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With recall elections ramping up in the state of Wisconsin, citizens of the state are being asked to make a very brief decision on how they feel about Scott Walker’s legislation and the Republican State Senators who voted for it.
However, in that short time since the budget bill was passed into law, Wisconsin has seen a number of positive signs. School districts throughout Wisconsin have begun reporting the amount of money that Governor Walker’s budget has saved them. One of the first districts to report was the Kaukauna School District where the school was facing a projected $400,000 shortfall. They now project a $1.5 million surplus thanks to Governor Walker’s Bill. What’s more is that these changes will allow the school to bring on additional staff and reduce class size.
Per the Kaukauna District’s press release:
“These impacts will allow the District to hire additional teachers, reduce projected class sizes from 26 students to 23 students at the elementary level, 28 students to 26 students at the intermediate/middle level, and 31 students to 25 students at the high school level. In addition time will be available for staff to identify and support students needing individual assistance through individual and small group experiences.” http://bit.ly/naeBU3
What is “fair” compensation for workers? We hear the term “fair” thrown around a lot and with the national attention that was paid to the new budget bill in Wisconsin earlier this year, one might think that Republicans feel public sector union employees are overpaid while Democrats are simply defending the “fair” compensation of public sector union employees. An interesting situation has been developing in New York. Like many other states, New York is struggling to keep a balanced budget, and Governor Andrew Cuomo has spent much of his first year in office figuring out a way to restructure public sector union contracts.
His proposed contract (detailed in the graph below) was eventually accepted by the largest union of state workers in New York, the Civil Service Employees Association. However, the second-largest union in the state, the Public Employees Federation (PEF), voted down the new legislation. New York State has subsequently sent out layoff notices to nearly 3,500 PEF employees.
Why You (and Congress) Should Care About Fixing Social Security Now
By Lynnette Khalfani-Cox, The Money Coach®
Congress is currently debating whether or not to extend the Social Security payroll tax cut in 2012. Doing so would put about $1,000 into the pockets of the average American family next year.
But a bigger issue Congress should be addressing is the long-term fate of Social Security, which could impact your finances by hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Even though the Social Security system currently has roughly $2.6 trillion in reserves, those funds will be completely exhausted by 2036, according to a 2011 report by the Social Security Trustee. After that, Social Security will only be able to pay out about 75% of the payments due beneficiaries.
That means anyone contributing Social Security payroll taxes for the next 25 years could wind up being shortchanged on their rightful benefits – unless Congress acts soon to fix Social Security. In fact, there are some new tools available to help you understand your potential shortfall and vote on solutions, which I will discuss later.
Meantime, here are three reasons why you should demand that members of Congress tackle the issue of Social Security, and address this challenge sooner rather than later.
The Chicago Teachers Union made headlines a few months ago when it was revealed that the union was demanding a 30 percent raise in its new contract proposal.
Such an enormous raise – regardless of the supposed justification – would be unthinkable in a district with a $665 million budget deficit and a 9.8 percent unemployment rate.