The looming expiration of the 2017 Trump tax law presents the next president and Congress with a rare opportunity to reshape the U.S. tax system. The Washington Post’s Jacob Bogage explains what President Joe Biden and Democrats plan to do if they prevail in November. 

Pressure is already mounting from the party’s left flank to insist on sharp increases in the corporate tax rate and on the highest individual earners — and not to agree to any compromise with Republicans otherwise. … “One bad tax deal after another is killing our country,” [Sen. Elizabeth Warren] said in an interview. “The American people are sick of that.” 

Low pay is the main driver of a nationwide teaching shortage, according to educators who testified at a U.S. Senate panel on Thursday. States Newsroom’s Shauneen Miranda reports on the debate over teacher pay on Capitol Hill: 

[The 2021 Utah Teacher of the Year, John] Arthur, who is also a member of the National Education Association and holds National Board Certification, pointed to pay as the main reason for both teachers leaving the profession and parents not wanting their children to become teachers. “The No. 1 solution to addressing the issues we face must be increasing teachers’ salaries,” said Arthur, who teaches at Meadowlark Elementary School in Salt Lake City, Utah.

The average salary for a Louisiana teacher during the 2022-23 school year was $54,248, which ranked 46th nationally. State lawmakers gave teachers, whose salaries already lag behind their regional peers, another stipend instead of a permanent pay raise during the recently concluded legislative session. 

Tangipahoa Parish is pushing back against the expansion of dollar stores in its boundaries. While most challenges to dollar store developments focus on zoning restrictions and outright bans, such as the one imposed by the city of New Orleans, the rural parish is focusing on a new tactic. WWNO’s Stephan Bisaha explains:

But Tangipahoa has no limits on dollar stores, and parts of the parish are unincorporated without any zoning rules. Instead, the planning commissioner blocked Dollar General by relying on the parish’s police power to protect the community’s general safety, health and welfare. This authority has been used in the past to allow local governments to prohibit smoking in public places and fracking, according to the Institute for Local Self-Reliance. But it’s a first for dollar stores.

The record-breaking heat wave cooking America is making working conditions dangerous for anyone who has to perform their job outside or without air conditioning. Terri Gerstein, director of the Labor Initiative at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, writing in a guest column for the New York Times, explains what state governments can do to ensure workers don’t risk their lives in heat waves. 

Most states’ legislative sessions are over, limiting the possibilities for this summer, but lawmakers can prepare now and address this issue as a first order of business next year. A quicker option involves passing emergency temporary regulations through state agencies like safety and health boards. Some state and local laws may become obsolete when and if an OSHA heat rule eventually takes effect, but in the meantime, they will save lives. 

1.4 – Job opening per unemployed person in Louisiana in April 2024. There were 2.1 openings per person in April 2022. (Source: Stateline)