Thursday, May 28, 2015
► From KUOW — Lawmakers will return for second special session — Washington lawmakers will have to return for a second 30-day special session. The first overtime session ends Thursday and the House and Senate still don’t have a budget deal. The governor’s office will start preparing for a government shutdown July 1 and budget negotiations will continue.
► From WFSE.org — Small businesses to Senate: Fund state employee contracts — The Coalition of State Employee Unions stood shoulder to shoulder with small business owners Wednesday to hammer home to the state Senate that funding state employees’ pay raises is just good business. (Also check out WFSE’s video coverage of the event.)
ALSO at The Stand — Funding state contracts is good for business
► In the (Everett) Herald — Senate should do right by state workers (by Rep. Mike Sells) — The people who keep our neighborhoods safe, teach our children, care for our elderly and disabled, and maintain our transportation system, provide services that benefit all of us. Nobody gets rich doing those jobs, but they are an important part of keeping our communities healthy and our economy moving forward. So, why do Senate Republicans insist on giving the people that work for us the short end of the stick?
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Transportation compromise bill passes House, heads to Senate — The state House passed a $5.1 billion transportation budget Wednesday, sending the compromise spending plan to the Senate, which could pass it before the first special session ends today. The bill is known as the “current law” transportation budget, using existing taxes and fees, to distinguish it from proposals that would raise the gasoline tax to pay for new projects.
► In today’s News Tribune — Inslee uses Puyallup bridge visit to highlight state infrastructure needs — Gov. Jay Inslee got a glimpse of the state Route 167 Puyallup River Bridge replacement project Wednesday and delivered a clear, familiar message: It’s time to fix the state’s aging infrastructure.
► In today’s Columbian — Pike’s I-5 bridge bill dies from lack of Senate support — An effort to build a political bridge of sorts crumbled in the Washington Senate on Wednesday, just like the Columbia River Crossing project before it.
► In today’s Olympian — Senate GOP seeks to open union talks to public — Taking time out from their closed-door talks on budgets and taxes, state lawmakers voted in committee Tuesday to urge that negotiations with public employee unions be opened to the public. At one point, the committee members retreated to separate rooms to talk in private before returning for public debate and voting. That’s customary in the Legislature, which has exempted itself from open-meetings laws.
► In today’s News Tribune — Backers of Tacoma’s $15 minimum wage ballot measure need more signatures — More than 1 in 5 of the initial batch were invalid because the signers weren’t registered to vote, the county auditor’s office says.
► In the PSNS — Boeing insists it can maintain record-breaking 777 production, despite contrary analyst views — Right now, Boeing is building the aircraft at a record 8.3 monthly at its Everett production facility, a rate the company would like to maintain.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Tea party favorite Elizabeth Scott first in line to challenge DelBene — One of Snohomish County’s most conservative Republican lawmakers has quietly begun a campaign to unseat Democratic U.S. Rep. Suzan DelBene. State Rep. Elizabeth Scott of Monroe filed paperwork May 21 with the FEC to become a candidate.
► From KUOW — The ‘War on the Visibly Poor’ in Auburn, Washington — Many cities around Washington state make it a crime to do things that everyone does but that homeless people have to do in public – like sitting down, sleeping, going to the bathroom or asking for help. No city has more laws against these activities than Auburn, a southern suburb of Seattle.
► In the USA Today — Trumka: Disappointment with Obama, a warning for Hillary — The nation’s most powerful labor leader, vowing to defeat President Obama’s key trade legislation in the House next month, warned Hillary Clinton of serious political consequences if she fails to take a stand against the Pacific trade pact that the president is campaigning for as a major part of his legacy. Watch the video interview:
ALSO at The Stand — Larsen backs Fast Track; but will he fight slavery, Medicare cuts?
► In the NY Times — Trade is a striking example of the political power of the affluent (by Brendan Nyhan) — Trade is thus one of the best examples of how public policy in the United States is often much more responsive to the preferences of the wealthy than to those of the general public.
► From Huffington Post — How many people in each state who could lose insurance if the Supreme Court rules against ACA — The Supreme Court will rule soon on a lawsuit that, if successful, would cut off health insurance subsidies for 7.5 million people in 34 states where the federal government operates the health insurance exchanges. Here’s how it breaks down, state by state.
► From The Hill — Legal setback clouds fate of Obama’s immigration actions — The latest decision made it more likely the court battle will spill into 2016, the final year of Obama’s presidency.
► Plus — Santorum runs again — Some of his frothier ideas.
► In today’s Washington Post — The forces driving the United States apart (by Harold Meyerson) — The polarization so evident in Congress is but a pale reflection of the growing chasm separating red states from blue, particularly on issues of workers’ incomes and rights. While states under Republican rule are weakening workers’ ability to bargain with employers and reducing the pay of construction workers, states and cities where Democrats dominate are hiking the minimum wage, requiring employers to grant paid sick days and even considering penalizing large employers who don’t pay their workers enough… When he ran for president in 1992, Bill Clinton repeatedly told voters, “What you earn depends on what you learn.” While there’s still some truth to Clinton’s adage, for working-class Americans today, what you earn increasingly depends on where you live.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.