STATE GOVERNMENT NEWS:
► In Sunday’s Olympian — Two-year budget includes about 1,300 fewer state jobs — The budgeted jobs will be the fewest since the recession budgets of 2003-05. Because some of the jobs are currently vacant, it’s hard to say exactly how many fewer people will get paychecks as of July 1 – or how many get pink slips, or in which communities. The Department of Personnel will tally the losses based on head counts.
► In the (Ellensburg) Daily Record — CWU to lay off 6 employees — The university has about 1,400 employees, including faculty and staff. State funding for the next two years is reduced from $93.2 million to $64 million. In addition to the six layoffs, a couple positions will have reduced hours, some vacant positions will not be filled and the university will spend less money on goods and services.
► In today’s LA Times — Boeing suffered setbacks at Paris Air Show, but analysts debate outlook — Boeing mostly sat on the sidelines as its chief rival, Airbus, racked up record orders of its new A320neo jetliner. Still, the Chicago company’s short-term future looks bright.
► In today’s Daily News — Longview Fibre, activists battle over biomass — It’s the largest biomass energy project proposed statewide, generating enough power for 2,400 homes. Longview Fibre officials say their 54-megawatt biomass energy expansion also would reduce air pollution and the company’s carbon footprint, plus make the mill more competitive. But the project’s leading opponent, a Seattle-based environmental group, says it’s dirty power masquerading as clean energy.
► In Sunday’s Tri-City Herald — Infinia planning layoffs, move to Utah — Infinia Corp. is laying off employees and transferring others out of town as it moves its corporate headquarters from Kennewick to its manufacturing center in Ogden, Utah. Rep. Larry Haler (R-Richland) successfully championed a 43% B&O tax cut for Infinia in the legislative session that just ended. At the time, Haler said he hoped Infinia would move some of the jobs back to the Tri-Cities it had already transferred elsewhere.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Why Seattle should require paid sick days (column by Bill Marler) — For nearly 20 years I’ve represented thousands of victims of foodborne illness against some of the largest food companies in the world. But during all of this time one thing hasn’t changed: The vast majority of restaurant, grocery and food service workers — including cooks, those who work in the deli, stock the produce sections and even run the food sampling stations — have no access to paid sick days. Many food workers are on the low end of the wage scale — and if they miss a shift due to illness, they typically lose a day’s wage and may even suffer discipline. This promotes a culture of working sick, which is a significant risk to public health. The need for paid sick days is glaringly obvious.
► From AP — Inslee launching campaign with event in Seattle — Democratic Rep. Jay Inslee is beginning his bid for governor Monday morning in Seattle and hold a second event in the Yakima Valley later in the day. He has planned additional campaign stops in Tacoma, Vancouver and Spokane on Tuesday.
► In The Hill — EFCA battle reborn with NLRB’s new election rules proposal — Business groups have already begun to cite the Employee Free Choice Act (EFCA), which they heavily lobbied against, as inspiration for the labor board’s new rules. But union officials and congressional aides who were involved in the negotiations over the legislation say although the union election rules may achieve some of the same goals as EFCA, they are not nearly as stringent as what was under discussion by a then-Democrat-controlled Congress.
► In Sunday’s LA Times — Congressional Republicans meddle with NLRB case involving Boeing (Michael Hiltzik column) — The NLRB is months, if not years, away from determining whether Boeing built a manufacturing plant in South Carolina to punish its unionized workers in Everett, Wash. But that hasn’t halted the GOP’s brazen campaign of interference.
► In the Seattle Times — Income inequality grows as CEO pay climbs above historic levels — Nationally, too many CEOs have been lavishly rewarded even as they drove their companies into disaster, costing jobs and trillions in retirement savings. Others make out splendidly by finding a merger, even though it killed jobs, innovation and competition. Perverse compensation incentives were also a major cause behind the crisis that brought the financial system to the edge of collapse in 2008.
► In the Seattle Times — Companies lobby to hide disparity in CEO, worker pay — One financial figure some big U.S. companies would rather keep secret is how much more their CEO makes than their typical worker. Major corporations and some Republicans in Congress call the comparison between the chief executive and everyone else in the company “useless.” But some Democrats and religious investors say the information should be issued to help investors make ethical investment decisions and to highlight the nation’s growing income disparity.
► In today’s Washington Post — Why they’re winning on CEO pay (Steven Pearlstein column) — All the attempts to correct the excessiveness of executive compensation have pretty much made things worse or failed. After years of criticism, CEOs have decided that the higher pay is worth whatever cost it carries in terms of worker disenchantment and public disapprobation. Unless we are prepared to stop working at companies that overpay their executives, investing in them and buying from them, there’s little hope of restraining executive pay. The reason they prevail is not only because they have the power, but because they care more about winning than we do.
► In today’s News tribune — Job training goes under spotlight in Capitol Hill — This year, House Republicans voted to eliminate all funding for the Workforce Investment Act, the federal law that governs work force training, for one year. The plan was killed by the Democrat-led Senate, leading to an eventual compromise that still cut $870 million in job-training funds. Now a bipartisan group of senators, led by Democrat Patty Murray of Washington, proposes overhauling and reauthorizing the 13-year-old law.
► In today’s Washington Post — GOP compromise on debt: Cut military spending? — As President Obama prepares to meet Monday with Senate leaders to try to restart talks about the swollen national debt, some Republicans see a potential path to compromise: significant cuts in military spending.
► At Huffington Post — Wisconsin justice said to have put female judge in chokehold — Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser — a member of the court’s 4-3 conservative majority who was just re-elected to a 10-year term in a heated race that involved a recount and vote-tabulating controversies — allegedly attacked liberal Justice Ann Walsh Bradley during an argument over the court’s recent decision regarding the upholding of Gov. Scott Walker’s anti-public employee union legislation. Now, Bradley is speaking up, and saying publicly that she was assaulted by Prosser.
► At Huffington Post — Koch brothers hold secret GOP retreat in Colorado — Sunday began a 4-day semiannual private retreat in the Vail area for wealthy conservatives and leading Republican politicians, although the guest list and precise location are being kept secret. The event is organized by two of the most powerful conservative political donors, Charles and David Koch of the private energy company Koch Industries.
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.