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Health-care reform?

Fulfilling a campaign promise but failing to seriously legislate, Republicans in the House voted last week to repeal health care reform that’s already providing benefits to millions of Americans, including young people previously unable to obtain coverage and senior citizens now saving more on prescription drugs. The Senate has already indicated it will not take up the measure, nor, of course, would the President sign it. But many Democrats welcomed the House debate as a way of further publicizing the merits of a bill about which much of the public is uninformed.

Employee Rights

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has proposed a regulation requiring employers to post a notice in the work place which outlines the rights of employees to organize, form or join a labor union.  The notice would also include a summary of illegal activity by employers and unions.

The rule is not final yet, but you can help by sending your thoughts to the NLRB.  Electronic comments may be submitted through http://www.regulations.gov.

State of the Union

Creating jobs, reinventing government and reducing public debt will be the key elements of President Obama’s second State of the Union address Tuesday, according to a video message he sent supporters over the weekend. Progressives want efforts to spur economic activity and employment to take precedence over premature steps to address government deficits, especially since the health of the federal budget is so closely linked to the health of the economy.

State of Equality

Last week, the Supreme Court rejected an appeal by opponents of marriage equality that wanted to put the rights of marriage for D.C.'s gay and lesbian citizens up to a public vote.  The Court acknowledged that an initiative on same-sex marriage would allow discrimination against gays and lesbians in the District.

In other news, Maryland might be the next state to have a marriage equality law on the books.  A marriage equality bill was introduced last week by Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin and could be enacted as soon as April.  New York and Rhode Island are also expected to tackle similar legislation in 2011. 

Noteworthy

  • In coordination with the State of the Union address, the ADA Economic Agenda will be distributed to Congress this week.  The paper focuses on three main points to strengthen the economy.  1.) Strengthen and protect social security, 2.) raise and index the minimum wage and 3.) invest in job creation!
  • Last Saturday marked the 38th anniversary of the Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision which protects the right of a woman to make her own private and personal decisions regarding her pregnancy. 
  • Another more dubious Supreme Court decision anniversary was for the Citizen United case.  It has been one year since the Supreme Court ruled that corporations counted as people when it comes to campaign contributions.

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