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Hanford contract vote, she’s the mayor, That (Jail) Thing…

Friday, July 12, 2013




HAMTC► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford unions to vote on agreement — The Hanford Atomic Metal Trades Council will vote on a proposed collective bargaining agreement after 18 months of negotiations with five Hanford contractors. The vote was scheduled after HAMTC and Hanford contractors signed a memorandum of understanding. HAMTC agreed to hold a vote by July 19 and to remain neutral, said Dave Molnaa, HAMTC president. The vote for about 2,600 Hanford workers in 15 unions under the HAMTC umbrella is scheduled for Tuesday.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Contrary to rhetoric, business can boom in Washington (by Shawn Vestal) — Hold on a second: Is Washington good for business? The United States Chamber of Commerce, in a new national report, repeatedly places Washington in the top 10 of economic measures: long-term job growth, short-term job growth, economic output per job, productivity growth, median family income, export “intensity,” science and technology job growth and… business tax climate.

ALSO at The Stand — U.S. Chamber: Washington is great for business

eh-Boeing-777► In the P.S. Business Journal — State, local leaders take steps to land 777X — State and local lawmakers paved the way Thursday for a composite wing manufacturing facility at or near Boeing’s Everett plant at Paine Field. They also sought a designation that will make it easier to get funding for transportation projects that benefit Boeing 777X production in the future. Gov. Jay Inslee has instructed the state Department of Commerce to consider 777X facilities a “project of statewide significance.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Cuts to King County Metro bus service coming due to state’s inaction (by Larry Phillips) — The Legislature failed to grant local cities and counties the power to ask voters for transportation funding. Legislators were warned of the dire consequences of the massive transit cuts King County Metro bus service would face without this option. In the state Senate, leaders chose to ignore those warnings and avoided action.

► In today’s Olympian — Insurance rates drop for some state workers — State employees could get a dose of good news soon, according to a recent briefing on 2014 health-insurance premiums by the Public Employees Benefits Board. A few plans show monthly rates going up, but not significantly. Other plans’ rates are headed downward.

► At — State revenue ticks upward — State government revenues held up for another month, ticking $7.5 million higher than the June forecast that had furnished enough new revenue to let lawmakers settle their differences and pass a budget.

► In The Stranger — Run, Jane, run! — We used to be first in the country for electing women to the state legislature—this year, we’re eighth. There are smart, ambitious, qualified women behind the scenes at all levels of local politics. So why aren’t they running for office?

EDITOR’S NOTE — Some are…




Guier-Leanne► In today’s News Tribune — Pacific council replaces recalled mayor Cy Sun — Add “mayor” to Leanne Guier’s name. Thursday night, her fellow City Council members chose her as the new mayor of the city of Pacific. The vote was unanimous. “We need to get moving forward,” she said. Guier replaced former Mayor Cy Sun, elected in 2011 and recalled last month. Residents voted 949-502 to oust Sun, whose actions pushed the city to the brink of disincorporation.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Guier is also Political Coordinator / Business Development Specialist for UA Local 32 (Plumbers and Pipefitters), and was the recipient of the Washington State Labor Council’s 2011 Power to the People Award for excellence in political action. Congratulations, Leanne!




► In today’s Washington Post — Amid acrimony, Senate moves toward historic vote to change its rules — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he planned to use a party-line vote to change the Senate’s rules so that nominees can be confirmed by a simple majority, thereby doing an end run around a Republican blockade of nominees to key boards that oversee Wall Street and labor relations.

HouseGOP-huh► At AFL-CIO Now — House Republicans: Let them eat nothing — In an extreme, out-of-touch vote, House Republicans voted on a Farm Bill Thursday that removed nutrition programs like the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP).  Every Democrat and a dozen Republicans voted against the bill.  This vote came after a previous vote on the full farm bill failed, despite including significant cuts to SNAP.  The Rep. Eric Cantor (R-Va.) wing of the Republican Party wants massive cuts to the SNAP program, with the Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) budget proposing more than $100 billion in cuts over a decade.


EDITOR’S NOTE — Every Republican from Washington State voted “yes” for the farm bill that stripped food stamps for the first time since 1973. Every Democrat from the state voted “no.” Rep. Doc Hastings (R) said the vote will “bring fiscal sense to the federal government.”

► In today’s NY Times — In the House, a refusal to govern (editorial) — On two crucial issues this week — immigration reform and food stamps — the extremists who dominate the Republican majority in the House of Representatives made it clear how little interest they have in the future prosperity of their country, or its reputation for fairness and decency.

issa-darrell► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — The charade of Darrell Issa (by Timothy Egan) — Rep. Darrell Issa was given the keys to the biggest Caddie in Congress: the main oversight committee. It’s loaded with everything — subpoena power, an overhead cam worth of auditors and investigators, a staff devoted to keeping shine on the boss. But after millions of dollars in his investigative forays, the wheels come off the ride. By now, it should be obvious that Issa, a Republican from California who is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, is not the least bit interested in governing, a sentiment shared by a majority of his fellow nihilists in the House. I live in the other Washington, more than 2,700 miles from That Town, but even in this far corner I can smell the tidal stench this summer.




paid-family-leave► From AP — Rhode Island becomes third state to offer paid family leave — Rhode Island will become the third state to provide workers paid time off to care for a baby or sick family member, as Democratic Gov. Lincoln Chafee on Thursday signed legislation providing the vast majority of the state’s workforce with temporary caregiver insurance. California and New Jersey are currently the only other states that offer paid family leave. Washington state has passed similar legislation but has put off implementing it.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Republicans and conservative Democrats have not only blocked efforts to fund Washington’s program, they’ve tried to repeal it. But it remains on the books, just waiting to be funded.

► At AFL-CIO Now — Low-wage workers see biggest drop in real wages — A new study shows that while real wages (adjusted for inflation) fell by 2.8% across the board between 2009 and 2012, low- and middle-wage workers — especially women — took the brunt of the hit. The study by the National Employment Law Project finds that real wages for five of the 10 largest low-wage job categories — restaurant cooks, food preparation workers, home health aides, personal care aides and housekeepers — experienced a drop of 5% or more.




► As Daily Kos points out, Grammy-winning hip-hop artist Lauryn Hill began a three-month prison sentence this week on tax evasion charges, even though she’s already paid back the money she owed. Hill, who owed approximately $2 million in unpaid taxes, admitted her wrongdoing and repaid the money in full. Contrast this with the Wall Street executives who should owe the American people unspeakable amounts of taxpayer money for their fraud and malfeasance that crashed the economy. They didn’t go to jail… they got a raise.

The good news: Some pretty powerful women are on the case: U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren and our own U.S. Sen. Maria Cantwell.

In the meantime, The Entire Staff of The Stand presents Lauryn Hill’s biggest hit. Enjoy!


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