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Senate skirmishes, port delays, how they voted, IBT free…

Thursday, January 15, 2015




► In the Seattle Times — State at critical crossroads, Inslee tells split lawmakers — Gov. Jay Inslee used his State of the State address to double down on sweeping budget proposals to spend more on education and transportation, and to tax carbon pollution and capital gains.

senate-fingers-crossed-front► In the Seattle Times — State Senate skirmishes distract from job ahead (editorial) — Bipartisanship is already in short supply, just one day into the session. The first important act of the Republican-controlled state Senate was to bind itself to the two-thirds rule (requiring a super-majority to approve new taxes)… The minority Senate Democratic caucus engaged in their own parliamentary high jinks, getting conservative Republican state Sen. Pam Roach installed as president pro tempore… the emboldened Senate Republican caucus cannot simply be the “Party of No.” Tying the Senate’s hands to new tax revenue does not alleviate the enormous obligations to kids, to families and to getting around on jampacked highways.

EDITOR’S NOTE — As Goldy points out, the Times considered the past two year’s Majority Coalition Caucus pretense involving two Democrats siding with Republican to be “bipartisanship,” but when two Republicans side with Democrats… not so much.

ALSO at The Stand — Senate GOP moves to shield rich, corporations from state taxes (editorial)

manweller-matt► In the Seattle Times — Republican Rep. Manweller on why he dissed State Supreme Court — Legislators of both parties stood and politely applauded the court’s nine justices Tuesday, when they entered the state House chambers to hear Gov. Jay Inslee’s State of the State address. But Republican Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Ellensburg) sat silently amid his applauding colleagues and looked away while the justices strolled down the aisle.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Democratic Rep. Morris: Inslee carbon tax more flash than substance — Not all Democrats are behind Gov. Jay Inslee’s carbon tax.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Ericksen, Ranker introduce dueling oil transportation safety bills — Two legislators who represent parts of Whatcom County have introduced dueling oil transportation safety bills in the Senate.

► In today’s Olympian — More supervision, less prison for property crime — A new report announced by Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday recommends Washington put more property-crime offenders on supervision instead of relying exclusively on prison.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Shine a light on dark money in politics (editorial) — Sen. Andy Billig’s bid to illuminate secret political contributions died in the last Legislature. But subsequent campaign shenanigans that threatened the Republicans’ hold on the Senate have drawn more bipartisan support for the idea.




port-container-congestion► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Businesses complain of delays at West Coast ports — Shipping delays at West Coast ports are hurting a wide range of Washington businesses, a pair of Senate committees was told Wednesday. The blame was laid on a wide array of problems, including inadequate roads and railways, slow development of new terminals, shortages of storage and equipment, and a labor dispute between the longshoremen unions and shippers. What the Legislature can do about those problems in the short term, however, appears limited.

ALSO at The Stand — Shippers admit congestion not workers’ fault

► From Reuters — U.S. shippers cancel overnight loaders at California ports — Negotiators for shipping lines and terminal operators at 29 ports on the U.S. West Coast on Tuesday said they would no longer assign crews to load and unload cargo ships overnight at the massive Los Angeles and Long Beach docks. The move comes a day after the Pacific Maritime Association said the region’s five largest ports had seen backups “approaching complete gridlock,” as contentious contract talks with the dockworkers union have stalled.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — $3.8 million port upgrade will allow it to handle heavier cargo — Construction workers are driving massive steel piles deep into the seabed below the Port of Everett’s South Terminal as part of a $3.8 million upgrade. The improvements will allow the terminal to support the port’s behemoth mobile harbor crane and to handle heavier cargo that can be directly rolled on or off a waiting freighter.




microsoft► In today’s Seattle Times — Labor issues at Microsoft prompt talk of policy changes — A group of workers employed by a Microsoft contractor successfully organized a union — a rare feat in the tech industry — and is now bargaining with its company over a contract. Meanwhile, Microsoft said the company is considering changes to its vendor policies in an effort to “positively influence working conditions at our suppliers.”

► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Why Beverly Wyse’s move is a big win for South Carolina and Boeing’s plans there — Wyse’s inclusive and supportive management style could help empower workers at Boeing’s North Charleston facility. One way that technology companies have avoided unions is by adopting more inclusive management styles that bring people together more naturally and empower them. Wyse might be just the person to do that in North Charleston.

► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Elon Musk looks to poach Microsoft, Boeing workers as SpaceX plans huge new Seattle office — Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and founder of Tesla Motors, said that the company would soon have a satellite engineering office in the Seattle area that may employ up to 1,000 people.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Facebook doubling Seattle engineering office — Persistent rumors about Facebook needing more space for its fast-growing Seattle engineering team were correct but it isn’t moving to a new building just yet.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Legion of (economic) Boom: Downtown Seattle to get $6 million boost from Seahawks playoff games




WA-GOP-social-security► At AFL-CIO Now — What are Republicans after on Social Security? Cuts — Republican House members last week went after Social Security on their very first day at work. Some 11 million people who receive Social Security disability benefits could see their benefits cut by 20% in 2016 and cuts to Social Security retirement benefits for everyone could also be in store. Here’s what some other folks have to say about that and other attacks Republicans may launch against Social Security. The coalition Social Security Works says last week’s action barring routine transfers of funds unless taxes are raised or benefits are cut is “stealth attack on America’s working families.”

► At TPM — White House weighs in on GOP Social Security ploy — The White House says that it generally opposes measures that limit Congress’s ability to transfer revenue between the Social Security funds… The program’s advocates are wary because Obama has shown a willingness to entertain cuts to the program in some past budgets and during the 2011 debt-limit negotiations.

► At Huffington Post — On Tuesday, will Obama stand up for Social Security? (by Richard Eskew) — The president will deliver his State of the Union speech next Tuesday amid a new flurry of Republican attacks on Social Security. Will he stand firm and defend the popular program, or step aside and let the attacks continue?




immigration-reform-now-front► At Politico — House Republicans vote to roll back Obama’s immigration protections — House Republicans mounted a furious assault on four years of President Barack Obama’s immigration policies Wednesday — satisfying hard-liners on the issue but prompting resistance among some moderates concerned that the party’s leadership has gone too far. The GOP-led chamber voted 236-191 to pass legislation funding the Department of Homeland Security through the end of September, with measures attached that would effectively kill the administration’s efforts to unilaterally shield millions of undocumented immigrations from deportations. On a separate vote to kill the president’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which has stopped some 600,000 young undocumented immigrants from being deported and allowed them to work legally, 26 House Republicans joined with Democrats, but it narrowly passed anyway in a 218-209 vote.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington GOP Reps. Dave Reichert, Dan Newhouse, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, and Jaime Herrera Beutler all voted for the overall bill killing immigration protections, and all Washington Democrats voted “no.” Newhouse, McMorris Rodgers and Herrera Beutler also voted for the amendment killing DACA, but Reichert sided with Democrats in voting “no.”

► In The Hill — Poll: Majority backs Obama on immigration — A majority of Americans say President Obama’s executive actions on immigration should be allowed to stand, according to a new poll released a day after House Republicans voted to choke off funding for the administration’s deferred action program.

wall-st-rules► In today’s NY Times — House passes legislation to ease some Dodd-Frank financial rules — The House on Wednesday easily passed legislation to ease some of the banking regulations adopted after the financial crisis, with 29 Democrats shrugging off President Obama’s veto threat to join united House Republicans.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington Democratic Reps. Derek Kilmer and Rick Larsen sided with Republicans, voting to support the bill relaxing Wall Street reforms. Reps. Suzan DelBene, Jim McDermott, Adam Smith and Denny Heck all voted “no.”

► From AP — Obama to renew push for paid leave for working parents — President Barack Obama on Thursday will call on Congress, states and cities to pass measures to allow millions of workers to earn up to a week of paid sick time a year, the White House said. He’ll also ask Congress for more than $2 billion in new spending to encourage states to create paid family and medical leave programs.

burning-heretics► In today’s Columbian — Herrera Beutler responds to Clark County GOP’s talk of censure — Local Republicans called out about a half dozen votes she made that one PCO believes “established a pattern of voting with Democrats to increase spending, increase the debt, and increase regulations.” In a three-page letter, Herrera Beutler responded by touting her conservative record and reminded fellow Republicans that “a movement can’t grow if it is more concerned with burning heretics than winning converts.”




► From AP — With end of Teamster supervision, an era passes — The U.S. government is ushering in a new era for the Teamsters, ending its 25-year supervision of a union once infamous for its ties to organized crime. The union and a U.S. attorney have jointly filed an application in Manhattan federal court to phase out the terms of a 1989 consent decree giving the federal government extensive control over the Teamsters. The 1989 agreement imposed a weighty financial burden, because the union was required to finance much of its federal oversight. Over the years, the Teamsters estimate, the accumulated cost reached $170 million. Ending the agreement will free the union of that expense.

AP-kaiser-strike2► At Think Progress — Meet the mental health care workers on the front lines of a statewide strike — Every morning this week, Elizabeth White has woken up at the crack of dawn with memories of a Kaiser Permanente representative laughing in her face during a recent bargaining session weighing heavily on her mind. White, a licensed clinical social worker, said she reached her boiling point after more than four years of unsuccessfully lobbying the health care provider to hire more mental health clinicians amid a growing patient caseload. For her, the time felt right to take her colleagues’ fight to the picket line.

► At Huffington Post — Who needs lobbyists? See what Big Business spend to win American minds — Forget lobbying. When Washington, D.C.’s biggest trade associations want to wield influence, they often put far more of their money into advertising and public relations, according to a new Center for Public Integrity investigation.


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

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