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Tom out, $15 Now initiative, private parks…

Tuesday, April 15, 2014




► From — Tax Day 2014


ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Happy Tax (and Walmart-Subsidization) Day




wizard-of-oz-tom► In today’s Seattle Times — Majority Leader Rodney Tom will exit, heating up battle for state Senate — Senate Majority Leader Rodney Tom, a Medina Democrat who joined with Republicans to give them control of the chamber, announced Monday that health and family concerns will force him to drop his re-election bid.

► At KPLU — Seattle group files $15 minimum wage initiative — 15 Now has filed the paperwork for a city initiative, increasing pressure on Mayor Ed Murray and the city council to pass a wage increase without exemptions or delays. The group will have to collect more than 30,000 signatures to make the November city ballot, a number seemingly within their reach following election wins last year by candidates who supported a wage hike.

► At KUOW — Will King County’s Prop 1 fix Metro’s bumpy ride? — Low-income transit passengers say the last few years have been difficult in King County with multiple fare increases and the end of the ride free zone in Seattle. But they are torn about whether to support Proposition 1, which would raise taxes in order to maintain existing Metro transit service.

mcmorris-rodgers-L► In today’s Washington Post — McMorris Rodgers’s legal fees are pricey… for her campaign — Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) was investigated for misusing taxpayer money for campaign-related expenses. The Office of Congressional Ethics detailed the allegations in a report, but the House Ethics Committee has not yet pressed forward with any additional investigation. According to her FEC report, McMorris Rodgers paid a total of $42, 325 in legal fees over the first three months of this year.

► At Politico — Ad: John Boehner’s ‘electile dysfunction’ — Ad supporting the House Speaker’s Tea Party opponent: “If you have a Boehner lasting more than 23 years, seek immediate medical attention.”




► In the P.S. Business Journal — Low turnout of Boeing Machinists could tip union election results — The turnout of Machinists union members to vote for new international leadership was “very, very low” over the last two weeks — and that could suggest the challengers have an edge.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — 2013 was a banner year for airplane makers — Revenues rose nearly 9 percent, while profits were up more than 16 percent, for commercial aircraft manufacturers around the world in 2013, according to Deloitte’s analysis of the top 100 global aerospace companies.

► In the (Everett) Herald — GAO: Boeing tanker program ‘generally on track’ — However, the airplane maker could have to pay for projected cost overruns, which the Air Force estimated to be as much as $787 million, according to the report, which was released last week. Boeing’s own estimate put it at $271 million.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Washington state parks are being sold short (editorial) — The state has sold our public parks short in recent years, and it shows. A Transformation Strategy adopted a year ago also calls for establishing more partnerships with businesses, nonprofits and tribes. Last week, a task force appointed by Gov. Jay Inslee met for the first time to consider more ways to push the transformation forward. Their report is due by Sept. 19.

► In today’s News Tribune — Lawmakers to finalize report on McCleary — After meeting Monday with attorneys, state lawmakers say they’ll convene again April 29 to finalize the Legislature’s report to the state Supreme Court on a long-term plan to fund education in Washington.




obama-ACA-signing► At Huffington Post — ACA will cost less than projected, will cover 12 million uninsured, CBO reports — The Congressional Budget Office has released updated estimates on the Affordable Care Act’s impact on both the budget and the health insurance industry. The findings show that the president’s signature health care law is actually growing cheaper to implement, costing the government $5 billion less in 2014 than was previously projected. The law also is projected to cover more individuals than previously believed, owing, in part, to some broader workforce trends.

► At Politico — Smaller ACA premium hikes forecast in 2015 — Insurance premiums under Obamacare are projected to rise less than 3 percent in 2015, a smaller-than-expected jump as the health insurance exchanges enter their second year.

► In today’s Washington Post — How do federal employees feel about merit-pay systems? — The federal government has experimented with pay-for-performance programs in the past. The Defense Department’s National Security Personnel System, which Congress canceled in 2009, failed in part because employees did not trust that it would work fairly. Many of our survey respondents expressed similar reservations about the idea of merit-based pay.

► At Huffington Post — Poll shows Americans are conflicted about equal pay laws — Many Americans agree women have fewer opportunities at work, but few think the answer lies in new laws, a new HuffPost/YouGov poll finds.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Benjamin Nuñez-Marquez’ deportation highlights need for immigration reform (editorial) — Washington’s congressional delegates should push to make citizenship possible for all individuals like Benjamin Nuñez-Marquez who do no harm and contribute positively to their communities.




Dem-GOP► In today’s Pioneer Press — Minnesota’s Democratic governor signs into law a phased-in minimum wage increase — Gov. Mark Dayton, a Democrat, signs a bill raising the state’s minimum wage from $6.15 an hour in steps to $9.50 an hour an hour for large businesses in 2016 and indexes the wage to inflation starting in 2018.

► At Think Progress — Oklahoma’s GOP governor bans minimum wage increases, paid sick leave laws — At a time when many states and cities are working passing minimum wage increases, Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) has gone in the opposite direction and signed a law banning cities from passing higher wages. The bill also bans them from enacting paid sick days or vacation requirements.

► In today’s NY Times — CEO pay goes up, up, and away! (by Joe Nocero) — The median compensation for C.E.O.’s in 2013 was $13.9 million, a 9 percent increase from 2012. Nothing has stopped executive compensation from rising. It’s a rigged game. When the company’s stock goes up, says one pay analyst, the chief executive views himself as a hero. And when it goes down, “it’s Janet Yellen’s or Barack Obama’s fault.” Plus, there’s simple greed.


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

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