Friday, February 7, 2014
► In today’s Olympian — Transportation funding bill losing steam in Senate — Hopes for a $10 billion to $12 billion transportation improvements package appear to be waning at the Legislature. Republican Sen. Curtis King of Yakima says he has a new version or proposal to unveil, possibly Friday. But it’s far from clear if King, who is chief transportation negotiator for the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus, will even push for a Senate vote on it in the 60-day regular session that is almost half over.
► At CNN Money — Paid sick leave won’t hurt businesses — New York City is set to enact a law in April that requires businesses with at least 15 employees to offer paid sick days. Mayor Bill de Blasio wants to go even further and require it from businesses with at least five employees. Some business owners are wary of the proposed regulation. Not only would they have to pay the worker who stayed home sick, but in some cases, they would be paying a second worker to cover the shift. But similar policies have worked in places like San Francisco, Seattle, Washington D.C., and Connecticut — without hurting small businesses.
ALSO at The Stand — House passes Paid Sick Days, Senate targets workers’ comp
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Cathy McMorris Rodgers subject of ethics complaint — Just a week after delivering the Republican Party response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, U.S. Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is under fire for alleged spending improprieties. Aides to the Spokane congresswoman, the fourth-ranking House Republican, said Thursday the ethics complaint involves an accusation that McMorris Rodgers improperly mingled taxpayer money and campaign funds during her 2012 bid for House leadership. The Office of Congressional Ethics has referred the matter to the House Ethics Committee, which hasn’t decided whether to hold hearings.
► In today’s NY Times — Boehner doubts immigration reform will pass in 2014 — The yearlong effort to overhaul the nation’s immigration laws, which had the support of President Obama, Republican leaders and much of American business and labor, was seriously imperiled on Thursday when Speaker John A. Boehner conceded that it was unlikely he could pass a bill.
► From CNN — CNN Poll: Pathway to citizenship trumps border security — Americans overwhelmingly favor a bill that would give most undocumented immigrants a pathway towards citizenship, according to a new national poll. And a CNN/ORC International survey also indicates that a majority of the public says that the government’s main focus should be legalizing the status of the undocumented rather than border security.
► At Huffington Post — Unemployment insurance fails again in Senate — Democrats failed on Thursday to win enough Republican votes to reauthorize long-term unemployment benefits for more than a million workers cut off in December. At least five Republicans needed to vote for the bill in order for it to advance, but only four did. The bill failed 58-to-40.
ALSO at the Stand — Senate GOP blocks another attempt to extend jobless benefits
► In the PSBJ — Wider trade deficit makes ‘fast track’ harder to sell — America’s trade deficit rose in December to $38.7 billion as exports fell and imports increased. The wider trade deficit also could be bad news when it comes to convincing Congress to give President Barack Obama the authority to negotiate new international trade deals and then bring them back to Congress for an up or down vote, with no amendments allowed.
► In today’s NY Times — Weakness continues as 113,000 jobs are added in January — The American economy added 113,000 jobs in January, a disappointing showing that is likely to spur fears that the labor market is poised for yet another slowdown.
► In today’s Detroit News — Next likely UAW president: ‘It’s time to fight’ — UAW Secretary-Treasurer Dennis Williams, who has been endorsed by the union’s Reuther Caucus to be the next president when members vote in June, said the union needs to challenge its critics and conservatives who are cutting unemployment and food stamp benefits from the poor and out-of-work. He wants the minimum wage hiked to $15 an hour — far above the $10.10 an hour that President Barack Obama has proposed.
► There will be extremely light posting next week as The Entire Staff of The Stand takes our eldest son to New York to visit colleges. Take it away, Bruce and Billy…
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.