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BUSINESS
February 13, 2013 | by Walter Hamilton
President Obama's call to raise the federal minimum wage highlights the vastly different rates already in place across the country, with 19 states having minimums that exceed the current U.S. level. The president proposed Tuesday in his State of the Union speech to boost the federal level to $9 an hour from the current $7.25. The plan would hike the wage by 2015 as part of a broad plan to improve the fortunes of lower-paid workers. As it has in the past, such a proposal is certain to stir strong opinions, with proponents arguing that it's not only fair to workers but would be good for the economy by improving consumer spending power.
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NEWS
April 20, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
The consensus in polling this week is that jobs and the economy are the top concerns for voters in the presidential election. And if that's the case, there was mixed news for the White House in the release of new state-by-state unemployment data on Friday. Overall, the unemployment rate went up in eight states, held steady in 12 and dropped in 30 from February to March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The five biggest declines came in Oklahoma and Mississippi (down 0.6%)
NATIONAL
October 24, 2009 | Noam N. Levey and James Oliphant
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) said Friday that states might be able to "opt out" of any nationwide government insurance plan, a compromise that she suggested could unify congressional Democrats and enable President Obama to sign a healthcare overhaul bill later this year. Pelosi remains a leading champion of the "public option," which would establish a federal health insurance program that would give consumers who don't get coverage through their employer an alternative to plans offered by commercial insurers.
NEWS
May 24, 2012 | By Michael A. Memoli
Two of the states are familiar bellwethers, the third a relative newcomer to the swing-state category. For either Mitt Romney or President Obama, a clean sweep would guarantee victory on election night. And, for the moment, it's Obama with the advantage in Ohio, Florida and Virginia, according to a new round of polls from NBC News and Marist. In Florida and Virginia, Obama leads 48% to 44%. In Ohio, Obama's lead is 48% to 42%. The margin, though, has narrowed in each state since Romney essentially clinched the Republican nomination and will probably continue to fluctuate as both campaigns start honing their general election messages there.
BUSINESS
March 12, 2013 | By Jessica Guynn
SAN FRANCISCO -- Google has agreed to pay a $7-million fine to settle a probe by 38 states and the District of Columbia that it collected personal data from unsecured wireless networks while operating its Street View fleet. The Connecticut attorney general's office, which led an eight-state committee that investigated the data collection, made the announcement Tuesday. Word leaked Friday that Google had reached a settlement with the states . As part of the agreement, Google must educate employees about the privacy of consumer data and sponsor a public service campaign to teach people how to secure their wireless networks.
NATIONAL
October 12, 2013 | By Cindy Carcamo
PAYSON, Utah - There's a good chance that the fresh tart cherries Southern Californians find at their grocers originated from Robert McMullin's orchards at the base of the Wasatch Mountains. The third-generation farmer provides 90% of the fresh sour cherries found in Southern California. The hard-to-find fruit is prized by bakers and cooks. McMullin shook his head when he recalled how much fruit went unpicked during this year's July harvest. "We lost $300,000 on that deal because we didn't have enough guys to pick," he said.
NATIONAL
March 29, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
Enrollments in the nation's healthcare program have nearly concluded, but for states whose insurance exchanges have been crippled by technical problems, a difficult phase is just beginning: potential legal battles and a race to overhaul their systems before federal grant money dries up. Officials in Oregon, Massachusetts and Maryland are exploring legal options as they sever contracts with those who created their sites. All three states are considering a move to the federal exchange, which had its own grievous start-up problems but is now largely stable, or licensing the technology of a more successful state such as Connecticut.
NATIONAL
January 4, 2013 | By Noam N. Levey, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - The Obama administration has cleared what could be the final group of states to open their own health insurance exchanges this fall, advancing a key goal of the 2010 healthcare law to provide Americans with new options to shop for coverage. The conditional approvals announced for California, Hawaii, Idaho, Nevada, New Mexico, Vermont and Utah mean 17 states and the District of Columbia are on track to operate their own insurance exchanges this year. Exchanges in the remaining states will be run by the federal government or by state-federal partnerships.
BUSINESS
April 30, 2013 | By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times
WASHINGTON - Americans do not have a right to obtain public records from states other than their own, the Supreme Court ruled Monday, dealing a setback to businesses and researchers who gather data across the nation. The unanimous decision upheld laws in Virginia and a handful of other states that release some public records only to their own citizens. "This is disappointing. We have a national information economy now, and all sorts of activities depend on data from all 50 states," said Washington attorney Deepak Gupta, who represented two men who had challenged the "citizens only" provision of Virginia's public records law. Despite the ruling, Gupta said the trend has been for states to open their public records on an equal basis.
NATIONAL
April 14, 2012 | By Dalina Castellanos, Los Angeles Times
The fight against the death penalty is gaining momentum, opponents of the practice say, with Connecticut's decision this month to abolish capital punishment making it the fifth state in five years to so do. "For this to be happening in succession, and coupled with the decline in death penalty convictions, it creates a momentum that other states will at least consider to be a part of," said Richard Dieter, executive director of the independent Death...
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