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    PNS Daily News - May 22, 20150 

    Featured on our Friday rundown: new charges in Baltimore against a half dozen police officers in the Freddy Gray case; high school graduation rates are up in Ohio, but disparities persist; a professor says he was punished for raising questions about GMO crops; and tips on safety and avoiding road rage as the summer travel season kicks into gear.

Livable Wages/Working Families

PHOTO: A 10-year review of the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard shows it created 100 new jobs a year, and added $17 million to the annual gross state product. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith

HELENA, Mont. - Renewable energy has evolved into a multimillion-dollar industry in Montana. A new report takes a look at the economic landscape during the 10 years of the state's Renewable Portfolio Standard and finds renewable energy has added $17 million to the annual gross state product. Jeff ...Read More

PHOTO: Workers from the Department of Social and Health Services show the placards they'll sport for Wednesday's 15-minute unity break, a coordinated action in more than 80 locations to show solidarity among state workers. Photo courtesy Washington Federation of State Employees.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - State workers in more than 80 locations across Washington are planning what might be seen as a mini-strike today at noon. They're calling the 15-minute walkout a "Unity Break," saying the goal is to get state lawmakers' attention and reinforce the importance of the work done by sta ...Read More

PHOTO: A new study finds more workers can't afford to live in Denver, and says Colorado needs less growth in low-paying jobs and more that pay enough for workers to make ends meet and contribute to the local economy. Photo credit: Anne Hornyak/Wikimedia Commons.

DENVER - A restaurant dishwasher would have to clock 61 hours a week to afford to live in the Mile High City. Things aren't much better for housekeepers, who'd need to put in 59 hours - or janitors, who'd need to work 51 hours a week, according to a new Colorado Fiscal Institute study of wages versu ...Read More

PHOTO: Leisurely retirement isn't in the cards for the 462,000 Washingtonians ages 45 to 64 who have saved less than $25,000 for retirement. A new state plan to allow small business employees to save through at-work payroll deductions should help. Photo credit: Wax115/Morguefile.

OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington has taken a step toward addressing the retirement savings crisis in the state. Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill into law on Monday to create an online marketplace where small business owners can choose from low-cost retirement plans offered by financial service companies. ...Read More

PHOTO: The Idaho Legislature meets in a special session today to consider a bill that would bring Idaho into compliance on child-support enforcement standards. Photo credit: Deborah C. Smith

BOISE, Idaho - A North Idaho mom says she has her fingers crossed today, as the Idaho Legislature meets in a special session to consider a bill that would bring Idaho into compliance on child-support enforcement standards. It's legislation that affects nearly one in four Idaho kids, according to ...Read More

PHOTO: From routine checkups to lab tests and prescription drugs, a new report finds that one in four adults with health insurance can't afford to use it due to the fees associated with the plans. Photo credit: iamnotpablo/

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Today, more Missourians than ever have health insurance as a result of the Affordable Care Act. But a new report finds many are still passing up routine medical care because they say they can't afford to use their plans. Ron Pollack is executive director of Families US ...Read More

PHOTO: A state Senate plan to shift to privatized public employee pensions would be a bad deal for retirees and would ultimately would leave Pennsylvania taxpayers on the hook, analysts say. Picture courtesy of the state of Pennsylvania.

HARRISBURG, Pa. - Privatized pensions - such as those pressed by state Senate leaders - actually have higher fees and lower returns, analysts say. The Republican lawmakers say they won't approve a state budget until Gov. Tom Wolf accepts their plan for dealing with Pennsylvania's $50 billion pensio ...Read More

PHOTO: Bad investment advice can break the bank for Michiganders saving for retirement, which is why some consumer groups want to close a loophole in the regulations for investment advisers. Photo credit: MConnors/Morguefile.

LANSING, Mich. - Saving money for retirement is difficult, which is why consumer advocates want to make sure Michiganders don't lose any of their hard-earned savings due to bad advice. Today, more workers invest in 401K plans and IRAs, as opposed to traditional pension plans for retirement savings. ...Read More

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Livable Wages/Working Families by State