Archive for the ‘Labor’ Category

Va. approaches decision on privatizing sex offender program

Posted on: June 25th, 2012 by Siddhartha Mahanta 4 Comments

The Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation in Burkeville, Virginia. Photo provided to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission by VCBR.

The nation’s second-largest private prison company says it expects Virginia to make a decision by next month on its bid to expand and operate the state’s detention facility for sexually violent predators who have completed their prison terms.

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Feds indict oil spill contractors over undocumented workers

Posted on: May 24th, 2012 by Todd Heywood 4 Comments

Photo: Unidentified workers from Hallmark Industrial Services take a lunch break from oil spill clean up work in August of 2010.

LANSING — The federal government has indicted an owner and a manager of a Texas-based company for allegedly conspiring to violate immigration laws. (more…)

Workers see human cost of retirement age hikes

Posted on: March 20th, 2012 by Alexander Zaitchik 3 Comments

In state legislatures across the country, slashing the benefits and pension plans of public sector workers has come into bipartisan fashion. Even in the deep-blue states of California and New York, governors are leading pushes to cut the pensions and benefits packages won by public workers over the decades. The cuts take a variety of forms, including raising the level of employee contributions, lowering payouts, and replacing guaranteed plans with 401(k) accounts. (more…)

Cornyn, Hutchison vote for contraceptive exemption bill

Posted on: March 1st, 2012 by Mary Tuma 3 Comments

While a Republican Senate bill seeking to overturn the Obama administration’s contraception health care policy rule was eventually tabled Thursday morning, a fight over religious freedom and women’s health proceeded, with two Texas Senators defending the measure.

Texas Republican Senators and bill co-sponsors, John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison, voted in favor of the Blunt Amendment, authored by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), which sought to block the federal administration’s mandate requiring health insurers to cover birth control for religiously affiliated institutions–a requirement seen by some Republicans and religious groups as an infringement on religious beliefs.

Defeated in a 51-48 vote, the health care amendment saw opposition from the majority of Democrats who argued the bill is written too broadly, as it allows employers to refuse insurance coverage for any service they deem “morally objectionable,”– opening the door to a litany of possible morality-based objections to preventative care.

Cornyn said critics of the measure turned the argument “into a purely partisan issue” and were trying to “make political hay by scaring people, by misleading people, that this is somehow about denying women access to contraception – when that is not the issue here,” according to media reports.

After the amendment floundered, Cornyn said the fight over the contraception mandate is not over.

“This is not a partisan issue; it is not a matter of politics; it is about upholding one of the bedrock principles upon which our great country was established,” Cornyn said. “This mandate violates a fundamental right that for centuries has made America a beacon of freedom in the world’s eye. It is an affront to the very fabric of our country, and I will keep fighting until it is fully revoked.”

Texas Democratic Party spokesperson Rebecca Acuña, voiced her disapproval of the Senators’ vote, saying it is indicative of the “assault” on women’s reproductive health care by Texas Republicans and pointing to the mandatory pre-abortion sonogram law, the soon to be cut Women’s Health Program and a national lawsuit Texas recently joined with other states to stop the federal contraceptive mandate.

“This constant attack on women’s health is reprehensible,” said Acuña in a statement released earlier today. “Senators Cornyn and Hutchison voted to put government and employers directly between a woman and her doctor. This is yet another attempt by Republicans to turn the clock back on the rights of women.”

“The assault on women’s health care has got to stop,” added Acuña. “In Texas the Republican attack on women’s rights is even worse.”

Colorado Democrats rail against Romney on eve of caucuses

Posted on: February 7th, 2012 by The American Independent No Comments

While Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum campaigned in Colorado Monday, in advance of Tuesday’s caucuses, National Democratic Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., participated in conference calls with Colorado reporters, as she had on Friday. On both calls, she said that Romney “… has shown time and again on the campaign trail, he has no core values, he’ll say anything to get elected.” Signaling they think Romney will take the nomination, the Democrats fiercely criticized the former Massachusetts’ governor’s policy proposals while praising President Obama’s.  (more…)

Michigan GOP candidates for U.S. Senate agree on most issues in debate

Posted on: January 30th, 2012 by Todd Heywood No Comments

The seven Republican candidates vying for a Michigan U.S. Senate seat, currently occupied by Democratic Sen. Debbie Stabenow, met in a mostly cordial forum Saturday at the University of Michigan – Dearborn campus.

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In Colorado, Obama links clean energy to national security

Posted on: January 27th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

President Barack Obama Thursday drew repeated applause at a private event at Aurora’s Buckley Air Force Base when he called on the country to work toward energy independence, which he called a matter of national security. (more…)

Obama’s push for ‘clean energy’ elicits partisan reaction from Colorado lawmakers

Posted on: January 25th, 2012 by The American Independent 1 Comment

President Obama’s call to increase domestic energy production Tuesday received a rosy reception from Colorado’s lefty lawmakers but was all but ignored by its conservative congressional delegation still smarting from the commander-in-chief’s recent blocking of the Keystone XL oil pipeline. (more…)