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What We’re Reading Today: Thursday News Roundup

What We’re Reading Today: Thursday News Roundup

Here are some headlines from the working families news we're reading today (after the jump).

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Newark Becomes Eighth City to Require Paid Sick Days

Mayor Luis Quintana (D) has promised to sign a paid sick days measure that passed the Newark, N.J., City Council this week, which would make the city the eighth in the country to require businesses to provide workers with paid sick leave. The law would require businesses with 10 or more employees to allow them to earn an hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours they work, up to five paid days off a year. Smaller businesses would be required to provide up to three days.  The law's supporters say it would affect 38,000 workers and the measure includes food service, child care and direct care workers.

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7 Important Labor Stories You Might've Missed While You Were at the AFL-CIO National Convention

Photo courtesy Bob Jagendorf

While many of the country's most active working family advocates were in Los Angeles for the AFL-CIO national convention, the rest of the country continued to operate, with legislation, elections and judicial decisions of significant importance continuing to move forward. Here are eight stories you might have missed while the media's attention was focused on the convention.

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New Jersey Working Families Want Voters to Increase Minimum Wage

Photo courtesy New Jersey AFL-CIO

After a conditional veto of an increase in New Jersey's minimum wage by Gov. Chris Christie (R), working families, the New Jersey State AFL-CIO and a coalition of 151 organizations are pushing for a measure that would raise the state's wage to $8.25 per hour and attach a cost-of-living adjustment to the wage for the future. Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D) and Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D) also joined the "Raise the Wage" campaign. In November, voters will be able to decide on the ballot whether or not to increase the minimum wage.

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In the States Roundup for Jan. 29

Image courtesy RIGovernor

Here's a look at some of the key battles in the states from the past week.

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Newark Teachers and N.J. Gov. Christie Agree on New Bonus System

A historic three-year deal was struck between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Newark teachers on Wednesday. The Newark Teachers Union is the first in the Garden State to include merit bonus pay based on classroom performance in its contract. Gov. Christie and AFT President Randi Weingarten met on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" today to talk about the bonus pay agreement. Watch the video below. 

Weingarten says:

This is a dynamic, new contract that's fair to the teachers, but most importantly, that's good for kids. That's why when people looked at this, they voted it up by more than 60%....In all this, Sandy happened and the governor did an extraordinary job in terms of all the work in New Jersey, and this is the way government should work whether it's at the collective bargaining table or whether there is a public disaster. You have lots of public employees who, every single day, are trying to make a difference in the lives of kids of the community. We worked hard at the table to come up with something that is good for Newark.

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Obama, Christie Cooperation Should Be Example to Lawmakers Everywhere

BCTD Ocean City, N.J. photo

The way President Obama and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) have set aside partisan politics to “work in singular and cooperative fashion to relieve the pain and suffering of those whose lives have been turned upside down” by Hurricane Sandy should be an example to elected officials everywhere, including members of Congress, says Sean McGarvey, president of the AFL-CIO Building and Construction Trades Department (BCTD).

President Obama and Governor Christie do not see the victims of this tragedy as 'Democrats' or 'Republicans,' they simply see them as 'Americans' who are in dire need of the assistance and generosity of our government and its people.

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RNC 2012: Bashing Working People Everywhere

Bashing unions and working people seems to be the unifying theme of the 2012 Republican National Convention (RNC) held in Tampa, Fla., this week.

Josh Eidelson wrote for Salon that the RNC's choice of speakers and agenda is "a full-on embrace of the same anti-union agenda that helped earn Scott Walker and Nikki Haley their Tuesday night speaking slots."

The new platform reflects a Republican Party even more hostile to organized labor than the one that nominated John McCain four years ago.

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Federal Judge Blocks Florida's Restrictive Early Voting Law

Federal Judge Blocks Florida's Restrictive Early Voting Law

This from TPM:

A panel of federal judges ruled late Thursday that a Florida law that limits the number of early voting days cannot be implemented in several counties because it
would have an adverse impact on minority turnout.

The early voting restrictions are part of a voter suppression package the Republican-controlled state legislature passed last year. Other provisions included disenfranchising 100,000 previously eligible ex-felons who'd been granted the right to vote under Republican Gov. Charlie Crist in 2008 and shutting down non-partisan voter registration drives. In May, a federal judge blocked enforcement of the provision restricting non-partisan voter registration drives.

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Arizona: Model State for Voter Suppression

The past few weeks have not been kind to the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and it couldn't happen to a more deserving bunch.

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