And, because women still earn less than men in the workplace and have less access to retirement benefits, Social Security is the last defense against poverty for women in their golden years. That concern is what brought O’Neill to Seattle last week. She joined U.S. Rep. Adam Smith, of Bellevue, and Marilyn Watkins, of the Economic Opportunity Institute for a community forum on the future of Social Security.
Is the best tuition no tuition, and is that really feasible? In These Times asked John Burbank, executive director of the progressive policy think tank the Economic Opportunity Institute; Sara Goldrick-Rab, associate professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison; and Bob Samuels, a lecturer at UCLA and author of Why Public Higher Education Should Be Free, to give their proposals.
I just returned from a trip to Finland to visit old friends. I brought home a bill from a hospital. You may wonder how these two things connect. The bill from the hospital was for a friend of mine. She needed a new hip. So for five days in the hospital, the surgery, the surgeon’s salary, the artificial hip, and all the necessary care and medicine, she paid $224. That’s it. Period. No co-insurance, no donut hole for prescriptions, no premium, no co-pay.
Most kids today grow up with their mom in the workforce. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, two-thirds of new mothers now return to paid work within a year after giving birth, usually in the first few months.
A new audit released by the city auditor may be instructive for proponents of the $15 minimum wage: It concludes that employers are indeed implementing the paid sick leave law, and that it isn't costing them nearly as much as they predicted when the city council was debating the proposal three years ago.
A report done for the Seattle City Auditor's Office finds that businesses' costs of implementing a local law on paid sick leave have been considerably less than expected. A team of University of Washington researchers also found "no evidence" that the new law forced any firms out of business or caused any of them to leave the city.
The Illinois House has approved a plan to study alternative ways for people to pay for college.The "Pay it Forward" plan calls on the Illinois Student Assistance Commission to consider programs other states have adopted to address the rising cost of a college education. Such programs allow attendance at community colleges or state universities tuition-free as long as the student signs a contract to repay the state from a portion of future earnings.
Marilyn Watkins, a policy director with the Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute, says studies reveal that raising the minimum wage about ten percent does not negatively impact businesses or employment and that wealthy cities with a high cost of living can sustain a high minimum wage. That said, she recommends that Seattle raise the minimum wage one dollar per year rather than from $9.32 to $15 all at once.
U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., has introduced “Pay it Forward” legislation on the federal level, as have 19 other states, according to John Burbank, the executive director of the Economic Opportunity Institute and one of the program’s architects.
Marcie Sillman talks with John Burbank, executive director of the Economic Opportunity Institute, about a proposal in the state legislature that would allow college students to pay for tuition and fees after graduating.
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