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Tax sloths emerge, McKenna meddles, GOP threatens…



►  In today’s Seattle Times — Impasse on workers’ comp blocking state budget deal — A fight over the workers’ compensation system threatens to sidetrack the Legislature and hamper progress on closing a $5.1 billion budget shortfall. “The Senate has made it very clear to the House there won’t be a vote on the budget unless and until we’ve dealt with the workers’ compensation issue,” says Gov. Chris Gregoire.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Also see today’s posting at The Stand — Senate: No budget until workers’ comp is cut.)

►  In today’s Seattle Times — SJR 8215, the so-called Debt Reduction Act, would kill jobs in Washington state (Rep. Hans Dunshee column) — It would kill 70,000 construction jobs over the next decade, almost as much work as the Boeing tanker deal will bring to our state in the same period. It would also hurt our ability to replace aging schools, build prisons, develop parks or repair leaking sewer lines, all in the name of reducing debt service by 0.86%, which would be more than made up for by the economic growth of job creation. (Also see The Stand’s April 28 posting: Legislators warned lowering state debt limit would kill jobs.)

►  In today’s (Everett) Herald — Gregoire signs bill to improve safety of state’s corrections workers — The state moves a step closer to outfitting its corrections officers with special body alarms, panic buttons on radios and pepper spray to help make their jobs safer inside state prisons. Gov. Gregoire signed a new law pursuing those changes and other recommendations made by a federal review panel following the January murder of Monroe corrections officer Jayme Biendl.

►  In today’s Olympian — Gregoire: Cut teacher pay less — The governor says she supports a 1.9% pay cut for teachers, less than the full 3% cut by the state Senate last month for all K-12 school employees.

►  In today’s Seattle Times — Tax amnesty brings state’s tax sloths out of hiding (editorial) — Most of the 8,888 taxpayers who took advantage of the reprieve were small businesses, but 5% of the applications — more than 400 — were from companies with more than $20 million gross business income.

►  At The Slog — 10% of Washington’s businesses are tax cheats (by Goldy) — While the tax amnesty program can certainly be deemed a runaway success, it doesn’t exactly present Washington businesses in a favorable light.




►  At Publicola — McKenna tells business group he’ll join Seattle fight against paid sick leave — Likely Republican candidate for governor Rob McKenna tells the Washington Restaurant Association he will use his office to help fight a proposal for paid sick leave in Seattle. “We’ll look at it,” said the state Attorney General, “and see if there’s some way we can help reinforce the WRA’s position, maybe by asking them to withdraw the proposed rulemaking.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: Doesn’t it warm your heart to know that your tax dollars are being spent by the Attorney General to throw roadblocks in the way of local governments at the behest of a business lobbying group? If you like this, you’ll LOVE having Rob McKenna as governor!)

►  In The Stranger — Will this Utah Republican run UW more like a business? — If state budget writers really want the UW to operate like a business, a Republican like Michael K. Young may be exactly the man to make it happen. No doubt Young would prefer Olympia write the UW a blank check—what university president wouldn’t? But given the alternative, he has both the disposition and the experience to do what it takes.

►  From AP — Hundreds line up for Auburn firefighter jobs — Hundreds of people lined up overnight in Auburn for a chance at a job as a firefighter with the Valley Regional Fire Authority. KOMO reports the department isn’t hiring, but it handed out applications Friday morning to the first 200 people to create a pool of potential firefighters.

►  In today’s (Everett) Herald — Koster to make third bid for Congress — The Republican two-time loser isn’t saying if it will be for a seat in the House of Representatives or the Senate.

EDITOR’S NOTE: “Hey, just because I was endorsed by Sarah Palin doesn’t make me a quitter,” he said. OK, he didn’t really say that.




►  At In These Times — Republicans threaten to defund the NLRB over Boeing ruling — Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) actually put forward legislation to defund the complaint filed against Boeing. How exactly Congress could defund one complaint of the NLRB is unclear. But it is clear that the NLRB has always been a fully independent quasi-judicial body; threatening to defund the NLRB over holding a hearing on one case is like Republicans in Congress threatening to defund one Supreme Court hearing.

►  In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing holds up 747-8 line for a month as work backs up — Boeing will stop moving planes forward on its 747-8 jet production line in Everett for a month so mechanics can catch up on a backlog of thousands of unfinished jobs that are choking the line.





►  At Huffington Post — CEO pay now exceeds pre-recession levels –In the boardroom, it’s as if the Great Recession never happened. CEOs at the nation’s largest companies were paid better last year than they were in 2007, when the economy was booming, the stock market set a record high and unemployment was roughly half what it is today. The typical pay package for the head of a company in the Standard & Poor’s 500 was $9 million in 2010, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.

►  Today from AP — Economy adds 244K jobs; jobless rate ticks up to 9% –Private employers shrugged off high gas prices and created 268,000 jobs – the most since February 2006. The job gains were widespread. Retailers, factories, financial companies, education and health care and even construction companies all added jobs. Federal, state and local governments cut jobs.

►  In today’s NY Times — Could it have been the polls? (editorial) — All but seven House Republicans voted for a budget plan last month that would eliminate Medicare’s guarantee to the elderly. It was always bad policy. But now that the vote has proved to be wildly unpopular, the party is suddenly running in the opposite direction.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Count all of Washington’s Republicans in Congress among those who supported this horrible idea. See The Stand’s April 26 posting — GOP defies public will on Medicare.

►  In today’s LA Times — Senate Republicans vow to block any appointee to heal consumer protection bureau — They say major changes must be made to the agency’s structure before they will vote to confirm a candidate. Consumer advocates say the changes would gut the bureau’s power.

►  In today’s NY Times — Fears and failure (Paul Krugman column) — So we’re paying a heavy price for Washington’s obsession with phantom menaces. By looking for trouble in all the wrong places, our political class is preventing us from dealing with the real crisis: the millions of American men and women who can’t find work.


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.

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