► In today’s Seattle Times — Tim Eyman’s tolling initiative trails; King County votes ‘no’ — An initiative aimed at restricting the use of highway tolls and blocking light rail from the Interstate 90 bridge appeared headed to defeat, thanks to a big no vote in King County.
► In today’s Olympian — People voting to shut state liquor stores — Costco is toasting its success while state liquor-store employees could use a drink. The 166 stores where they work will close by June 1.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Long-term care training approved — For the second time in four years, voters have approved an SEIU-backed initiative to increase training for long-term-care workers. Initiative 1163 would more than double required training — from 34 to 75 hours — for most new long-term-care workers. The measure also would require certification and more rigorous background checks.
► In today’s Columbian — Wylie keeps state Legislature seat
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Reardon coasting past Hope in county executive race
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Louws leading Ericksen for Whatcom County Executive
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Kitsap voters reject proposed tax increase for human services
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle rejects car-tab fee, passes levy boost for kids
► At AFL-CIO — Ohio voters to Kasich: ‘No, no, no’ — Ohio voters resoundingly overturned the anti-worker agenda pushed by Gov. John Kasich (R), Republican state lawmakers and outside interest groups, which took away the right of some 350,000 public employees to collectively bargain for a middle-class life.
► In today’s Columbus Dispatch — Unions get revenge as Issue 2 fails — A year after Gov. John Kasich and legislative Republicans were swept into office, Ohio voters delivered them a stinging rebuke yesterday, striking down an extensive curtailing of public-union power that Republican leaders had hoped to make a centerpiece accomplishment of 2011. An effort that started last winter with thousands of Statehouse protestors and gained speed with the collection of a record 915,000 signatures ended with unions and their supporters drubbing Issue 2 by 61% to 39%, with 99% of precincts reporting.
► In today’s NY Times — Ohio turns back a law limiting union rights — A year after Republicans swept legislatures across the country, voters in Ohio delivered their verdict Tuesday on a centerpiece of the conservative legislative agenda, striking down a law that restricted public workers’ rights to bargain collectively.
► From AP — Rob McKenna: Cut number of state workers — Attorney General Rob McKenna says private companies should be able to bid to provide more government services, the number of state workers should be reduced and employees should pay more for health insurance premiums.
► In today’s Olympian — Union rejection to reopen contracts may trigger cuts (editorial) — Union leaders missed an opportunity to engender public support for state workers. By refusing to renegotiate, union leaders have fostered the false criticism that state workers are not sharing in the sacrifices that the recession has forced upon other Washington residents.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The way to engender public support for state employees is for them to impose more wage and benefit cuts upon themselves?! How much public support have they engendered — or support from legislators, for that matter — for doing that to themselves repeatedly in the past few years?
► In today’s Columbian — Health care change set for January — Starting in January, most Clark County employees will pay a portion of their health insurance premium. Employees — 1,362 people who have full-time equivalent positions — will pay 7%, which will save the county $1.6 million.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — City of Yakima lays out budget plan with layoffs
► In today’s Washington Post — Republicans offer tax deal to break debt impasse; Democrats dismiss it — Democrats said the tax increases in the GOP offer would be dwarfed by major new tax cuts for the nation’s wealthiest households, including a reduction in the top income tax rate from 35% to 28%.
► In today’s Washington Post — What counts as a tax increase? (by Ezra Klein) — The Bush tax cuts have cost about $2 trillion since their passage, and will cost another $3.7 trillion if extended for another 10 years. And that’s before you count interest on all the new debt that will rack up. But they have a hidden cost, too. They make it almost impossible for Republicans and Democrats to agree on what to do over the deficit.
► In The Hill — House Republicans want out of Norquist tax pledge — A growing number of GOP lawmakers have disavowed Grover Norquist’s pledge against supporting tax increases in recent days, saying they no longer feel bound to uphold a document that they signed, in some cases, more than a decade ago.
► In today’s NY Times — Occupy movement inspires unions to embrace bold tactics — Union leaders, who were initially cautious in embracing the Occupy movement, have in recent weeks showered the protesters with help — tents, air mattresses, propane heaters and tons of food. The protesters, for their part, have joined in union marches and picket lines across the nation. About 100 protesters from Occupy Wall Street are expected to join a Teamsters picket line at the Sotheby’s auction house in Manhattan on Wednesday night to back the union in a bitter contract fight. Labor unions, marveling at how the protesters have fired up the public on traditional labor issues like income inequality, are also starting to embrace some of the bold tactics and social media skills of the Occupy movement.
► In today’s NY Times — Letting the banks off easy (editorial) — A settlement in the works would not hold banks accountable for mortgage abuses. State attorneys general should keep fighting for a better deal. (That includes you, Mr. McKenna.)
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.