► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Senate votes 28-21 to legalize same-sex marriage — Washington marched closer to crossing a historic threshold Wednesday when state senators passed a bill to make it legal for gay and lesbian couples to wed. In front of the governor and galleries packed with gay marriage supporters, the Senate voted 28-21 to approve the controversial measure, which would make Washington the seventh state to allow same-sex couples to marry.
► Yesterday at The Stand — WSLC endorses Marriage Equality Act
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — EGT, ILWU to begin contract talks — EGT Development and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union will begin contract talks this week after workers at the grain terminal formally chose the ILWU as their union. The union announced Wednesday that workers at EGT who had been dispatched from the ILWU’s Local 21 hall in Longview signed cards indicating their choice of union, which were then approved by an arbitrator.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Presidents lament budget cuts draining state’s universities — Cutbacks to higher education are causing a brain drain at Washington public universities, and the state is gaining a national reputation for the severity of cuts, the presidents of Washington’s six four-year higher-education institutions said Wednesday.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Many miss tax credit for working poor — A huge group of tax filers out there deserves bigger tax returns, according to the Internal Revenue Service. In its annual campaign, the IRS and its partners are reminding working people who don’t make great money they might qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit.
► At SeattlePI.com — Seattle program to create 2,000 ‘green jobs’? Not likely— Nearly two years after Seattle announced an ambitious, $20 million weatherization program to create 2,000 jobs, officials said Wednesday that reaching that goal was unlikely.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — County workforce puts hold on ‘green job’ training — Government-funded training for so-called green jobs has come to a near standstill in Snohomish County, having produced lackluster results.
► In today’s Kitsap Sun — Idaho companies win Bangor contract— The Navy has awarded a $10.6 million contract to an Idaho-based joint venture to build a facility for security forces on the explosives handling wharf.
► In today’s Seattle Times — DelBene, Burner raise funds quickly in 1st District campaign
THE REPUBLICAN WAR ON UNIONS
► In today’s NY Times — Indiana becomes ‘right-to-work’ state — Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana, who can’t seek re-election due to term limits and who once said that he did not wish to add a “right to work” provision to the state’s labor laws, signed a bill on Wednesday doing just that.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Indiana working families ready to take back the state — Far from conceding defeat after the passage of a so-called right to work bill, tens of thousands of Hoosier workers came together in solidarity to march from the statehouse to Super Bowl village in Indianapolis. Construction workers and teachers, grocery clerks and truck drivers cheered on the workers and elected officials with chants of “Remember November,” vowing to take back the state door by door, neighborhood by neighborhood.
► In today’s Washington Post — House votes to freeze Congressional, federal pay — House lawmakers voted Wednesday night to freeze their pay and the salaries of congressional staffers and civilian federal employees. Says Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.): “Federal employees have become a kind of piggybank — whenever you need some money, you take it from the federal employees.”
► From AP — American Airlines aims to cut 13,000 jobs — The parent of American Airlines wants to eliminate about 13,000 jobs — 15 percent of its workforce — as the nation’s third-biggest airline remakes itself under bankruptcy protection. The company aims to cut labor costs by 20 percent, and will soon begin negotiations with its three major unions.
► In The Hill — Disputed rule aims to shame CEOs — Business groups and unions are sparring over a little-known provision in the Dodd-Frank reform law that supporters concede is an effort to shame the nation’s highest-paid CEOs.
► In The Hill — Actor Chris Rock: “I’ll pay higher taxes” — “I’ll pay higher taxes. I look at it this way I can pay higher taxes and people can have jobs or I can pay lower taxes and I have my kid’s teacher asking me for a loan, which is true.”
► At AFL-CIO Now — Small business owners say job exports, not regulations, are the problem — Republicans who claim they are BFF with small business owners–yet insist “over regulation” is causing the nation’s economic woes — ought to listen to what their “best friends” have to say. A new poll of 500 small business owners finds that cutting regulations is far down their list of priorities to boost their businesses. They say weak customer demand — not government regulations — is their biggest concern and that the best way to create jobs is to eliminate incentives to move jobs overseas. The boogieman of regulations is fifth on the list after ending job export incentives, boosting consumer demand, increasing consumer purchasing, and investing in infrastructure like roads and bridges.
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.