Since being elected, I have become increasingly passionate about investigating ways government keeps people from reaching their full potential. As the former chair of the Senate Public Benefit Reform Committee, I became aware of many situations in which our current government benefit programs are doing just that.Read More
Like most polls, Gallup polls are usually paid advertisements for whomever commissions them and therefore deserving of as little attention. However, the indefatigable Sharyl Attkisson recently reported on the results of one such survey and that did draw my attention. Evidently, 47 percent of Americans say life will never go back to pre-pandemic normal. I was somewhat stunned! How could 53 percent be thinking we could go back?Read More
“I wandered the streets aimlessly, never knowing where my next meal would come from.”
That’s how a man named Riley summarized being homeless, addicted, and unemployed before he came to Watered Gardens, a mission in southwest Missouri.Read More
A Yelp executive said women need access to abortions to be successful at work as the company announced it would fund travel expenses for employees traveling out of state for abortions.
“The ability to control your reproductive health, and whether or when you want to extend your family, is absolutely fundamental to being able to be successful in the workplace,” Miriam Warren, Yelp’s chief diversity officer, told The New York Times.Read More
It is a good time to be a worker with in-demand skills in Wisconsin.
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the state’s largest business group, on Monday said its latest Employer Survey shows many businesses across the state plan to raise wages by more than 4% at some point this year.
“Wages are rising much faster than they have in recent memory,” WMC President & CEO Kurt Bauer said. “Wisconsin does not have enough people to fill the jobs we have available, and that creates an aggressive competition for talent. We are seeing wages rise at a faster rate, sign-on bonuses, work flexibility and many other strategies from companies to attract and retain talent.”Read More
Nearly 12% of police officers were assaulted while on duty in 2020, according to annual state level data collected by the FBI. Alaska reported the greatest percentage, California the greatest number.
A total of 60,105 officers were assaulted nationwide, with the overwhelming majority assaulted, and injured, by assailants’ hands and feet.
Nationwide, 26% of assaults in 2020 involved a deadly weapon that wasn’t a firearm; 5% involved a firearm.Read More
Republican lawmakers and Gov. Tony Evers are, perhaps surprisingly, on the same page when it comes to spending more money on childcare in Wisconsin.
The state’s budget-writing panel, the Joint Finance Committee, on Wednesday unanimously approved a plan to spend $194 million in federal funds to support childcare across the state.
“$194 million is a lot of money,” Rep Amy Loudenbeck, R-Clinton, told lawmakers. “This is our job as a committee and members of the legislature to have a voice in how these programs are supported or created or expanded. Or in some cases not created and not expanded.”Read More
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton sued the Biden administration again Thursday, this time for requiring federal contractors to pay a $15 an hour minimum wage. It’s the 21st lawsuit the attorney general has filed against the administration. Joining him are the attorneys general from Louisiana and Mississippi.
“The president has no authority to overrule Congress, which has sole authority to set the minimum wage and which already rejected a minimum wage increase,” Paxton argues.
Their lawsuit follows one filed last December by the Pacific Legal Foundation on behalf of outdoor adventure guides, Arkansas Valley Adventures (AVA), a licensed river outfitter regulated by the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife, and the Colorado River Outfitters Association (CROA). The CROA, a nonprofit trade association, represents more than 150 independent operators who primarily conduct business on federal lands using special use permits through Forest Service or Bureau of Land Management.Read More
Legislators are considering changes to Missouri’s teacher and non-certified school employee pension plans to alleviate pandemic-related teacher and staff shortages.
HB2114, sponsored by Rep. Rusty Black, R-Chillicothe, will reduce restrictions on pensions if a retired public school teacher returns to the classroom or to a non-teaching position in a public school. The legislation also increases from two to four years the length of time a retired teacher or retired non-certified public school employee can work while still receiving their pension.
During testimony before the House pensions committee, Rep. Black, the committee vice chairman, said similar legislation was passed by the House and died in the Senate last year as the legislative session ended in May. He said the legislation simplifies and improves the amount retirees can earn before their pensions are restricted.Read More
Iowans are waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on the COVID-19 vaccine mandate for businesses with at least 100 employees. In the meantime, they’re moving ahead with actions of their own.
Iowa Department of Education Communications Director Heather Doe told The Center Square in an emailed statement that since Iowa is a state-plan state, the Iowa Division of Labor typically enforces workplace safety in Iowa instead of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The state is required to notify OSHA whether it will adopt a given Emergency Temporary Standard or provide notice it will not adopt it because its standards are as effective as the new federal standard. Iowa needed to respond to the standard by Jan. 7.
Iowa Labor Commissioner Rod Roberts did so, saying that the Hawkeye State will not adopt or enforce the mandate.Read More
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ordered a new unionization election at an Amazon warehouse in Alabama, ruling that the company violated federal labor law during the first election.
“Today’s decision confirms what we were saying all along – that Amazon’s intimidation and interference prevented workers from having a fair say in whether they wanted a union in their workplace – and as the Regional Director has indicated, that is both unacceptable and illegal,” Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) President Stuart Appelbaum said in a statement Monday.
“Amazon workers deserve to have a voice at work, which can only come from a union,” he continued.Read More
Seattle-based Starbucks announced it will increase hourly wages next year as the coffee giant faces the dual pressures of unionization attempts and staffing shortages.
According to a press release from the company, starting in January of 2022, hourly employees with two or more years of service could see a 5% raise and those with five or more years of service could see a 10% raise.
By the summer of next year, the company says its average hourly pay will be $17, up from the current average of $14. Employees will make between $15 and $23 an hour across the country, depending on location and tenure.
The press release did not address what impact the moves will have on coffee prices.Read More
Some 4,800 state employees in Washington have already requested medical or religious exemptions from Gov. Jay Inslee’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate.
According to information released this week by the state, those requests amount to nearly 8% of the 60,000 state workers who fall under Inslee’s 24 cabinet departments. As of Sept. 6, less than 50% of all employees in those agencies were verified as being fully vaccinated.
Inslee last month issued an executive order that all state employees, as well as K-12 and state university staff, must be fully vaccinated by Oct. 18 or face dismissal.Read More
Afghan women were reportedly forced into marriages with men who were eligible for evacuation from the country, CNN reported Thursday.
U.S. officials notified the State Department about some Afghan women and girls showing up with men pretending to be their husbands or after being forced into marriages with men eligible for evacuation, two sources familiar with the matter reportedly told CNN.
Some women are reportedly resorting to these unusual relationships in order to flee Taliban rule, CNN reported. Families of Afghan women at a transit hub in the United Arab Emirates arranged for such marriages at the Kabul international airport in Afghanistan so that women may leave, according to CNN.Read More