► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane-area economy is creating higher-wage jobs — Spokane initially lagged behind other West Coast cities in recovering from the Great Recession, but in the last few years, the local economy has produced a surge of higher-wage jobs. More than 20,000 new jobs have been created in Spokane County since 2010. A majority of those jobs pay more than the average wage for the county, which is $21.17 per hour, or $44,035 per year.
► In the Spokesman-Review — Former staff and inmates raise concern about medical care provided by private contractor at Spokane County Jail — There are concerns about treatment delays at the jail, which has a constitutional duty to provide adequate medical care to inmates — many of whom are poor, drug-addicted, mentally ill or physically disabled.
► In the (Longview) Daily News — Millennium appeals state’s denial of coal dock sublease — The coal project in Longview may not be dead yet. Millennium Bulk Terminals and Northwest Alloys are challenging a decision by the state Department of Natural Resources to deny an aquatic lands lease for the project.
► In the Bellingham Herald — Seven taken to hospital after acid leak at Phillips refinery near Ferndale — Seven workers were taken to St. Joseph hospital Friday night after hydrofluoric acid was released from the Phillips 66 refinery.
► From The Stranger — Why we must save Washington state’s film incentive (by Megan Griffiths) — Washington State’s film incentive, which launched in 2007, is due to sunset this June. If it goes, thousands of jobs and tens of millions of dollars will go with it. It is essential to our creative culture and the state’s economy that our legislators renew this program.
ALSO at The Stand — WSLC urges renewal of film tax incentive creating jobs in state
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — New analysis shows GOP school-funding plan would lower taxes in Spokane, raise them in Seattle — The average homeowner in the Spokane area could see property taxes go down in 2019 under the Senate Republican school plan. But it’s just one of several proposals to improve public schools and the way the state pays for them.
► In the Seattle Times — $500K later, McCleary task force still doesn’t have plan to fix state’s education — The legislative task force tasked with recommending solutions for Washington’s K-12 school-funding crisis spent more than $500,000 on the work without ever approving a formal proposal. Meanwhile, lawmakers assigned to the task force claimed roughly $11,300 in expenses while doing the work.
► From The Stranger — Manweller uses form email to blast people who send him form emails — At least six people who used a Washington Working Family Coalition form letter to write to Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Ellensburg) in support of paid family leave were met with another form letter from Manweller’s office. “I know we live in a microwave/MTV/give it to me now culture,” the e-mail read, “but if this bill is truly important to you, can’t you take the time to give me your own thoughts rather than those of highly paid, hired gun from a special interest group lobbying firm?”
► From Reuters — Boeing, machinists face off over union at South Carolina plant — The Boeing Co. faces its first union vote on Wednesday at its aircraft factory in South Carolina, a high-profile test for organized labor in the nation’s most strongly anti-union state. The world’s largest planemaker is running a hardball campaign against the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers, which is trying to organize about 3,000 workers at one of two plants where Boeing makes 787s.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Nearly 3,000 Boeing workers at the North Charleston facilities will have the opportunity to vote yes for the IAM this Wednesday, Feb. 15. But workers and their families are facing a barrage of television and radio ads urging them against joining the IAM. Voice your support on the Boeing Workers at South Carolina – BSC Facebook page.
► In the Seattle Times — Falsified papers, sloppy work led FAA to fine Boeing — Documents show a disquieting pattern of falsified paperwork and ignored procedures that created quality issues on the production lines of Boeing and its suppliers. The FAA found that Boeing repeatedly failed to follow protocols designed to guard against production errors that put safety at risk.
► From AP — Immigrants wait in fear after raids; Trump takes credit — For days, fear and confusion have gripped immigrant communities after word spread that federal agents were rounding up hundreds of immigrants in cities across the country. The scope of the operation remains unclear.
ALSO at The Stand — What immigrants should know amid stepped-up ICE raids
► In today’s NY Times — Immigration agents arrest 600 people across U.S. in one week — The raids by Immigration and Customs Enforcement contributed to confusion over whether enforcement is escalating under President Trump.
► In the NY Times — Immigration raids set off protests (video)
► In the (Longview) Daily News — ‘Darkness’ for undocumented immigrants — The fear of deportation is so strong, those who work with the population in Cowlitz County say many have considered options to find U.S. citizens — close friends or relatives — to adopt their kids in case they are forced to leave. Deportation has been a discussion at local church services, and a pastor here says more Hispanic children are struggling with mental health problems.
► In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Andrew Puzder, local boy made good, has no business being labor secretary (editorial) — The Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee has postponed hearings on Puzder’s nomination three times to allow the nominee to sort through a variety of problems that in any other year would be disqualifying… He is brash, outspoken, misogynistic, combative and uninterested in quarantining himself from his financial interests. Like many of Trump’s nominees, he is almost uniquely unqualified for the duties of the office to which he seeks confirmation.
ALSO at The Stand — Sen. Murray says Puzder ‘uniquely unqualified’ for Labor post
► From Slate — The Cabinet nominee all Republicans should reject — Puzder will almost certainly face unified Democratic opposition; Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer has already called on Trump to withdraw Puzder’s nomination. That means Puzder will be toast if he loses as few as three Republican votes. While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell appears to be pushing hard to save Trump’s nominee, several Republicans look like they could be persuaded to vote him down. That would be the right call.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump undertakes most ambitious regulatory rollback since Reagan — As the administration targets dozens of Obama-era policies, business leaders are thrilled. But the campaign has alarmed labor unions, safety advocates and environmental activists as the fallout ripples across the country.
► From The Atlantic — There’s superficial agreement in Congress on paid family leave — While it seems that there’s consensus that something should be done, there is still concern over how, exactly, paid leave policies should be implemented. For those hoping that federal regulation will catch up to states and companies leading the charge on paid leave, it could be a while before any bill, especially one that is substantial enough to herald progress, gets passed.
► In today’s Washington Post — As Flynn faces growing pressure over Russia contacts, Trump remains silent — “The knives are out” for President Trump’s national security adviser, an administration official said after reports that Michael Flynn misled administration officials about his discussions with the Russian ambassador.
► In today’s NY Times — A rare Republican call to climate action (editorial) — A carbon tax proposal from party elders offers an opportunity to change the conversation on global warming.
► In the Seattle Times — College athletes hoping to unionize receive big boost from NLRB — The NLRB’s chief counsel issued a memo saying football players at 17 private colleges are employees and can seek better working conditions.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.
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