Raise the minimum wage, talking filibusters, ‘Inbetween Days’…
Friday, January 4, 2013
► At Politico — It pays for states to raise the minimum wage (by Govs. Chris Gregoire and John Kitzhaber) – Based on our experience, we offer three proposals to help build an American economy that works for everyone. First, Congress needs to raise the federal minimum wage. Second, Congress needs to raise the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, which has been stuck at $2.13 per hour since 1991. Third, Congress should learn from the example of our home states and index the minimum wage to rise automatically each year with the consumer price index. In the meantime, expect more states to take matters into their own hands and join the growing movement to raise wages for low-paid workers.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — State audit recommends more competition in ferry construction — Though the ferries system can trim dollars through improved practices, two major factors are beyond its control. Requirements for the boats to be built in Washington state and for shipyards to have state-approved apprentice programs severely restrict competition, according to a report from state auditor’s office.
► At PubliCola — Ecology director, former Times reporter join Inslee administration — Inslee names Dept. of Ecology Director Ted Sturdevant as his executive director for legislative affairs, former Seattle Times reporter David Postman as communications director, and his longtime top staffer Joby Shimomura as his senior adviser.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — New 7th District state senator selected — John Smith, a Colville-area farmer and businessman, was named to succeed retiring GOP state Sen. Bob Morton.
► In Roll Call — States target politically active nonprofits — Tax-exempt groups that spent hundreds of millions on the 2012 elections without disclosing their donors have stirred no response from federal regulators but have drawn the ire of state officials who are moving aggressively to restrict them. From California to Idaho, Montana to Maine and New York, state attorneys general and election officials are fighting in court to force big-spending tax-exempt organizations to comply with their disclosure laws.
► In the Chicago Defender — Six states outlaw employer snooping on Facebook — Six states have officially made it illegal for employers to ask their workers for passwords to their social media accounts. As of 2013, California and Illinois have joined the ranks of Michigan, New Jersey, Maryland, and Delaware in passing state laws against the practice.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing tops its targets for 2012 orders, production — Boeing handily beat its own targets for 2012 orders and deliveries, the company confirmed with year-end data released Thursday. The local assembly plants are rolling out jets at an unprecedented rate, and sales soared to the second-highest level ever as orders for the 737 MAX climbed above 1,000. Boeing delivered a total of 601 jets in 2012.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Wind energy tax extension could mean bigger payday for port — Port of Longview officials say they expect a boost in wind-energy cargo at the end of this year now that Congress has extended a production tax credit as part of the fiscal cliff compromise.
► In The Hill — Senate Dem freshmen want party to back ‘talking filibuster’ — Most of the new class of Senate Democratic freshmen say filibuster reform should require senators to actually hold the floor and debate if they want to block legislation.
► In today’s NY Times — Boehner retains Speaker’s post, but dissidents nip at his heels — Boehner was narrowly re-elected speaker of the House on Thursday amid open dissent from conservatives on the House floor that signaled that the turmoil and division of the 112th Congress is likely to spill into the newly constituted 113th.
► In today’s NY Times — Battles of the budget (by Paul Krugman) — Our two major political parties are engaged in a fierce struggle over the future shape of American society. Democrats want to preserve the legacy of the New Deal and the Great Society — Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — and add to them what every other advanced country has: a more or less universal guarantee of essential health care. Republicans want to roll all of that back, making room for drastically lower taxes on the wealthy. Yes, it’s essentially a class war. And the fight over the fiscal cliff was just one battle in that war. It ended, arguably, in a tactical victory for Democrats. The question is whether it was a Pyrrhic victory that set the stage for a larger defeat.
► In The Hill — Economy adds 155,000 jobs; unemployment rate at 7.8% – The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests the economy is continuing slow but steady growth despite policy uncertainties in Washington.
► At Huffington Post — Why jobs must be our goal now, not deficit reduction (by Robert Reich) — We need to put more money into the pockets of average workers, not less. The first $25,000 of income should be exempt from Social Security taxes altogether, and we should make up the difference by eliminating the ceiling on income subject to Social Security taxes.
► At AFL-CIO Now — New immigration rule aims to keep families together — Immigrant families with a spouse, child or parent who is a U.S. citizen will no longer be torn from each other when a family member who is an aspiring citizen begins the process of obtaining lawful permanent resident status in the United States, under a new federal rule.
► In today’s Washington Post — White House pushes forward on immigration — The Obama administration’s decision this week to ease visa requirements for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants represents its latest move to reshape immigration through executive action, even as the White House gears up for an uncertain political fight over a far-more-sweeping legislative package in the months ahead.
► Yesterday, we felt so old… that the entire staff of The Stand presents “Inbetween Days” by The Cure.
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