skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Friday, December 1, 2023

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

On World AIDS Day, New Mexico activists say more money is needed for prevention; ND farmers still navigate corporate land-ownership policy maze; Unpaid caregivers in ME receive limited financial grants.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Secretary of State Antony Blinken urges Israel to protect civilians amid Gaza truce talks, New York Rep. George Santos defends himself as his expected expulsion looms and CDC director warns about respiratory illness as flu season begins.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Congress has iced the Farm Bill, but farmer advocates argue some portions are urgent, the Hoosier State is reaping big rewards from wind and solar, and opponents react to a road through Alaska's Brooks Range, long a dream destination for hunters and anglers.

IA Lawmakers Consider Changing Child Labor Laws

play audio
Play

Wednesday, February 15, 2023   

Iowa lawmakers are considering a bill to allow teenagers to work in jobs which have historically excluded minors for safety reasons.

Supporters argued the measure would help alleviate staffing shortages, but critics said it would put Iowa teens in danger.

Senate File 167 would allow employers to hire children as young as 14, if they are enrolled in work-based learning programs at school.

Charlie Wishman, president of the Iowa Federation of Labor, said the bill would allow young people to work jobs in places which could put them at risk.

"Meat coolers, loading and unloading equipment onto and off of vehicles, railroad cars, conveyors, hand tools, industrial laundromats," Wishman outlined.

He contended dangerous jobs -- such as those in meatpacking or mining with a history of deadly accidents -- are still restricted, but the bill would allow the state to grant waivers for jobs in those sectors if employers can make the case they need more workers.

The Iowa Restaurant Association supports the measure, saying it would help them replace workers lost during the pandemic. A Senate committee will consider the bill Thursday morning.

Wishman added there are plenty of opportunities for minors to work which do not put them at high risk of injury, such as bagging groceries.

Connie Ryan, spokesperson for the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa, described the bill as "like taking a step back in time," when minors were unprotected from dangerous working conditions. She added it would hit especially hard in marginalized communities.

"Communities who experience poverty, and they may forgo their children's safety and take any number of these jobs," Ryan asserted.

Critics also pointed out there is no restitution provision in the bill should a minor be seriously injured on the job. Despite opposition from labor groups across the country, the efforts are part of a national trend to hire younger workers, prompted in part by low unemployment rates, making employees hard to find.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
According to the National Family Farm Coalition, the average U.S. farmland value is now $3,800 per
acre, the highest since the 1970s. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

North Dakota's farming landscape is seeing policy shifts dealing with corporate ownership of agricultural interests. Now, there's fresh debate at the …


Social Issues

play sound

Advocates for unpaid family caregivers in Maine say they'll need continued support beyond the recently passed paid family and medical leave program…

Social Issues

play sound

The Students for Justice in Palestine chapters at the University of Florida and the University of South Florida are filing lawsuits against the deacti…


An estimated 40% of recent college graduates in the U.S. are underemployed, according to Statista. (Adobe Stock)

play sound

A new report from WGU Labs, a nonprofit affiliate of Western Governors University based in Millcreek, Utah, is shedding light on the importance of …

Social Issues

play sound

Many older residents of Washington state are facing strains on their budgets -- and the government programs that could assist them are underused…

The Thrive Indianapolis Annual Report 2022 says Indianapolis has been recognized as a Tree City USA for 35 consecutive years. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

Bloomington and Indianapolis are getting some international recognition for the work they're doing to help the environment. The two have been named …

Health and Wellness

play sound

New Mexico activists are tapping today's World AIDS Day, Dec. 1, to announce they'll ask the State Legislature to provide more money for treatment …

play sound

Bipartisan legislation that proposes the installation of solar panels in schools across Pennsylvania awaits a vote in the state Senate. The Solar …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021