► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing issues sharp response to NLRB complaint — A complaint against Boeing by the National Labor Relations Board is based on “misquotations and mischaracterizations,” the company says. A hearing on the matter has been set for June in Seattle before an administrative law judge, but the company is asking the NLRB to withdraw its complaint before then.
EDITOR’S NOTE: The Herald didn’t have space to present the union’s perspective in this story, but today The Stand does.
► At Huffington Post — Right to work: Senate Republicans pick fight with Labor Board — They introduce legislation aimed at strengthening “right-to-work” laws in the wake of a complaint filed by the NLRB against Boeing.
► At SeattlePI.com — Boeing legally fired auditors who spoke to P-I, court finds — The company legally fired two employees for leaking concerns about compliance with auditing standards to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, an appeals panel rules. An attorney who filed a brief in the case on the behalf of the National Whistleblowers Center called the decision “a major setback for oversight and accountability.”
► At SeattlePI.com — $645 for $12.51 spare part? Boeing gives Army refund — It also issued a $76,849 refund for a dime-sized, plastic “roller assembly” that costs $7.71. Boeing charged the Army $1,678.61 apiece. (No word on whether Boeing’s price scanner ever erroneously undercharged the government. Any we pity the fool who blew the whistle on this if it was a Boeing employee.)
► In today’s Olympian — Lawmakers handed tax windfall — The three-month tax amnesty for businesses delivered a surprisingly fat cash bonanza, giving budget writers $182 million more than anticipated to help close the budget gap. All told, 8,888 businesses paid their back taxes – thus avoiding penalties and fines under the amnesty – to generate $321 million.
EDITOR’S NOTE: A more appropriate headline would have been: “8,888 delinquent businesses come clean!” This isn’t manna from heaven or an unexpected windfall. It’s shocking news about the number of businesses that aren’t bothering to pay their taxes. Kind of makes you wonder how many of them didn’t volunteer to come clean.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — A more cautious approach to liquor privatization offered — A Republican proposal to explore liquor privatization received mixed reviews Tuesday at a Senate Ways and Means Committee hearing.
ANOTHER EDITOR’S NOTE! Here’s The Stand’s “review:” Why is the Legislature pursuing “more cautious approaches” to ideas flatly rejected by voters on liquor privatization and workers’ compensation, but raising revenue is off the table because voters simply said they want to be asked before it happens?! Discuss.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Eyman initiative could throw off bridge toll plans — The state’s momentum toward widespread, variable highway tolls might screech to a halt if professional initiative promoter Tim Eyman’s marquee measure wins this year. Initiative 1125 seeks to forbid tolling the I-90 floating bridge to help cover a $2 billion shortfall on the $4.6 billion Hwy. 520 bridge replacement.
► In today’s News Tribune — Pay cuts for officials now look unlikely this year — Early this year, knowing they’d have to make big cuts to state services to balance the budget, lawmakers in Olympia introduced a slew of bi-partisan bills to cut their own pay. But now, in the midst of a budget debate that’s already dragged the session into overtime, legislators say it probably won’t happen this year.
► Today at Publicola — Should Seattle mandate paid sick leave? — The city is considering an ordinance that would require all employers to provide paid sick leave. City council member Nick Licata, who’s sponsoring the proposal, argues that it will improve public health and improve productivity; Washington Restaurant Association President & CEO Anthony Anton says… well, you get one guess.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Bigger classes save money, but impacts are worrisome — While taxpayers may envision classrooms filled with well-behaved children who come to school every day ready to learn, teachers paint a different picture. Nestled among those who exceed expectations are a few who “act out” several times a day, who need extra attention for learning or emotional reasons, who come to school hungry and with clothes unwashed; and who are considered “special needs.”
► Today at SeattlePI.com — City budget gets bleaker; agencies could merge — Seattle officials will consider whether parts of five city departments could be consolidated or re-organized to be more efficient and help return the city to a path of financial sustainability, says the mayor.
► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver school officials identify $8.1 million in cuts — Teachers and other employees could face salary cuts of nearly 2%.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Kucinich weighs run for Congress in Washington state — With his Ohio seat in jeopardy due to redistricting, Democratic Congressman Dennis Kucinich is fanning rumors of a possible 2012 run in Washington state.
► Today at Znet — Wall Street, oil prices and America’s future (by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka) — The budget passed by House Republicans keeps $40 billion in tax loopholes for Big Oil and gives $4.2 trillion in new tax cuts to corporations and the rich. It pays for these tax breaks by destroying Medicare as we know it-and replacing it with underfunded vouchers. It also demolishes services for seniors, children and low- and middle-income Americans. Demand that your senators and President Obama do the right thing and reject any deal that meets radical House Republicans halfway.
► In today’s Washington Post — Bipartisan effort on national debt stalls — A bipartisan effort to rein in the national debt stalled Tuesday, as members of the Senate’s so-called Gang of Six signaled that an agreement is unlikely to come this week in time for the start of White House-led budget talks.
► In The Hill — House Democrats will force vote Thursday on repealing oil tax subsidies –House Democrats intend to force a vote on a measure that would eliminate a key oil industry tax break when Republicans bring a bill to expand domestic oil and gas drilling to the floor Thursday. (Also see The Stand’s April 23 report: Exxon profits fuel fire over Big Oil tax breaks.
► At Politico — New White House battle: Corporate taxes — The Obama administration is quietly gearing up for a high-profile launch in May or June on what may turn out to be the most heavily lobbied issue of the year: corporate tax reform. At a time when the two parties can find little common ground legislatively, strategists on both sides tell Politico they hope to advance their jobs agenda by finding a way to lower corporate tax rates.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Can GE pay less than zero? Apparently, yes they can!
► In The Onion — Congress gets in 12 solid hours of gridlocking before calling it a day — In a marathon session that lawmakers proudly called “one of [their] least productive ever,” each of the 535 members of the House and Senate gridlocked deep into the night to ensure that no bipartisan compromise could be reached, no laws intended to aid the American people could be passed, and no sense of national unity or progress could possibly be achieved.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. Make this electronic “clip service” your first stop of the morning to get O.P.P. news and opinion. (Other People’s Press.) These links are functional on the date of posting, but sometimes expire.