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Budget bickering, House fails on transportation, our wage crisis…

Thursday, June 27, 2013




wile-e-fiscal-cliff► In today’s Olympian — Budget deal near as small issues remain — A request by Boeing and Senate Republicans for additional research into fish-consumption risks and a dispute over public disclosure for tax-break recipients were among the several smaller issues holding up the Legislature’s quest to finish an operating budget deal Wednesday. Lawmakers are racing to get a deal by Friday and have it signed quickly by Gov. Jay Inslee to avert a partial shutdown of government on Monday, the first day of the new budget cycle.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — D.C.-style dysfunction has state at fiscal cliff

► In today’s Seattle Times — Deal or no deal? Conflicting claims fly as budget bickering persists — In a sign of just how dysfunctional the state Legislature has become, lawmakers Wednesday argued about whether they had completed a budget deal — or not.

► In today’s Olympian — State alerts thousands of possible loss of funds — Because legislators didn’t agree on a budget by 5 p.m. Wednesday, thousands of immigrants, pregnant women and people with disabilities will receive letters telling them they could stop receiving state services next week. The state Department of Social and Health Services was forced to send out notifications Wednesday warning people that state government could shut down Monday if lawmakers can’t finalize a budget by Sunday night.

► From AP — State workers ‘wait and see’ after furlough notices go out — Thousands of state workers received notifications that they could be temporarily laid off starting next week, even as Gov. Jay Inslee expressed an upbeat tone about budget talks that could avert a government shutdown. More than 25,000 would be furloughed if there is no budget deal.

At — Temporary layoff resources for state employees

WSLC-agenda-investing► In the News Tribune — Transportation tax measure fails in House — By one vote, opponents beat back more than $9 billion in new transportation funding sources — a rare defeat on the House floor. Backers of road projects, bus service and ferries had taken a leap of faith, only to fall short. Six Democrats had parted ways with their party and just one Republican had bucked the party line. Wednesday’s tally dropped to 48-to-42 after a supporter, Rep. Marko Liias (D-Edmonds), changed his vote so he would be eligible to call for a revote, which he later did — paving the way for more lobbying from unions, mass transit advocates and business interests that support the tax plan.

ALSO at The Stand — Coalition: Pass state transportation package!

► In today’s News Tribune — No excuses on state transportation vote (editorial) — Some lawmakers claim they want the job-generating projects even as they try to evade the tax vote needed to make the projects happen. They’re quick with excuses. But this is a package deal that requires an up-or-down vote. Queasy lawmakers who understand what’s at stake should take a deep breath, ignore loud but shortsighted people, then vote their conscience and the interests of their state.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Boeing, Olympia both to blame for legislative inaction (by Jerry Cornfield) — Boeing is well known under the Capitol dome for never telling legislators exactly what it wants and doesn’t want. Their lobbyists communicate in a code… and they never leave a paper trail. They are opaque, which confounds lawmakers. This year is no exception. House Democrats and Inslee insist they’ve been told Boeing’s chief concerns are higher education and transportation. Members of the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus say Boeing told them its priorities are workers compensation and fish consumption.

fairchild-tankers► In the (Everett) Herald — Everett Boeing workers begin to build tanker — Boeing began production Wednesday of the first U.S. Air Force KC-46A tanker, loading the aircraft’s wing spar into a jig at the Paine Field factory. The step comes just weeks before Air Force officials are expected to sign off on the tanker’s final design, the next major milestone as Boeing gears up to deliver the first KC-46A aerial-refueling tanker in 2016.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Snohomish County’s jobless rate dips below 5%

► From — Keeping Washington’s aerospace edge through state grants — The state’s Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation has invested more than $1.36 million in some 18 aerospace research projects at the University of Washington, Washington State University and Western Washington University.




► In the Wenatchee World — Central Transit will halt services temporarily — Current operating funds for Central Transit will run out Sunday, suspending the bus service starting Monday, possibly until Sept. 9, according to the city of Ellensburg.

► In today’s News Tribune — Cuts threaten to close Pierce County health centers — Family support centers in Pierce County that connect low-income people with home nurse visits, parenting services and other resources are facing closure again.




► From AP — Senate on verge of historic immigration vote — The Senate is on the cusp of approving historic immigration legislation offering citizenship to millions in the U.S. illegally and spending billions of dollars to secure the border. The vote on final passage of the White House-backed bill was expected as early as Thursday.

We-Are-One-marriage-equality► At AFL-CIO Now — LGBT working families celebrate: ‘At last, DOMA is overturned’ — In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional, paving the way for the federal recognition of same-sex marriages. “For LGBT workers, the DOMA decision means that married couples must be treated as married in accordance with the laws in their state,” said Darren Phelps, Executive Director of Pride at Work. “Marriage equality is about treating all couples with respect, but it also has major financial and legal impacts that will allow more same-sex couples to more effectively support their families.”

► In the NY Times — A broken outsourcing model (editorial) — In the two months since the collapse of a factory building killed more than 1,100 people in Bangladesh, 50 Western clothing companies have signed an agreement designed to improve working conditions in that country’s apparel factories. That should help, but the effort can be sustainable only if it is accompanied by much bigger changes in how the industry does business.

► From NPR — U.S. set to suspend Bangladesh trade privileges — The United States is expected to suspend trade privileges for Bangladesh because of concerns over labor rights and worker safety that intensified after hundreds died there in the global garment industry’s worst accident.

home-care► At Huffington Post — Home-care workers still waiting for protections after promise from Obama — In December of 2011, President Barack Obama stood at the White House alongside a group of home care workers and announced that his administration would extend minimum wage and overtime protections to them after decades of exclusion. The White House still has a video on its YouTube channel explaining the significance of the regulatory change, entitled “A Promise Kept.” But in reality, the president hasn’t yet delivered on that promise.

► At Huffington Post — New York City passes paid sick time bill — New York City is becoming the most populous place in the United States to make businesses provide workers with paid sick time, after lawmakers overrode a mayoral veto early Thursday to pass a law expected to affect more than 1 million workers.

ALSO at The Stand — Tacoma paid sick days campaign kicks off

► At — Teamsters reject contract with UPS Freight — The vote of 4,244 to 1,897 follows negotiators from both the union and the company ironing out a tentative five-year deal in April. The decision sends both sides back to the negotiating table. The current pact expires on July 31.




► From Reuters — America’s wage crisis (by Richard Trumka and Christine Owens) — America’s wage crisis threatens working families who make impossible choices every day — choices between paying for light or food or rent. The Fair Minimum Wage Act of 2013 alone won’t end that crisis, but boosting wages for those who have lost the most is an important step toward rebuilding a strong economy on the foundation of good jobs with decent wages for all who want and need to work.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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