Thursday, August 6, 2015
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Opponents say Eyman’s new initiative uses blackmail, extortion — The professional initiative promoter from Mukilteo is pushing a ballot measure this fall aimed at making it tougher on state lawmakers to increase taxes. And it contains a twist that could reduce state revenues by billions of dollars in the coming years. Not surprisingly, opponents are pushing back hard. They contend Eyman’s Initiative 1366 could devastate the state budget and is unconstitutional… Eyman said there’s no threat. Lawmakers have a choice and the measure contains consequences for their decision, he said.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Ag-gag law isn’t worth the cost of its defense (editorial) — A federal judge stood up for free speech in striking down an Idaho “ag-gag” law that criminalizes the undercover recording of farming operations. Six other states have such laws and North Carolina adopted one that goes into effect next year. Some legislators in Olympia expressed interest last year, but this ruling ought to be seen as a death knell.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Report: Mid-Columbia job market should continue to grow through 2023 — Benton and Franklin counties are expected to have the third-highest work force growth rate out of the state’s 12 regions through 2023 after posting the largest growth trend in the state since 1990, according to the 2015 Employment Projections from the state.
► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma, Seattle ports agree on final Northwest Seaport Alliance details — Elected commissioners of the ports of Tacoma and Seattle met jointly Tuesday morning to approve all aspects of the Northwest Seaport Alliance.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Machinists raise $9,300 for Guide Dogs of America (brief) — Machinists Union District Lodge 751’s 13th annual Puppy Putt motorcycle event raised more than $9,300 for charity.
► From The Hill — GOP blocks minimum wage, sick leave proposals — Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) sought unanimous consent to get a vote on the two proposals by Oct. 30. One bill would raise the minimum wage to $12 by 2020, while the other would allow employees to earn up to seven paid sick days per year. But Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) blocked the effort.
► From Huffington Post — SEC finally approves rule on CEO pay — The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday approved a rule requiring companies to the reveal the discrepancy between what their top executive gets paid and what their ordinary workers take home. The CEO pay rule comes more than five years after Congress ordered the agency to write it under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law.
EDITOR’S NOTE — It coulda been worse…
► In today’s NY Times — OSHA to propose beryllium limit in works since 1975 — After decades of delay, federal workplace regulators will propose a sharply lower exposure limit to beryllium, a widely used industrial mineral, which is linked to a deadly lung disease.
► In today’s NY Times — Obama drafts order on paid sick leave for federal contractors — Stymied by Republicans in Congress, President Obama has drafted an executive order to force any company that contracts with the federal government to issue paid leave to employees who are sick, are seeking medical attention or need to care for a sick relative.
► From TPM — The storms brewing for the GOP Congress when it returns — Will Congress shut down the government? Negotiations over must-pass budget legislation were thorny enough, as a 2013 compromise giving some relief to sequestration is also about to expire… Can a short-term highway bill be turned into long-term legislation? … Will the Export-Import Bank be reauthorized? Facing opposition from staunch conservatives, Democrats and business-aligned Republicans have been unable to reauthorize its operations.
► From Politico — Boeing, GE cut off donations to Ex-Im foes — Boeing and GE have halted political contributions to more than a dozen Republican lawmakers opposed to reauthorizing the bank, after cutting checks to those lawmakers during the 2014 election cycle.
EDITOR’S NOTE — You get what you pay for.
► A related story from Reuters — Boeing loses large satellite deal due to trade credit woes — Boeing is scrambling to find alternate financing for a satellite contract worth “several hundred million dollars” that was scuttled by privately held commercial satellite provider ABS due to uncertainty about the future of the U.S. Export-Import Bank.
► From AP — Federal appeals court strikes down Texas Voter ID law — A federal appeals court struck down Texas’ voter ID law on Wednesday in a victory for the Obama administration, which had taken the unusual step of bringing the weight of the U.S. Justice Department to fight new Republican-backed mandates at the ballot box. The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the 2011 law carries a “discriminatory effect” and violates one of the remaining provisions of the Voting Rights Act — the heart of which was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2013.
► From The Hill — Unknown truck driver wins Democratic Miss. gov nomination — Robert Gray’s win in the Democratic primary for Mississippi governor surprised everyone — including himself. The 46-year-old truck driver didn’t even vote for himself, saying he was too busy.
► From Bloomberg — Wary on trade, Iowa unions aren’t ready for Hillary Clinton — The Democratic front-runner’s reluctance to take a position on the TPP trade deal is causing some in the labor movement to move to other candidates.
► From Huffington Post — Demanding guestworker reforms is pro-immigrant (by Richard Trumka) — For far too long, our immigration system has put all of the cards in the hands of employers and allowed them to wield entirely too much power over millions of captive and exploitable workers in our labor force. To fix that, immigrant workers in the U.S. need full rights and citizenship — and we must insist on rights and protections for those who will come in the future as well. Demanding reforms to abusive guestworker programs serves the long-term interests of all working people. So we should stop to ask ourselves, who exactly is leading the push for more visas that treat workers as a commodity?
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.