► In today’s Olympian — Capital gains tax proposed to fix bleeding budget— Rep. Laurie Jinkins (D-Tacoma) says a 5% tax on realized capital gains could raise anywhere from $215 million to $650 million a year for education, health care and universities. The tax would piggyback on federal returns, and its amount would vary with the economy’s health.
► At Crosscut — Hi, my name is Washington, and I have a revenue problem — The decidedly dismal fiscal news is complicated by a chorus of voices calling for “reform before revenue.” A loose coalition of conservative Republicans, moderate to conservative “Roadkill” Democrats, and business organizations, aided by the Seattle Times Editorial page, suggests that a long list of reforms should be addressed before there is any consideration of new revenue. All realistic reform proposals should be considered, especially those that could result in savings through more efficient delivery of services. But the passel of reforms being promoted encompasses an agenda for a 600-day session, not one of just 60 days. As such, it’s essentially a prescription for legislative gridlock.
► At Publicola — Three bills could lower state minimum wage — Although Washington’s is the highest state minimum wage in the nation, if the federal minimum had kept up with growth in CPI, it would be $9.16 today, and if it had kept up with average growth in personal income from all sources, it would be $14.41 an hour.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Growers say solution to labor shortage is immigration reform — Central Washington growers support legislation that would give students flexibility to take time off to harvest fruit, but they say the real solution to the labor shortages driving the bill is at the federal level.
► From AP — Big cities dislike state’s business-tax-collection plan — Washington’s largest cities are unhappy with Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposal, saying it would cost them money, in part because state auditors wouldn’t be as aggressive in tracking down local cheats.
► In today’s Daily News — Cowlitz County court to take first case to clock liquor initiative — A lawsuit in King County Superior Court that would stop implementation of I-1183 will not move forward until a similar lawsuit in Cowlitz County is decided. Both question the constitutionality of I-1183, saying it violates a rule requiring initiatives to address just one subject.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Bill would make bad ferry behavior a misdemeanor— SB 6245 by Sen. Kevin Ranker (D-San Juan Island) defines smoking, spitting, littering, playing radios, urinating or defecating in places other than approved plumbing fixtures, carrying firearms or flammable liquids, roller-skating, skateboarding, gambling, trying to pass oneself off as a ferry worker, and letting a pet off its leash as misdemeanors.
► At HeraldNet.com — Gregoire names Boeing, Alaska Air execs as UW Regents — The governor has appointed Alaska Airline’s Bill Ayer and the Boeing’s Pat Shanahan.
EDITOR’S NOTE — In addition to those companies, also on the UW Board of Regents are current or former execs for REI, Microsoft, Brown & Cole, Starbucks, among other business interests. (Apparently, Bill Gates Sr. is the voice of working people on the board.) Maybe they should call it the Washington Roundtable of Regents.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing may overtake Airbus as No. 1 jet-maker in 2012 — Airbus has made more jets than Boeing for nine consecutive years now. It has sold more jets than Boeing for four consecutive years. Yet an analysis of the year-end figures reveals that, while Boeing delivered fewer jets, it surpassed Airbus in their dollar value. Moreover, the data suggest 2012 could be Boeing’s year to take back the No. 1 spot.
► In the NW Labor Press — Showdown looms in Longview — Some time in late January or early February, the first ship will come down the Columbia River to be loaded at the EGT grain terminal — and will be confronted by union members, families, supporters, and Occupy Wall Street activists from Longview, Seattle, Portland, and Oakland.
► In the NW Labor Press — Rich Ahearn, NLRB regional director, retires — Ahearn retired Dec. 30 after 37 years with the agency. NLRB attorney Anne Pomerantz will serve as acting regional director until Ronald Hooks replaces Ahearn in April. Hooks, a 40-year NLRB employee, currently directs the regional office in Memphis.
► In today’s Daily News — Group wants to export coal near Clatskanie; port says 100 jobs possible— Two giant energy companies will submit separate proposals Jan. 25 to develop coal export facilities at Port Westward north of Clatskanie, potentially making the Columbia River a major thoroughfare for transporting coal to Asia.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Providence-Swedish partnership gets green light from state — Two state agencies have signed off on the proposed partnership, but the deal still needs approval from the Federal Trade Commission to move ahead.
► At AFL-CIO Now — One million signatures submitted to recall Walker — Working people submitted 1 million signatures supporting a recall election of Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R), exceeding the total number of signatures required by 460,000. Walker last year pushed to abolish the rights of public employees to collectively bargain for a middle-class life.
► AT TPM — With recall in motion, Democrats consider challengers to Walker — Now that Wisconsin Democrats made their big move to trigger a recall election against Republican Gov. Scott Walker — turning in over a million signatures against him on Tuesday — the next step is now approaching, with potential Democratic challengers starting to make their way out into the open.
► In The Hill — Recess appointments might not hold — Some legal experts, including those who have sided with President Obama on other constitutional issues, think there is a good chance the courts could overturn his recent recess appointments.
► In today’s NY Times — Parties confident of extending payroll tax cut — With both parties largely in agreement on a yearlong extension, the fight in Congress will boil down to how to pay for it, and Democrats appeared to hold the advantage.
► From Reuters — Occupy protesters rally against Congress at Capitol— Several hundred demonstrators from the Occupy movement rallied at the Capitol on Tuesday to protest against the influence of money on lawmakers.
► In today’s NY Times — Few cities have regained the jobs they lost, report finds — The nation’s mayors, both Democrats and Republicans, are exasperated as a study shows many areas have years to go until employment recovers.
► In today’s LA Times — Port of LA sets U.S. record for shipping export containers — The nation’s busiest seaport processed 2.11 million outgoing cargo shipments in 2011, becoming the first U.S. harbor to break the 2 million mark.
► At Huffington Post — Mitt Romney downplays $374,000 in speaking fees as ‘not very much’ — The Republican presidential candidate also finally admits that the effective tax rate he has been paying for the last several years is likely below that of middle-class workers, which would also include military service members.
► On The Daily Show with Jon Stewart — Fear Factory — By creating a convenient ecosystem, China’s Foxconn draws in employees who earn 31 cents an hour working for 35 hours straight, thereby saving American companies money.
|The Daily Show With Jon Stewart||Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c|
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.