Working & The Economy

COMMENTARY

In Year Two, no more Mr. Nice Biden, please

BY: - January 23, 2022

About halfway through his marathon news conference last week, President Joe Biden finally asked the only question in Washington that’s worth asking. With congressional Republicans standing in the way of the Democrats’ every initiative, including voting rights (which should be as bipartisan as it gets), what do they actually support? “What are Republicans for? What […]

Expansion in Gulf of Mexico drilling splits U.S. House panel along party lines

BY: - January 20, 2022

As the Biden administration’s move to scrap new oil and gas leases remains in unsettled legal territory, Democrats and Republicans on a U.S. House panel sharply disagreed about the merits of new energy development in the Gulf of Mexico. Democrats on the House Natural Resources Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee, including Chairman Alan Lowenthal of […]

Agriculture secretary pressed about pandemic relief funds for farmers

BY: - January 20, 2022

WASHINGTON — U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack faced questions on how his agency is doling out emergency pandemic aid and fostering collaboration with historically Black colleges during a Thursday hearing before the House Agriculture Committee. Committee Chairman David Scott, a Georgia Democrat, asked Vilsack for “critical updates on the implementation of pandemic relief programs, including […]

Federal pipeline standards backed by top energy regulator after Colonial Pipeline hack

BY: - January 19, 2022

New federal powers are needed to prevent major energy disruptions like the cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline that left the East Coast short of gas at the pumps for days, the chairman of the federal commission overseeing energy and some U.S. House Democrats said Wednesday. A House Energy and Commerce subcommittee discussed a proposal by […]

Lawmakers move to extend protections for health providers against COVID lawsuits

BY: - January 14, 2022

For all that Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s Republican leaders play up their “freedom” agenda at the expense of COVID-19 mitigation, an average Floridian might conclude the coronavirus isn’t such a big deal anymore. So why are the state House and Senate advancing legislation extending the liability shield enacted last year, to protect health […]

Following Surfside tragedy: ‘Why are we punishing homeowners who are completely innocent?’

BY: - January 13, 2022

In the wake of the deadly collapse of a South Florida condominium in Surfside in June, lawmakers in Tallahassee this week are pursuing legislation to protect builders from frivolous lawsuits. But Rick Nutter, speaking for the Florida Homeowners Association, complained the bill does not protect homeowners. The bill “will essentially make Florida the least consumer-friendly […]

FL Democrats cite housing, voting rights, fair tax policy among 2022 priorities

BY: - January 10, 2022

Protecting affordable housing, voting rights and Florida elders while fighting corporate “handouts” funded by taxpayers are among the top priorities of Florida Democrats as they head into another legislative session as the underdog minority party in both chambers. In a 2022 legislative online kick-off rally Monday, Democratic legislators pledged to support people-centered policies in the […]

House

Superspreader? Following DeSantis’ lead, FL Legislature to convene without COVID restrictions

BY: - January 5, 2022

When Florida lawmakers and thousands of state employees, lobbyists and visitors convene next week for a two-month legislative session, more than bills, budgets and gossip will be passed. COVID-19 and its newest, highly transmissible omicron variant may prove to be a key influencer in the state Capitol complex, which will be open to all with […]

DeSantis: ‘Our schools will be open’ despite surge in COVID infections

BY: - January 3, 2022

With nearly 3 million Florida public school students returning to in-person classes this week amid a record surge in COVID infections in the state, there will be no tightening of COVID protocols for students, Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday at a press conference in Fort Lauderdale. “Our schools will be open in the state of […]

Essential workers in FL hope for relief in new year

BY: - January 1, 2022

While Americans grew more divided over politics in 2021, frontline essential workers toiled on to hold the nation together. Lauded as heroes but often not treated as such, nurses, first responders, teachers, farm workers, commercial drivers, and other essential workers shouldered the load to keep goods, food, health care, and education available through both the […]

Sports-betting campaign bets to win as deadline to gather signatures approaches

BY: - December 29, 2021

The campaign to let voters decide next year whether to legalize sports betting statewide is on track, its proponents insist, notwithstanding appearances to the contrary. Florida’s Division of Elections reports the campaign to amend the Florida Constitution in 2022 has collected fewer than one-third of the 891,589 validated petition signatures it will need within the […]

marijuana plant

Federal law still treats marijuana as an illegal drug, creating headaches for states

BY: - December 28, 2021

Most states in the U.S. are in violation of a major federal drug statute. The 1971 Controlled Substances Act lists marijuana in the most dangerous category defined in the law, on par with cocaine and heroin, because of its supposed potential for abuse and lack of medical applications. But 36 states plus the District of […]