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Saturday, June 15, 2024

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The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

Union coalition calls for CA worker climate bill of rights

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Thursday, May 9, 2024   

Dozens of union members rallied Wednesday in Sacramento, calling on lawmakers to pass a set of bills called the California Worker Climate Bill of Rights. The bills are intended to integrate worker's rights into the clean-energy transition.

The Climate Resilient Schools Act would create the first master plan to make sure our schools have clean, cool air, adequate shade and energy-efficient buildings and buses.

Jeff Freitas, president of the California Federation of Teachers, explained the importance of the bill.

"The bill also looks at everything that is needed," Freitas emphasized. "In terms of how it can help the state, how it can help the school environment and how it can help the students creating not only a more welcome space but a healthier space for our students and the workers there."

A second bill would require safety measures for workers at biofuel facilities. A third proposal would create a permanent fund for workforce development training -- with federal climate infrastructure monies coming -- and create labor standards for programs receiving federal dollars.

Amber Parrish, executive director of the Western States Council of the United Food and Commercial Workers union, said if we leave things to big business, the transition will mean unplanned layoffs, the creation of low-wage jobs and the decimation of the public sector.

"If we win strong labor standards in every emerging and shifting energy industry, we can ensure we have high-road jobs with family-sustaining wages and good benefits in green industries," Parrish contended.

The group is also calling for full funding in the new state budget to support workers displaced from the oil and gas industry. And the coalition opposes a measure on the November ballot called the "Taxpayer Protection and Government Accountability Act," which would put any future statewide tax increase on the ballot.

Disclosure: The California Federation of Teachers contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Early Childhood Education, Education, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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