Yesterday, the Chicago regional director of the NLRB ruled that football players at Northwestern are employees of the university, and are therefore entitled to unionize.  Niko’s excellent post yesterday explained this new development.  We previously covered the football player’s unionization drive, and some of the potential implications of NCAA unions.  The Wall Street Journal and New York Times also covered the story.

In other sports news, the MLB and the players union are close to an agreement imposing harsher penalties on players who use performance-enhancing drugs.  The New York Times reports that the two sides will re-open the existing labor contract to add the new punishments, rather than waiting for a new collective bargaining agreement to address the issue.

In immigration news, House Democrats are trying to force a vote on the immigration reform bill according to the Los Angeles Times.  House Democrats are using a discharge petition, which requires 218 signatures to bring a bill to the House floor over the objections of House Speaker John Boehner.

On Wednesday, Connecticut’s legislature voted to raise their state minimum wage to $10.10, the highest in the country, according to the Washington Post.  The rate increase will be phased in through 2017.  $10.10 is the same rate that President Obama is advocating for the federal minimum wage.  Maryland is also considering raising their minimum wage to $10.10, the Washington Post reports.  This week the Maryland legislature is holding hearings on the remaining sticking point: the minimum wage for caregivers for developmentally disabled residents.

The union representing TSA officers reiterated its called for officers to be armed, according to the Los Angeles Times.  The American Federation of Government Employees first suggested arming TSA officers after a deadly shooting at the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) in November.  This past Wednesday, the TSA released its report on the November incident along with 14 suggestions for improve airport checkpoints. The report did not include any recommendation that officers be armed.  TSA Administrator John Pistole said “[t]he vast, vast majority” of TSA officers don’t believe that carrying firearms is a “good idea.”