While President Joe Biden’s proposed $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” looks like it will pass Congress, one component of it seems likely to be left behind: a raise in the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.
According to USA Today, although Democrats control both the House of Representatives and the Senate by narrow margins, a few members of the president’s party are concerned about the effect of the hike – which would raise the minimum mandated by Uncle Sam from $7.25 an hour – on small businesses still struggling under the pressure of the coronavirus pandemic.
“Apparently, that’s not going to occur,” said Biden in an interview with the CBS Evening News. In California, the minimum wage for an employer with 25 employees or less is $13 an hour. For bigger companies, the minimum is $14. A blanket $15 an hour requirement will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2023.
The News: Single-day record of COVID-19 deaths
A new one-day high of deaths from the coronavirus in the United States soared to a record one-day high of almost 5, 100 deaths on Thursday, according to United Press International. The previous one-day mark, as tallied by Johns Hopkins University, was 4,500.
Although the number of new cases is declining nationwide and inoculations with vaccines are proceeding, the University of Washington is predicting that as many as 702,000 deaths from COVID-19 may be recorded by June 1. So far, 459,016 deaths have been reported in the U.S.
Dobbs is out: The popular “Lou Dobbs Tonight” program on the Fox Business news program has been cancelled, according to The New York Times. Dobbs, a long-time supporter of President Donald Trump, is one of several defendants in a $2.7 billion lawsuit by Smartmatic, an election technology firm that claims that Dobbs defamed it by tying the company to unsupported claims of widespread election fraud.
The Business: Back to normal again
After the turmoil created by the change of administrations, the storming of the U.S. Capitol and the Gamestop uprising, Wall Street returned to business as usual on Friday as all three major stock indexes reported gains.
The result was the best week since November.
The Dow Jones Average rose by 92.38 points to 31,148.24. The S&P 500 climbed 15.09 to 3,886.83 and the Nasdaq had an increase of 78.55 points to 13, 856.30. Investments in gold and oil also showed modest advances.
The Sports: Dodgers get highest-paid player
If you’re amazed at how much Hollywood stars get to play a role in a film, turn your attention to the other big show in town: the World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers. The Big Blue have signed free agent Trevor Bauer to a three-year deal worth $102 million that works out to $40 million the first year, $45 million the second and $17 million the third, provided he doesn’t opt-out and go to another team. Bauer, a UCLA alum who is now the highest-paid player in baseball, won the Cy Young Award in the virus-shortened 2020 season for the Reds. He had a modest 5-4 record, but also posted a glittering 1.73 earned run average and had 100 strikeouts.
The Weather: Nice weekend, and then …
Sunny, unwinterlike-weather will grace West Orange County this weekend. Saturday’s high is predicted to be 75, with an overnight low of 47. Sunday will be 70 and 47. However, most of the new workweek starting Monday will be partly cloudy with highs in the mid-60s by day and low 50s by night.
By Friday, the chance of rain will rise to 24 percent.
In the coastal area – Huntington Beach – daytime highs should be five to eight degrees cooler.
Categories: The Wider World