► Today at Publicola — Criticizing labor and Democratic leadership, Rep. Eddy seeks compromise (and release) on workers’ comp — The bill legalizing lump-sum buyouts of injured workers is on top of the Senate Republicans’ special session list and has become a bargaining chip in budget negotiations between the two chambers. Rep. Deb Eddy of Kirkland (a member of the “Roadkill Caucus” of conservative corporate Democrats), who supports the bill and is sponsoring her own version, hopes her liberal house colleagues will pass it when they realize the Senate isn’t going to budge on the issue.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Legislators look at rolling back tax breaks to solve budget problem — State lawmakers Wednesday considered various ways of ending corporate tax breaks to help balance the state budget but didn’t agree to pursue any of them right away. People paraded in front of the Senate Ways and Means Committee for more than two hours voicing their views on three measures aimed at generating hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenues in the next two years. Sen. Ed Murray, D-Seattle, speaking before the hearing, said he knows Republicans oppose the measures and pushing them could damage relations that wrought passage of a rare bipartisan budget in the Senate.
EDITOR’S NOTE: We thought that, in a 2010 election where Republicans made tremendous gains nationally, voters in Washington decided to stick with keeping the Democrats in charge. Whether the budget is “bipartisan” is far less important than whether it puts the interests of out-of-state banks that are making record profits right now ahead of our schools, our public safety, and our other critical public services. Please… go ahead and damage some relations if that’s what it takes to pass a moral budget.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Senate committee debates suspending tax exemptions
► In today’s News Tribune — Push to end tax breaks faces ‘an uphill battle’
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Senate panel reviews tax breaks
► At SeattlePI.com — Will tax windfall cut off liquor privatization talk? — One of the biggest differences between the Senate’s plan and one previously released by the House is that the Senate does not include an anticipated $300 million in additional revenue from the privatization of Washington’s liquor distribution system. The haul from the tax amnesty program helps close the gap between the two legislative chambers.
“PARAMOUNT DUTY” NEWS:
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle schools to send out 70 pink slips — Seattle Public Schools plans to send layoff notices to about 30 teachers and 40 other school employees, part of the district’s ongoing efforts to fill an estimated $35 million budget gap for the upcoming school year.
► In today’s News Tribune — Steilacoom online teachers will receive layoff notices — Dozens of teachers who work for the school district’s online school are scheduled to receive layoff notices – possibly as early as today – while they wait for final budget action in Olympia that could determine their program’s fate.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — WWU considers restructure, elimination of majors, departments — Rather than making small cuts and keeping open positions unfilled, university officials have been discussing how to “rebase” the budget and the university itself.
► In today’s Seattle Times (and yesterday’s Everett Herald) — Boeing lawyer rejects NLRB charges in 787 case — In a forceful letter sent Tuesday to the NLRB, top Boeing lawyer Michael Luttig rejected the labor agency’s complaint against the company’s opening of a South Carolina 787 plant, writing that the charges “fundamentally misquote or mischaracterize statements by Boeing executives.”
► Today at HeraldNet.com — Machinists: Boeing using political sway in labor board complaint — The Machinists labeled the Boeing attorney’s letter “an unprecedented attack on a federal law enforcement agency.” They noted that U.S. senators and state attorneys general friendly to Boeing also are challenging the labor board. Said David Campbell, local Machinists’ lawyer: “In my 28 years of practicing labor law, I have never seen an employer use these types of overtly political tactics to avoid a legal proceeding.”
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Virgin’s Branson to seek more compensation for 787 delays — Boeing has said it plans to deliver the first Dreamliner by the end of September, after a more than three-year delay. Virgin Group CEO Richard Branson called the numerous delays to the 787 program a “nightmare.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the same guy who complained about the Machinists’ 56-day strike in 2008 delaying the 787, prompting the Seattle Times to warn against future strikes for the sake of the state’s economy. Now that it’s clear to all that the strike was a tiny speedbump compared to Boeing management’s doomed-from-the-start effort to spread costs and risk by outsourcing the 787’s design and manufacture, can we cite Customer Branson’s fresh grievances as a call to urge Boeing against doubling-down on that mistake by outsourcing local jobs in a risky, inefficient effort to find cheaper workers? Anyone? Bueller?
► In the Charleston (S.C.) City Paper — S.C. denies its workers dignity, safety (Will Morelock column) — Those who work with their hands have never been respected in this state. Just as it is popular to deny the role of slavery in launching the Civil War, so it is also popular in wide circles to deny the role of labor in building our state and our nation. And even though dozens of these workers die each year, the people who run our state government and economy deny them a day of recognition.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Aerospace boosts hiring in Snohomish County — The economy is a long way from recovery, but Snohomish County is better positioned than most areas of the state.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Bellingham port hopes to reactivate its cargo terminal — Port commissioners hope to revive their long-dormant deep-water shipping terminal to create jobs and revenue.
► In today’s Washington Post — Republicans concede Medicare overhaul unlikely — Senior Republicans conceded Wednesday that a deal is unlikely on a contentious plan to overhaul Medicare and offered to open budget talks with the White House by focusing on areas where both parties can agree, such as cutting farm subsidies.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Apparently, somebody finally looked at the polling. See The Stand’s GOP opposes public will on Medicare.
► Today from AP — Unemployment applications hit 8-month high — The number of people applying for unemployment benefits surged last week to the highest level in eight months, a troubling sign a day ahead of the government’s report on April employment
► In the USAToday — Unions refocus political activities — Feeling under siege in more than a dozen states, some of the nation’s largest labor groups are focusing their political activity to challenge state laws that sharply curb union rights or to oust the legislators who crafted them.
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.