► At Washington State Wire — Billion-dollar jobs plan is the talk of the town — but some worry about credit-card financing — Talk of a billion-dollar jobs plan is finally getting serious at the statehouse, as a quiet two-month lobbying effort by the Washington State Labor Council and the Associated General Contractors (and the Washington State Building and Construction Trades Council) is starting to take the form of a fleshed-out proposal. Democrats in the House and Senate are readying lists of public construction projects that might be financed by bonding against specific tax-revenue streams. As many as 15,000 jobs might be created in the short term.
ALSO SEE — ‘Jobs Now’ bill gains steam with project lists (The Stand, Jan. 27)
► At AFL-CIO Now — Labor, management partner to create jobs in Washington State
► In today’s Columbian — State-owned bank idea gains traction — A push to create a publicly owned financial institution has gained traction among key legislative leaders in Olympia, with 44 House members and 11 senators signed on to bills that would put the state in the finance business.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Group rallies in Tri-Cities for immigrant rights — More than 400 people — including about 100 from Eastern Washington — crowded the Legislative Building rotunda Thursday to support immigrant rights. High on the agenda of OneAmerica, an immigrant, civil and human rights advocacy group, is the Washington Voting Rights Act, which creates a system for minority groups to seek equal voting opportunity reform.
► In today’s Seattle Times — State commission ends 2010 Americans for Prosperity investigation — the PDC dismisses complaints against the right-wing Koch brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity because the mailers did not specifically encourage voters to cast a ballot for or against someone, so they did not need to be regulated.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Hundreds turn out to launch anti-coal train initiative — Backers of SSA Marine’s proposal for the Gateway Pacific export terminal at Cherry Point doubt that local initiatives will impress federal officials who control interstate commerce under existing legal and constitutional provisions.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Fight worsens between Bainbridge, city employees — The city employees’ union is vowing to take a harder stance with the city after labor negotiations did little more than inflame already fiery emotions. “They were mean-spirited, spiteful and vindictive,” IAM union rep Mike Goddard said after a nearly five-hour meeting with city officials to hash out the details of a recent arbitrator’s order forcing the city to rehire four laid-off workers. Required back pay and other compensation to the employees could total $1 million.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Sorry state economy factor in LCC loan defaults— As Cowlitz County’s blue-collar economy struggled in recent years, students poured into Lower Columbia College in record numbers. Now, many of those former students are defaulting on student loans at surprisingly high rates, sometimes within nine months of graduating.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Liquor superstores scope out Washington sites — Total Wine, an East Coast company calling itself a “wine superstore,” is planning to open locations in Spokane, Seattle, Tacoma and Vancouver.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — PeaceHealth: Services won’t be lost due to job cuts — PeaceHealth St. John Medical Center officials say they will be laying off the equivalent of about 40 full-time employees.
► In today’s NY Times — Economic recovery slowly gained steam in late ’11, data show — The pace of economic growth was greater (2.8%) in the fourth quarter than the third (1.8%). Even so, both figures were below the average speed of economic expansion in the United States since World War II. Above-average growth in the quarter would have helped to make up for the destruction wrought by the Great Recession.
► In today’s NY Times — Don’t mind the gap (by the Pew Research Center’s Andrew Kohut) — The issue here is not about class envy. Rather, it’s a perception that government policies are skewed toward helping the already wealthy and powerful. While a December Gallup poll found few respondents wanting the government to attempt to reduce the income gap between rich and poor, 70 percent said it was important for the government to increase opportunities for people to get ahead. What the public wants is not a war on the rich but more policies that promote opportunity.
► From Yahoo! News — Low IQ, conservative beliefs linked to prejudice — There’s no gentle way to put it: People who give in to racism and prejudice may simply be dumb, according to a new study. The research finds that children with low intelligence are more likely to hold prejudiced attitudes as adults. Low-intelligence adults tend to gravitate toward socially conservative ideologies, the study found.
► In today’s NY Times — Jobs, jobs and cars (Paul Krugman column) — We should be grateful to Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels for his Republican response to Obama’s State of the Union remarks on Tuesday. He got his facts wrong, but he did, unintentionally, manage to highlight an important philosophical difference between the parties. One side believes that economies succeed solely thanks to heroic entrepreneurs; the other has nothing against entrepreneurs, but believes that entrepreneurs need a supportive environment, and that sometimes government has to help create or sustain that supportive environment. And the view that it takes more than business heroes is the one that fits the facts.
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.