East Coast and a bit Roundup
balam (fluffy_mun)
kittydesade
This roundup brought to you by: Fair trade dark chocolate and the resultant hyperactivity. Green & Black Maya Gold is a wonderful wonderful thing but wow. I probably did not need that abrupt burst of energy.

This is not a complete list of the politics going on, but it is a place to start. Collective bargaining is the topic at hand; we are also reporting on the People’s Democratic Republic of Free Michigan. Extra bits go at the end. As usual, please feel free to reblog, repost, etc. In fact, please do, we could use the publicity and the help. Letting us know that you’re linking and dropping us a comment as to where would be nice but is not required. Previously, Wisconsin affairs were here as usual or here on DW, previous other-state entries are here on LJ or here on DW.

This roundup was compiled by the Wires and Lights Press Office, and edited by myself. Please, drop us a note and let us know you’re reading, let us know it’s helping. Definitely drop us a note and let us know if there's something we've missed, preferably with a link or a source of some kind. And if there's someone here who can help me cover the East Coast, please let me know. I've got one person taking two states, but I'm filling in the rest by my little bitty lonesome and it's getting awfully heavy. Also, when I'm having to slog through eight states a day, shit gets missed. That's about two hours of work at the very least that, unfortunately, I don't always have to give it the proper attention. I'm doing this around a full-time day job that, thankfully, is slow right now, but that could change any day. Help meeeeee

General/National
* Will Scott Walker cost the Republicans the presidential election? Well, dear readers? Will he? My opinion is, at the moment, signs point to yes. But it's still quite a ways away. Source: The Daily Caller
* Brits in solidarity The head of Britain's Trades Union Congress has delivered a letter to the US Embassy in London expressing solidarity with US unions and asking Louis B. Susman to take up the issue with President Obama. Source: Canadian Business



Indiana
* Lawmakers say walk-out was worth it. Although nearly all the legislation the Democrats objected to is back on the table, some modifications have been made and the Democrats say that the walk-out was worth it. Source: North-West Indiana Times
* Pro-union rally held on anniversary of King assassination Just a brief cover of several planned rallies held yesterday. Source: South Bend Tribune.com


Maine
* More murals in Maine madness The Maine Department of Labor has to either put the labor murals back up or pay the US Department of Labor back for the money that was granted to make the murals. Heh. ed. note: I'm making popcorn, anyone want some? Source: Huffington Post


Michigan
* Michigan Governor faces standoff with teachers over budget Both sides are, not openly, but definitely and defiantly discussing strong measures to advocate and push their point of view. Source: Business Insider
* Bay City teachers to vote on strike Speaking of those defiant and strong measures... Source: Bay City Times via mlive.com
* Flint mayor's budget plan: no safety layoffs, union concessions There are also a fair number of changes involved in the overall budget plan for Flint, one of which involves turning two of the city's four golf courses into parks. Huh. Source: Flint news via mlive.com
* Judge rules teacher retirement health care law unconstitutional Basically, "Judge James Giddings ruled that because current teachers aren't guaranteed health care benefits when they retire, it's "arbitrary and capricious" to make them pay for the benefits now." WHICH IT IS.Source: Detroit Free Press
* Investigation continues into threats against Mackinac Center Hey, psychos, get off our side, you're making us look bad. The Mackinac Center has been receiving death threats and bomb threats for their part in this political war. This kind of behavior is not okay, not from either side. Source: mlive.com
* Don't surrender basic rights Hey, look. Someone else noticed the attempt to create the People's Democratic Republic of Free Michigan. Source: citizensvoice.com


New Jersey
I don't have time to unpack this, you guys. But redistricting means different constituencies for the different representatives, which means a change in the way people vote and who represents them. Which means, you guessed it, potential shift as far as collective bargaining legislation goes. If someone could please unpack this and write a few paragraphs on what it means, for the benefit of comm readership, that would be most helpful.
* Millburn shuffled to 27th District Source: North Jersey.com
* NJ Redistricting commission adopts Democrats' map Source: NJ Today Online
* Despite redistricting, Coyle plans to seek re-election Source: BaskingRidge Patch
* Hey Washington Township, welcome to the 25th district Source: BaskingRidge Patch


Ohio
* SB5 opponents beginning push for referendum Source: Opponents of Senate Bill 5 collected 3x the number of signatures necessary to get a referendum submitted. The state then has 10 days to validate, and then another petition is circulated for signatures. If enough (~230,000) are collected, the law is put on hold. The article also covers Senate Bill 5 and its implications. The Columbus Dispatch
* Ohio union law savings estimated at $191M for the state Short article explaining the savings, and where they come from in plain language. Source: Canadian Business Online
* Senate Bill 5 signed into law by Gov Kasich A short article describing a few more provisions and amendments to the bill as it was signed, plus a reference to a website launched against Republican propaganda regarding the bill. Source: The News Record
* Ohio Governor flooded with emails following bill passage 84 percent of those emails (around 14,000) opposed the measure. So, yeah. Source: ABC Local


Tennessee
* Compromise for teachers could be better In plain language, describing the author's opinion on how the collective bargaining and education revamping bill could be made better and what the current bill's effects will be. Source: The Tennessean
* Following on that, Teacher morale hits rock bottom The editor is going to editorialize here and say that, when I was growing up and in school and taking standardized tests, half my family was made up of teachers. Two of the three people raising me were teachers. And because they wanted me to do well, I learned how to game the tests. Gaming standardized tests is, in fact, ridiculously easy. So easy that most people know how to do it. Gaming non-bubble standardized tests is only slightly harder. It is easy, stupidly easy, to teach to a test, to teach students to memorize and regurgitate information. It is hard to teach them to learn information and to think about it, to write about it and elaborate clearly and defend a position. And then, when they go to an actual competitive school, they don't have the skills necessary to succeed and they either learn fast or fail. We have seen this over and over again. Handicapping teachers and chaining them to a system that requires them to teach to a test is a DUMB FUCKING IDEA. And that is my rant for the day. Source: The Tennessean
* Senate may alter teachers' union bill Some Senators are modifying the bill to allow more informal talks between teachers and school boards; uncertain as yet whether or not this is meant to be razzle dazzle or whether they are trying to be understanding. Source: Yet again, The Tennessean

Alaska
Fox
lady_fox

State Rep. Carl Gatto has dropped his bill to restrict collective bargaining rights for many public workers.

Woo!

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPad.


West Coast and a bit
eyes up by pearl-o
lipsum
NATIONAL:

A new SCOTUS ruling supports the use of taxpayer-funded vouchers to pay tuition at schools which practice religious discrimination. This is for an Arizona case, but could have implications for voucher programs in other states. Apparently, we don't have a right to ask for our tax dollars to be spent in a manner that supports religious tolerance and freedom of belief... unless it's about abortion, because the view that a fetus has more personhood than an adult woman is totally skientific!

SCOTUS ruled that the sex discrimination case against Wal-Mart cannot be pursued as a class action. "According to the 5-4 opinion written by Justice Alito, class action suits for discrimination are not available 'absent a written statement promoting a purely discriminatory hiring policy.' " Here are the Wal-Mart v. Dukes case files @scotusblog.

CALIFORNIA:

What getting tough on crime hath wrought: L.A. Progressive (4/2/11) reminds us that youth serving life without parole were often acting under the influence of an adult, who often as not receives a lighter sentence. And other facts as well. Tomorrow, SB 9 (which would allow youth the possibility of parole) will be heard.

Also tomorrow, AB52 will be heard by the Assembly Health Committee, a measure which would help rein in insurance rate hikes. To anyone unclear on the facts: Something has gone terribly wrong in California's healthcare "market", and we're hurting. The linked article illustrates the human impact.

NEVADA:

NV legislator's plan to save the economy: repeal helmet law. 3/20/11, Las Vegas Review.

UTAH:

Concerning an attempt to pass AZ-style anti-immigrant legislation, and background info on the Utah Compact.

Alaska
Fox
lady_fox

Brief link, last Monday, an Alaskan legislator introduced a bill similar to the one in WI. He hadn't yet really spoken to the Democratic contingency, and it's not looking as though it'll gain much traction very soon. But it's still there.


East Coast and a bit roundup
never again is what you swore
kittydesade
This roundup brought to you by: the electricity that Murrow, Cronkite, Jennings, and others are generating in their grave right now. Groundbreaking shit is going down and no one is covering it. We've ranted about this before, but it bears repeating.

This is not a complete list of the politics going on, but it is a place to start. Collective bargaining is the topic at hand; we are also reporting on the People’s Democratic Republic of Free Michigan. Extra bits go at the end. As usual, please feel free to reblog, repost, etc. Letting us know that you’re linking and dropping us a comment as to where would be nice but is not required. Previously, Wisconsin affairs were here as usual or here on DW, previous other-state entries are here on LJ or here on DW.

This roundup was compiled by the Wires and Lights Press Office, and edited by myself. Please, drop us a note and let us know you’re reading, let us know it’s helping. Definitely drop us a note and let us know if there's something we've missed, preferably with a link or a source of some kind. And if there's someone here who can help me cover the East Coast, please let me know. I've got one person taking two states, but I'm filling in the rest by my little bitty lonesome and it's getting awfully heavy. Also, when I'm having to slog through eight states a day, shit gets missed. That's about two hours of work at the very least that, unfortunately, I don't have to give it the proper attention. Help?

General/National
* Conservatives trading long term stability for short term gains An analysis of what we've all been thinking, people are steadily turning away from the union-busting politicians as viable political candidates for the future. Source: Progressive States Network
* Defend Worker's Rights Aggressively written piece, but it explains why there is a need for a movement against the anti-union legislation, and what is being done. Decent overview, if blatantly partisan. Source: SocialistAlternative.org



Florida
* Florida approves House panel approves annual budget bill The Florida House panel has approved the annual budget bill. The House Appropriations Committee voted along party lines to approve the Republican-controlled chamber's $66.5 billion budget proposal as well as a pension bill that would require employees to pay 3 percent of their salaries into the Florida Retirement System, now fully supported by taxpayers. Democrats opposed both measures, criticizing steep spending cuts in health care, education, transportation and other public services and arguing that Republicans were balancing the budget on the backs of public employees. Source: BusinessWeek
* Florida Govt Slashes Budget for Floridians with Disabilities Rather than waiting on legislative approval for his most recent budget cut push, Florida Gov. Rick Scott has issued an executive order slashing the state budget for social workers and group homes for the disabled. These cuts would affect between 30,000 and 35,000 Floridians with severe developmental disabilities. They go into effect Friday and will remain in place at least through June 30, the end of Florida’s fiscal year.
Source: The American Independent
* Political pressure bearing down on Florida Unions The Florida unions are facing political pressure from the Republican led Legislature. The Legislature is attempting to curb their ability to collect dues through automatic paycheck deductions, forcing the unions to get written permission from each member before making political contributions and calling for unions that fall below a certain level of membership to be stripped of collective bargaining rights. Source: CNBC


Indiana
* Governor profile doesn't answer the hard questions Blog: Someone asks some good questions everyone should probably be looking at the answers to. Source: South Milwaukee Now
* This author restates most of what we know is going on, but in between paragraphs are interesting information tidbits possibly not previously stated up front about threats made by specific corporations. Source: Politic 365
* Along the lines of follow the money, interesting legal clusterfuck involving Indiana Family and Social Services, Mitch Daniels, and IBM. Source: Bloomberg BusinessWeek


Michigan
* Punitive legislation against illegal teacher strikes being considered Presumably this would be additional punishment to breaking the law, however reasonable or unreasonable that law might be. The article also discusses job losses and the wealth gap. Source: WMUK, Western Michigan University Public Radio
* Michigan Educators Association prepares counter-action Local MEAs have begun meeting to discuss possible action, from protests to (illegal) strikes. Members will be asked to discuss and vote on potential action. Source: ABC Local
* Collective bargaining still a hot topic A brief overview of what's been going on in the Midwest (Ohio, Michigan, Wisconsin). Very brief, mostly here to represent that occasionally even the national news will sit up and pay attention. Source: PBS News CBS News also has finally sat up and taken notice.
* Michigan GOP introduces a bill to ban offshore turbine power. Text of the bill is linked in the post. Source: Eclectablog
* Source:


New Jersey
* Public debating benefits taxpayers An opinion piece explaining why public and open debate benefits everyone. Source: Asbury Park Press, author: ??
* Collective bargaining a waste of time An opinion piece taking the opposite view, that collective bargaining benefits no one. Source: My Central Jersey


New York
* Gregory Floyd, President of the Teamsters Local 237, speaks out and considers run for Mayor of New York. Source: Huffington Post


Ohio
*
Turning Technologies, CEO, resign from regional Chamber of Commerce Source: Business Journal Daily
* Ohio passes anti-union bill covered by two sources, pretty much what it says on the tin. Source: The Daily Mail (UK) and Reuters
* Jimmy Hoffa slams passage of SB 5 Yes, a James Hoffa is still General President of the Teamsters union. Source: PR Newswire
* Ballot war follows anti-union law Overview of what the next effort to overturn the Ohio law will be, and the money expected to be tossed around. Source: Newsmax
* Ohio union law and its potential effects on latinos Something I don't think we've previously discussed, how this law could affect the increasing latino population. Source: Hispanic Ohio.com

Pennsylvania
* Union leader predicts challenge Pittsburgh and Pennsylvania prepares to be next in line for union-busting. Source: Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
* Pennsylvania miners rally in support of public employees Gannet reports this may be the opening salvo in the We Are One rallies. Source: USA Today

Tennessee
* Bill to prohibit maintenance of union dues passes Senate Bill 1031 amends the state’s Right to Work law to prohibit maintenance of membership clauses in collective bargaining agreements. Source The Tennessean
* Letter: No union bosses here A rather pithy letter to the editor from a TEA member describing his view of his fellow union members and refuting the idea of "bullying union bosses" Source: DNJ.com
* House or Senate version of bill would benefit Tennessee An opinion piece describing how this person believes the bills would benefit Tennessee (note: these bills specifically refer to education only, so it's a little different than the usual flat-out collective bargaining is out bills). Source The Tennessean
* Middle Class is under attack Yet another opinion piece explaining the ramifications of the legislation going on and how it affects the American middle class. Source: The Commercial Appeal

Open thread
wwilliam47
We've grown a bit since the last one of these.

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