Montgomery County, Maryland will now require most companies conducting business with the county to pay their workers a living wage, more than twice the rate set by the federal minimum wage, now $5.15/hour. The legislation faced steep opposition from business leaders who fear that the living wage will increase costs and force businesses to cut jobs. Supporters, including anti-poverty activists, countered that a living wage would help eradicate poverty for those stuck in low-paying jobs. After three years of wrangling over living wage legislation, the Montgomery County Council finally passed a proposal that will benefit the poor and ultimately the community.
“When workers are paid a living wage, the whole community benefits,” said council member Phillip Andrews of Rockville, Maryland. “Workers can support their families; organizations become more productive because they have less turnover.” Currently, 70 cities and counties nationwide have adopted “living wage” legislation. Officials from Alexandria, Virginia claim that the quality of work has improved since implementing a living wage there. Baltimore, Maryland, the first city to enact a living wage, also reported benefits from the legislation without increased burden on local taxpayers.
6/30/2015 Supreme Court Ruling Prevents Gerrymandering in Arizona - In a 5-4 decision delivered by Justice Ginsburg this morning, the Supreme Court upheld Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission, allowing the use of independent state commissions that draw federal congressional districts, taking that power away from the state legislature.
This gives states an opportunity to deal with partisan gerrymandering by giving an independent commission power to draw federal congressional districts.
In 2000, Arizona voters amended their constitution, shifting the responsibility of drawing congressional districts, previously held by the state legislature, to a panel called the Arizona Independent Redistricting Commission. . . .
6/29/2015 The Supreme Court Just Saved Texas Abortion Clinics - The Supreme Court ruled 5 to 4 today to put a temporary hold on a Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that would have closed all but 9 of the state's abortion clinics in Texas.
The order from the Supreme Court comes in response to an emergency request filed by women's health care providers on the behalf of Texas women earlier this month asking the Court to stay House Bill 2, which would have taken effect as law on Wednesday. . . .