Today's news -- December 5, 2017




Labor groups denounce "union-busting" bill *

A bill opponents describe as "union-busting" legislation meant to target Florida's public school teachers is back again after facing defeat in the Florida Legislature. Bills such as House Bill 25, by Republican Rep. Scott Plakon of Longwood, are being introduced in legislatures across the country. While Plakon claims it will add greater transparency to labor unions, opponents say it's part of a coordinated effort to undermine the voices of public workers. Joanne McCall, president of the Florida Education Association, says the bill even further marginalizes women. "I am the largest labor union in the state of Florida," she says. "As a matter of fact, we are the largest labor union in the Southeast, and we represent 75 percent women. This bill is directed at us." Under the bill, any public-sector union -- except those representing firefighters and law-enforcement or corrections officers -- would be automatically decertified if more than 50 percent of the workers they represent don't pay dues to the organization. Last year, the bill passed the full House but died in a Senate committee. Retired teacher and Pinellas County School Board member Joanne Lentino says House Bill 25 is just another way for some lawmakers in Tallahassee to divide and conquer, not realizing their actions will impact families living paycheck to paycheck. "They obviously don't understand that you can't create a law to make everybody join a union, and in the same regard, you can't make a law for people to have less than 50 percent to decertify a union," she explains. "So there is some oxymoron there, I think." Florida is a "right to work" state, and employment is not dependent on joining a union. Statewide, about 10 percent of state workers belong to an organized labor group. House Bill 25 is favored to gain strong support from the Republican-controlled Legislature as the bill already is fast tracked with just one committee stop before it gets voted on by the full House.


Senate GOP essentially defunds public schools to pay for private ones (NEA mentioned)

What happens when you bust public sector unions? Nothing good.


Hillsborough teachers balk at school district offer of $1.8 million in bonuses (Stephanie Baxter-Jenkins quoted)


Negotiations for Brevard teacher raises resume (Dan Bennett quoted)


Palm Beach school district weighs tax for teacher salaries (Justin Katz quoted)


Plasencia bill seeks to turn teacher evaluations back to school boards


U.S. high school graduation rates rise to new high


Teacher: We didn’t sign up for this


Colorado school board votes to end voucher program


Scott won’t appoint special prosecutor in Latvala case


Affidavit: Latvala accuser boasted about sabotaging people’s careers


Perrin Rogers disputes Senate staffer's claims of trying to “sabotage” her career


Simpson attacks Latvala for launching "smear campaign" against his aide


First GOP calls for Latvala resignation surface in Senate over sexual harassment


Forget the accusers, Latvala is taking himself down


PSC nominee withdraws after state senator accuses him of “vulgar” conduct


House storm proposal includes bolstering evacuations


500 families displaced by Hurricane Irma still living in Northeast Florida hotels


Florida growers catching up after delays due to hurricane


Puerto Rico business owners seek post-Hurricane Maria success on mainland


Court rules against insurer on “assignment of benefits”


Brown get five years in prison for fraud


Republicans are coming for your benefits


Governors unite to blast tax bill, but next steps are unclear


House conservatives almost topple tax vote


Rushed tax bill rewards corporate America


Senate passes $1.4 trillion tax bill but can’t fund children’s health insurance


Republicans sought to undercut an unfavorable analysis of the tax plan


Two ugly quotes from Republicans reveal the truth about their tax plan


Senate GOP accidentally killed some of its donors’ favorite tax breaks


No wonder millennials hate capitalism


Miami Republican opposes allowing Arctic oil drilling in tax bill


Can presidents obstruct justice? The latest Trump fight, explained


Trump adopts Nixon strategy, claims president is above the law


The White House’s latest fallback: Who cares if Trump colluded with Russia?


Trump’s lawyer: The president can’t obstruct justice. 13 legal experts: Yes, he can.


Two big holes in Trump lawyer’s explanation of that very unhelpful tweet


What is Trump so desperate to cover up?


Trump says Clinton repeatedly lied to the FBI. The FBI disagrees.


Six Sarah Huckabee Sanders tweets about the FBI that are very awkward now


Director defends FBI after Trump says bureau is in “tatters”


Law enforcement officials warily eye White House as Trump criticizes FBI


Trump's personal banking information handed over to Mueller


McFarland’s testimony about Russia contacts is questioned


Mueller: Manafort trying to “violate a court order” while under house arrest


Mueller is moving quickly compared to past special counsel investigations


Mueller’s facts and Trump’s make-believe


Democrats question GOP commitment to Senate's Russia inquiry


Don’t prosecute Trump. Impeach him.


Trump’s Florida friend Ruddy bashes Mueller investigation


10 reasons to revive the 1968 poor people’s campaign


Trump wants restaurant workers to share tips. They fear bosses will snatch them.


With shutdown looming, conservatives try pushing back the next spending deadline


Supreme Court allows Trump travel ban to take effect


Border arrests plunge, deportation arrests soar,-deportation-arrests-soar


ICE tracks down immigrant who spoke to media


Republican congressman introduces bill to penalize immigrant-friendly lawmakers


Cornyn rules out DACA fix, setting up government shutdown fight


As “Dreamers” protested outside Rubio’s office, a Border Patrol truck showed up


Net neutrality: AT&T case could let telecoms slow internet speeds at will


Trump announces the largest national monument reduction in history


Elite terrorist interrogation team withers under Trump


State Department warns of violence ahead of Trump Jerusalem decision


Arab warnings mount as U.S. suggests shift to name Jerusalem as Israeli capital


France warns Trump over plan to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital


Trump always lashes out when he’s cornered. He told me so years ago.


Trump may face a reckoning in case brought by female accuser


Trump accuser: We’re forgotten by those who “put party above all else”


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