In late 2017, Massachusetts launched a state-administered 401(k) plan that small nonprofits — those with 20 employees or fewer — can join5. The plan is administered through the Office of the State Treasurer and Receiver General, which will take on the bulk of the administrative responsibilities. This assists employers with some of the challenges that deter them from offering plans to their workers. And, because of economies of scale, the plan sponsor is better equipped to offer lower fees and expenses than typical private plans.
Massachusetts is one of the only states that has successfully implemented retirement reform and has a program up and running6. This plan — known as the Connecting Organizations to Retirement (CORE) Plan — can begin to address some of the barriers to retirement security for workers in the nonprofit sector.
Many Washingtonians feel they are heavily taxed. They are – if they’re working class or middle class. Wealthy residents pay a tax rate many times lower than the rates other people pay. But due to our opaque tax system, it’s hard to understand how much we pay in taxes, or how much other people are.
This report compares the tax obligations of households at the $25,000, $50,000, $75,000, $100,000, $150,000 and $250,000 income levels in Bellevue, Bellingham, Everett, Federal Way, Kent, Olympia, Pasco, Pullman, Renton, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, Wenatchee and Yakima. In Seattle, the combination of state and local taxes results in a system which relies much more heavily on taxes on the people least able to pay, while not imposing significantly higher taxes on the wealthy.
This report also compares job growth in states and cities with their income tax structures and effective tax rates on wealthy households. In neither case is there any correlation.
The retail sector is an integral part of the Los Angeles landscape with almost half a million
workers in the county, and 147,157 workers in the city. Retail makes up one-tenth of
the private sector workforce in the county and is its second largest employer. Yet more
than half of the county’s workforce earn low wages. In the past few years, local and
statewide policies have focused on transforming low-wage work, including a raise in the
minimum wage, increased worker protections, and required paid time off. Despite the
statewide strengthening of workers’ rights protections, the unreliable hours and unpredictable
schedules endemic in the retail industry mean these benefits become inaccessible
to many workers. In part, the retail industry relies on scheduling practices that are
not good for workers, such as forcing them to wait for their weekly schedules with only
a few days notice. These practices not only undercut workers’ hours and their expectations
thereof, but also their incomes, and can make it nearly impossible for workers to
realize full and healthy lives.
Hour Crisis: Unstable Schedules in the Los Angeles Retail Sector explores worker hours
and scheduling practices for “frontline floor” staff that include salespersons, cashiers,
stockers, and food workers in large and chain stores. We used a participatory and research
justice approach and worked with students, workers, and community partners to
collect and analyze the data. Using mixed-sampling methodology, we collected a total
of 818 surveys. In addition, we analyzed government data and conducted an extensive
review of existing policy and academic literature on the topic.
Many Oregonians are struggling to afford safe and stable housing. Renters — who are disproportionately Oregonians of color — are the most likely to suffer from high housing costs. Many homeowners also struggle to keep a roof over their heads. Not surprisingly, housing costs weigh more heavily on low- and moderate-income households.
For Oregonians struggling to pay for their rent or mortgage, the cost of housing can make it hard to afford other basics such as healthy food and child care. In the worst cases, unaffordable housing costs increase rates of homelessness in Oregon.
Housing instability, in turn, undermines the physical and mental health of families, as well as the ability of children to succeed in school.