Payroll Tax Cut Bill & More on Child Labor

Payroll Tax Cut Bill & More on Child Labor

Payroll Tax Cut Bill & More on Child Labor plus Food Forethought. I’m Greg Martin with today’s Northwest Report.

Thirty senators signed a letter this week asking Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to scrap a proposed rule governing on-farm labor by minors.  They say the proposed regulation limits the ability of farmers and ranchers to hire youth to work in agriculture, threatening the education and training of future farmers. The Labor Department, which is combing over 18-thousand public comments regarding the proposal, counters that kids working on farms owned by their parents would be exempt from regulation. American Farm Bureau President Bob Stallman welcomes the Senators’ appeal to Solis, saying the proposed rule change fails to take into account the modern structure of U.S. agriculture

STALLMAN: There’s all this talk about the proposed regulations that let children and families work, well that’s true as long as you don’t have a partnership or small family corporation or you’re not designed to operate like most of American agriculture is.

On Friday, President Barack Obama signed a two-month extension of the payroll tax cut bill. Earlier in the day, the measure cleared the Democratic-controlled Senate and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives by unanimous consent, a procedural move allowing the measure to pass even though most members of Congress were already home for the holidays. The President says - we have a lot more work to do. This continues to be a make-or-break moment for the middle class in this country.

Now with today’s Food Forethought, here’s Lacy Gray.

Ever wonder with all the holiday travelers this time of year if airlines weren’t perhaps utilizing baggage scales that would tip ever so slightly in favor of the airlines? With overweight baggage fees being anywhere from $25 to over $200 travelers can’t help thinking that might just be the case. Thankfully a group of people with the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Weights & Measures staff make sure that at least airport baggage scale accuracy is one thing travelers here in the Northwest don’t have to worry about. Recent inspections by the WSDA WM staff reported that only one out of 179 airport baggage scales tested weighed inaccurately in favor of an airline. That’s surprisingly good results. One thing the WSDA recommends is that travelers weigh their baggage at home prior to checking in at the airport in case adjustments need to be made; since having to juggle items around and transfer things to an already stuffed to the brim carry-on while standing in line at the airline’s counter is never a pleasant experience. Also good to know is that as a traveler you can always ask that a bag be reweighed on a different scale.

Thanks Lacy. That’s today’s Northwest Report. I’m Greg Martin on the Ag Information Network. 

Previous ReportMore Idaho Wind Turbines & Food Safety
Next ReportBigger Potato Crop & Helping Protect Farmland