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AP

Sen. Mark Warner is hoping to push the federal government to tackle the difficult questions about how companies like Uber and Lyft are changing the nature of work — and, more specifically, the nature of benefits.

At issue: Many benefits are traditionally tied to your full-time employer. But with the rise of on-demand economy companies that rely on contractors, a growing share of the workforce is going to miss out on benefits like health insurance and retirement savings plans.

  • The bill from Virginia's Warner, a Democrat, would give the Labor Department $20 million to fund pilot programs related to either new or existing models for portable benefits. In other words, benefits you that aren't linked to employment status. Warner told Axios that "rather than starting with some kind of federally driven, top-down solution, what we're trying to say is let's go ahead and try and experiment."
  • The grants aren't supposed to go to a program that "provides only retirement-related benefits," since Warner says he's hoping there will ultimately be more types of benefits available to workers.

Brass tacks: The bill has a companion in the House, sponsored by Democrat Suzan DelBene, and Warner says he expects it to gain support from Republicans. "We've had some conversations with Republicans. we want to go ahead and drop the bill, put the marker down, and I do anticipate that we'll gain some Republican and Democratic support," Warner said.

Go deeper

Tech's war for your wrist

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech's biggest companies are ramping up competition for the real estate between your hand and your elbow.

The big picture: The next big hardware platform after the smartphone will likely involve devices for your eyes, your ears and your wrists.

17 mins ago - World

Tokyo Olympics to allow up to 10,000 fans at each event

Tokyo 2020 president Seiko Hashimoto (L) and IOC President Thomas Bach on Monday. Photo: Rodrigo Reyes Marin/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Organizers of the Tokyo Olympics said Monday that venues can be filled up to 50% capacity when the Games kick off on July 23, with a maximum of 10,000 Japanese spectators at each event, AP reports.

Why it matters: Medical experts advising the Japanese government had recommended against allowing fans, citing the low vaccination rates in Japan and the potential for new variants to drive up infections.

38 mins ago - Health

The psychology behind COVID-19 lotteries

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

NBA season tickets. Scholarships. A chance at $5 million. The list of lotteries and raffles states are launching to drive up COVID-19 vaccination rates is growing, and some local officials are already reporting "encouraging" results.

Driving the news: The reason why, some psychologists and public health experts say, is that the allure of lotteries for many people is simply that the prospect of winning a great prize seems better than passing up the chance, regardless of the odds.