Obama to Bring Overtime Pay to Millions

The Daily Beast, 6/29/15

President Obama announced plans Monday to unveil a rule change that could raise wages for 5 million workers who are currently excluded from overtime pay. In a Huffington Post op-ed, Obama said he would recommend changing overtime rules so that salaried workers who earn less than $50,400 per year would be guaranteed time-and-a-half wages when they work more than 40 hours a week. Salaried workers must make less than $23,660 to qualify for overtime pay….

keep reading at The Daily Beast

Alert: Your voice counts (PA legislators vs. PA EPA)

email from PennFuture, 6/29/15

The State Legislature’s leadership and the drilling industry are attempting a secretive strategy to stop much needed regulations on oil and gas drilling. PennFuture needs your help to expose this back-room deal, which will create more pollution of our air, water, and land.

This past weekend, leadership in the House and Senate included legislation to halt new regulations on oil and gas drilling in a little known budget bill called the Fiscal Code (SB 655). The impact would be immediate: Continue reading

Golf Outing a Real Success!

Thank you to everyone who was able to attend our golf outing this year at Downingtown Country Club on June 22. It was a special time to be able to bring together our key labor supporters and party leaders from across the county. And I am very pleased to announce that we have set a new fundraising record with more than $22,000 raised.

Thank you also to our major sponsors: IBEW 98, IBEW 126, and the Carpenters Regional Council, to Bob Graham for his help organizing the event, and particularly to Secretary of Transportation Leslie Richards for her thoughtfulness and insight into the ongoing budget process.   

Congratulations to Greg Cary and the team from PECO for winning this year’s top foursome! We will look forward to seeing folks out again next year.

Brian McGinnis
Chair, Chester County Democratic Committee

Winning foursome

PBPC Urges Lawmakers to Reject “Gov. Corbett’s Fifth Budget” & Negotiate a Fiscally Responsible Budget That Reinvests in Education, Communities & Jobs

PA Budget and Policy Center, June 27, 2015

(HARRISBURG, PA) – Mark Price, research director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center, issued the following statement in response to House Bill 1192, the General Appropriations bill, which the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is debating today:

“This budget is essentially Gov. Corbett’s fifth budget. It resurrects a failed, cuts-only approach to the budget that has been discredited by Pennsylvania’s experience over the last four years, in the vain hope that by doing the same thing again we will produce a different outcome. Pennsylvania’s recent poor economic performance can be directly attributed to this failed approach. Instead, I encourage members of the General Assembly to look at the latest polls to see what’s important to Pennsylvania voters. Voters want to see restoration of education funding, property tax relief and a tax on drilling. Good state budget policy is also good politics. The budget now moving through the Pennsylvania General Assembly is neither….

keep reading at PA Budget and Policy Center

Pa. court nixes law that let gun lobby sue cities

by Chris Hepp and Jessica Parks, Phila Inquirer, June 26, 2015

A law that permitted the National Rifle Association to sue Philadelphia and other municipalities over local gun ordinances that are stricter than state law is unconstitutional, a state appeals court ruled Thursday.

The 2014 law granted legal standing to “membership organizations” to sue over local gun laws and collect legal fees and other costs if they won.

The NRA used the measure to sue Philadelphia. Other municipalities have repealed ordinances to avoid similar suits.

In a decision released Thursday, a seven-member Commonwealth Court panel ruled unanimously that the law, known as Act 192, violated the state constitution because of the way it was enacted by the General Assembly….

keep reading at Phila Inquirer

Supreme Court ruling means rights for all

By Nathaniel Smith, The Times of Chester County, June 27, 2015

Same sex marriage ruling affirms individual rights when legislative action is stalled

It is well worth downloading the full Obergefell v. Hodges decision at http://www.supremecourt.gov/. The pdf is rather exciting reading. As taxpayers we paid for it, so let’s read it for free!

The 5-4 ruling on both questions before the Court (which it could have separated) is guaranteed to make social conservatives writhe:

Held: The Fourteenth Amendment requires a State to license a marriage between two people of the same sex and to recognize a marriage between two people of the same sex when their marriage was lawfully licensed and performed out-of-State. …

keep reading at The Times of Chester County

Ah… the Sweet Taste of Victory!

from Kennett Area Democrats newsletter, 6/27/15

A great week for Democrats

The week of June 22 will go down in history as a great week for Democrats, a great week for Pennsylvanians and a great week for our country. On Thursday, June 25, PA’s Commonwealth Court judged as unconstitutional a controversial law, supported strongly by the National Rifle Association, that allowed any legal gun owner to sue Philadelphia and other municipalities over local gun ordinances that are stricter than state law and force those municipalities to pay attorney fees. Also on Thursday the US Supreme Court upheld the right of the US government to provide subsidies to help its low income citizens obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act no matter where they live. And on Friday, June 26, the US Supreme Court ruled same sex marriage must be legal and recognized in all states. Continue reading