| Aug. 4, 2014, 4:47 p.m.
New York City workers as of the end of last month are now able to start using their earned sick leave. Since April, New York City workers in all but the smallest firms have able to earn up to five paid sick days a year to care for themselves or an ill family member. It is estimated that about 1.2 million workers will be able to take sick leave for the first time beginning July 30. Nonetheless, a staggering 41 million Americans remain without access to basic paid sick leave protections.
| July 31, 2014, 3:20 p.m.
Behind every small business is a story of entrepreneurial vision and risk taking. All startups are a daunting endeavor. That’s why the franchising model was created — to help launch new businesses, leveraging resources from successful nationally recognized companies to individual operations.It’s a model that has worked well for decades — franchisors grow and expand their brand-reach while franchisees realize the dream of starting their own business.
| July 30, 2014, 5:56 p.m.
Each state sets its own laws regarding teachers unions, and the laws vary widely, not only on whether teachers may be forced to pay union dues. They vary on whether and on what issues a union may collectively bargain and whether unions may call strikes.
| July 30, 2014, 5:53 p.m.
Two sets of lawsuits currently moving through the courts have the potential to upend the way teachers unions operate, first in California and potentially across the country.
| July 28, 2014, 2:41 p.m.
The Government Accountability Office recently released the details of its monthslong undercover investigation into companies targeting and preying on retirees with so-called pension advance schemes. Run by scammers a rung below payday lenders, these companies market to financially distressed retirees and trade their future pension payments in exchange for a lump-sum cash transfer.
| July 24, 2014, 5:10 p.m.
On Tuesday, top Democrats and a who’s who of labor activists unveiled the latest attack on American businesses. Joined by Reps. George Miller, D-Calif., and Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., a confederation of labor groups and their activist allies known as the Center for Popular Democracy launched the benevolent-sounding “Fair Workweek Initiative.” The effort is being led by Carrie Gleason — a longtime activist organizer with deep ties to the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union — and purports to ostensibly win “predictable, stable, transparent schedules” for workers. The real goal of this campaign, however, is to support full-fledged union organizing drives within the restaurant and retail industries.
| July 21, 2014, 11:04 a.m.
As Congress works to reauthorize the Higher Education Act and strengthen student loan policies, the challenges are daunting:
| July 14, 2014, 8:02 p.m.
My organization, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, recently requested information from the Department of Education and the University of California system about the role former Education official Robert Shireman — and the organization he heads, California Competes — are playing in the development of education policy. CREW believes Shireman’s coziness with Wall Street short sellers, and his overall indifference to playing by the rules, should make government officials wary of working with him.
| July 9, 2014, 5:01 p.m.
Our children deserve the best care and education possible, but working parents in Chicago and across the country face a frustrating lack of access to affordable, quality child care. At a time when many families need two incomes just to make ends meet, quality child care is an absolute necessity and one of the biggest financial burdens working families face.
| June 23, 2014, 2:49 p.m.
In the three years I’ve pitched in the Roll Call Congressional Baseball Game, I’ve put these numbers up: 1.7 ERA, 34 K’s, 10 hits allowed, and a WHIP of 0.8571 in 21 innings pitched. These are numbers I am looking to improve upon in this year’s contest.
| June 20, 2014, 10 a.m.
In the immediate aftermath of the nation’s 2008 foreclosure crisis, Congress played a constructive role in keeping Americans in their homes. Lawmakers supported loan modification programs and sweeping financial reforms, and — while many rightfully demanded more action — these efforts eased the effects of the crisis.
| June 20, 2014, 5 a.m.
Here we go again. The insatiable Highway Trust Fund needs replenishing and, as CQ Roll Call’s David Harrison reported June 13, “House Republicans now are looking at another round of ‘pension smoothing’ combined with another increase in premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, which guarantees the pensions of workers with defined benefit retirement plans.”
| June 16, 2014, 3:52 p.m.
In the lexicon of acronyms, there is one that stands apart as not only wise, but politically savvy. KISS, which stands for “Keep it simple, Simon,” is credited as a U.S. Navy design principle in the 1960s. KISS is based on the principle that most systems work best if they are kept simple — common sense, but critical.
| June 11, 2014, 3:14 p.m.
In the late 1800s, when wagon trains were traveling westward in America, they had a saying: “You don’t move ahead by leaving some behind.”
| June 9, 2014, 6:41 p.m.
Last December, House and Senate Republicans uniformly said they would not consider an unemployment insurance extension unless there was a bipartisan compromise that was fully paid for, contained some unspecified reforms to the program and created jobs. In early April, after three months of negotiations and numerous false starts, they got just that: The Senate finally approved a bipartisan bill that met every one of those demands, while paying benefits through the end of May.
| May 29, 2014, 5 a.m.
As the nation strives to meet the growing need for talent to drive today’s knowledge economy and democratic society, more and more Americans agree that increasing postsecondary attainment is critical. Business, union leaders, governors from both parties and President Barack Obama, agree that higher rates of college-level learning are needed — both to ensure the nation’s progress and to enhance the lives of millions of individual Americans. The political will for postsecondary attainment is there and growing, but it’s up to Congress to capitalize on it, creating federal policies that make student success in higher education a national priority.
| May 14, 2014, 5 a.m.
Our children are too precious, and education funding too scarce, to risk turning either over to unscrupulous or incompetent organizations. That’s why charter schools were originally supposed to be something akin to a small, controlled experiment: public school laboratories intended to encourage new ways to educate students. That way, if something turned out not to work, the risk to students, educators and communities could be contained.
| May 9, 2014, 1:56 p.m.
When I consider issues in Washington, I regularly call on the wisdom and advice my mother gave Carl, my sister and me over the years. She taught us of hard work and persistence, she taught us of the sacrifices that mothers make for children and for our country, and she taught us of fairness.
| May 7, 2014, 4:26 p.m.
Last week, members of Congress had the opportunity to show their commitment to the millions of Americans struggling to make ends meet and to create a prosperous future for all America. Congress had the chance to raise the incomes of 28 million Americans and help millions of families lift themselves out of poverty by voting to pass the Minimum Wage Fairness Act. They chose instead to kill the legislation.
| May 1, 2014, 5 a.m.
As the global demand for postsecondary skills continues to rise, America finds itself in a challenging position. Postsecondary attainment is increasing nicely here at home, but our improvements are anemic compared to the pace of attainment around the world. New data tells the story, and it points to a much needed wake-up call for Congress and the White House,state policymakers, higher education officials, employers, civic leaders and more.