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Getting what we pay for, sick leave success, just a start…

Wednesday, April 23, 2014




metro-funding-gap► In today’s Seattle Times — Voters rejecting new money for transit; bus cuts coming — A list of transit cuts is headed to the King County Council this week, after 55 percent of voters were rejecting a sales-tax and car-tab increase in the Tuesday night count. “There are no other options but to cut service,” said County Executive Dow Constantine. He said he will publish a plan to slice one-sixth of Metro Transit’s operating hours, including elimination of 72 routes. Customers on most other routes would notice fewer bus trips, or more crowding. Transit managers have warned of this for months, even as ridership climbs to near-record levels of 400,000 passengers per weekday.

► In today’s News Tribune — Metro Parks Tacoma’s $198 million measure passing

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane County voters pass one library measure, not another

repair-our-school► In today’s Wenatchee World — Voters reject Bridgeport school bonds, Methow recreation district — Despite leaking roofs and problems with mold, Bridgeport voters are again rejecting a plan to build an addition at its elementary school to replace its 37-year-old portable buildings. Due unhealthy air quality from mold, the school had to evacuate one of its portables and find room for the four classrooms in another part of the school in recent weeks.

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Sequim voters reject $154 million school bond measure

► In today’s Olympian — Tenino again rejects $38 million school bond

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — In 2nd try, Everett school-bond measure in doubt again

► In today’s Walla Walla U-B — Walla Walla school bond defeated

► In today’s Walla Walla U-B — Dayton school bond overwhelmingly rejected





dorn-randy► In today’s News Tribune — Superintendent Randy Dorn offers his own school funding plan — The elected state superintendent of public instruction on Monday proposed an ambitious $6.7 billion plan. That is likely to represent the upper bound of what lawmakers’ plan — or plans, if they can’t agree — might look like. Legislative staff has estimated at least an additional $3.5 billion is needed. Dorn’s plan includes pay raises for school employees, accounting for more than $3 billion of the total price tag. It calls for hiring more employees, including to reduce class size in all grades.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — State finalizing health insurance plan rules — Washington state will soon adopt new rules for next year’s medical insurance plans that some believe will improve patient coverage, but others contend will create significant problems for insurance companies, hospitals and clinics.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Insurers, hospitals complain to Kreidler about new rules — A proposed new rule for the networks of hospitals and doctors assembled by insurers is drawing fire from both insurers and hospitals. State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler says it will help consumers see which providers are in-network and ensure they get the coverage they have paid for.




► At PubliCola — Paid sick leave (mostly) a success — A new audit released by the city auditor of Seattle may be instructive for proponents of the $15 minimum wage: It concludes that employers are indeed implementing the paid sick leave law, and that it isn’t costing them nearly as much as they predicted when the city council was debating the proposal three years ago. Businesses opposed to the $15 minimum have claimed that the proposal will cause small businesses in particular to shut down, or will drive businesses out of the city; opponents of paid sick leave made similar claims about that proposal in 2011.




boeing-profit► From AP — Faster production brings Boeing $965M 1Q profit — Revenue at Boeing’s commercial plane unit rose 19 percent. The business grew thanks to increased production rates on its 737 manufacturing lines. In April, the 737 program reached a production rate of 42 per month. The company’s much delayed 787 Dreamliner also showed progress, reaching a production rate of 10 per month — although only 18 were delivered during the first quarter. On the defense side, revenue fell 6 percent.




► In The Hill — DHS might cut back deportations, says report — The Obama administration is looking to curb the deportations of tens of thousands of illegal immigrants whose only crime is unlawful entry to the country, according to news reports. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) confirmed Tuesday that Secretary Jeh Johnson met with leaders in the business community, law enforcement, and religious groups, as he considers moving on immigration reform.

► At Politico — Moderate Dems resist Obama on deportations — Liberal Democrats are aggressively pushing President Barack Obama to take executive action to halt deportations of undocumented immigrants. But some moderate Democrats aren’t sure that’s such a good idea.




► In today’s NY Times — JetBlue Airways’ pilots vote to join union — After twice rejecting bids to unionize since 2009, JetBlue Airways pilots overwhelmingly agreed to be represented by the Air Line Pilots Association, the union said on Tuesday. Most of JetBlue’s 2,529 pilots participated in the vote, and 71 percent of them voted to join A.L.P.A., the largest pilots’ union in the United States.

► In today’s NY Times — Lax oversight cited in deadly blast at Texas plant — Federal investigators have determined that a lack of oversight and regulations at the local, state and federal levels contributed to the deadly fertilizer plant explosion that devastated a rural Texas town last year.

► At Think Progress — Buffalo Bills cheerleaders allege minimum wage violations in lawsuit against team — The Bills are the third team to face a wage theft lawsuit from former cheerleaders.




mcdonalds-starting-line► At Slog — Why raising the minimum wage is not enough (by Remy Trupin) — Increasing the minimum wage needs to be part of a broader strategy to reduce income inequality. That strategy should include long-term and short-term moves such as universal pre-kindergarten; fully funding basic education; child care subsidies, paid sick days and other policies that help parents find and keep a job; and making our tax system less regressive. Let’s remember that this debate is about people and the future of Washington state. Raising the minimum wage is the right thing for all of us, but it’s only a start.


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