Vast majority of Michiganders – 86% – agree that paid sick leave should be available to ALL workers

As Ramona Grigg discussed in her recent guest post “We Need Paid Sick Leave Because Workers Are Humans First“, Democrats in the Michigan legislature have introduced legislation mandating paid sick leave for all Michigan workers. As she wrote, nearly half of Michigan workers are forced to take vacation days or take unpaid leave to stay home if they are ill. That includes the people who make and serve your food in restaurants or who interact with the public in other direct ways.

Democrats recognize this as a serious problem and want to fix it.

This week, Denno Research released a poll conducted for Mothering Justice and the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan that shows overwhelming support of this idea.…

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Nevada Republican state legislator declares cancer a “fungus” that can be cured with saline or sodium “cardonate”

With all of the insanity in Michigan’s legislature these days with people like Cindy Gamarat and Todd Courser, I thought it would be a nice break to show that we’re not the only state with Republicans that are … um … “different”.

Today I present you with Michele Fiore, a Republican member of the Nevada state assembly. Fiore has a really fun history. First, she’s a filmaker who made the blockbuster hit almost unheard-of movie “Siren” (4.8 out of 10 stars on IDMB.com.) That’s her on the right there in one of the starring roles from that film.

Her most fun work has been done in the Nevada Assembly, though.…

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Newest Democratic Senator Gary Peters cosponsoring anti-bullying legislation to protect LGBT kids

As religious groups across the nation lobby to have new laws passed to ensure their right to discriminate against the LGBT community, Democrats and even some Republicans are moving to ensure the LGBT kids, at least, are protected from bullying and violence.

The only new Democrat in the U.S. Senate after the 2014 election is Michigan’s own Gary Peters. Peters announced today that he is cosponsoring bipartisan legislation to prevent bullying of LGBT kids.

Although federal civil rights laws explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin, they do not protect Americans from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.…

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Scott Walker reveals the real Republican agenda — deficit, division and lower wages

Jeb Bush has gotten an early start on his path to being 2016’s Mitt Romney. And the first non-Jeb to pull ahead of him is Scott Walker (and possibly Ben Carson, too).

It’s the perfect time for Walker to have his moment in the spotlight because no Republican politician better reveals the GOP’s true agenda better than the governor of Wisconsin.

Scott Walker is the master of what I call “The Supreme Con” — where the middle class votes itself out of existence by endorsing policies that give the rich a hand up while everyone else gets backhanded.

Here’s how it works:

Increase the deficit
Like his fellow Republicans Sam Brownback and Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker has had to endorse budget tricks to keep his tax cuts from sending his state into default.…

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BREAKING: President Obama vetoes Republican Keystone XL pipeline legislation

The first bill introduced in the U.S. Senate this session was a bill to compel the federal government to issue a permit to allow the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline.

This afternoon, President Obama vetoed it.

Here is his veto statement:

February 24, 2015

TO THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES:

I am returning herewith without my approval S. 1, the “Keystone XL Pipeline Approval Act.” Through this bill, the United States Congress attempts to circumvent longstanding and proven processes for determining whether or not building and operating a cross-border pipeline serves the national interest.

The Presidential power to veto legislation is one I take seriously.

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Wisconsin poised to become next Right to Work state, uses “Freedom to Work” meme beta tested in Michigan

With their state Senate debating so-called “Right to Work” legislation this week and their Assembly expected to take it up next week, Wisconsin is poised to become the latest Republican-controlled state to enact the anti-union law. In the weeks and months leading up to Michigan’s passage of right to work legislation, anti-union forces rebranded it as “Freedom to Work”. The term “Freedom to Work” is even used on our state government website.

As it turns out, as in so many other ways, Michigan was the testing ground for new corporatist and conservative efforts. The group Wisconsin Right to Work now has FreedomToWorkWI.com as the URL of its website.…

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Only 1 in 5 Michigan government leaders rate roads in “good” condition, 12% grinding them up into gravel roads

As Michigan voters decide whether to approve Proposal 1 in May which will raise the sales tax to fund road repairs, a new study out by the University of Michigan Center for Local, State and Urban Policy (CLOSUP) details just how bad things have gotten. The study, done last fall, shows that only 19% of local leaders say their roads are in “good” condition and nearly a quarter say their roads are in “poor” condition. Perhaps more shockingly, 12% of them have resorted to grinding up paved roads and turning them in to gravel. In the Upper Peninsula, almost 20% of the municipalities have turned to this draconian response to their crumbling infrastructure.…

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Athiests win victory in Warren, Michigan, allowed to have “Reason Station” in City Hall

Last summer, Warren mayor James Fouts denied an athiest group the right to have a “Reason Station” in the Michigan city’s City Hall. The Reason Station was athiest Douglas Marshall’s response to a “Prayer Station” the mayor had allowed to set up shop in the City Hall atrium.

When denying the permit to Marshall, Fouts compared athiests to the KKK and Nazis, saying, “The city has certain values that I don’t believe are in general agreement with having an atheist station, nor in general agreement with having a Nazi station or Klu Klux Klan station.”

The ACLU, in conjunction with Americans United and the Freedom From Religion Foundation, filed suit and, yesterday, they scored a win:

If a church can have a prayer station inside city hall, then an atheist can have a reason station there, too.
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