Franklin County Democrats

The official site of the Democratic Party of Franklin County, Missouri

Browsing Posts published in April, 2015

This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
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Missouri NEA Legislative Update   Week 16, No. 3, April 29, 2015
By Otto Fajen  MNEA Legislative Director
STUDENT TRANSFER BILL IN CONFERENCE
SCHOOL RETIREMENT OMNIBUS BILL
SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES TABOR PROPOSAL
PENSION FORFEITURE
PARENTAL CONTROL OF EDUCATION
ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL BOARD
ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES
HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
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This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
[A list of the key topics. Click below summary on  “continue reading…“  to read full descriptions.]
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Missouri NEA Legislative Update   Week 16, No. 2, April 28, 2015
By Otto Fajen  MNEA Legislative Director
STUDENT TRANSFER BILL IN CONFERENCE
ACCREDITATION AND LOCAL CONTROL OF ASSESSMENT
WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION AND WHISTLE-BLOWER LAW
HARRIS-STOWE STATE UNIVERSITY
ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL BOARD
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATIONS
ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES
PENSION FORFEITURE
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION
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This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
[A list of the key topics. Click below summary on  “continue reading…“  to read full descriptions.]
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Missouri NEA Legislative Update   Week 16, No. 1, April 27, 2015
By Otto Fajen  MNEA Legislative Director
STUDENT TRANSFER BILL IN CONFERENCE
LEARNING STANDARDS WORK GROUPS
VIRTUAL COURSE ACCESS
HARRIS-STOWE STATE UNIVERSITY
TEEN SUICIDE PREVENTION
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATIONS
ANTI-BULLYING POLICIES
SPECIAL EDUCATION DUE PROCESS
PENSION FORFEITURE
PARENTAL CONTROL OF EDUCATION
CONSTITUTION PROJECT
HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION
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This week’s audio netcast:   Democratic analyst John Halpin says Hillary Clinton will not campaign as a raging populist but also is Image result for Image, radionot going to propose rolling back Dodd-Frank. Union lawyer and activist Thomas Geoghegan says the Democratic Party is living in a fantasy world if it doesn’t recognize that its future depends on reviving the labor movement. And Bill Press interviews Congresswoman Barbara Lee on drone attacks.

The Republican War on Wages has been hugely successful when viewed from their side of the battlefield.  Wages have beenElephantbackside stagnant since the 70′s as the GOP has pursued the interests of the richest Americans.  Free Trade, Deregulation, Shifting Taxes from the rich to everyone else, blocking minimum wage hikes, union -busting, and shredding the safety net have all combined to make an American worker’s life much more precarious.  Ah, the sweet scent of freedom?

Well, area Republicans Paul Curtman, Kirk Matthews, and Justin Alferman have signed up for the safety net shredding part of the battle and voted to reduce unemployment benefits to 13 weeks.   Remember, it was former State Senator Republican Brian Nieves that led the charge to reduce benefits from the decades long standard of 26 weeks down to 20 just a few short years ago.

The real reason is to force workers to take any job that comes along, which will have the effect of depressing wages as workers accept any job to avoid exhausting benefits.   The stated reason is insolvency of the funds at the state level.

Backers say the bill is needed to bolster the state’s unemployment fund, that has become insolvent during recent downturns in the economy.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce backed the bill through its path to the governor’s desk.

“Following the last recession, Missouri’s unemployment insurance system became insolvent and had to borrow money from the federal government to cover claims, and employers paid millions in interest alone on the borrowed funds,” Chamber president Dan Mehan.”

While this argument contains a grain of truth it  conveniently ignores the cut in the franchise and income tax in conjunction with other business friendly legislation businesses have received.  There has been no such break for Missouri workers.  This is a continuation of the Republican view that workers are just factors of production.  They no longer see people as members of a community.  They ignore the fact that all people face challenges during their working life.  Many without the benefit of big-pocketed, cushy-job providing donors waiting to catch them.

“Unemployment insurance is not welfare. It’s insurance. It provides help to people who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own to cover the gap until they can find a job,” said Solon. “It helps put gas in their car, food on the table, and it helps pay the rent or their mortgage so they don’t lose their home.”

The state Senate amended the bill to include severance and termination pay in the definition of wages. The result would be that a person would not start receiving unemployment benefits until after severance or termination pay runs out.

House Democrat leader Jake Hummel (D-St. Louis) argued that would hurt a person’s ability to change professions after being laid off.

Area Republicans may have won this skirmish but have definitely showed their backside  as they attempt to make life harder for Missouri workers but it looks like Democratic Governor Jay Nixon may end this battle in favor of working folks by applying using the veto pen to defeat this latest GOP volley in War on Wages.

Elizabeth Warren appeared on the Rachel Maddow show to fire back at President Obama and his statement that Elizabeth is broken promiseswrong about Trade Promotion Authority or “Fast Track.’

Elizabeth also pointed out that “Fast Track”, which limits debate, bars amendments, and takes away our elected representatives  opportunity to raise issues specific to their district and constituents.  These limitations would apply not only to the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and Trans Atlantic trade agreements currently being negotiated but all agreements between now and 2021.

Her main objection is to these trade agreements is the fact that they have been negotiated largely in secret with significant input by corporations and lobbyists.  She concludes that a rigged process likely results in an rigged outcome.

Her suspicions are well-founded.  Since the launch of the mega-trade deals with NAFTA the promises have been the same – more jobs and a better economy.  The results have been the same – lost jobs, massive trade deficits. and hollowed out factories and towns all over America.

Let’s look at these results…

NAFTA: NAFTA at 20 – One million jobs lost, 580% increase in trade deficit.

The report lists and details many, many more such outcomes.

“NAFTA’s actual outcomes prove how damaging this type of agreement is for most people, that it should be renegotiated and why we cannot have any more such deals that include job-offshoring incentives, requirements we import food that doesn’t meet our safety standards or new rights for firms to get taxpayer compensation before foreign tribunals over laws they don’t like,” said Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch.

PNTR with China: Trade Deficit with China costing U.S. Jobs

The U.S. trade deficit with China has caused the loss of 3.2 million jobs, including 122,600 in Pennsylvania, since China joined the World Trade Organization in 2001, according to a report from the Economic Policy Institute. The think tank said 2.4 million, or 75 percent, of the jobs were in manufacturing.

Nearly 40 percent of the jobs lost were in the computer and electronic parts industry, a slice of the economy in which many thought the U.S. had a competitive advantage. The sector accounted for more than half of the $240 billion increase in the U.S.-China trade gap over the period, the report said.

Other hard-hit sectors included apparel, textile mills and fabricated metals, the report stated.

Robert Scott, an Economic Policy Institute economist who co-wrote the report, said the job loss came despite assurances that increased trade with China would boost the U.S. economy. Instead, the U.S. trade deficit in goods with China widened from $84 billion in 2001 to $324 billion last year, according to the report.

How about the Korean Free Trade Agreement (KORUS) that President Obama promised would be a job creator and a boost to the American economy?

U.S. – Korean Trade Deal Resulted In Growing Trade Deficits and Nearly 60,000 Lost Jobs...

This Saturday is the second anniversary of the U.S.-Korea Free Trade Agreement (KORUS), which took effect on March 15, 2012. President Obama said at the time that KORUS would increase US goods exports by $10 to $11 billion, supporting 70,000 American jobs from increased exports alone. Things are not turning out as predicted.

In first two years after KORUS took effect, U.S. domestic exports to Korea fell(decreased) by $3.1 billion, a decline of 7.5%, as shown in the figure below. Imports from Korea increased $5.6 billion, an increase of 9.8%. Although rising exports could, in theory, support more U.S. jobs, the decline in US exports to Korea has actually cost American jobs in the past two years. Worse yet, the rapid growth of Korean imports has eliminated even more U.S. jobs. Overall, the U.S. trade deficit with Korea has increased $8.7 billion, or 59.6%, costing nearly 60,000 U.S. jobs. Most of the nearly 60,000 jobs lost were in manufacturing.

Trade deals do more than cut tariffs, they promote foreign direct investment (FDI) and a surge in outsourcing by U.S. and foreign multinational companies (MNCs). FDI leads to growing trade deficits and job losses. U.S. multinationals were responsible for nearly one quarter (26.9 percent) of the U.S. trade deficit in 2011. Foreign multinationals operating in the United States (companies like Kia and Hyundai) were responsible for nearly half (44.2 percent) of the U.S. goods trade deficit in that same year.

Back in February, I posted a letter from Congressman  Blaine Luetkemeyer explaining his position on the TPP.  I invite you to read this letter and contact him regarding Fast Track and the TPP.  Thanks for standing up for American workers.

WASHINGTON, MO OFFICE
516 Jefferson St.
Washington, MO 63090
Phone: (636) 239-2276
Fax: (636) 239-0478

 

Andy Borowitx has the scoop on Republicans being asked to not use all their hate for Hillary to early in the election cycle…Image result for Image, long lasting hate

In an urgent memo to the field of G.O.P. Presidential candidates, the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus, praised them for their relentless personal attacks on Hillary Clinton, but warned that their hatred for the former Secretary of State might be “peaking too early.”

Priebus called the candidates’ ongoing evisceration of Clinton “magnificent,” but expressed his concern that “no human beings, even an impressive group like yourselves, could possibly sustain such a high intensity of throbbing hatred for an entire year and a half.”

 “Remember, this is a marathon, not a sprint,” he wrote. “You need to leave some hate in the tank.”

In the conclusion of his memo, Priebus advised the candidates to take an occasional day off from hating Clinton so that they could “return to despising her with renewed freshness and vigor.”

Responding to the R.N.C. directive, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said that he understood Priebus’s concerns, but assured him that, at the end of the day, they were groundless. “Anyone who doesn’t think I’m capable of spewing an infinite stream of vitriol and bile doesn’t know what I’m made of,” he said, pointing with pride to his long record of hating President Obama.

Legislative Update   by Otto Fajen   MNEA Legislative Director
Number 15 April 23, 2015
This message is coming to you from the Missouri NEA Legislative Update listserv (mo-nea-legis-update@list.nea.org).
[A list of the key topics. Click below summary on  “continue reading…“  to read full descriptions.]
STUDENT TRANSFER BILL IN CONFERENCE
EDUCATION BUDGET PASSED BY LEGISLATURE
HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE CREATES OMNIBUS BILL
SCHOOL RETIREMENT
ACCREDITATION AND LOCAL CONTROL OF ASSESSMENT
SENATE COMMITTEE APPROVES TABOR PROPOSAL
CIVICS TESTING BILL DEFEATED IN SENATE COMMITTEE
ST. JOSEPH SCHOOL BOARD
ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
REMEDIATION AND DROPOUT
WORKPLACE DISCRIMINATION AND WHISTLE-BLOWER LAW
CHILD ABUSE INVESTIGATIONS
TEEN SUICIDE PREVENTION
PENSION FORFEITURE
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE
HOUSE SELECT COMMITTEE ON EDUCATION
HOUSE ELEMENTARY AND SECONDARY EDUCATION COMMITTEE
HOUSE HIGHER EDUCATION
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