Tuesday, June 11, 2013
► In today’s Olympian — Lawmakers, ‘out in space,’ need 3rd session — The philosophical gap between a Republican-steered state Senate and Democrat-controlled House over taxes and government reforms is driving Washington’s Legislature into a second, 30-day special session that is expected to start Wednesday morning. The new two-year budget cycle begins July 1, and agencies typically need an appropriation from lawmakers to spend taxpayer dollars. That is leading to fears — and heightening rhetoric — about who is to blame if the stalemate persists and government has to shut down.
TAKE A STAND! — Contact lawmakers again to avoid costly government shutdown — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO is urging all union members and community supporters to contact their state legislators immediately — even if you already have in recent days — to send a new message urging them to reject all policy bills, avoid a state government shutdown, and pass the operating, capital and transportation funding budgets. Here’s how to take action:
► In the Wenatchee World — Let’s do it and leave (editorial) — A short note to our state’s legislators: Compromise. Vote. Be done. We don’t think we are far off general public sentiment when we say we care very little about who is at fault for what, which side is obstinate, which irrational and which is unreasonable. … Lawmakers who find fiscal cliffs alluring should know public patience has limits, and failure to perform basic constitutional duties carries political risks they should give due consideration.
► From the WA State Budget & Policy Center — Senate ‘Education by Starvation’ proposal would fund education by cutting all other investments — A plan that State Senate leaders recently revived to fund education at the expense of all other vital services continues to be the wrong approach to fully funding our schools and poses a grave danger to Washington state’s economy. It would lead to deep cuts in investments beyond education that create jobs and help the middle class prosper.
► At Slog — Senate Republicans hold another budget deal hostage over drown-budget-in-the-bathtub measure — If it sounds familiar, it’s because it’s largely the same flawed policy that Rob McKenna made a cornerstone of his failed gubernatorial campaign. But that wasn’t the first time voters roundly rejected the idea. Tim Eyman’s 2009 Initiative 1033 would have imposed this same bullshit population-plus-inflation limit on all state and local spending; it was defeated in a landslide, 58 to 42. Republicans are attempting to hold a budget deal hostage to a policy that voters have already rejected twice in four years. So much for “the will of the people.”
► At PubliCola — Morning Fizz (scroll down to item #4) — Senate-side transportation committee co-chair, Republican Sen. Curtis King (R-Yakima) released his transportation funding package yesterday. Here’s how it compares to the $8.4 billion package that Democratic house transportation committee chair Rep. Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island) has on the table.
► In today’s Olympian — JBLM decides on 4-day weeks for civilian workers’ furloughs — Thousands of civilian employees at Joint Base Lewis-McChord will take unpaid days off on 11 straight Fridays in July, August and September — part of a plan intended to concentrate the impacts of Pentagon-mandated furloughs to a single day of the week.
► In the P.S. Business Journal — Coast Guard in Washington cutting back due to sequester — An at-least 25% operations cut in the Coast Guard’s District 13 has been implemented since April, as a way to cope with sequestration from the Budget Control Act.
► In today’s News Tribune — Temporary PLU faculty win right to unionize — Casting aside the university’s legal objections, the NLRB’s regional director has ruled that temporary and part-time faculty members at Parkland’s Pacific Lutheran University are entitled to hold an election in the fall to determine whether a union will represent them in negotiations with the school. SEIU Local 925 said the decision could set a precedent for temporary faculty members in universities around the country.
► In Saturday’s (Everett) Herald — Woman to start 300-mile wheelchair trek in Everett — For Tania Finlayson, anything is possible. Confined to a wheelchair her entire life with cerebral palsy, Finlayson today will start a 300-mile, four-day long trip driving her wheelchair from Everett to Oregon to raise $42,000 for Guide Dogs of America.
ALSO at The Stand — A 300-mile wheelchair ride to benefit Guide Dogs of America — Follow Tania’s progress here and make your contribution to support her efforts here.
► In today’s Daily News — Illinois-based KapStone to buy Longview Fibre — Longview Fibre officials said it’s too early to tell if Kapstone will add or cut employees or management, but they said they’re excited about the new owners. KapStone, founded in 2005, is a rapidly growing company that previously did not have operations west of the Mississippi River.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — DOT: Temporary bridge over Skagit River ready next week — State transportation officials say the Interstate 5 bridge over the Skagit River should reopen sometime next week.
► In today’s News Tribune — Milton, Edgewood, Fife protest Pierce Transit cuts, propose new route — Milton, Fife and Edgewood have adopted a joint resolution rejecting Pierce Transit’s planned service cuts in the three cities. Instead, they propose an alternate route in hopes of softening the blow for riders in the area.
► In the Spokesman-Review — ‘They’re just waiting for all of us to die’ — Plaintiffs still seeking compensation for exposure to emissions from Hanford weigh modest settlement offers as they get older and their case drags on.
► In the Oregonian — Precision Castparts Portland workers vote not to unionize, but IAM will try again — Precision employees voted 1,258 to 932 not to join the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers. A Machinists spokesman said would keep trying to organize Precision’s plants.
► From AP — Obama pushing immigration reform with labor, business leaders — President Barack Obama is inviting law enforcement, labor and business leaders to the White House to show they support an immigration overhaul. The White House says Obama will speak Tuesday about the economic and national security benefits of a bipartisan bill. The first votes in the full Senate are scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.
► In today’s NY Times — Immigration legislation draws many amendments as it heads to the floor — The Senate Judiciary Committee considered more than 300 amendments to immigration legislation last month before sending it to the full Senate, which is expected to begin debate on the bill on Tuesday.
► In The Hill — Senate GOP leaders face tough vote on immigration reform — The Senate’s highest-ranking Republican leaders face tough choices on immigration reform as they balance the needs of the national party against a possible conservative backlash.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Letter Carriers’ drive collects 74 million pounds of food — The National Association of Letter Carriers’ annual food drive collected 74.3 million pounds of food and was the second most successful in the program’s 21 years. The food was used to restock food banks, pantries and shelters around the country. The total was an increase of 5% over last year and was the highest in a decade.
► In today’s Washington Post — TSA Knife Fight loss was not inevitable — It turns out, a knowledgeable source said, that the existing policy “depressed sales” because TSA would auction off the confiscated knives at a much-reduced price. So the leading knife manufacturers — Victorinox Swiss Army and Leatherman toolmaker, who had invested several hundred thousand dollars in a lobbying effort — wanted TSA to allow smaller keychain knives, not necessarily the larger 2.36” knives that the Europeans allow and TSA had planned to approve.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Union-made Father’s Day — Celebrate your dad in solidarity style this Father’s Day by getting him a gift that sports the union label. Check out some union-made Father’s Day gift ideas.
50 YEARS AGO TODAY
► In today’s NY Times — Kennedy’s finest moment — June 11, 1963, may not be a widely recognized date these days, but it might have been the single most important day in civil rights history. That morning, Gov. George Wallace, in an effort to block the integration of the University of Alabama, made his futile “stand at the schoolhouse door.” That evening, Boston NAACP leaders engaged in their first public confrontation with Louise Day Hicks, the chairwoman of the Boston School Committee, over de facto public school segregation, beginning a decade-long struggle that would boil over into spectacular violence during the early 1970s. And just after midnight in Jackson, Miss., a white segregationist murdered the civil rights leader Medgar Evers. But the most important event was one that almost didn’t happen: a hastily arranged speech that evening by President John F. Kennedy.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.