Capitol Comments

An update to the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) will increase the threshold for workers receiving overtime pay. Under the new rule, salaried employees who make less than $47,476 a year will be able to receive time-and-a-half pay when they work more than forty hours a week. With existing FLSA regulations, only salaried employees making under $23,660 a year and hourly workers are eligible for overtime protections.

With the continued and rapid increase of rooftop solar installations in the U.S., state governments are playing an increasing role in ensuring the public has accurate, balanced, and understandable information to make informed decisions on solar energy options. Like purchasing a house or a car, purchasing or leasing a solar photovoltaic system can involve complicated calculations of future energy needs and system profitability, an assessment of uncertain solar policies and incentives in states, vetting of solar installers, and a...

Health policies and programs in the states face an uncertain future with the election of Donald J. Trump. During his campaign he vowed to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Currently 73 million Americans are enrolled in the Medicaid program, a federal-state partnership program for which the federal government pays 62 percent of total expenditures. A Medicaid block grant, one proposal under discussion, might provide the states more flexibility but also might transfer more financial responsibility, especially in the long term, to the states. 

According to an annual survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), 7.0 percent of U.S. households were “unbanked” in 2015, which means that no one in the household had a checking or savings account. That’s around 9 million households consisting of 15.6 million adults and 7.6 million children. The percentage of the population that is unbanked varies considerably across states, ranging from a low of less than 2 percent in New Hampshire and Vermont to more than 10 percent in Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Louisiana has the highest rate at 14 percent.

The Kentucky Supreme Court ruled on October 20th that cities do not have the authority to raise the minimum wage standard.

The last time legislation was enacted to raise the federal minimum wage was in 2007 when Congress passed the Fair Minimum Wage Act, gradually increasing the rate from $5.15 an hour to it's current level of $7.25, reached in 2009.

On Tuesday, voters in California, Nevada, and Washington State approved measurers to tighten existing gun control laws, while voters in Maine narrowly rejected a measure that would have required background checks on private gun sales.

Donald Trump’s surprising win wasn’t the only big story to emerge on Election Day. Voters also had the opportunity to weigh in on a number of important transportation-related ballot measures around the country. Here’s a look at how they fared and an extensive collection of links where you can read more about those measures and the impacts of other election results.

It is of course too soon to know (but never too soon to speculate)!

While still a candidate, President-elect Trump released two lists of potential Supreme Court nominees to fill the current vacancy on the Court. While he has indicated that these lists are definitive, only time will tell whether he will in fact stick to them when making a nomination. Both lists were well-received by conservatives.

President Trump should have little trouble getting a conservative nominee through the majority-Republican Senate. If Senate Democrats filibuster Trump’s nominee, Senate Republicans are likely to exercise the “nuclear option,” meaning only a simple majority of Senators will be needed to confirm the nominee.    

Two much-watched health policy ballot initiatives went down on state ballots in Colorado and California. Both were fashioned to address voter concern over the affordability of health care. On the other hand, voters in eight states approved initiatives to legalize marijuana for medical or recreational use. 

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