. Bennet SA #1540 (major medical facility projects)

WRAP UP

Roll Call Votes

  1. Portman SA #1522 (Stryker Lethality Upgrades); agreed to: 61-34.
  2. Shaheen SA #1494 (spousal definition for VA benefits); not agreed to: 53-42.
  3. Tillis SA #1506 (C-130 H aircraft); agreed to: 48-44.

Legislative Business

Agreed to the following amendments by voice vote:

  1. Bennet SA #1540 (major medical facility projects)

Agreed to the following amendments by unanimous consent:

  1. Shaheen SA #1618 (SoS anthrax transfer)
  2. McCain-Blumenthal-Flake SA #1539 (honoring members of Armed Forces at sporting events)
  3. Shaheen SA #1551 (flat rate per diem)
  4. Warner SA #1571 (member diversity)
  5. Hoeven SA #1484 (RQ-4 Global Hawk mission)
  6. Heller SA #1511 (defense commissary system)

Passed H.R.2146 – Defending Public Safety Employees Retirement

Executive Business

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Last Floor Action:
2:00:16 P.M. – The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order.

The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on June 8, 2015.

9:00:20 A.M. The House convened, starting a new legislative day.
9:00:28 A.M. Today’s prayer was offered by the House Chaplain, Rev. Patrick J. Conroy.
9:01:53 A.M. The Speaker announced approval of the Journal. Pursuant to clause 1, rule I, the Journal stands approved.
9:02:01 A.M. PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE – The Chair designated Ms. Michelle Lujan Grisham of NM to lead the Members in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag.
9:04:15 A.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with one minute speeches.
9:12:09 A.M. H.R. 2577 Considered as unfinished business. H.R. 2577 — “Making appropriations for the Departments of Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and related agencies for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2016, and for other purposes.”
9:12:58 A.M. H.R. 2577 The House resolved into Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for further consideration.
9:13:57 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mrs. Blackburn, printed in the Congressional Record numbered 7 to reduce each amount made available by this Act by 1 percent.
9:14:06 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Blackburn amendment.
9:22:23 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Blackburn amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Ms. Blackburn demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
9:22:41 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Ms. Norton, to prohibit the use of funds to be used in contravention of the 5th or 14th Amendment to the Constitution or title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
9:22:43 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Norton amendment.
9:29:01 A.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Norton amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
9:29:49 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Gosar, to prohibit the use of funds to carry out the rule entitled “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing”, published by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the Federal Register on July 19, 2013.
9:29:51 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the First Gosar amendment.
9:37:49 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Gosar amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Gosar demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
9:38:09 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Ms. Norton, to prohibit the use of funds to permit air transportation service between midnight and 6 a.m. at Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA).
9:38:14 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Norton amendment.
9:44:45 A.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Norton amendment; Failed by voice vote.
9:45:12 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Gosar, to prohibit the use of funds to implement, administer, or enforce the rule entitled “Hazardous Materials: Enhanced Tank Car Standards and Operational Controls for High-Hazard Flammable Trains”.
9:45:15 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Second Gosar amendment.
9:52:20 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Gosar amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Gosar demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
9:53:21 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Polis, to evaluate ridership on transit by ridership demand.
9:53:25 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Polis amendment, pending reservation of a point of order.
9:59:31 A.M. H.R. 2577 By unanimous consent, the Polis amendment was withdrawn.
10:00:02 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Gosar, to prohibit the use of funds for the Federal Transit Administration’s Rapid Growth Area Transit Program.
10:00:04 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Gosar amendment.
10:03:24 A.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Gosar amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
10:04:01 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Ms. Lee, to prohibit the use of funds to administer, implement, or enforce section 193 or section 414 of this Act.
10:04:05 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Lee amendment.
10:26:18 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Lee amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Diaz-Balart demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
10:27:10 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Posey, to prohibit the use of funds by the Department of Transportation to take any actions with respect to the financing of passenger rail projects along Florida’s East Coast.
10:27:14 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the First Posey amendment.
10:36:35 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the First Posey amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Posey demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
10:37:07 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Gallego, to prohibit the use of funds by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to redesign the Phoenix Metroplex regional airspace.
10:37:11 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Gallego amendment.
10:43:53 A.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Gallego amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
10:44:38 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Sessions, to prohibit the use of funds to support Amtrak’s route with the highest loss, measured by contributions/(Loss) per Rider.
10:44:43 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Sessions amendment.
10:50:37 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Sessions amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Price (NC) demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
10:51:26 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Ms. Waters, Maxine, to prohibit the use of funds to carry out section 210 of this Act with respect to the Housing Authority of the county of Los Angeles, CA.
10:51:28 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Waters, Maxine (CA) amendment.
10:53:31 A.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Waters, Maxine amendment; Agreed to by voice vote.
10:53:42 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Sessions, to prohibit the use of funds to support any Amtrak route whose costs exceed 2 times its revenues.
10:53:45 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Sessions amendment.
10:59:55 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Sessions amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Price (NC) demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
11:00:53 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Schiff, to prohibit the use of funds to enforce section 47524 of title 49, with regard to noise or access restriction of the Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, CA.
11:00:56 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Schiff amendment.
11:05:11 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Schiff amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Schiff demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
11:05:28 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Posey, to prohibit the use of funds by the Department of Transportation to authorize exempt facility bonds to finance passenger rail projects that cannot attain the speed of 150 mph.
11:05:31 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Second Posey amendment.
11:10:48 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Second Posey amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mr. Diaz- Balart demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
11:11:31 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Blumenauer, to insert a section for necessary expenses for the “Department of Transportation, Office of the Secretary, Salaries and Expenses” is reduced by $1.
11:11:32 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Blumenauer amendment.
11:16:14 A.M. H.R. 2577 By unanimous consent, the Blumenauer amendment was withdrawn.
11:16:17 A.M. H.R. 2577 An amendment, offered by Mr. Posey, to prohibit the use of funds by the Department of Transportation to make a loan in an amount that exceeds $600 million under the Railroad Revitalization and Regulatory Reform Act.
11:16:19 A.M. H.R. 2577 DEBATE – Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 287, the Committee of the Whole proceeded with 10 minutes of debate on the Third Posey amendment.
11:22:01 A.M. H.R. 2577 POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the Third Posey amendment, the Chair put the question on adoption of the amendment and by voice vote, announced that the noes had prevailed. Mr. Posey demanded a recorded vote and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the question of adoption of the amendment until a time to be announced.
11:22:26 A.M. H.R. 2577 The Committee of the Whole rose informally to receive a message from the Senate.
11:22:27 A.M. The House received a message from the Senate. The Senate agreed to H. Con. Res. 48 and S. Res. 191.
11:23:17 A.M. H.R. 2577 Subsequently, the Committee resumed it’s sitting.
11:52:31 A.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the McClintock amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 166 – 255 (Roll no. 298).
11:58:07 A.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Walberg amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 235 – 189 (Roll no. 299).
12:01:33 P.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Esty amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 0 – 0 (Roll no. 300).
12:04:44 P.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Cartwright amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 176 – 247 (Roll no. 301).
12:08:13 P.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Garrett amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 160 – 266 (Roll no. 302).
12:12:24 P.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Brooks (AL) amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 143 – 283 (Roll no. 303).
12:15:40 P.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Brooks (AL) amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 139 – 286 (Roll no. 304).
12:21:00 P.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Capps amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 202 – 222 (Roll no. 305).
12:21:01 P.M. H.R. 2577 VACATING PROCEEDINGS ON ROLL CALL 300 – Mr. Diaz-Balart asked unanimous consent that the proceedings on roll call 300 be vacated to the end that the Chair resume postponed proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from Connecticut, Ms. Esty, at the end of the current series of postponed proceedings. Agreed to without objection.
12:25:57 P.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Lee amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 176 – 247, 1 Present (Roll no. 306).
12:30:02 P.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Stivers amendment; Agreed to by recorded vote: 224 – 198 (Roll no. 307).
12:31:14 P.M. H.R. 2577 UNFINISHED BUSINESS – Pursuant to the unanimous consent agreement from earlier in the day, the Chair announced that the unfinished business was the request for a recorded vote on the amendment offered by Rep. Esty of Connecticut.
12:38:34 P.M. H.R. 2577 On agreeing to the Esty amendment; Failed by recorded vote: 184 – 230 (Roll no. 308).
12:38:40 P.M. H.R. 2577 Mr. Diaz-Balart moved that the committee rise.
12:38:52 P.M. H.R. 2577 On motion that the committee rise Agreed to by voice vote.
12:39:22 P.M. H.R. 2577 Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union rises leaving H.R. 2577 as unfinished business.
12:40:12 P.M. AVAILABLITY OF INTELLIGENCE AUTHORIZATION – Mr. Nunes was recognized to announce that the bill H.R. 2596 is available for review by Members at the offices of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in Room HVC-304, Capitol Visitors Center.
12:41:53 P.M. H. Res. 299 Mr. McCarthy asked unanimous consent to consider as introduced.
12:43:44 P.M. H. Res. 299 Considered by unanimous consent. H. Res. 299 — “On the passing of Joseph Robinette Biden, III.”
12:46:25 P.M. H. Res. 299 On agreeing to the resolution Agreed to without objection.
12:46:27 P.M. H. Res. 299 Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection.
12:47:07 P.M. Mr. McCarthy asked unanimous consent That when the House adjourns on Thursday, June 4, 2015, it adjourn to meet at 2:00 p.m. on Monday next and that the order of the House of January 6, 2015 regarding morning-hour debate not apply on that day. Agreed to without objection.
12:47:32 P.M. ONE MINUTE SPEECHES – The House proceeded with further one minute speeches.
12:47:34 P.M. The House received a communication from Anthony DeThomas, Legislative Correspondent. Pursuant to Rule VIII of the Rules of the House of Representatives, Mr. DeThomas notified the House that he had been served with a subpoena for testimony, issued by the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois and that after consultation with counsel, he had determined that compliance with the subpoena is consistent with the privileges and rights of the House.
1:02:27 P.M. SPECIAL ORDER SPEECHES – The House has concluded all anticipated legislative business and has proceeded to Special Order speeches.
2:00:06 P.M. Mr. Gohmert moved that the House do now adjourn.
2:00:15 P.M. On motion to adjourn Agreed to by voice vote.
2:00:16 P.M. The House adjourned pursuant to a previous special order.

The next meeting is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on June 8, 2015.

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Raising the Stakes for Health Care


By

Another Successful Enrollment Report Underscores Importance Of Upcoming Supreme Court Ruling

More than 10.2 million people purchased insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act in the most recent sign-up period, officials at the Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday. That number beats the 2015 goal of 9.1 million enrollees previously set by the Obama administration.

The millions of people enrolling and re-enrolling in plans through the insurance exchanges highlights once again that the ACA is working to deliver quality, affordable health care to those who need it. But it also serves as a stark reminder of the stakes surrounding the ruling in King v. Burwell that the Supreme Court is expected to hand down later this month.

Let’s take a closer look at the numbers from the latest successful enrollment report, and what could happen if at least five Supreme Court Justices ignore the overwhelming evidence and strike down insurance subsidies for individuals on the federal exchange.

  • 10.2 million: The number of Americans who have enrolled in quality, affordable coverage through the ACA’s marketplaces.
  • 85 percent: The percentage of all enrollees receiving tax credits for their insurance premiums — 8.7 million people.
  • 87 percent: The percentage of enrollees in the 34 states with federally-facilitated marketplaces receiving premium tax credits — 6.4 million people.
  • $272: The average monthly tax credit for the 6.4 million enrollees in states with federally-facilitated marketplaces.
  • 287 percent: The percent increase in enrollees’ average premium if the Supreme Court sides with the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell.

There are 6.4 million Americans who get insurance through HealthCare.gov (instead of a state-run marketplace) and qualify for tax subsidies to help them afford their coverage. Those people receive an average of $272 per month, scaled according to their income, to help them pay. A bad decision in King v. Burwell would remove that subsidy, almost tripling their premiums on average (for some, premiums could spike more than six times the amount they currently pay. A huge number of these people, no longer able to afford coverage, would become uninsured.

But they wouldn’t be the only ones affected. Such a shock to the marketplace would ricochet out and put the entire health insurance system into chaos, causing millions of others to see premiums increase and force health insurance to become unaffordable. All told, according to several studies, more than 8 million people would become uninsured and nearly 10,000 preventable deaths would occur each year.

Couldn’t Congress step in and help correct a terrible Supreme Court decision? That would be the responsible course of action, but we aren’t betting on it. With more than 50 votes to repeal the law, Republican Congressional leaders have been destructive, not constructive. And while conservatives continue to promise a “replacement” plan for the Affordable Care Act, they haven’t proposed any credible alternatives — all of them take us back to the broken system we had before. There’s no reason to expect that to change.

BOTTOM LINE: While we should all cheer another strong enrollment report showcasing the success of the Affordable Care Act, the stakes are only rising for the potential effects of a negative decision in King v. Burwell. Insurance coverage for millions of people hangs in the balance, and the Republican Congress is not offering any serious solutions for them if the Supreme Court chooses ideology over the facts.

Cracks In The Big Money Wall


By

Two Small But Significant Steps To Make Elections Better Took Place This Week

There are two big pieces of election news this week out of Florida, known for its historically torrid election administration. The Supreme Court, following a string of rulings unleashing big money into politics, has finally found a small but significant campaign finance law that it is willing to uphold. Meanwhile, earlier this week, the Florida legislature passed a bill that would finally bring online voter registration to the state — should Gov. Rick Scott sign the bill. The decision and the law together augur a better approach to election administration in Florida and across the country.

In Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that campaign solicitation bans for judicial candidates are constitutional. This follows years of decisions where the Court facilitated the rise of big money in our politics, seven times since 2006. In the 5-4 decision, conservative Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. voted with the four liberal-leaning justices, arguing that “Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot,” and therefore they “cannot supplicate campaign donors without diminishing public confidence in judicial integrity.

Unfortunately, Roberts’ decision did not go far enough. While he acknowledged that campaign contributions to judicial officials could give off the “appearance of corruption,” Roberts contained his opinion to the judiciary. This flies in the face of what we have seen in our elections, as big money’s influence has only increased thanks to Roberts’ Court especially since Citizens United. Ian Millhiser, editor of ThinkProgress Justice, broke down why Roberts’ reasoning is flawed:

Most Americans would undoubtedly agree that judges should not “follow the preferences” of their political supporters, as they would agree that judges should not “provide any special consideration to his campaign donors.” But the implication of the passage quoted above is that members of Congress, state lawmakers, governors and presidents should provide such consideration to their supporters and to their donors. The President of the United States is the president of the entire United States. A member of Congress represents their entire constituency. Yet Roberts appears to believe that they should “follow the preferences” of their supporters and give “special consideration” to the disproportionately wealthy individuals who fund their election.

As Justice Ginsburg noted in her concurring opinion, “Numerous studies [including some by CAP!] report that the money pressure groups spend on judicial elections ‘can affect judicial decision-making across a broad range of cases.’” It is inconceivable that big money in non-judicial elections would not have the same effect. The public understands that, which is why they have consistently shown that they are against the rising tide of big money in politics. According to one recent poll, 61 percent of voters oppose the Citizens United decision that ushered in this latest wave of big money politics.

This decision is only the latest demonstration of the importance of our court systems. For more information on the importance of our courts and how we can leverage them to create true progressive change, go to WhyCourtsMatter.org.

Although imperfect, hopefully this momentum on making our election system better for everyone will extend into Florida’s battle over online voter registration. Florida’s Republican-controlled House and Senate passed important legislation that would require online voter registration in the state by October 2017. As shown in over twenty other states that allow online voter registration, registering online is “more accurate, less expensive and a convenience to voters.” Despite the overwhelming evidence, Governor Rick Scott was previously reported to be working to kill the legislation. And his chief election official, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, came out against the bill, oddly claiming that “forces of evil” would sabotage such a system. Online voter registration is good for voters, good for Florida and Governor Scott should bring Florida’s election system into the 21st century by signing this bill into law.

BOTTOM LINE: After a string of poor decisions, and public momentum building for real reform on money in politics, the Supreme Court has finally taken steps, however late and limited, to stem the corrosive effects that big money has in our politics, at least in the judiciary. The Florida law behind the decision is an important piece of ensuring the integrity of the judiciary. But Florida can do even more to strengthen their election system, and Scott should take the opportunity to do so by bringing voter registration into the 21st century.