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1950Brutus - Illlinois Dem leaders urge minimum wage hike - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
AND for every hour paid at the higher rate is 5 cents more in tax revenues. Doesn't sound like much but wouldn't you like to have a nickel for every additional 5 cents they get.
pjohnf - Illlinois Dem leaders urge minimum wage hike - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
Durbin, Quinn and Schakowsky are pushing the minimum wage increase as a payoff to their union buddies because as the minimum goes up the unions can use the increase to support increases for their members. And that way the unions will have more money to give to the democrats. The vicious money laundering cycle continues.
pjohnf - Strawman: Obama\'s Right--It\'s Time to Fix the Immigration System........ - Quincy, IL News - Quinc
Obama's, Reid, Pelosi's and Durbin's version of immigration reform isn't true reform but it is amnesty or as some like to call it, democrat voter registration. Unless and until the border is fully secured and the flow of illegal aliens is stopped, the madness will continue. Our inept government also needs to implement E-Verify in the workplace nationwide and any employer caught…
pjohnf - Back pay, OT pushes Illinois government’s ‘$100,000 club’ to 7,800 members - Quinc
Good grief how many Judges does it take to run the courts in Cook county? Must be a lot of crime and corruption in Cook county. Oh that's right, Cook county is run by corrupt progressive democrats so they need a lot of judges to adjudicate all the crime and corruption.
1950Brutus - Fast food workers vow civil disobedience - Quincy, IL News - QuincyJournal.com
It seems it would be difficult to pay "disorderly conduct" fines when making minimum wage. Or maybe there is a government program for this?? Comparing this movement to the civil rights movement is laughable. If they want to be taken seriously they need to drop this.

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Opposing FSA office closures

4 months, 2 weeks ago Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor

Proposals to cut local FSA offices often cause controversy

From Chris Clayton, DTN Ag Policy Editor :

A group representing local Farm Service Agency committees is opposing a proposal that could eliminate as many as 250 FSA offices nationally through consolidation.

The National Association of FSA Elected Committees (NAFEC) wrote a letter this week to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack declaring the group's opposition to any office closures or any staffing reductions at county offices. Craig Turner, president of NAFEC, said county offices are going to be needed more than ever to implement the new farm bill. Turner and other members of the executive committee for NAFEC encouraged farmers to talk to their congressmen about the possible FSA closures.

"What upsets me is the county committee -- the county office employees -- are what is always cut," said Turner, a farmer near Matador, Texas. "We're trying to implement a new farm bill and everything that goes with that ... I don't feel like this is the time to cut us any more when there may be other places that we feel like have not been cut yet. It's very important for us to be able to get this farm program out on the ground as fast as we can."

The county office employees are governed by those local committees. Other FSA employees report to the regional offices or national USDA headquarters.

"The CO (county office) side is the only side that has any local control in the federal government," Turner said. "To me, there's nothing better to regulate it because we know what's going on."

NEFAC, in a statement, wrote that farmers in some rural areas don't have broadband access to rely on websites such as eGov and Midas programs for enrolling in USDA programs or updating farm information. That means farmers then need to travel to their county offices for program information and assistance.

Turner said he is heading to Washington, D.C., next week and has meetings set up with several FSA and Risk Management administrators. He hopes to get a chance to meet with Vilsack as well.

Vilsack is set to testify before a House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture to explain the White House budget proposal. Vilsack is expected to face sharp questions over several issues, including possible changes to USDA inspection rules for poultry processors. But the administration also could see pushback from lawmakers about its FSA proposal.

The budget proposal from the White House states USDA would "modernize the farm program delivery system through a model service center concept." To boost the modernization efforts, USDA would consolidate county Farm Service Agency offices, reducing the current 2,100 county offices by about 250. Talking to reporters last week, Vilsack noted 31 FSA offices have no full-time employees. Those offices could be eliminated along with other offices that have only one or two employees but are within 20 miles of larger USDA service centers.

Cutting offices can create parochial responses. Mike Espy, who was ag secretary from 1993-94, recalled at the USDA Outlook Forum in 2012 that he was called into a senator's office when the Clinton administration proposed eliminating an FSA office where the senator's cousin worked. Espy noted he was pretty sure that office remained open. Two years ago, the Obama administration also proposed eliminating FSA offices. At the time, Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., vehemently complained at a Senate appropriations subcommittee meeting about FSA office closures, holding up a map of Arkansas and debating whether offices in his state selected for cuts were factored using road miles or straight lines. Pryor now chairs that appropriations subcommittee.

House members also have introduced legislation in the past to block office closures.

Cutting FSA offices is "very tough sledding," Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., said in a phone interview Thursday. The George W. Bush administration proposed to cut more than 700 offices nationally when Johanns was agriculture secretary before that plan was scrapped due to congressional backlash.

Johanns said every recent ag secretary has recognized the need to improve efficiency and services at local FSA offices.

"We want them to be efficient, we want them to have the most up-to-date computer systems, be there to help farmers, answer questions," he said. "But what we have ended up in many places is we have one employee, we have outdated equipment, we have some places where we don't have a full-time employee in the office. So at the end of the day, every (ag) secretary has looked at this and said 'This is getting to be a bigger and bigger problem.'"

Johanns noted Vilsack was governor of Iowa when the Bush administration made its proposal. Vilsack traveled to a county in north-central Iowa to express his opposition to that proposal.

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