skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, July 13, 2024

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

VA law prevents utility shutoffs in extreme circumstances; MI construction industry responds to a high number of worker suicides; 500,000 still without power or water in the Houston area; KY experts: Children, and babies at higher risk for heat illness.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The House passes the SAVE Act, but fails to hold Attorney General Merrick Garland in inherent contempt of Congress, and a proposed federal budget could doom much-needed public services.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

Enticing remote workers to move is a new business strategy in rural America, Eastern Kentucky preservationists want to save the 20th century home of a trailblazing coal miner, and a rule change could help small meat and poultry growers and consumers.

MN Session Produced 'Under-the-Radar' Victories for Workers

play audio
Play

Friday, May 26, 2023   

Minnesota legislators adopted a lot of major policies in this year's session, including actions to support workers in many different fields. State employees are cheering the provisions.

A new statewide paid-leave program is among the highlights as Democrats pushed through a range of proposals with their majorities.

The Minnesota Association of Professional Employees, which represents 15,000 state workers, was a key supporter of the paid-leave plan. Its president, Megan Dayton, said there were other victories, too. Collectively, she said, she feels they'll establish a new era for the state's workforce.

"It's a historic investment," she said. "It's also a breath of fresh air with programs and policies that, in my opinion, echo the spirit of FDR's New Deal."

According to MAPE, pension changes are a big win for its members, including a one-time 2.5% cost-of-living adjustment for retirees. Advocates were also able to secure back pay for state workers in the event of a future government shutdown.

Republicans and some business groups have criticized some of the plans, namely the paid-leave program, set to begin in 2026. The National Federation of Independent Business in Minnesota described it as "complex employment regulations and severe penalties that will create more headaches for Main Street."

However, Dayton said whether it's paid leave or the other policies signed into law, Minnesota is in a better position to attract workers, including state government.

"Recruitment and retention is a really difficult piece of the workforce for everybody right now," she said, "and we think that many of the provisions made through this legislative session will contribute to making the state of Minnesota an employer of choice."

As for other workplace changes, the Legislature broadened protections for nursing mothers and pregnant employees. That includes allowing for a pregnant worker to take longer restroom, food and water breaks as an accommodation without being required to provide documentation.

Disclosure: Minnesota Association of Professional Employees contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Livable Wages/Working Families, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
more stories
North Carolina has received more than 105,000 contacts to its 988 system via call, chat and text in the past 12 months. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

play sound

North Carolina must increase its crisis response capacity for long-term success, according to a new report by the mental-health policy group …


Health and Wellness

play sound

In response to an alarmingly high number of suicides among construction workers, Michigan's construction leaders have taken measures to tackle mental …

Environment

play sound

The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency is awarding $271,000 in grants for environmental education projects across the state. The programs will …


Organizers say the Swingman Classic is the closest a modern-day fan can get to the historic Negro Leagues. (Danny Hooks/Adobe Stock)

play sound

Major League Baseball's All-Star week kicks off tonight at Globe Life Field in Arlington with the Swingman Classic featuring 50 student athletes from …

Health and Wellness

play sound

New York doctors are advising people how to stay healthy in the summer heat. Temperatures across the state will reach the high 80s and mid-90s in …

Along with extreme temperatures and public health-related states of emergency, a new Virginia law prevents utility shutoffs on Fridays, weekends and the day before or during state holidays. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

A new Virginia law protects residents from utility shutoffs in extreme weather. The law prevents utility company shutoffs when temperatures are at …

Social Issues

play sound

Minnesotans this month have a chance to share their thoughts on how the state should distribute home energy rebates. With federal incentives coming …

Social Issues

play sound

New Mexico teachers educating young people about climate change don't want them to feel hopeless - and they've developed an educational curriculum to …

 

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