Senate Confirms Hilda Solis as Labor Secretary, 80-17

The Senate now recesses until 8:30 p.m. for the President’s address.

UPDATE Here’s the roll call vote.

In other labor-related news…

AP, “Iowa labor measure nears failure; 1 vote short“:

DES MOINES, Iowa – Barring a last-minute change of heart that no one expects, the first major labor measure the Iowa Legislature has tackled will go down to defeat when lawmakers convene on Monday.

Democrats who control the House kept the chamber in session throughout the weekend after a measure which would force contractors bidding on public projects to pay the prevailing wage got 50 votes, one vote short of approval.

Legislative leaders say they don’t expect that to change and there is no sign that someone will change their vote.

So that’s Iowa lawmakers looking out for the interests of taxpayers first, rejecting labor’s efforts to make projects unnecessarily expensive. Good.

Too bad the federal stimulus bill was full of Davis-Bacon requirements so infrastructure dollars won’t go as far as they should.

And here in D.C., political freedom reaffirmed, “Court: State can stop union political deductions“:

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld a state law banning local governments from letting workers use payroll deductions to fund their union’s political activities, a decision that could strike at organized labor’s ability to raise funds at local levels.

Five labor unions and the Idaho state AFL-CIO successfully argued in lower federal courts that a 2003 Idaho law forcing cities, counties and school districts to eliminate a payroll deduction funding union political action committees violated the First Amendment.

“Idaho’s law does not restrict political speech, but rather declines to promote that speech by allowing public employee checkoff for political activities,” Chief Justice John Roberts said as the court voted 6-3 to overturn those rulings.

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