State budget talks, Derek Kilmer’s in, USPS closures…
► From AP — Top lawmakers work toward budget deal– Lawmakers are hoping to strike a budget deal before the 60-day legislative session ends Thursday, a task made more difficult following a Friday night coup in which minority Republicans united with three Democrats to pass a more conservative spending plan.
► At The Slog — Sen. Ed Murray: GOP budget coup leaders must compromise, ‘or we’re going to be here a long time’ — “It was an obvious abuse of power, what happened on Friday,” Murray said. “No transparency, no opportunity for us to even caucus so we could go over the budget. And I believe they did that because if there had been time to go over it, some of their own members might not have even voted for it.”
► In today’s Seattle Times — Sen. Pam Roach says she was 25th vote needed to pass GOP budget — Sen. Pam Roach (R-Auburn) says she joined Republicans to seize control of the Senate and pass a GOP budget partly in return for being allowed to rejoin the caucus. She was banned from the Senate GOP caucus in 2010 for allegedly berating staff and creating a hostile work environment.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Budget standoff likely means special session — “There’s no way we get done by Thursday,” said Sen. Joseph Zarelli (R-Ridgefield), who is the ranking Republican on the Senate Ways and Means Committee.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Special session now looms — “I don’t get the timing… unless it was to say ‘Take that, Democrats’,” said Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown (D-Spokane).
► From AP — Lawmakers pass rules for insurance exchange — The Legislature has passed a bill setting rules for insurers preparing for the state’s online insurance exchange, a key piece of the federal health-care overhaul set to go live Jan. 1, 2014. Insurance exchanges will work as online marketplaces, such as those widely used for airplane tickets and hotels, where consumers can compare different plans’ coverage options and prices.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Look for more details on this legislation to be posted tomorrow in The Stand.
► In today’s Columbian — Sales tax bill clears committee — A proposal to make Oregonians pay retail sales tax in Washington, as part of a plan to help pay for all-day kindergarten, passed out of the state’s House Ways and Means Committee.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Sen. Derek Kilmer gets in 6th Congressional District race — State Sen. Derek Kilmer (D-Gig Harbor) officially announced his candidacy for Congress on Monday. He’ll seek the 6th District seat being vacated by Belfair Democrat Norm Dicks, who is retiring after 18 terms in Congress. “My job is creating jobs,” said Kilmer, who works as vice president of the Pierce County Economic Council. “When I’m not in Olympia, my job is to work with businesses in Pierce County to help them grow and thrive. We could use more folks in Washington who are focused on creating more jobs with better pay, and that’s what I’ll do in the U.S. House of Representatives.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Kilmer is also a prime sponsor of the Infrastructure Jobs legislation dubbed “ingenious job creation in hard times” by The (Tacoma) News Tribune.
► In today’s News Tribune — Sen. Kastama knows he’ll likely pay for vote– Kastama said some 7,000 emails, mostly negative form letters, have deluged his inbox, and he’s had threats of pulled support. He said his statewide bid for secretary of state is the last thing on his mind right now.
► In today’s Washington Post — Voters to GOP candidates: We don’t like any of you — The four remaining Republican presidential candidates are viewed unfavorably by large swaths of the American public, according to a new Washington Post/ABC News poll — a sobering reminder for the party that the extended primary season has damaged the brand
► In today’s NY Times — A possible last hurrah for the lion of Ohio — Rep. Dennis Kucinich, who started in politics more than 40 years ago in Cleveland, has fallen victim to redistricting, a redrawing of the electoral map that sliced two Congressional seats out of Ohio — one of them his.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing starts work on Everett delivery center — Boeing took another step Monday toward making a new aircraft delivery center in Everett a reality by breaking ground on the complex. It is building the new center to keep up with the increasing number of jet deliveries the company is making due to strong aircraft demand. The new facility will be 180,000 square feet, up from the existing center’s size of 60,000 square feet. Boeing expects to open the new center in early 2013.
► From AP — Gregoire approves wind farm along Gorge — The governor has approved plans for a wind farm on the north side of the Columbia River Gorge over the objections of conservation groups and neighboring landowners.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Postal workers mount fight to stop processing center closures– APWU President Cliff Guffey says the U.S. Postal Service’s announcement that it will close nearly half of the nation’s mail processing facilities “has sent a clear message” to workers and customers: “If Congress does not take action before the moratorium expires, management intends to dismantle the mail processing network.”
► In The Hill — Senate GOP, conservative groups clash on healthcare reform repeal votes — Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has resisted pushing for a repeal vote because the Senate Republican Conference is split on the issue.
► At TPM — Liberals push back against GOP’s latest salvo in battle over Medicare — House Republicans are set to advance legislation to repeal a key plank of Obama’s health care law — the cost-cutting Independent Payment Advisory Board — and have enlisted several Democrats for a cause that’s central to the conservative goal of phasing out traditional Medicare.
► At Politico — Trucker fatigue rule faces detour through courts — Nobody is happy with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s new rule governing how long truckers can drive and when they must rest. A safety group has gone to court against the agency, calling the rule too lax, while the trucking industry has filed a suit calling it too strict.
► In today’s LA Times — Merged United, Continental operations off to bumpy start — The latest step in the merger of two of the nation’s largest airlines was plagued with glitches over the weekend, but most of the airline’s flights were on schedule by Sunday.
► In today’s NY Times — A union stands up for players (by Joe Nocera) — Last year, NFL Players Association Executive Director DeMaurice Smith wrestled with the bullies running the NFL, who locked out the players when they couldn’t reach a labor agreement. Now he is setting his sights on an even bigger bully: the NCAA.
► At Huffington Post — American workers: The best bet (by USW President Leo W. Gerard) — As unemployment slowly eases, as the Big Three automakers report huge profits and hire workers, as the stock market slowly climbs and foreclosures slowly drop, Republicans, particularly the GOP presidential candidates, refute it all. They simply deny that the stimulus created the 1.2 to 3.3 million jobs that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reports it did. They continue to insist that America should have let Detroit go bankrupt. Instead of betting on American workers, they would double down on Bush’s tax breaks for the rich, subsidies for fabulously profitable corporations and deregulation of Wall Street.
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