In the News

’Tis the season to be jolly.

But not for everyone.

Happiness is a lot easier for those paid a fair wage, which apparently is not what many federal contractor employees get.

In a complaint filed Monday with the Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division, the Communications Workers of America (CWA) said the Lionel Henderson Corp. “has misclassified and underpays workers” who are customer service representatives for the National Flood Insurance Program.

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Washington, D.C., is the latest jurisdiction to consider legislation to prevent employers from conducting credit history screens for most job applicants.

Currently 11 states, New York City and Chicago have passed legislation limiting the use of credit checks in the hiring process. The states include California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.

The D.C. Council is considering a bill that would bar businesses from performing credit checks on job applicants. Supporters of the legislation say credit histories can be inaccurate and indicate little about workers’ character.[...]

“Our research shows poor credit more often tells a story of personal misfortune far more convincingly than one of poor work habits,” says Amy Traub, a senior policy analyst at Demos.[...]

According to the Demos report, credit checks were never intended to be used for hiring.

D.C. Council member Kenyan R. McDuffie said he will introduce emergency legislation to bar contributions to political action committees during non-election years in an effort to close what some view as a major campaign finance loophole before the start of 2017.

“It’s important that we address the issue as soon as possible, before Jan. 1,” McDuffie (D-Ward 5) said. “There’s a lot of support for it from what we’ve seen from the public in general.”[...]

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Anyone who stood in line at a polling place or missed the registration deadline for this year’s general election will tell you: voting in New York is not easy. Even if you make it inside the voting booth, it’s easy to be discouraged when so many races are either lopsided or uncontested.

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You may have heard about proposals to privatize Social Security.

We all know the system is heading toward a dangerously low level of funds, and we know something needs to be done.

Privatization is one possible solution – an often-debated one with a long history.

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Campaign finance reform crusaders on Wednesday lauded a D.C. Council measure that would forbid political action committees from raising unlimited funds in nonelection years and ban businesses from donating to candidates who could influence their contracts with the city.

The “Campaign Finance Transparency and Accountability Amendment Act of 2016” is part of a bevy of bills aimed at increasing the political distance between candidates and businesses in the District.[...]

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Under the new law, passed by referendum Tuesday, Alaskans who sign up to receive their annual payouts from the state’s oil wealth trust will also automatically be added to the state's voter rolls.

The vote makes Alaska the sixth state to have approved some form of automatic voter registration. Just two years ago, there were none.[...]

Like teens gathered around a slumber party campfire, pollsters and news outlets appear to be turning toward a giant game of “would you rather” to help understand the student debt mess.

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A federal judge in Ohio laid out a plan on Wednesday for the state to restore voting privileges for people who were illegally removed from the state's voter rolls over the past five years.

The ruling stems from a case in which the ACLU and other plaintiffs sued, saying Ohio's process for removing people who had died or moved away from voter rolls was illegal because it purged people simply for not voting and not responding to a letter from the state.[...]

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