Wisconsin law ruled illegal, pathetic ‘Eyman budget’…



►  In today’s NY Times — Judge voids law curbing Wisconsin unions — Ruling that Republicans in the State Senate had violated the state’s open meetings law, a judge in Wisconsin dealt a blow to them and to Gov. Scott Walker on Thursday by granting a permanent injunction that voided a law curbing collective bargaining rights for many state and local employees. The Wisconsin Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in the case on June 6, and Republican lawmakers are hoping the court will overturn Judge Sumi’s ruling and reinstate the law. The Senate could choose to pass the bill again while assuring proper notice. But some political experts said a new vote might meet numerous obstacles. Some Democrats could flee the state again, and some Republican senators are facing recall elections.

►  At AFL-CIO Now — Judge strikes down Walker’s anti-worker law — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “What we’ve seen in Wisconsin from the beginning is an arrogant disregard for the voices of working people. Today’s decision underscores the point that when people’s rights are blithely violated, our politics is broken. Gov. Walker and Senate Republicans may forge ahead to undermine middle-class families, voting rights and more, but they will not be able to do it without full and close scrutiny.”




►  In today’s Spokesman-Review — No revenue problem, just every other problem (MUST-READ Shawn Vestal column) — Now that the state has arrived at an utter failure of a budget, it’s good to be reminded that no amount of human pain will ever change the tune of the oblivious. “We don’t have a revenue problem,” said Rep. Kevin Parker (R-6th), after passage of a bill that recovered a $5 billion deficit entirely from teachers, schools, disabled adults, college students and the homebound elderly – without raising a penny in new money from any source. Not a single closed loophole. Not a dime of new taxation on any candy bar or bank loan or boob job. It was, top to bottom, pathetic, and it’s a failure we can all share – from our knee-jerk approval of Tim Eyman’s initiatives, to our legislators’ and governor’s unwillingness to challenge the conventional wisdom about taxation, to the persistent, nefarious rhetoric about “revenue” that rises constantly like methane at a dairy.

►  At — Is it really the ‘Eyman budget’? — Tim Eyman is taking credit for the no-new-taxes budget, and some of his opponents also want to give him credit. The Washington Education Association  has a web site calling the Legislature’s two-year spending plan “The Eyman budget.’’

►  At Publicola — Eyman’s main contributor is back — Initiative hawker Tim Eyman has been stuck raising money ($25,00o most recently from Bellevue developer Kemper Freeman) to pay himself back for the $250,000 loan he made to his political committee for last year’s I-1053 campaign. Eyman’s big backer, Woodinville financial consultant Mike Dunmire, didn’t fund Eyman last year. But according to PDC reports, Dunmire is back. On March 7, he contributed $100,000 to Eyman’s compensation committee.

►  In today’s Seattle Times — What did and what didn’t pass this year — (Topping the list, naturally…) Business groups scored a major victory after lawmakers approved EHB 2123 to allow limited structured voluntary settlements to the workers’ compensation system.

►  In today’s Olympian — Industries lose tax breaks at the end — A tax credit for film and TV production won’t be renewed for another season. It was one of three extensions of special tax treatment that died in the waning hours of the Legislature’s last day of work Wednesday. The other two are breaks for newspapers and computer server farms.




►  In today’s Seattle Times — Grays Harbor Paper shuts plant; 240 jobs lost –The Hoquiam company that built a reputation for innovative green products has announced a permanent shutdown. The plant is one of the largest industrial employers in Grays Harbor County, which has struggled with a high unemployment rate that in April was 13%.

►  In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing primes 787 for late summer delivery — The Boeing Co. is working with 787 launch customer All Nippon Airways to ready the Dreamliner for its first delivery in August or September. Boeing originally had hoped to hand over the first 787 to ANA three years ago this month.

►  In today’s Seattle Times — Federal Way wants promised rail line — Federal Way’s mayor lamented to Sound Transit that his “working-class” suburb is being shortchanged in the struggle for transportation. ST says it doesn’t have enough revenue to reach there by 2023 — breaking a promise on the 2008 ballot.




►  In today’s NY Times — Supreme Court upholds penalties for firms that hire illegal immigrants — The 5-to-3 decision appeared to endorse vigorous state efforts to punish employers who intentionally hire illegal workers. The majority opinion of the court’s five more conservative members said that Colorado, Mississippi, Missouri, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia had recently enacted laws similar to the one at issue in the case.

►  In today’s LA Times — You can’t rely on E-Verify (editorial) — The Supreme Court has upheld a measure that imposes sanctions on employers who knowingly hire illegal workers. But it relies on E-Verify, which is inaccurate and has provisions that must be fixed.

►  In today’s Columbian — Herrera Beutler votes against timeline for Afghanistan withdrawal –The freshman Republican joins Reps. Dave Reichert and Cathy McMorris Rodgers in voting “no” to requiring Obama to provide Congress with a time frame and completion date for ending U.S. involvement in the war. The measure drew the support of 26 Republicans and 178 Democrats (including all Washington Democrats), but failed narrowly, on a vote of 204-215.

►  In The Hill — Dems, unions speak up for Amtrak in fight over national rail plan — Amtrak supporters pushed back on months of criticism of the subsidized agency Thursday as Republicans planned to introduce a bill to remove it from contention to develop high-speed rail in the Northeast.

►  In today’s NY Times — Medicare and Mediscares (Paul Krugman column) — The Ryan plan (supported by every Washington Republican) was an attempt to snooker Americans into accepting a standard right-wing wish list under the guise of deficit reduction. And Americans, it seems, have seen through the deception.Now the fight will shift from Medicare to Medicaid — a program that has become an essential lifeline for many Americans, especially children, but which in the Ryan plan is slated for a 44% cut in federal aid over the next decade. At this point, however, I’m optimistic that this initiative will also run aground on popular disapproval.

►  At Seattle — Jewels, $400 haircuts — our leaders live well (Joel Connelly column) — Today’s leaders seem intent on showing that while they claim to be from the people and for the people, they are decidedly not OF the people. The riches, the apart-ness of America’s political leaders are cause for concern. Do they actually understand the hurt out there, the middle-aged folk who’ve lost their jobs and families who’ve lost their homes?  America’s banks may be “too big to fail,” but does a similar urgency apply to the great American middle class? It would seem, too, that a politician looking to “do well” after leaving office is less likely to do good while still there.


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 each morning! These links are functional on the date of posting, but sometimes expire.


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