Today’s News & Commentary—February 10, 2016
President Obama has released his budget, and House Republicans have already rejected it. As Reuters notes, the $4.1 trillion spending plan includes some measures that could (at least in theory) garner bipartisan support: over $11 billion for the Departments of Defense and State, for example, as well as increased funds for cancer research and opioid addiction programs. Nonetheless, other proposals, like a $10.25-per-barrel crude oil tax “were clear non-starters.” The budget also includes, among other measures, $5.5 billion to help young people obtain jobs and $2 billion for an apprenticeship training fund. Politico has further coverage of the budget here and here.
The Hawaii House of Representatives has introduced a bill that would require the state to contribute funds to a public employee collective bargaining fund. The legislation is a response to Friedrichs: its purpose “is to ensure that public employees are able to effectively collectively bargain with the public employer by establishing a mechanism that will provide the exclusive bargaining representative with the resources necessary to adequately represent public employees.”
At the Washington Post, Lydia DePillis and Joby Warrick report on a potential crisis: the United Mine Workers of America’s pension plan is on the verge of failure. In response to calls for federal intervention, Democrats and Republicans alike supported a budget deal that would protect the pension funds — until Mitch McConnell blocked it. McConnell has simultaneously attacked Obama’s Clean Power Plan for the loss of coal-mining jobs, leading union officials and worker advocacy groups to accuse him “of showing indifference to miners even as he campaigns on behalf of coal interests.”
A Cambridge-based networking site aims to target workers left out of LinkedIn. According to the Boston Globe, the site — Jobcase.com — is meant to serve as an alternative for workers without without four-year college degrees. In addition to job listings, Jobcase also provides forums where people ask questions and share advice. The site currently has 48 million members, and around 1 million new people visit it each month.