Protests Continue Following Police Shooting in Washington State
The fatal police shooting of Antonio Zambrano-Montes on February 10 has spurred daily protests in Pasco, Washington. The police claim Zambrano-Montes, a Mexican immigrant, was throwing rocks at the officers, but the situation is still under investigation. Protestors have been gathering at the Pasco City Hall every day this week, and people around the nation are drawing parallels between this shooting and the police shootings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Confusion in Alabama Continues Regarding Same-Sex Marriage Licenses
Two conservative groups filed an emergency petition to the Alabama Supreme Court, requesting state and federal courts in Alabama to stop issuing same-sex marriage licenses. This comes in the wake of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama deciding that the state’s ban on gay marriage was unconstitutional. While the conservative organizations hoped this petition would stop gay marriages from taking place in Alabama, many probate judges continue to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples. Republicans fill every seat on the Alabama Supreme Court, and activists on both sides of this issue are eagerly awaiting a decision.
Wal-Mart Raising Wages for Employees to $9 an Hour
On Tuesday, Wal-Mart announced that it is raising its wages to at least $9 an hour for a half-million employees. A White House spokesman said, “Today’s announcement is another example of businesses, along with cities and states, taking action on their own to raise wages for their workers, recognizing that doing so can raise productivity, reduce turnover and improve morale.” This move could also encourage other retailers to increase wages for their employees.
Incorrect Tax Information Regarding Obamacare Impacting 800,000 Americans
On Friday, the Obama administration announced that the government sent incorrect tax information to 800,000 Americans who had signed up for insurance policies via HealthCare.gov. While the Affordable Care Act has been widely declared a success due to its strong enrollment numbers, this mistake could hurt many low-income Americans who must now wait to file their taxes and receive their refunds. The government decided to postpone the deadline to sign up for health insurance, in order to allow people to avoid any tax penalties. Critics of the Affordable Care Act have jumped upon this mistake, claiming that “Obamacare continues to frustrate and confuse Americans.” However, the White House claims this will only impact “a very small fraction” of taxpayers and that they still have plenty of time to file before the tax deadline.