Month: February 2021
CINCINNATI (AP) — Republican Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio says he won’t seek reelection and plans to end a career in federal government spanning more than three decades. The 65-year-old Portman cited a political climate that has made it “harder to break through the partisan gridlock and make progress.” Portman is among the Republican lawmakers who often backed President Donald Trump, though not vocally. After Trump called the presidential election rigged, citing no legitimate evidence, Portman said Trump had a right to a probe of any irregularities. But after the Jan. 6 Capitol insurrection, Portman said Trump needed to go on national TV to tell his supporters to refrain from violence.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California lawmakers have agreed to use $2.6 billion in federal stimulus money to pay up to 80% of some tenants’ unpaid rent. But that applies only if landlords agree to forgive the rest of their debt. Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to quickly approve the legislation passed by both the Assembly and Senate on Thursday. It’s the state’s first major attempt to clear unpaid rents that have piled up during the pandemic as millions of people lost their jobs because of government-ordered business closures. It’s not clear if $2.6 billion is enough to cover all of the unpaid rent, nor how many landlords will accept the deal.
NEW YORK (AP) — Revered jazz player Terri Lyne Carrington is cool, calm and collected, but her schedule? Crazy. At just 55, she’s earning the highest honor bestowed on jazz artists, the prestigious NEA Jazz Masters Award. She’s nominated at the Grammys for best instrumental jazz album — an award she won in 2014 and is the only woman to do so in the show’s 63-year history. She worked as a consultant on the hit Disney/Pixar animation “Soul,” making sure it portrayed the jazz world accurately. And she’s the founder of the Berklee Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice and has spent nearly 16 years teaching at the college.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — The California Supreme Court has rejected a challenge to a ballot measure that makes app-based ride-hailing and delivery drivers independent contractors instead of employees eligible for benefits and job protections. The court Wednesday declined to hear the case brought by drivers and unions who had opposed the measure. Proposition 22 passed in November with 58% support and shielded companies like Uber and Lyft from a new state labor law. Some drivers sued last month, saying it was unconstitutional because it limits the power of the Legislature and excludes drivers from being eligible for workers’ compensation.