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.
10/29/2014 North Dakota Supreme Court Upholds Abortion Restrictions - The North Dakota Supreme Court yesterday upheld a set of misguided restrictions on medication abortion, allowing what is effectively a ban on early, non-surgical abortions in the state to go into effect immediately.
The decision overturned a lower court order finding the law, known as HB 1297, unconstitutional and permanently blocking its enforcement. . . .
10/29/2014 Georgia Court Refuses to Recognize 40K Voter Registrations From Primarily People of Color and Young People - A state court judge on Tuesday refused to order the Georgia Secretary of State to add some 40,000 voters to the voter rolls, potentially disenfranchising thousands of African Americans and other people of color in the state.
Judge Christopher Brasher of the Fulton County Superior Court denied a petition from the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (LCCR), the New Georgia Project and the Georgia branch of the NAACP asking the court to force Secretary of State Brian Kemp (R) to process an estimated 40,000 "missing" voter registrations.
More than 100,000 voters were registered by the three groups, but about a third of those registered never made the rolls. . . .