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State budget, record Boeing order, Made in America…



► In today’s Olympian — Budget piece finished— Democrats and Republicans say their plan to close almost one-fourth of the state’s $2 billion budget gap is on a fast track for passage this week. The $480 million plan relies on “a little less than $200 million” in actual cuts, plus fund transfers and quicker cash-outs of unclaimed securities left by people who have died.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Lawmakers reach deal to cut $480 million, but avoid controversial proposals — The school year isn’t shortened, inmates aren’t released early and subsidized health care for the poor is preserved, and a proposal to ask voters to raise the sales tax won’t be taken up until at least the regular session gets under way next month.

► More news coverage in today’s Columbian, Spokesman-Review, and from the Associated Press.

► At Publicola — Think tank says $10 billion figure underestimates state cuts — In a new report, the Washington State Budget and Policy Center says the $10 billion is merely “the floor” of what’s been cut and does not account for the cumulative effect of those cuts beyond the first year.

► In today’s Columbian — Probst bills aim to end chronic state budget crises with help for education, business — The Career Pathways Act (HB 2170) would require career exploration from the sixth grade through high school, spotlighting careers that don’t require a four-year degree as much as college-bound pathways.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Wenatchee arena default could create hurdle for regional facilities in Tri-Cities –The recent default on Wenatchee’s $42 million Town Toyota Center could pose a new hurdle for building any multimillion-dollar regional public facilities in the Tri-Cities.

► In today’s News Tribune — Martinac out of ferry job?— A Tacoma shipyard could be dropped today from the group of companies splitting $115 million to build Washington a ferry. State lawmakers from Pierce County ask Gregoire to intervene.

► At The — State revenue collections for November are essentially as expected

► At — Arnold-Williams returns to lead DSHS




► In today’s Seattle Times — Largest Boeing order ever: Southwest maxes out on 737 MAX — Southwest Airlines has placed the largest firm order in Boeing history to become the launch customer for the 737 MAX. The Dallas-based carrier ordered 150 of the proposed new version of Boeing’s workhorse single-aisle jet featuring a new fuel-efficient engine. The airline also ordered 58 model 737s.

► At — Wichita Professional & Technical members approve Spirit contract — The 9½-year agreement, covering 2,300 employees, provides a $2,000 signing bonus before the end of the year, annual market-based raises starting in 2012, participation in the Spirit Incentive Plan and increases restrictions on the company’s use of contract labor.




► In today’s Seattle Times — 1 in 7 state residents lacks health insurance — The number of people in Washington state without health insurance has risen sharply since the end of 2008 and is expected to reach 1 million by the end of the year, according to a new report from state Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. About 14.5% of state residents — most of them working-age adults — have no coverage, and many more are underinsured.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane council approves deal to freeze union wages— The council approved three-year contract extensions for AFSCME Local 270 and the city’s prosecutors union a full year before their existing labor contracts were set to expire. So Mayor-elect David Condon likely will have to win a second term if he wants to tinker with the pay and benefits of nearly half of the City Hall workforce.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Enviro group files suit again Gateway Pacific developer— A Bellingham environmental group opposing the coal and bulk cargo terminal project has filed a federal lawsuit charging SSA Marine with violations of the Clean Water Act in connection with grading and tree-clearing at the terminal site last summer.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Reardon vetoes a proposed tax hike to pay for roads in 2012 budget — The roads levy passed the council 4-1, with Republican Councilman John Koster the lone dissenter. The council will consider overriding Reardon’s veto Wednesday morning.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Occupy protest at Port of Seattle includes melee, arrests — A crowd of 500 people peacefully blocked a Port entrance near the lower West Seattle Bridge on Monday before violence broke out nearby during an “Occupy the Ports” day up and down the West Coast. Evening-shift workers at both terminals didn’t come in, though the Port sent out a news release saying there was minimal impact to cargo movement.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Port of Longview demonstration leads to work stoppage— About 100 Occupy protesters shut down the Port of Longview on Monday morning, blocking a roadway and chanting support for union longshoremen in their labor dispute at the EGT grain terminal. The demonstration was peaceful. Only two ships were in port, and port officials hoped to resume servicing them Monday night.

► In today’s Oregonian — Occupy Portland protesters go home after appeal by union leaders

► In today’s News Tribune — Occupy Tacoma’s port protest peaceful

► In today’s LA Times — Occupy protesters block West Coast ports

► At — Occupy the Port, hurt the 99% (by Jon Talton) — The Occupy movement’s plans to attempt to shut down West Coast ports further muddies its stated goals and agenda. No wonder organized labor declined to support today’s planned protest at the Port of Seattle.




► In today’s LA Times — Boehner predict bipartisan support for payroll tax plan — The GOP-led House is expected to push through a sweeping payroll tax cut and unemployment benefit extension package Tuesday that is dead on arrival in the Senate as Congress races a year-end deadline to keep the tax break for 160 million American workers and extend jobless insurance, which both expire at the end of the year.

► At Huffington Post — Dem calls GOP jobless bill ‘heartless’ — A top-ranking House Democratic lawmaker promised a “confrontation” on the floor during debate over a unemployment insurance/payroll tax break extension.

► In today’s NY Times — Targeting the unemployed (editorial) — House Republicans would pay for their package by cutting social spending more deeply than is already anticipated under current budget caps without asking wealthy Americans to contribute a penny in new taxes. It would also make unemployment compensation considerably stingier than it is now.

► In today’s LA Times — U.S. bishops urge Congress to extend unemployment benefits — “The U.S. Catholic bishops have long advocated that the most effective way to build a just economy is the availability of decent work at decent wages,” writes Bishop Stephen E. Blaire. “When the economy fails to generate sufficient jobs, there is a moral obligation to help protect the life and dignity of unemployed workers and their families.”

TAKE A STAND! –Tell Congress to extend jobless benefits now!




► In today’s NY Times — Supreme Court to hear challenge to Arizona immigration law — The Supreme Court has thrust itself into the center of American political life, agreeing to hear three major cases that could help determine which party controls the House of Representatives and whether President Obama wins a second term. The court announced Monday that it would decide whether Arizona was entitled to impose tough anti-immigration measures over the Obama administration’s objections. The case joined a crowded docket that already included challenges to Obama’s signature legislative achievement, the 2010 health care overhaul law, and a momentous case on how Texas will conduct its elections.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Massey CEO set to open more coal mines — Don Blankenship was head of Massey Energy when 29 coal miners lost their lives in a massive explosion. Forced to resign, he has been largely invisible since. Now he’s filed papers to start another coal mine venture.




► Please. Watch this.

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► From ABC News — Made in America Christmas: Are you in? — “Made in America Christmas,” a series of reports on “World News with Diane Sawyer,” is promoting U.S.-made products. If each of us spent just $64 on American-made goods during our holiday shopping, the result would be 200,000 new jobs in the U.S. Check out this web site to find American-made goods and to see the reports (like the one featured above).


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 9 a.m. These links are functional at the date of posting, but sometimes expire.

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!