► In today’s Seattle Times — Gregoire begins contract talks with state employees — Neither the governor nor the WFSE would comment on what they hope to get out of negotiations, but Gregoire noted the state has been whittling away at pension and health-care benefits for state workers since the recession hit, and there haven’t been pay increases for years. “The idea of giving back to your community, the calling of John F. Kennedy and so on, just goes so far,” she said. “We need to be careful.”
► Meanwhile, another day in the life of some of those state employee bureaucrats, at TheNewsTribune.com — Western State Hospital patient attacks doctor, nurses
► From AP — Gregoire to successor: New revenue is necessary (editorial) — Gregoire said Monday while signing what is likely her last budget that the state cannot meet its responsibilities in education without a long-term dedicated source of revenue. Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Inslee and Republican rival Rob McKenna have both said they don’t see the need for new revenue.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Gregoire signs teacher health care bill — The governor signed a teacher health care reform bill into law Wednesday, though school district administrators and teachers said the effects of the legislation aren’t fully known.
► From AP — Boeing bridge? State lawmaker eyes naming rights
► At IAM 751’s blog — Boeing gives quality award to Everett 787 Machinists — A group of 30 Machinists Union members who build 787s in Everett have been honored by the Boeing Co. with a new companywide award for outstanding quality and innovation.
► At HeraldNet.com — Occupy Chicago to ‘shut down Boeing’ on May 21 — Occupy Chicago calls Boeing a “war criminal” in the protest notice, saying the company produces war machines using prison labor. The group also condemns Boeing’s 2009 decision to put a second 787 production line in South Carolina rather than Washington state.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Tesoro is an unsafe place to work (letter) — This large, profitable corporation wants the unfettered right to change benefit plans whenever it decides to without bargaining with the union. I think Tesoro should work hard to negotiate a fair contract with its employees. One that ensures their safety as well as piece of mind that their families will be covered if a medical emergency strikes and that they will have health-care plans as retirees. Tesoro should remember who made the $546 million in profit for the company last year.
ALSO at The Stand — USW members at Tesoro rally for a fair contract
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Port Westward coal export terminal faces opposition from PGE— Portland General Electric is blocking a proposed 100-acre coal export terminal on land it leases at Port Westward near Clatskanie, citing concerns that coal dust might interfere with its adjacent generator.
► From Bloomberg — NLRB’s Flynn urged to quit after fresh allegations — Republican NLRB member Terence Flynn should resign after the inspector general found fresh ethics breaches he said are a serious threat to the agency, Democratic Representative George Miller said. Flynn distributed non-public information, including an early draft of a board decision, to a former member of the agency for personal gain, according to a report from an agency watchdog.
► At Huffington Post — Inventor of Ryan’s Medicare plan explains why it won’t work — The co-creator of the concept that Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) is relying upon to reform Medicare no longer thinks it will work. Henry Aaron, now of the Brookings Institution, got the chance to tell Ryan exactly why at a recent Capitol Hill hearing
► And this inspiring story of American patriotism, from Bloomberg — Wealthy Americans line up to give up passports in Switzerland — Rich Americans renouncing U.S. citizenship rose sevenfold since UBS whistle-blower Bradley Birkenfeld triggered a crackdown on tax evasion four years ago. About 1,780 expatriates gave up their nationality at U.S. embassies last year, up from 235 in 2008.
► In Newsweek — What’s Mitt Romney hiding in his record as Governor? (by Paul Begala) — The Romney recipe of cutting education and job training, forcing higher fees on the middle class, and protecting the rich from tax hikes didn’t work in Massachusetts. But his approach to health care did. Paradoxically, the best thing Romney did as governor — and it was a great thing — is the one thing he dares not talk about as a presidential candidate. Too bad, because a solid 62 percent of the folks who actually live under Romneycare — and its dreaded individual mandate — say they like it.
► In the NY Times — Romney’s former Bain partner: Greater income inequality is a good thing — In his new book, Edward Conard aggressively argues that the enormous and growing income inequality in the U.S. is not a sign that the system is rigged. On the contrary, he writes, it is a sign that our economy is working. And if we had a little more of it, then everyone would be better off. This could be the most hated book of the year.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Affordable Care Act is health-care justice for all (by SEIU 1199NW President Diane Sosne) — Those of us in relatively secure jobs with good employer-provided health care are spectators to the current Supreme Court deliberations about the Affordable Care Act. For people who are uninsured or underinsured, their physical and emotional health and well-being hang on the outcome. As a nurse, I’m worried that we’re losing sight of a much more essential issue: health-care coverage saves lives.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. These links are functional at the date of posting, but sometimes expire.
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