Today’s News and Commentary — March 20
The Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog reports on new hurdles in the effort to extend unemployment benefits to the long-term unemployed. The National Association of State Workforce Agencies issued a letter to the Senate Majority and Minority Leaders in response to a bipartisan deal reached in the Senate last week. The Association cited administrability concerns about implementing the legislation, particularly the ability to implement the changes on a short time frame and administering retroactive benefits to the long-term unemployed. House Speaker John Boehner called the problems “cause for serious concern.” The L.A. Times also reported on the story.
The New York Times reports that the “Port Authority of New York and New Jersey took a significant step on Wednesday toward increasing wages and benefits for workers across all its facilities, beginning with its airports.” The agency’s operations committee voted unanimously to have the Port Authority’s executive director create a plan for implementing the increases.
The Wall Street Journal reports on the trend of declining birthrates in pockets of the developing world, which could pose labor supply problems down the road. The article notes that while “such problems [are] familiar in Europe and Japan, [they] used to be unheard of in the up-and-coming economies of Southeast Asia.”
With the selection of Bruce Rauner as the Republican candidate for Governor of Illinois, the New York Times reports that unions are set to “redouble their efforts to prevent Mr. Rauner’s election in November.”
The Major League Soccer lockout of referees has ended, as the organization that provides the M.L.S. with referees and the referees’ union reached a new collective bargaining agreement, the New York Times reports. The M.L.S. has used “replacement referees and linesmen for the first two weeks of the season.”
In other sports related news, the Wall Street Journal has an interview today with Eric Winston, the newly elected president of the NFL Players Association.
In immigration news, the Wall Street Journal’s Washington Wire blog reports on ongoing debates within the Republican Party about whether to take up immigration reform this year. The tension is between the perception that taking on immigration reform could hurt Republicans in the 2014 midterm elections, but may be needed to boost Republican chances in the 2016 presidential elections.