Monday, November 17, 2014
► In today’s Seattle Times — U.S. economy calls for end of port slowdown (editorial) — Both sides of the labor agreement must hammer out the best contract. A slowdown ends up hurting people and businesses absent from the bargaining table. After more than six months at the bargaining table, the time has come to finalize an agreement.
► In the Seattle Times — ‘Millionaires tax’ possible in Seattle? Council asks city’s lawyers — The Seattle City Council on Friday approved about $14 million in changes to Mayor Ed Murray’s proposed budget, including fast-tracking a higher minimum wage for city employees and exploring a so-called “millionaires tax.”
► In The Olympian — Tax-exempt status of Olympia-based think tank under challenge by channeler JZ Knight — Lawyers for JZ Knight’s Ramtha School of Enlightenment say they sent a complaint letter to the IRS challenging The Freedom Foundation’s tax status on grounds the libertarian-oriented think tank has engaged in partisan politics.
ALSO at The Stand — Right-wing group’s tax-free status challenged
► In today’s Columbian — Lynda Wilson ready, eager for first session — Newly elected Lynda Wilson is reluctant to outline any grand policy proposals so soon after the election, but it seems that the principles that have dictated much of her life will remain at the forefront as she heads to the statehouse: less government, no new taxes, protect small businesses.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington Healthplanfinder back up after on-and-off service — Washington Healthplanfinder, the state’s health-insurance exchange website, reopened for business at 8 a.m. Sunday after recovering from a glitch that caused officials to shut down the system about 22 hours earlier on Saturday morning. The system went on to have a smoother day Sunday, drawing about 3,300 site visitors by 4 p.m.
► At Think Progress — ACA started accepting new signups — and four good things happened — 1. There haven’t been major issues with HealthCare.gov so far. 2. Shoppers have significantly more plans to choose from. 3. Premiums haven’t skyrocketed. 4. Business owners are more optimistic now that they’ve seen how Obamacare works.
► From AP — Obama’s immigration moves due by year’s end — U.S. President Barack Obama will announce immigration policy changes he expects to enact by executive order, including on border security, by year’s end, said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
► In The Hill — Top GOP senator won’t dismiss talk of shutdown over immigration — A high-ranking Senate GOP leader on Sunday left the door open to a government shutdown if President Obama moves forward with unilateral action on immigration reform.
► From AP — Reagan, Bush also acted alone to shield immigrants — Two of the last three Republican presidents — Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush — did the same thing in extending amnesty to family members who were not covered by the last major overhaul of immigration law in 1986. There was no political explosion then comparable to the one Republicans are threatening now.
► From Reuters — Democrats expect Obama to veto pipeline bill if it passes Senate — A Democratic leader says a single vote could determine the fate of the Keystone XL pipeline in the U.S. Senate this week but that President Obama was likely to veto the bill even if it passes.
► In today’s NY Times — Indictment of ex-official raises questions on Mississippi’s private prisons — The state’s longest-serving corrections commissioner faces charges that he pocketed more than $1 million while clearing the way for the private-sector prisons.
► A related story in today’s LA Times — Steve Ballmer could get $1 billion tax break for Clippers purchase — Ballmer could seek as much as half of the $2 billion purchase price of the team in tax benefits over the next 15 years, according to accountants.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.