Bills targeting unions multiply in states

Written by From AP
and WiG reports
Thursday, 26 March 2015 08:08

UPDATED: It’s not just Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker. Taking their cue from conservative, corporate-backed anti-labor groups, Republican lawmakers in statehouses across the country are working to weaken organized labor, sometimes with efforts that directly shrink union membership.

The Republican wave in the November 2014 elections left many unions  vulnerable.

Counting concealed-carry gun deaths

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 24 March 2015 14:23

The Violence Policy Center today launched a new version of "Concealed Carry Killers," an online resource tracking fatal non-self defense gun deaths.

The website is and it contains state-by-state information on mass shootings, murder-suicides, homicides, suicides, unintentional deaths and the killing of law enforcement personnel by private citizens with permits to carry concealed handguns.

A California ballot initiative requiring citizens to kill all gays by “bullets to the head or by any other convenient method” cannot be stopped by the state’s attorney general, according to legal experts.

Liza Minnelli back in rehab

Written by AP Friday, 20 March 2015 10:01

Liza Minnelli in 2008. -PHOTO: Wikicommons

Liza Minnelli has checked herself in rehab and is making “excellent progress,” her representative says.

North Carolina University suspends fraternity over racist, sexist entries in notebook

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 26 March 2015 06:17

North Carolina State University has disbanded a fraternity chapter over a notebook filled with sexist and racially offensive entries.

The punishment comes amid recent cases of bad behavior at the University of Oklahoma, Penn State and other schools put fraternities in the national spotlight.

ACLU: Chicago leads NYC in use of stop-and-frisk

Written by lisa neff Tuesday, 24 March 2015 13:55

A report from the American Civil Liberties Union of Chicago says the Chicago Police Department leads the NYPD in the use of the controversial "stop-and-frisk" practice. The report highlights the use — or overuse — the practice and makes the argument that the justification for such stops often fails to meet constitutional standards. 

Puerto Rico seeks to recognize same-sex marriages

Written by From AP
and WiG reports
Monday, 23 March 2015 12:57

Puerto Rico's Justice Department announced earlier this month that it would not defend the U.S. territory's laws banning gay couples from marrying. The announcement was a major turnaround.

Justice Secretary Cesar Miranda said that the government can no longer continue to discriminate against the gay community.

At conservative meeting, Google exec urges Congress to increase skilled work visas

Written by AP
and WiG reports
Friday, 20 March 2015 09:30

The executive chairman at Google called on Congress to increase the number of high-skilled work visas made available to foreigners and to deal with other immigration issues later on.

Eric Schmidt spoke on March 18 at the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. Schmidt said he believes the United States is better off having more immigrants, not fewer, but he particularly is focused on allowing more immigrants into the U.S. with specialized technical skills.

Anti-gay governor set to sign anti-gay bill in Indiana

Written by The Associated Press Thursday, 26 March 2015 06:05

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence was expected to sign into law on March 26 a religious objections bill that sanctions discrimination against LGBT people.

The signing would make Indiana the first state to enact such a change this year among about a dozen where such proposals have been introduced. The measure would prohibit state and local laws that "substantially burden" the ability of people — including businesses and associations — to follow their religious beliefs.

Indiana lawmakers pass license to discriminate bill

Written by The Wisconsin Gazette Tuesday, 24 March 2015 06:04

The Indiana House of Representatives, with a vote of 63-31, passed a bill to allow private businesses, individuals and organizations to discriminate against anyone on religious grounds.

The measure passed the House on March 23, despite objections from a coalition of groups that included civil rights, business, faith-based and community-focused organizations.

Report: New York has toughest commute, Milwaukee not so bad

Written by The AP
and WiG reports
Friday, 20 March 2015 16:24

Between commuting time and work hours, New York City residents have the longest work weeks among the country's 30 biggest cities, city Comptroller Scott Stringer said in a report released earlier this week.

The report said a typical week for a full-time New York worker adds up to more than 49 hours, including an average of more than six hours of commuting time. That was more than four hours longer than in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where the average work week was about 44 1/2 hours. Commuting time made up just under 3 1/2 hours of that.

Illinois to divert 'fair share' fees from unions

Written by The AP Friday, 20 March 2015 06:11

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, dogged in attempts to eliminate fees paid to unions by workers who choose not to join, has instructed state agencies to divert money from nonunion employee paychecks away from organized labor until a judge settles the matter.

In a memo obtained by The Associated Press, general counsel Jason Barclay directs departments under the Republican governor's control to create two sets of books, one of which would move deductions from nonunion members to the operations budgets of state agencies instead of to the unions, although the money would not be spent.