Minimum wage in the news. Plus: what to expect from D.C., more budget cuts, early education and pensions

January 7, 2009 | Alex Stone

Wage increase makes sense to some: While some employers fear the largest minimum wage jump in 10 years, workers make plans. | Read

Higher Minimum Wage a Struggle for Workers, Employers: When the minimum wage rises, everybody’s paycheck usually gets a little bigger at Martha & Mary, which runs a nursing home and offers other services in Poulsbo.

$1.2 Trillion Deficit Forecast as Obama Weighs Options: Changes in Social Security and Medicare will be central to efforts to bring federal spending in line, President-elect Barack Obama said on Wednesday, as the Congressional Budget Office projected a $1.2 trillion budget deficit for the fiscal year.

House Dems to vote on Obama-favored health plan: House Democrats plan to give President-elect Barack Obama an early victory on health care, specifically children’s health care, next week.

Zarelli-o-nomics: punish the people: Too bad regular folks don’t have any lobbyists. Case-in-point: programs approved by the Legislature but not yet implemented, including a paid family leave benefit and a working-class tax credit, should be among the first to go, Zarelli said. Cutting programs now would reduce the amount lawmakers will have to slash from the 2009-11 budget, he said.

Gregoire’s Budget Slashes Health-Care Funding for Low-Income Women: According to NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, Governor Gregoire’s proposed budget would eliminate $1.26 million in funding for nurses providing direct services to women in community service offices around the state.

State lawmakers say deficit is likely to grow:  The state’s budget problems are going to get worse before they get better, leading lawmakers said Tuesday.

Third union sues Gregoire: Another union sued Gov. Chris Gregoire on Tuesday because her proposed budget doesn’t include money to pay for a new labor contract.

How Does Early Education and Care in the U.S. Stack up to Other Developed Countries?: Sometimes taking a step back and looking at early education in other developed countries can offer a useful perspective on our own early education challenges.

A Rare Bright Spot in Texas: Early education advocates and practitioners across the country are viewing the coming state budget seasons with concern, as significant state budget deficits put pressure on lawmakers to cut state spending, threatening funding for pre-k and other early education programs.

Stock Losses Leave Pensions Underfunded by $400 Billion: The collapse of the stock market last year left corporate pension plans at the largest companies underfunded by $409 billion, reversing a $60 billion pension surplus at the end of 2007, according to a study released today.

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Posted in Early Learning, Education, Health Care, Minimum Wage, Retirement Security, State Economy, Tax and Budget, Work & Family

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