In his State of the Union address, President Obama unveiled policies he can implement by executive order, as well as several needing congressional approval. Among them:
• Create a retirement savings program for lower-income workers. The “starter” investment plan would be made available to millions of private-sector employees who do not currently have access to a 401(k) or pension.
• Boost the minimum wage for workers hired by firms with federal contracts to $10.10 per hour.
• Protect environmentally sensitive federal lands from development for energy production.
• Launch partnerships with major tech and communication companies to get 15,000 schools access to the latest broadband and wireless technology.
Proposals needing congressional approval:
• Increase the earned income tax credit for workers without children, and make it available to more of them.
• Raise the minimum wage nationwide to $10.10 per hour.
• Renew the recently expired unemployment benefits for people who have been without jobs for more than 26 weeks.
• Create a new tax credit to promote production of the next generation of clean-burning cars, as well as renew the recently expired credit for production of advanced fuels made from grasses and other plant matter.
• Launch new incentives to encourage the use of trucks that run on alternative fuels.
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