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Privatization, NLRB digs in, ‘right-to-work’ falters…



►  In today’s Olympian — Budget negotiators look to outsource some government functions — Budget negotiators in Olympia are debating whether to privatize a host of little-seen government functions that collect state agencies’ mail, pay their rent, print their documents and maintain their cars.  State employee unions are becoming louder in opposing the plan, even as changes are being considered in negotiations. A state law mandates that before contracting, unionized employees have 90 days to try to show they can do the work cheaper. Republicans want to exempt back-office services from that process.

►  From KING 5 — Poll: Voters would consider making it easier to end tax breaks — In a new KING 5 poll, 90% say they would vote the same way today on Initiative 1053 requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to raise taxes. Yet at the same time, 61% say the legislature should consider reducing or ending tax breaks.

►  In today’s Olympian — Teachers getting unwelcome news — The Olympia School District is notifying 48 teachers this week that they might not have jobs in the fall, as it works to close a $2.3 million deficit. The real number of teachers who could lose their jobs depends largely on how things play out in the Legislature’s special session.




►  At Huffington Post — Boeing complaint: Solomon, NLRB dig in against Republican critics — NLRB acting general counsel Lafe Solomon fired back at his critics in a statement Monday, saying, “There is nothing remarkable or unprecedented about the complaint issued against the Boeing Company on April 20. The complaint involves matters of fact and law that are not unique to this case, and it was issued only after a thorough investigation in the field, a further careful review by our attorneys in Washington, and an invitation by me to the parties to present their case and discuss the possibility of a settlement.”

►  In today’s Seattle Times — Plan would mandate paid sick leave in Seattle — Seattle would become the fourth city in the nation to require all private employers to provide paid sick leave to workers under a proposal being advanced by a coalition of labor and community groups. Advocates say such a law would improve public health by keeping sick parents or their children at home and not forcing workers to choose between getting paid and getting well.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Also see The Stand’s May 9 posting — Paid sick leave sought for workers in Seattle — and note that a community briefing on the proposal will be held from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday in Seattle.

►  At Publicola — Study: San Francisco restaurants support paid sick leave — The Employment Opportunity Institute report finds that three and a half years after the San Francisco ordinance went into effect, 68 percent of all employers, and 66 percent of hotel and food service employers, support the ordinance.

►  In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma utility workers to get raises –Despite a plan to freeze all city worker wages for the next two years, the City Council will consider an ordinance today that would grant a nearly 3% pay hike to more than 340 city utility workers (IBEW 483) over the next year. Tacoma’s mayor and its top labor negotiator said the city has no other choice, because it already agreed to the raises before seeking the wage freezes.

►  In today’s Columbian — Herrera Beutler to hold town hall meetings in Vancouver, Centralia — U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-Camas) will host her first Vancouver town hall meeting at 6:30 p.m. Monday, May 16, at Skyview High School, 1300 N.W. 139th St. She is also scheduled to appear at 6 p.m. May 18 at Corbet Theatre in Centralia College’s Washington Hall, 600 Centralia College Blvd.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is your opportunity to ask the freshman Republican is she is still committed to cutting Medicare, as she voted, or whether the same polls that convinced her party bosses to abandon the plan have caused her to reconsider.

►  In today’s Tri-City Herald — Doc Hastings hospitalized with diverticulitis — U.S. Rep. Doc Hastings’ office announced Monday that the 70-year-old Republican is being treated for diverticulitis at a Tri-City hospital.




►  From AP — Effort to curtail private-sector unions faltering — Not content to target only public-sector unions, Republican lawmakers in more than one-quarter of the states this year launched their most ambitious attempt in about generation to break up union shops in factories, offices and other private-sector workplaces. But, of the 14 states where “right-to-work” bills barring mandatory union fees were considered, only New Hampshire has passed the legislation, and it is uncertain whether Republican lawmakers can overcome an expected veto by the Democratic governor.

►  At Politico — Immigration advocates press Obama — President Barack Obama heads to Texas today toting a pledge to jump-start work on a comprehensive immigration bill — a long-awaited, never-attained goal of a Hispanic community that is crucial to Obama’s hopes of winning key southwestern states in 2012. But many top Hispanic activists, while welcoming Obama’s commitment, say the effort is too little, too late, and they’d rather he put just as much effort into actions he can do with the stroke of his pen — such as slowing the deportations of certain illegal immigrants.

►  In the USA Today (a few days ago) — U.S. tax burden at lowest level since 1958 — Americans are paying the smallest share of their income for taxes since 1958, a reflection of tax cuts and a weak economy. The total tax burden — for all federal, state and local taxes — dropped to 23.6% of income in the first quarter. By contrast, individuals spent roughly 27% of income on taxes in the 1970s, 1980s and the 1990s — a rate that would mean $500 billion of extra taxes annually today, one-third of the estimated $1.5 trillion federal deficit this year.

►  Today from AP — Speaker Boehner: Tax hikes are “off the table” — Republican House Speaker John Boehner insists tax increases are “off the table” in negotiations with the Obama administration and congressional Democrats on extending the federal debt limit. He said mandatory spending programs like Medicare and Social Security must be addressed (read: cut).

►  In The Hill — Republican rift on Medicare widens — Senate Republicans have decided to avoid jeopardizing their chances of capturing the upper chamber in next year’s elections and will not echo the House GOP’s call for a major overhaul of the popular health entitlement for seniors.


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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