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May 20, 2005

State Policy Watch

Good news from Illinois for day laborers:

Day laborers in Illinois have greater protections thanks to the passage of a reform bill.

Governor Rod Blagojevich Thursday promised to sign the Day Labor Services Act.

It will require agencies to give workers detailed employment and wage notices.

The Act also protects temporary workers' paychecks from unreasonable deductions for meals and equipment, and prohibits agencies from charging workers fees for transportation between the agency and job sites.

Less good news in Maryland:
Gov. Robert Ehrlich on Thursday vetoed a bill that would force Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to spend at least 8 percent of its payroll on health benefits or pay the difference to a Maryland fund...

The Fair Share Health Care Act, which was approved by lawmakers in April, would require Wal-Mart to spend at least 8 percent of its payroll on health care benefits or pay more into the state Medicaid fund.

The bill would apply to all companies with more than 10,000 employees. Only one Wal-Mart in Maryland meets that criteria. It also would force nonprofit organizations of the same size to spend at least 6 percent of their payroll. Only Johns Hopkins University is large enough to qualify, and the institution already spends more than the required amount.

Eduardo Castro-Wright, chief operating officer of Wal-Mart stores USA division, stood at the Republican governor's side as he signed the official veto.

The big issue is whether there are votes in the Maryland legislature to override the veto.

Posted by Nathan at May 20, 2005 06:52 AM