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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Florida tops ABC's 2018 Merit Shop Scorecard rankings
The Associated Builders and Contractors released its 2018 Merit Shop Scorecard rankings this week, and the association ranked Florida No. 1 for its pro-construction policies, job growth and opportunities for contractors. You can obtain the report here. It should surprise no one that California ranked 50th--just ahead of Illinois. Illinois lost because of poorer job-growth opportunities and California's better score for Public-Private Partnerships (P3).
Construction workers have highest rate of suicide among American workers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in its Nov. 16 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report identified construction and extraction as the occupational group with the highest rate of male suicide among American workers. The CDC based its conclusion on data from 17 states and the 2012 and 2015 National Violent Death Reporting SystemMore.
Eric Bauman, the head of the California Democratic Party, made crude sexual comments and engaged in unwanted touching and physical intimidation, ten people told The Los Angeles Times. The allegations had not been previously disclosed. Mr. Bauman said he would seek treatment. [The Los Angeles Times]
So, How's That Top Two Working in California, Able Maldonado?
Rather than choose candidates they might have seen as the lesser of two bad Democrats, many Republican voters simply decided not to vote in certain contests in the Nov. 6 election, CALmatters' Ben Christopher concludes in the third of his reports on voting data. "Some 12 million Californians voted in the governor's race, a traditional match-up between Democrat Gavin Newsom and Republican John Cox, based on current tallies. But only 10.6 million voted in the U.S. Senate race between two Democrats, U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and state Sen. Kevin de Leon. And 10 million people cast votes in another Dem-on-Dem race between Lt. Gov.-elect Eleni Kounalakis and Sen. Ed Hernandez. Christopher: "An analysis of county election data shows that the voters most likely to leave the double-D races for lieutenant governor and U.S. Senate blank on the ballot live in counties where Republicans outnumber registered Democrats." So, why did I blame this on Able Maldonado? Zachary Hayes--writing for Fox & Houndssaid, "the new system has not achieved its main goal of diminishing partisanship. In 2009, then-state assemblyman Abel Maldonado, a moderate Republican, used his leverage to break a deadlock over the state budget. In exchange for his vote, legislative leaders put his Top-Two proposal on the 2010 ballot, and voters approved it by 54-46 percent. Maldonado's goal was to prevent a recurrence of the partisan budget battles that had taken place during the 2000s by forcing politicians to appeal to a broader group of voters. In doing so, they would have to move to the political center, with the result being that moderate candidates would dominate the legislature. This outcome has not, in fact, occurred."
The congressional multi-employer pension "supercommittee" is "considering repeal of the so-called 'last-man-standing' rule" (which assigns outstanding benefit liabilities to companies that remain in multi-employer plans) to move negotiations forward, James Rowley, and Madison Alder report for Bloomberg Law. Sen. Rob Portman(R-Ohio) "said the willingness of Democrats to consider eliminating that provision has helped drive progress in the talks." The committee has until Nov. 30 (a.k.a. tomorrow) to come up with a bipartisan legislative solution to address the pension crisis; it won't likely meet that deadline. More.
Unions, Proponents of Worker's Rights? Guess Again
A Wall Street Journal article entitled "Is Big Labor Anti-Worker?," reveals that hourly employees in the Washington offices of the American Federal of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations ("AFL-CIO") and Service Employees International Union ("SEIU") claim that their Union employers are treating them unfairly. I know - readers are shocked by the double standard. More.