Political briefs – July 17

Staff report


BROWN AIMS TO GIVE WORKERS A SAY IN THEIR SCHEDULES AND ENCOURAGE MORE RELIABLE WORK SCHEDULES – With at least 17 percent of the work force reporting having an unstable work schedule, U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown today joined his colleagues to reintroduce legislation that would give workers a greater role in setting their hours and help bring more consistency and stability to workers’ schedules.

“Finding out about a shift just days in advance or constantly being on-call just isn’t good enough for working parents or Ohioans who work multiple jobs in order to make ends meet,” said Brown. “When workers have a voice in setting their hours, they are better equipped to work multiple jobs or plan for childcare. More stable hours can also help workers bring in a more predictable income which allows them to better budget and plan for their household.”

According to the Economic Policy Institute, at least 17 percent of the U.S. workforce has an unstable schedule. Of that 17 percent, ten percent has an irregular or on-call work schedule and an additional seven percent work split or rotating shifts. Twenty to 30 percent struggle with being required to work extra hours with insufficient notice. Irregular hours and shift work are most common among the lowest-income workers.

PORTMAN APPLAUDS PASSAGE OF BILL TO WAIVE VISA RENEWAL FEES FOR ADOPTIONS – This week, U.S. Senator Rob Portman (R-Ohio) applauded the passage of the Adoptive Family Relief Act. This bill, authored by U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) and cosponsored by Portman, would allow the State Department to waive visa renewal fees for families adopting children from abroad in circumstances when children are unable to immigrate to the United States in a timely manner. The Adoptive Family Relief Act would immediately assist American families that have adopted children from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, which has refused to issue exit permits to legally-adopted children since September 2013.

“Ohio families waiting to be united with their adoptive children shouldn’t be forced to pay a hefty visa fee every six months due to delays out of their control,” Portman stated. “I’ve worked closely with many families who are simply trying to bring their adoptive children home, and this legislation will provide some temporary relief as we continue to work to unite these kids with their adoptive families.”

Portman has worked closely with Ohio families who have been affected by stalled adoptions of children from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Despite completing the adoptions, these families have not been able to bring their children home because Congolese immigration authorities have issued a suspension on all exit letters for adopted children since September 2013. Nearly 800 Congolese children and their adoptive American families are directly affected by the adoption crisis in DRC, representing more than 10% of the total number of children who were internationally adopted worldwide by American families last year. Over 350 American families have finalized adoptions of Congolese children, including at least 17 Ohio families. At least 2 adopted children have died during their wait.

DEWINE STATEMENT ON PLANNED PARENTHOOD VIDEO – Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine today issued the following statement:

“The video showing Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services calmly discussing the best way to kill an unborn child in order to preserve the condition of the baby’s internal organs is truly horrifying. Any person or abortion clinic involved in such a practice described in the video may have violated specific state or federal laws.

“Because registered non-profit corporations operate three Planned Parenthood abortion facilities in Ohio, those entities and the directors have a fiduciary duty under Ohio law to ensure their organization does not support illegal activity. My office’s Charitable Law Section is conducting an investigation to ensure that no Ohio non-profit is breaking the law or profiting from the sale of aborted babies. I encourage anyone with information about this potential illegal activity to contact my office or their local law enforcement agency.”


Staff report