Wednesday, April 8, 2015
When I hear about this right-to-work resolution, it is a personal attack to my son, my daughter, my wife, my mother, my father, to all my brothers and sisters right here.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — County commissioners approve redistricting plan for Yakima City Council — It’s official. New voting districts have been established for the Yakima City Council. Yakima County commissioners Tuesday approved a resolution that defines the new districts and does away with at-large voting.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Civil rights movement continues today with WA Voting Rights Act (by John Burbank)
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Jury awards Bellingham workers $1.3 million in back pay, damages — Owners of J&J Mongolian Grill and Spa Therapy at Bellis Fair mall paid less than minimum wage, no overtime to more than 100 employees, according to federal prosecutors.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Cities deciding on contract with the county for emergency services — Seven cities in south Snohomish County are considering a contract for the county to take over their emergency management in 2016.
ALSO at The Stand — Senate GOP changes rules to block raises for state workers
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Smaller class sizes still popular idea in Washington, poll says — Legislative Republicans were confident Tuesday that voters would back away from last year’s class-size initiative if given the chance this fall, even though a new poll suggests the idea remains popular.
► From KUOW — Train crew transport safety bill dies in Washington Senate — For the third year in a row, railroad workers in Washington have been dealt a defeat in the legislature. The state Senate Tuesday killed a proposal to further regulate shuttle companies that transport rail crews by van and SUV. Senate transportation committee chair, Republican Curtis King, said he believes the union-backed measure was designed to put the shuttle companies out of business.
► In today’s News Tribune — Bill to revamp terms of payday loans all but dead in House — A bill that would rewrite Washington’s payday-lending laws to favor longer-term high-interest loans has stalled in a House committee after passing the Senate in a contentious vote.
ALSO at The Stand — No on SB 5899: Payday loans don’t solve crisis, they create one (editorial)
► From AP — Agreement on new U.S. education law would aid Washington state — Washington state would regain flexibility to judge its own public-school performance under a bipartisan agreement announced Tuesday to fix the federal No Child Left Behind education law. The proposal announced by U.S. Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) drew cheers from Washington government and school officials even before they were briefed on the details.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Idaho Senate approves gas tax increase — Idaho senators passed a phased-in 10-cent increase in the gas tax Tuesday as part of a road funding plan that’s significantly higher than what the House approved earlier this week.
► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma, Seattle ports meet again in private session — The governing bodies of the ports of Tacoma and Seattle met again in private Tuesday morning at Sea-Tac Airport to discuss a planned alliance of their cargo operations and marketing. The meetings are aimed at settling the particular details of combining the operations and marketing of the two ports’ container terminals under a single management organization.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle, Tacoma ports miss alliance deadline — The original plan was to receive federal approval by June 15 and have Seattle and Tacoma port commissioners formalize the Seaport Alliance on July 1. The new goal is Aug. 1.
► In today’s Oregonian — Oregon’s direct marine line to Europe, Hapag-Lloyd, officially pulls out of Port of Portland — The official announcement comes about a month after Hanjin Shipping Co. stopped calling at Portland. Together, Hanjin and Hapag-Lloyd make up nearly all of Terminal 6’s business.
► From Computer World — H-1B cap is reached with ‘high number’ of visa requests — The H-1B cap has been quickly reached, the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Service said Tuesday. The agency said it received a “high number” of visa petitions, but did not have a final count.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Tech workers’ spouses ready, eager to work under new immigration rules — The spouses of some immigrant tech workers, whose visas haven’t allowed them to work in the U.S., may be able to apply for work permits starting in May under an executive order on immigration.
► In The Onion — Who is Rand Paul?
► In the PSBJ — Boeing’s largest union has deep roots in the South — If the Machinists win the right to unionize Boeing’s North Charleston Dreamliner factory on April 22, it will, in a way, be like the union is coming back home. That’s because the Machinists were founded 127 years ago in an Atlanta railroad yard by a South Carolina-born man named Thomas Talbot.
► From AP — U.S. job openings surge, a sure sign that jobs may rebound — Job openings surged 3.4 percent to 5.1 million in February — a 14-year high. That’s a clear sign that companies are willing to boost their staffs. The figure follows a disappointing jobs report on Friday, which showed that employers added only 126,000 jobs in March.
► In today’s Chicago Post-Tribune — BP Whiting refinery strike hits 2-month mark — Union members say their resolve remains the same as on Feb. 8, when they walked off the job. They say they’ll stay on strike until USW Local 7-1 and BP reach a settlement that preserves the local’s collective bargaining rights.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Study finds health-insurance sign-ups on state-run exchanges lackluster — A national study finds sign-ups for health insurance on the state-run exchange to be lackluster. But state officials contend any analysis needs to consider the high number of people who are now receiving expanded Medicaid coverage.
► From Think Progress — New website hopes to keep women from being ‘blindsided’ by leave policies — The websit, Maybrooks is working with companies, scraping public information, and gathering anonymous submissions to compile a database of what policies exist at hundreds of employers. They collect information on paid leave, pump rooms, childcare, and flexible work options.
► In the Washington Post — The rush to humiliate the poor (by Dana Milbank) — Missouri’s surf-and-turf bill, making it illegal for food-stamp recipients to use their benefits “to purchase cookies, chips, energy drinks, soft drinks, seafood, or steak,” is one of a flurry of new legislative proposals at the state and local level to dehumanize and even criminalize the poor as the country deals with the high-poverty hangover of the Great Recession.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.