Giving Compass’ Take:
• Governing Magazine highlights eighteen issues that the staff believes states need to focus on in 2019.
• How can funders help to support and guide efforts to make improvements in these areas?
• Learn about funding efforts to expand Medicaid in red states.
Medicaid: Though the landscape of Medicaid keeps changing, access to more health care seems certain in at least five states this year.
Four of the states that will expand Medicaid in 2019 decided to do so at the ballot box. Last fall, voters in Idaho, Nebraska and Utah approved Medicaid expansion. Mainers voted to expand access in 2017, but outgoing GOP Gov. Paul LePage blocked it, arguing that the funding wasn’t in place. Now that Democrat Janet Mills is the incoming governor, it seems inevitable that Maine will move forward.
The fifth state that will expand Medicaid is Virginia. Lawmakers reached a compromise to expand Medicaid with a work requirement last year.
Other states that may consider expansion in 2019 include Kansas and Montana.
Tax Reform: Thanks in large part to 2017’s federal tax overhaul, state income tax collections soared in 2018. But the big unknown for lawmakers and budget directors this year is how much of that revenue bump can be relied on going forward.
Paid Sick Leave: Issues around workplace fairness have been gaining bipartisan steam in recent years, and 2019 looks to expand on those issues. Minimum-wage increases, laws barring pregnancy discrimination and paid sick leave laws have all been popular issues for both lawmakers and voters.
Education Funding: Last year was a good year for education funding. Expect that momentum to carry into 2019.
Voting: Voting has become one of the most polarizing issues in the country. That will continue in 2019, with red and blue states moving in opposite directions on voting rights.
Read the full list of issues for states to watch in 2019 at Governing Magazine.
If you are looking for more articles and resources for North America, take a look at these Giving Compass selections related to impact giving and North America.
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