Economic Justice

Billions of dollars in federal rental aid remains stalled in slow-moving states, localities

BY: - September 14, 2021

WASHINGTON — Make it simpler to apply for rental assistance money. Allow landlords to apply on behalf of unresponsive tenants. And consolidate two overlapping federal programs aimed at getting financial help to struggling renters. Those were among the proposals that U.S. House members weighed during a hearing Friday on how to better help states and localities […]

COMMENTARY

Column: I’ve worked at McDonald’s for 11 years. We deserve better working conditions.

BY: - September 14, 2021

In Detroit, the average temperature last month was 80 degrees. Now add the heat radiating from a hot stove, humidity, wearing a face mask for safety during the pandemic and physical exertion. It feels like I’m in an oven at the Detroit McDonald’s where I work.  I have worked at as a crew member for […]

Black business group bikes from Detroit to Mackinaw City, seeking investment

BY: - September 13, 2021

Members of a Detroit-based organization on Sunday launched a 377-mile bike ride from the Motor City to Mackinaw City, making the case that African-American entrepreneurs, businesses and nonprofits are not getting their fair share of opportunities. “The pandemic has shined the light on an issue that has been here,” said Black Leaders Detroit CEO Dwan […]

Great Lakes funding and 3 other big climate items in Congress’ reconciliation bill

BY: - September 13, 2021

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee late Thursday approved its first piece of Democrats’ sweeping $3.5 trillion spending blueprint on a party-line 24-13 vote. Among the highest priorities for President Joe Biden in the plan was addressing climate change, and the panel included initiatives ranging from oil and gas reform to offshore wind ventures. The […]

Unemployment head tells House panel she ‘absolutely’ takes responsibility for agency failures

BY: - September 9, 2021

Liza Estlund Olson, the acting director of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA), testified before a state House panel Thursday on unemployment system problems since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Olson’s appearance before the Oversight Committee comes after Republican lawmakers have leveled withering criticism at the Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer administration over its handling of […]

Federal pandemic jobless benefits are gone. Experts say state lawmakers must now protect workers.

BY: - September 9, 2021

Hundreds of thousands of Michiganders saw their COVID-related federal jobless aid end this week, leaving individuals and families to face yet another onslaught of challenges in a pandemic that is far from over — from state unemployment laws that policy experts said are riddled with problems to unaffordable childcare barring people from returning to the […]

Employees works at Ford Motor Plant

Oxfam: Michigan falls to 29th best state for workers in 2021

BY: - September 8, 2021

The Boston-based nonprofit Oxfam has ranked Michigan as the 29th best state for workers overall in its most recent annual report on working policies and conditions. Michigan’s 2021 ranking is a far cry from what it was in 2020 — then 13th in the country overall, nearly cracking the top 10 best states to work […]

States that borrowed from feds to cover unemployment comp checks are about to owe interest

BY: - September 7, 2021

WASHINGTON — Ten states that struggled to pay the mounting costs of rising unemployment compensation claims during the COVID-19 pandemic will face yet another challenge starting Monday: interest accruing on federal loans they relied on to cover payments to the unemployed. Collectively, those states — which include Colorado, Minnesota, New Jersey and Pennsylvania — owe the federal […]

COMMENTARY

David Hecker: Anti-worker policies from the Snyder era are holding Michigan back

BY: - September 6, 2021

Labor Day is a time to reflect on the hard-fought victories unions have won for all working people and consider our path forward as we continue our work to defend and uplift workers everywhere.  Usually, union members would be marching together down Michigan Avenue today — but while COVID prevents us from gathering for a […]

Dems have pushed to end the ‘tampon tax’ for years. Now Republicans are warming to the idea.

BY: - September 1, 2021

For the past six years, Democratic state lawmakers in Michigan have introduced legislation that would end the sales and use tax on menstrual products.  But, each time the bills were introduced, they never garnered enough support from Republicans that the legislation would make it to the governor’s desk.  This year, state Reps. Tenisha Yancey (D-Harper […]

Why wasn’t the pandemic worse? Federal funds and public programs, experts say.

BY: - August 31, 2021

When Effie Alofoje-Carr saw the stimulus payment from the American Rescue Plan Act hit her bank account this year, she cried.  “It was huge; it has saved our lives,” Alofoje-Carr, who lives in East Lansing with her husband and eight-year-old son, said of the stimulus checks that the federal government sent to residents across the […]

Supreme Court rejects eviction ban, increasing pressure to dole out rental aid money

BY: - August 27, 2021

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Supreme Court’s rejection of the Biden administration’s last-ditch effort to extend a federal ban on evictions has put hundreds of thousands of American renters at risk of losing their housing — and is increasing pressure on states and localities to get rental assistance dollars distributed faster. In an eight-page majority opinion […]