News & Commentary

December 31, 2014

The Los Angeles Times reports on the continued tension between New York City Mayor de Blasio, and the police union. The Mayor and union leadership met on Tuesday to try to build a better working relationship. Meanwhile, the New York Times argues that the police union has been more aggressive in its opposition to Mayor de Blasio than toward past mayors.

In immigration news, the Los Angeles Times reports on the details of President Obama’s immigration policies, which are expected to become effective in 2015. As the Times explains, the new policies could affect as many as 5 million of the estimated 11.2 million undocumented immigrants in the country. The new policies will primarily affect undocumented immigrants whose children are citizens are permanent legal residents.

In education news, New York Governor Cuomo vetoed a bill that would have provided a two-year grace period to teachers and principals whose students receive low scores on state tests, allowing the teachers and principals to receive a higher score if the students improved, according to the New York Times. The move came as a surprise to teachers unions and other advocates, who lobbied for the bill.

In international news, the Wall Street Journal reports that Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet moved to give labor unions more bargaining power. President Bachelet proposed bill would, among other changes, prevent companies from hiring replacements for striking workers.  According to Bloomberg, this bill combined with a new tax increase to fund free education, is part of a major push to address Chile’s income inequality.

Closer to home, the Wall Street Journal conducted an interview with David Weil, head of the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, which enforces the Fair Labor Standards Act, as well as other employment laws. In the interview, Assistant Secretary Weil emphasized that many companies violate “standard labor laws” in ways that are “jaw-dropping.”

The Washington Post reports on the proposed legislation that would renew a contentious trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership. Some unions and other progressive advocacy groups strongly oppose the deal. But Lydia DePillis for the Post argues that it could help the middle class.

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