No Joke

- April 1, 2013

$10.10 by 2015 — Increasing the federal minimum wage to $10.10 would create 5,800 jobs, give more than 1 million Ohio workers a raise, and circulate some $2.1 billion in the state economy. More than half of those helped would be women and more than four out of five are over 20 years old. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 would help our lowest-paid working people get a share of America’s rising productivity.

One step closer — SharedWork Ohio, legislation that increases the flexibility of the unemployment compensation system by allowing employers to reduce worker hours instead of laying some off entirely, has been approved by the Senate and is awaiting a House vote. We’ve been working with legislators and advocates to pass what would be a win for both workers and employers.

JobWatch — Ohio added 16,100 jobs in February, welcome news after job revisions showed that 2012 had the slowest rate of job growth since the end of the recession — the state lost 10,500 jobs in the last six months of 2012. Ohio’s unemployment rate remained steady at 7 percent.

No joke — A labor leader and a banker walk into a boardroom is the title of director Amy Hanauer’s new blog piece in Huffington Post, also featured on RaceTalk. Sounds like a joke, but it illustrates the range of perspectives on the board of your favorite Ohio think tank. We’ve also got a farmworker organizer, a children’s advocate, a political scientist, and others we don’t have space to list here, including women, men, and African American, white, Latino and Asian leaders. Policy matters and diversity matters too.

In the news, as always — National, state and local media with some great recent coverage: The American Prospect examines state think tanks across the spectrum and lauds Policy Matters as an effective force, while Huffington Post and Dayton Daily News rally around our effort on SharedWork. We’re cited in stories in: the Cleveland Plain Dealer calling for “adequate funding of traditional public schools not undeserved rewards for some poorly supervised charters;” the Akron Beacon Journal and the Toledo Blade recommending a fairer tax system (including an Earned Income Tax Credit); the Youngstown Vindicator on trade policy; the Canton Repository on regressive tax proposals; the Mansfield News Journal, among others, on whether people change states because of taxes (they don’t); the Columbus Dispatch  on yet more ineffective tax cut proposals for business; and more.

Recognized — Couldn’t resist sharing this picture of some of our staff, board and interns who joined Amy as she received an award as Public Citizen of the Year from the local chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (which we already told you about last week).

Thanks from Amy Hanauer and the Policy Matters team.

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