Illinois Bucks GOP Trend; Eases Voter Registration

At a time when 33 states have already enacted strict voter ID requirements for elections, Illinois decided this week to make it easier, not harder, for its citizens to vote. On Monday, August 28, Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a law Monday authorizing different state agencies to automatically register voters when they interact with them.

Illinois is the 10th state to adopt automatic voter registration, which can significantly strengthen voting rights. Activists are fighting relentlessly for these types of reforms as voter suppression becomes more and more commonplace. For example, this past year’s presidential election was the first in 50 years to be without the full protections of the Voting Rights Act.

In Wisconsin alone, the state’s voter-ID law suppressed 300,000 registered voters who lacked the proper identification. Multiple studies have shown that laws like these, enacted mostly by Republican legislators, led to a significant reduction in voter turnout in 2016, with a disproportionate impact on African-American and Democratic-leaning voters.

It is important for advocates to stay engaged after victories like the one in Illinois. Agencies must be held accountable and activists must push to make sure guidelines for implementation are created with voters’ protection in mind.

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Posted In: Union Matters

Union Matters

An Invitation to Sunny Miami. What Could Be Bad?

Sam Pizzigati

Sam Pizzigati Editor, Too Much online magazine

If a billionaire “invites” you somewhere, you’d better go. Or be prepared to suffer the consequences. This past May, hedge fund kingpin Carl Icahn announced in a letter to his New York-based staff of about 50 that he would be moving his business operations to Florida. But the 83-year-old Icahn assured his staffers they had no reason to worry: “My employees have always been very important to the company, so I’d like to invite you all to join me in Miami.” Those who go south, his letter added, would get a $50,000 relocation benefit “once you have established your permanent residence in Florida.” Those who stay put, the letter continued, can file for state unemployment benefits, a $450 weekly maximum that “you can receive for a total of 26 weeks.” What about severance from Icahn Enterprises? The New York Post reported last week that the two dozen employees who have chosen not to uproot their families and follow Icahn to Florida “will be let go without any severance” when the billionaire shutters his New York offices this coming March. Bloomberg currently puts Carl Icahn’s net worth at $20.5 billion.

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Health Care Should Not Be A Bargaining Weapon

Health Care Should Not Be A Bargaining Weapon