Wednesday, September 4, 2013
► In today’s News Tribune — Sen. Schlicher goes on offensive in election debate vs. Rep. Angel — Democratic Sen. Nathan Schlicher, appointed in January to replace Derek Kilmer and now trying to keep the seat, was on offense at the Bremerton Chamber of Commerce breakfast forum. He accused GOP challenger Rep. Jan Angel of seeking to roll back mandates on health-insurance coverage and opposing closure of a tax break.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has posted a flier comparing Schlicher and Angel on working family issues that is available for download by union members.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Democrat Rich Cowan to challenge Sen. Baumgartner — Rich Cowan, chief executive officer of North by Northwest, said Tuesday he will run as a Democrat against Republican Sen. Mike Baumgartner, contending the incumbent’s views on some issues are too extreme for the district.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Baumgartner was the lone sponsor of a 2013 bill to make Washington a so-called “right to work” (for less) state.
► From AP — Governor open to transportation package without bridge — Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday that Washington state might pursue a broad transportation package without funding for a new Columbia River bridge that some Republicans had opposed. Inslee said he wants lawmakers from both parties to come together over the coming weeks to develop a plan that would pay for projects around the state. He said he is prepared to call lawmakers back from a special gathering in November to get the package swiftly approved.
ALSO at The Stand — Attend transportation forums to support funding package
► In today’s Columbian — Area lawmakers in no rush to OK transportation revenue package — After Gov. Jay Inslee said Tuesday he could call legislators back to Olympia this fall to pass a new transportation revenue plan, some members of Clark County’s delegation said they didn’t see a need to rush.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing moving advanced-concepts engineering to California — Boeing is shifting more engineering jobs from Washington state to Southern California, the latest in a series of such changes that could see hundreds of jobs moving away. It’s part of the company’s effort to pursue “a more geographically diverse manufacturing and engineering footprint.”
EDITOR’S NOTE — Look for the state’s right-wingers to immediately begin recycling their sky-is-falling rhetoric blaming Washington’s business climate for the loss of Boeing jobs. Nevermind that California has higher business taxes and some of the highest workers’ compensation costs in the nation. The truth: even as Boeing expands its “geographical diversity,” it also continues to expand and invest in Washington state. And as the co-chairs of the Washington Aerospace Partnership point out: “Overreacting to Boeing’s production changes impedes business development in Washington. Using every move that Boeing makes as a political attack further diminishes our confidence and image to the outside world.”
► In the PS Business Journal — Boeing says tanker on schedule — The company says construction of KC-46A Tanker it’s building for the U.S. Air Force remains on schedule.
► At SeattlePI.com — Seattle teachers vote to accept contract — Seattle teachers will be in class Wednesday for the first day of school after voting Tuesday night to accept a new contract. Union leaders wouldn’t disclose the details of the agreement, but the teachers say it includes longer work days and less of a pay raise than they had hoped for.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Scott Walker event will be open to reporters after all — A spokeswoman for the Washington Policy Center said ”things have changed” and the conservative think tank’s annual dinner Thursday will allow in the media.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Corps not ready to make announcement on coal terminal — Local and national media were left hanging on a press call Monday, but a statement is expected this week from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Seattle District about the proposed coal terminals at Cherry Point and near Longview.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — ‘Difficult’ cuts loom for Cowlitz County — Cowlitz County department heads have submitted “wish list” budgets that would leave the county nearly $2 million in the red for 2014 and $1.3 million short for 2015 — meaning “difficult cuts” will be necessary before the county commissioners approve a final budget in December, officials say.
► Next week is the 2013 AFL-CIO Convention in Los Angeles. In addition to hosting President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, among other dignitaries, the union federation will be announcing some major decisions about how the labor movement will change to address the unique challenges faced today by America’s working families. The changes are the result of a months-long process where the AFL-CIO has been listening to people online and in community listening sessions, hearing ideas on how to build a more robust movement for working people now and in the future. (The Washington State Labor Council held these listening sessions at its 2013 Convention and forwarded all the ideas to the AFL-CIO.)
Check out this new video to see what happened during these sessions:
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Lost generation? Teen employment hits record lows across U.S. — For the fourth consecutive summer, teen employment has stayed anchored around record lows, prompting experts to fear that a generation of youth is likely to be economically stunted with lower earnings and opportunities in years ahead.
EDITOR’S NOTE — In this year’s legislative session, Republican legislators tried to blame this national problem on Washington’s state minimum wage, proposing a sub-minimum wage for younger workers. Although the Republican-controlled Senate passed SB 5275 from committee, their bill failed… this year.
► In today’s Washington Post — For workers and the economy, autumn could be scary — The U.S. economy looks headed for a rough autumn, with slowdown threats looming from the housing market, the Middle East and Washington. Congress and President Obama appear set for another series of down-to-the-last-second fights over funding the government and raising the nation’s debt limit to ensure the United States does not default on any interest payments. It also looks increasingly likely that federal budget cuts known as sequestration will persist for another year, even as the economy is showing more strain from the sequester this year.
► At AFL-CIO Now — 31,000 tell D.C. mayor: Sign living wage bill — Several dozen Washington, D.C., community, faith and worker activists brought concrete evidence to Mayor Vincent C. Gray that district voters believe workers deserve a living wage, when they delivered 31,917 signatures on a petition urging Gray to sign an ordinance calling for a $12.50-an-hour minimum wage for workers in big-box stores such as Walmart.
► In today’s NY Times — Business losing clout in a GOP moving right — From overhauling immigration laws to increasing spending on the nation’s aging infrastructure, big business leaders have seemed relatively powerless lately as the uncompromising Republicans they helped elect have steadfastly opposed some of their core legislative priorities. The rift is not only unusual in light of the tight historical alignment between the business community and the G.O.P., but it is also outright incomprehensible after the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision, which allowed companies to spend unlimited amounts from their corporate treasuries on the 2010 and 2012 elections.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.