WV Teachers Win Victory For Public Employees
West Virginia’s Striking Teachers Win Narrow Victory. NYM: "West Virginia’s teachers, bus drivers, and school cooks will soon be a bit less underpaid. By mounting a wildcat strike that shuttered the Mountain State’s school system for nine days, West Virginia teachers forced Republican elected officials to provide them, and their colleagues in the public education system, with a 5 percent raise. This is no small victory. Public sector unions enjoy few rights in West Virginia, and count few friends in its state legislature. The success of their strike is a testament to the power of labor solidarity, and the weakness of public support for the conservative movement’s vision of government. These teachers suspended their state’s entire school system for over a week, imposing a significant burden on West Virginia parents — and still, public support for the teacher’s demands remained high enough to force conservative Republicans to reward an act of labor militarism."
Progressive Laura Moser Scores Big In TX Primary
The DCCC’s scorched earth campaign against Texas Democrat Laura Moser backfired. Vox: "Until a few weeks ago, Laura Moser was a little-known name, one of seven candidates running for the Democratic primary in Texas’s Seventh Congressional District. That was, until the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unleashed a scorched-earth campaign against the former freelance journalist and progressive activist, releasing an opposition memo highlighting past statements Moser made seemingly denigrating her home state. The move may have helped propel Moser across the finish line in the first round of the primary and into a May runoff election, along with Houston attorney Lizzie Pannill Fletcher, who was endorsed by pro-female candidate super PAC EMILY’s List. By trying to finish off Moser early, the DCCC ended up simultaneously elevating her national profile and opened up an intra-party rift in the process, galvanizing progressive groups that came out supporting her."
DOJ To Sue CA Over Immigration Enforcement
Trump administration sues CA over immigration laws. NYT: "The Trump administration escalated what had been a war of words over California’s immigration agenda, filing a lawsuit late Tuesday that amounted to a pre-emptive strike against the liberal state’s so-called sanctuary laws. The Justice Department sued California; Gov. Jerry Brown; and the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, over three state laws passed in recent months, saying they made it impossible for federal immigration officials to do their jobs and deport criminals who were born outside the United States. The Justice Department called the laws unconstitutional and asked a judge to block them. The lawsuit was the department’s boldest attack yet against California, one of the strongest opponents of the Trump administration’s efforts to curb immigration. It also served as a warning to Democratic lawmakers and elected officials nationwide who have enacted sanctuary policies that provide protections for undocumented immigrants."
States May Cut Medicaid Enrollment By 15 Pct
Trump’s hidden war on Medicaid. Vox: "the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have signaled that they are open to unprecedented policy changes, most notably requirements that many Medicaid beneficiaries either work or look for work. The Trump administration could initiate the most dramatic reductions in Medicaid enrollment and spending since the program began, even though Trump as a presidential candidate promised he would not cut Medicaid. The precise consequences are difficult to project. But states seeking waivers for work requirements and other restrictions are estimating as much as an 8 percent or 15 percent cut to their Medicaid rolls. Not every Medicaid recipient, not even most, will be subjected to some of these harsher rules. But there is a sizable population who could soon face a real risk of losing health coverage."
AK To Enforce Medicaid Work Requirements
AK first state to implement Trump's cruel assault on Medicaid. Truthout: "The Trump administration is waging a vicious war on Medicaid -- a program that provides life-saving healthcare to around 74 million Americans -- and its effects will soon be felt in the state of Arkansas. On Monday, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) administrator Seema Verma -- who, prior to joining the Trump White House, helped craft Indiana's punitive Medicaid restrictions -- hand-delivered and signed a federal waiver granting Arkansas permission to begin imposing work requirements on the state's Medicaid recipients, 60 percent of whom already work. According to state officials, the measure will go into effect June 1, which would make Arkansas the first state to implement Medicaid work requirements."
CBO Finds Rollback Of Bank Regulations Increases Risks
CBO Reveals Democrat-Backed Bill Really Just Big Gift to Wall Street. Common Dreams: "Providing further evidence that the bank deregulation bill currently sailing through the Senate—with the essential help of 12 Democrats and Sen. Angus King (I-Maine)—is more about enriching large financial institutions than helping community banks, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated in a report unveiled late Monday that the bipartisan measure would exempt big banks from strict regulations and significantly increase the likelihood of future taxpayer bailouts. 'A major feature of the bill is exempting about two dozen financial companies with assets between $50 billion and $250 billion from the highest levels of regulatory scrutiny from the Federal Reserve,' notes the Washington Post's Jeff Stein, who first reported on the CBO's findings. According to the CBO, such exemptions would give large institutions—including so-called "too big to fail" banks—more freedom to engage in the kind of risky behavior that led to the 2008 financial crash, thus making them more likely to collapse again."
OMB Vindicates Obama-Era Regulations
WH quietly issues report vindicating Obama regulations. Vox: "President Donald Trump’s administration has been on a deregulatory bender, particularly when it comes to environmental regulations. As of January, the New York Times counted 67 environmental rules on the chopping block under Trump... As it happens, though, we know something about the costs and benefits of federal regulations. In fact, Trump’s own administration, specifically the (nonpartisan, at least for now) White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB), just released its annual report on that very subject. The report was released late on a Friday, with Congress out of session and multiple Trump scandals dominating the headlines. A cynical observer might conclude that the administration wanted the report to go unnoticed. Why might that be? Well, in a nutshell, it shows that the GOP is wrong about regulations as a general matter and wrong about Obama’s regulations specifically. Those regulations had benefits far in excess of their costs, and they had no discernible effect on jobs or economic growth."