Wednesday, June 19, 2013
► From AP — State revenue increase may avert government shutdown — Substantial improvements in Washington’s financial outlook provided state lawmakers with a pathway to resolve their budget differences Tuesday, and negotiators expressed optimism they would avoid any government shutdown. In response to a revised forecast of state revenues, Senate leaders said they were OK finalizing a budget deal without policy overhauls that they had been seeking — so long as the House didn’t continue pushing for new revenue.
TAKE A STAND — It’s not over ’til it’s over. Keep calling the Legislative Hotline at 1-800-562-6000 and leave messages for Gov. Jay Inslee, your State Senator and both your State Representatives. Tell them: Please protect injured workers and their families by opposing SB 5127 — and all other policy bills — and pass the operating, capital and transportation-funding budgets to end the legislative session.
► In today’s Olympian — Legislative delay could cost state schools $45 million — State schools Superintendent Randy Dorn has warned that the Legislature’s failure to pass a state budget by Friday means $45 million in aid to school districts may not go out as scheduled next month.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Local governments spend big to lobby Legislature — Washington’s cities, counties, ports, Indian tribes, public utility districts and school districts spent about $2.5 million lobbying state lawmakers during the regular legislative session — more than any other group.
► In the Seattle Times — Boeing’s exodus from Washington State (by Sen. Mike Hewitt, R-Walla Walla) — We recently learned Boeing will be moving some engineers and technical professionals to other parts of the country. Moving jobs is a continuation of the company’s steady migration out of Washington state and the latest in a series of wake-up calls that demonstrate an urgent need for lawmakers to improve our state’s business climate.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington’s safety net for injured workers — the latest target for competitiveness scolds like Sen. Hewitt — costs employers less in Washington State, according to Oregon’s definitive state-by-state rate study, than they do in both California and South Carolina, the two states to which Boeing just announced it is shifting engineering jobs.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Army Corp of Engineers won’t review broad impacts of proposed coal terminals — The much-anticipated decision is a significant victory for the supporters of three proposed coal terminals in Washington and Oregon — including Millennium Bulk Terminals in Longview and an Ambre Energy barge dock at Port Westward — and a setback for environmentalists and state and local officials who oppose the projects.
► From AP — Judge says farm workers in central Washington should get info on wages — A federal judge has ruled that a class of more than 650 farm workers should have had information about wages and other job conditions disclosed to them by the company that hired them.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing announces 737 orders, earlier MAX delivery date — The Chicago-based company announced it would pull in the delivery date on the 737 MAX by three months, moving it to the third quarter of 2017.
► From AP — Report faults Washington for lax oversight of Hanford cleanup — A new EPA report faults Washington for lax oversight at the nation’s most contaminated nuclear site, saying the state employs too few inspectors and gives advance notice of inspections to the federal agency charged with managing the cleanup.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Yakima firefighters unite to protest proposed cutting of battalion chiefs — More than 20 firefighters showed up to protest the city administration’s proposal to cut the fire department’s battalion chiefs, saying that the move would put them at risk and make the department less efficient in responding to emergencies.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Feds claim Bellis Fair restaurant, massage kiosks underpaid employees — A federal judge is expected to decide Wednesday, June 19, whether to order J&J Mongolian Grill and Spa Therapy to stop threatening their employees for cooperating in a federal investigation of those shops at Bellis Fair mall.
► In today’s NY Times — Immigration law changes seen as cutting billions from federal deficit — Congressional budget analysts, providing a positive economic assessment of proposed immigration law changes, said Tuesday that legislation to overhaul the nation’s immigration system would cut close to $1 trillion from the federal deficit over the next two decades and lead to more than 10 million new legal residents in the country.
► In The Hill — Partisan lines harden in Senate over immigration reform — The bill seems likely to pass the Senate, but hopes the bill could win 70 or 80 votes are fading along with the chances that a key amendment sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) will be approved. His amendment would create border enforcement triggers in the bill that would have to be achieved before the path to citizenship is granted to millions of immigrants.
► In today’s Washington Post — Boehner assures colleagues: No immigration bill without majority GOP support — The fate of the sprawling immigration reform proposal winding its way through Congress may now be in the hands of some of the most conservative members of the Republican Party.
► In The Hill — GAO: ObamaCare launch in doubt — Federal health officials are taking the lead in 34 states that have refused to mount their own exchanges because of opposition to ObamaCare. This outcome was not anticipated by authors of the Affordable Care Act and could throw a wrench in the law’s scheduled Oct. 1 rollout, nonpartisan investigators said.
► At Labor Notes — Time to update Labor’s Handbook on ‘just cause’ — Except for the construction and theatrical industries, almost all union contracts in the U.S. and Canada require the employer to have a good reason — “just cause” — before disciplining or firing a worker. But few agreements spell out what the words mean — leaving workers to churn in the jelly-like universe of “I know it when I see it.”
In the 1960s, Chicago arbitrator Carroll R. Daugherty attempted to list the necessary elements of the standard, putting forward a blueprint that soon became known as “the seven tests of just cause.” The seven tests were warmly embraced and utilized by unions. What has been missing for the past 50 years is an assessment of whether the seven tests are standing unions in good stead. It may come as a surprise, but interviews with many arbitrators, a review of scholarly articles, and a canvass of several years of arbitration decisions suggest that most seasoned labor arbitrators disdain the seven tests.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.