Monday, August 26, 2013
► In the (Everett) Herald — End the delay: Export terminal mean jobs (by UTU’s Herb Krohn) — The state of Washington has an opportunity right now, to expand our ports and to secure the region’s position as a global trade leader for decades. Private industry, using private capital, is ready right now to put people to work expanding our export facilities to allow us to export more bulk commodities including ores and minerals like iron, coal and potash, as well as agricultural products including wheat, rye and other grains. It’s time for Gov. Jay Inslee to end the obstruction and allow these projects to proceed. All we are asking is that our governor allow the port expansions to proceed through the regular accepted environmental scoping and permitting processes.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Washington farm labor costs up 36% — Labor-intensive crops, the nation’s highest minimum wage and a shortage of skilled workers are contributing to a increase in labor costs for Washington farmers. Washington farmers saw average labor costs leap about 36% between 2011-12, according to a recent study released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
► In the (Aberdeen) Daily World — Union threatens action if county opens negotiations — The business agent for Grays Harbor County’s largest union put the kibosh on plans by County Commissioner Wes Cormier to open up union negotiation sessions to the public.
► In the Spokesman-Review — Judge orders 2 initiatives to be blocked from ballot — Superior Court Judge Maryann Moreno sided with a coalition of government and business interests, which argued that the initiatives attempted to create regulations and protections that were not within the city’s power to enact.
► In the Spokesman-Review — Initiative opponents, right or wrong, get win (by Jim Camden) — Cue the huge sighs of relief from the homebuilders and various nice-sounding organizations fronting for local businesses.
► In the Olympian — State readies for launch of insurance exchange — The launch of Washington’s grand experiment with a health insurance exchange is just over a month away. Oct. 1 is when sign-up for coverage begins formally for individuals and families that lack coverage. Under the Affordable Care Act, nearly everyone is required to have insurance for 2014 to avoid tax penalties.
► In the (Everett) Herald — Health care exchanges open Oct. 1; here’s some early info
► At TPM — Majority of Republicans oppose shutdown over Obamacare defunding — A GOP poll found more than half of Republican voters oppose shutting down the government as a means of defunding Obamacare. In the survey of 1,000 registered voters, 53% of Republicans said they opposed that plan, which has been popularized by figures such as Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), while 37% favored the plan. Among all voters, 71% opposed the strategy.
► In The Hill — Obamacare’s architects reap windfall as D.C. lobbyists — ObamaCare has become big business for an elite network of Washington lobbyists and consultants who helped shape the law from the inside. More than 30 former administration officials, lawmakers and congressional staffers who worked on the healthcare law have set up shop on K Street since 2010.
► In today’s NY Times — Mixed signals on health insurance (editorial) — A report says premiums nationwide have risen only moderately, but yet another company (UPS) is restricting coverage for workers’ spouses.
► At AFL-CIO Now — Long overdue silica rule finally issued; Trumka calls for swift action — Sixteen years ago, federal workplace safety officials began developing a rule to control and limit workers’ exposure to deadly silica dust. On Friday, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration finally issued a proposed rule.
► From AP — Private lobbyists get public pensions in 20 states — Hundreds of lobbyists in at least 20 states get public pensions because they represent associations of counties, cities and school boards, an AP review found. For example, in Washington state, pension benefits are given to the Washington Apple Commission, which operates like a trade group.
► At TPM — Court is ‘one of the most activist,’ Ginsburg says, vowing to stay — Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, 80, vowed in an interview to stay on the Supreme Court as long as her health and intellect remained strong, saying she was fully engaged in her work as the leader of the liberal opposition on what she called “one of the most activist courts in history.”
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.