FROM Patrick Marley
Collective Bargaining for Public Employees With a history of support for organized labor, Wisconsin was the first state with collective bargaining for public employees. But now, after three years of upheaval, Republican Governor Scott Walker has made it a bastion of opposition. The state Supreme Court has upheld Act 10, which all but eliminates collective bargaining with public sector unions. Patrick Marley is Statehouse Reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Is There a War on Voting Rights? Democrats and Republicans know that every vote counts, especially in a divided nation. All over the country, Republicans in state capitols are passing laws to limit what they call rampant voter fraud. Democrats say the GOP has declared war on the rights of voters who want to re-elect Barack Obama. We hear about a dispute that's fundamental to American democracy.
Voter ID and the 'Battle Before the Battle' Republicans insist that voter fraud is so common it could change the results of elections or at least diminish confidence in the integrity of the process. But Democrats say the GOP is pushing voter-identification laws to keep students, the elderly and especially African Americans away from the polls. In 2008, those voters were crucial to electing Barack Obama. Last year (except for the elderly) they stayed home, and Republicans won big. We hear what's happening in state capitols all over the country. Do both parties try to use election laws to their own advantage?
Wisconsin and the Rights of Government Employees Wisconsin's public employee unions say they've agreed to Republican Governor Scott Walker's proposed increases in pension and healthcare contributions. But they're into the second week of protests over his demand that collective bargaining rights be limited.
Standoff Continues in Wisconsin In Madison, protesters packed the Capitol again today as Wisconsin's Governor refused to negotiate his controversial budget bill. Republican Scott Walker's plan is aimed at a $137 million shortfall. The state's public employee unions say they've agreed to Walker's proposed pay cuts and pension contributions, but are into the second week of protests over his demand that collective bargaining rights be limited. The minority Senate Democrats have left the state to prevent Republicans from enacting the Governor's proposal. President Obama's accused Walker of an "assault against unions," and minority Senate Democrats have left the state to prevent Republicans from changing the law. We get the latest's on a bitter dispute focused on government workers and the economy.
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
Does 'hire American' mean fire a foreigner? US companies are allowed to hire employees from other countries with highly developed skills that can't be found here. President Trump says it's being abused as a way to find cheap foreign labor. We hear about the benefits—and the risks—of changing the H-1B program.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.
Why Don't Facts Matter? "Fake News" may have a long history, but social media and 21st Century politics have brought it front and center. One reason for its appeal and its power is the tendency of so many people to cling to their beliefs — even when confronted with contradictory evidence. Today, another look at the Emotional States of America.