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Virginia Senate, House Pass Legislation To Boost Minimum Wage

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The Virginia General Assembly recently passed a bill that will incrementally increase the current minimum wage in the state to $12 per hour by the year 2023, if Gov. Northam signs off the bill, which he is expected to do.

The current minimum wage in the state is $7.25 per hour, but is expected to jump up to $9.50 next year, $11 in 2022, and finally hitting $12 in 2023.

The bill was approved almost along party lines, as Democrats were supportive of the measure, but the GOP opposed it, which is not surprising at all, especially given how economic facts have proven that a hiking the minimum wage does more harm than good.

Here’s more from The Washington Examiner:

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This version of the minimum wage bill came out of a joint conference committee with House and Senate Democrats who disagreed on how the minimum wage increase should affect lower-income regions of the commonwealth. The compromise bill essentially tables this debate until 2022.

The initial House version, House Bill 395, sought to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour across the entire state, while the initial Senate version, Senate Bill 7, sought a regional approach, which would have increased the minimum wage to $15 per hour only in the wealthiest parts of the states. Lower-income regions would have had their increases tied to the average regional salary.

As a compromise, the new bill would compel three government agencies to conduct a joint review to understand the effect of a regional minimum wage increase. The agencies would consider several factors, which include its impact on the cost of living, its impact on workers and its impact on income inequality. They also would consider the economic benefits of a regional minimum wage and whether it is feasible.

The compromise bill contains a provision designed to pave the way for increasing the minimum wage to $13.50 by 2025 and $15 per hour by 2026, but first requires legislative action. Lawmakers will have the opportunity to approve these two increases by July 1, 2024. If they do not approve the increases by 2024, then the $12 minimum wage would just be tied to inflation.

The problem with increasing the minimum wage is that, while it looks good on paper, it actually doesn’t do anything to help folks who are in those jobs make a better living wage. It actually does the opposite.

When the minimum wage is increased, that’s more money coming out of the pocket of the business owner who has to find some way to absorb the extra expense so as not to hurt the profitability of the business and keep it running.

This means that the price of the goods and services is going to go up to reflect the hike, passing the cost on to the customer. If the price of goods and services go up, it leads to an increase in the cost of living and thus, we’re right back where we started.

Not to mention that folks just starting out in the workforce will find it more difficult to get entry level experience they need to establish a work history as business owners will want to be more cautious about who they hire with such a high wage, wanting folks with experience instead of taking on those who have none.

It’s just a bad idea.

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Florida’s Top Doc Removed from Meeting Over Mask Refusal

He was following the science, though…

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When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have often heard the mantra “follow the science”, repeated ad nauseam by any number of doctors, epidemiologists, and experts.  This is because COVID-19, like other viruses, behaves in a predictable and distinct way, an die can use math to understand the true nature of our risks, and to a fairly accurate degree.

But there are some who wish to ignore the science, and instead create arbitrary rules and regulations that don’t conform to the advice of the experts.

This sentiment turned downright silly in Florida this week, after one of the state’s leading medical experts was removed from a meeting for not wearing a mask.

Florida’s top health official was asked to leave a meeting after refusing to wear a mask at the office of a state senator who told him she had a serious medical condition, officials have confirmed.

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Florida Senate leader Wilton Simpson, a Republican, sent a memo to senators Saturday regarding the incident at the office of Democratic state Sen. Tina Polsky, asking visitors at the building to be respectful with social interactions. Polsky, who represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, had not yet made public her breast cancer diagnosis.

Polsky told The Associated Press about the tense exchange with state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo that was first reported by the news site Florida Politics. She said Ladapo and two aides were offered masks and asked to wear them when they arrived for the Wednesday meeting. She did not tell him she had breast cancer, but said she had a serious condition.

Ladado suggested that the meeting could take place outside if it would make Polsky more comfortable, but she refused.

This begs the obvious question: If Ladapo is following the science, as he most certainly is, who is anyone to tell him he’s wrong?  This is the premiere expert on Florida’s coronavirus situation, after all.

 

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, we have often heard the mantra “follow the science”, repeated ad nauseam by any number of doctors, epidemiologists, and experts.  This is because COVID-19, like other viruses, behaves in a predictable and distinct way, an die can use math to understand the true nature of our risks, and to a fairly accurate degree. But there are some who wish to ignore the science, and instead create arbitrary rules and regulations that don’t conform to the advice of the experts. This sentiment turned downright silly in Florida this week, after one of the state’s leading medical experts was removed from a meeting for not wearing a mask. Florida’s top health official was asked to leave a meeting after refusing to wear a mask at the office of a state senator who told him she had a serious medical condition, officials have confirmed. Florida Senate leader Wilton Simpson, a Republican, sent a memo to senators Saturday regarding the incident at the office of Democratic state Sen. Tina Polsky, asking visitors at the building to be respectful with social interactions. Polsky, who represents parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties, had not yet made public her breast cancer diagnosis. Polsky told The Associated Press about the tense exchange with state Surgeon General Joseph Ladapo that was first reported by the news site Florida Politics. She said Ladapo and two aides were offered masks and asked to wear them when they arrived for the Wednesday meeting. She did not tell him she had breast cancer, but said she had a serious condition. Ladado suggested that the meeting could take place outside if it would make Polsky more comfortable, but she refused. This begs the obvious question: If Ladapo is following the science, as he most certainly is,…

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Crew of Alec Baldwin Film Walked Off Set Over Safety Fears Hours Before Fatality

WHOA!

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While the fatal shooting of a Hollywood cinematographer has been deemed an accident by those involved, there appears to have been a pattern of negligence on-set, leading up to the incident.

Alec Baldwin last week discharged a “prop” firearm in the direction of crew members on the set of his film “Rust”, and, somehow, a live round had been loaded into the weapon.  The shot killed one member of the production staff and wounded another.

As it turns out, crew members were already concerned about the way in which the weapons were being handled.

The 24-year-old head armorer in charge of guns on the Alec Baldwin film where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was tragically shot and killed on Thursday had admitted she wasn’t sure she was ready for the job in an interview before filming started.

‘I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but doing it, it went really smoothly,’ Hannah Gutierrez-Reed said in a podcast interview last month after leading the firearms department for The Old Way, starring Nicolas Cage – her first time as head armorer.

And that’s not all:

It comes as crew on the film revealed they walked off set hours before the fatal accident over safety fears after firearms were accidentally discharged three times – including once by Baldwin’s stunt double who had been told the gun was not loaded, and twice in a closed cabin.

A search warrant released Friday said that Gutierrez-Reed laid out three prop guns on a cart outside the filming location, and first assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds.

‘Cold gun!’ shouted Halls before handing the gun to Baldwin, using the phrase to signal to cast and crew that the gun was safe to fire for the scene, the warrant said.

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The investigation into the incident is ongoing, and there is the potential for someone to be charged in the case still.

While the fatal shooting of a Hollywood cinematographer has been deemed an accident by those involved, there appears to have been a pattern of negligence on-set, leading up to the incident. Alec Baldwin last week discharged a “prop” firearm in the direction of crew members on the set of his film “Rust”, and, somehow, a live round had been loaded into the weapon.  The shot killed one member of the production staff and wounded another. As it turns out, crew members were already concerned about the way in which the weapons were being handled. The 24-year-old head armorer in charge of guns on the Alec Baldwin film where cinematographer Halyna Hutchins was tragically shot and killed on Thursday had admitted she wasn’t sure she was ready for the job in an interview before filming started. ‘I almost didn’t take the job because I wasn’t sure if I was ready, but doing it, it went really smoothly,’ Hannah Gutierrez-Reed said in a podcast interview last month after leading the firearms department for The Old Way, starring Nicolas Cage – her first time as head armorer. And that’s not all: It comes as crew on the film revealed they walked off set hours before the fatal accident over safety fears after firearms were accidentally discharged three times – including once by Baldwin’s stunt double who had been told the gun was not loaded, and twice in a closed cabin. A search warrant released Friday said that Gutierrez-Reed laid out three prop guns on a cart outside the filming location, and first assistant director Dave Halls grabbed the gun from the cart and brought it inside to Baldwin, unaware that it was loaded with live rounds. ‘Cold gun!’ shouted Halls before handing the gun to Baldwin, using the phrase to signal to cast and…

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