last week that Washington was on the verge of becoming the second state to
enact family leave. The bill has now been signed by the Governor.
While the bill was a compromise, with lower weekly payments (up to $250 per
week) than is ideal and, unlike a House version originally approved, no
provision to allow paid family leave to care for a seriously ill parent, the
new law is a serious advance for parents needing the financial help to stay
home with a new child.
As the United States falls behind the
world in broadband deployment, a serious obstacle to reversing that slide, as
in February, is that we have
remarkably poor information on which neighborhoods and families have
broadband access and what the challenges are to overcoming the digital divide
in our communities.
This past week, the Washington State House voted to
five weeks of paid leave for parents with a new born or adopted child,
following earlier approval of a broader Senate measure,
5659, that would have also included paid leave to to take care of a
seriously ill parent. Another advantage of the law is that parents
in employers with 25 or more employees would have their jobs protected while
away, more job protection than under federal law which covers only employers
with 50 or more employees.
We spend more than twice on health care than any other industrialized nation in the world, yet we don't have universal access and our outcomes are worse. The reason we don't have universal access to quality health care is that too much of our health care spending -- our premiums, co-pays, prescriptions -- is wasted on profits, CEO bonuses and inefficient health care.
What if we told you that you could save money, energy, and carbon dioxide
emissions just by replacing your light bulbs? Many states are pushing
new policies to encourage or even require the replacement of traditional
wasteful incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) as a
key step to achieving energy independence.
Nations report this week, backed by scientists around the
world, confirms that not only is global warming real, but its effects are
already here and getting worse. And the hard fact is, the United States
far more energy than any other country, more than China and Russia
On April 3rd, Iowa Governor Chet Culver signed into law HF 653, which provides
Iowans with the opportunity to register and vote on Election Day. Governor
Here in Iowa , we want to make it as easy as possible for Iowans to be
involved in the democratic process. This bill achieves this goal. I strongly
believe getting more people to vote is good for democracy and good for the
future of this state.
Nearly 650,000 people are released
from state and federal prison every year, with larger numbers
reentering communities from local jails. Over 50 percent of those
released from incarceration are sent back to prison for a parole
violation or new crime within 3 years.