Today's News & Commentary — April 8
Yesterday, as expected, the Senate passed a bill that would restore unemployment benefits to 2.8 million “long-term unemployed” workers, according to the Washington Post. The House is expected to vote down the bill, according to the New York Times.
On April 1st, New York City’s paid sick leave law began to take effect, as the New York Times reports. Despite controversy when the law was passed, the implementation this month has gone smoothly—so smoothly that many haven’t noticed, according the Times. Under the law, which we’ve covered before, companies with five or more employees must provide at least five paid sick days for employees to care for themselves or their relatives.
On Monday evening, the Maryland legislature voted to raise the state minimum wage, according to the Washington Post. With the minimum wage increase, Maryland became the second state (after Connecticut) to increase the minimum wage to President Obama’s proposed $10.10. Lawmakers had been negotiating over the minimum wage increase for the past several weeks, as we previously covered. The General Assembly celebrated the end of the legislative session with “traditional bursts of confetti” at midnight, according to the Post.
The NCAA President Mark Emmert announced strong opposition collegiate athlete unions on Monday, according to the Wall Street Journal. In his annual address at the Final Four, he argued that unions are a “grossly inappropriate solution” that would “blow up everything about the collegiate model of athletics.” At the same time, the NCAA is considering major reforms in response to criticism, as we reported on yesterday.
The New York Times reports that Metropolitan Opera and the sixteen unions representing its performers and workers are preparing for a lockout. We previously covered the Met’s ongoing, contentious, labor negotiations. The current contract expires in July.
In immigration news, the New York Times reports that two-thirds of deportations involve people who had no criminal record or only minor infractions such as traffic violations. The Los Angeles Times reports that some republican leaders might be softening their stance on immigration reform: Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush said in a speech that Republicans need to “get beyond the harsh rhetoric” on immigration reform.