Wednesday, November 4, 2015
TODAY at The Stand — See how labor’s endorsed candidates fared
► In today’s Seattle Times — Tim Eyman’s anti-tax initiative leading — Opponents vowed to fight I-1366 in the courts. “We’re going to take steps to make sure this thing never has the opportunity to devastate education funding and human-services funding,” said Adam Glickman, a spokesman for I-1366 opponents.
► In today’s News Tribune — Republican Teri Hickel leading Democrat Carol Gregory in state House race in Federal Way — Republicans appear to have gained another seat in the state House, further eroding Democrats’ slim majority there. If Hickel maintains her lead, Democats’ majority in the state House will be reduced to 50-48.
► In today’s News Tribune — Tacoma voters approving $12 minimum wage — Tacoma voters decided to raise the city’s minimum wage to $12, according to results Tuesday evening, and advocates across the board agree that wouldn’t have happened if not for 15 Now Tacoma. On the question of whether to raise the wage floor at all, voters agreed by a wide margin. But when it came to the dollar amount, they overwhelmingly chose $12 phased in over two years over $15 immediately.
► In today’s Yakima H-R — Historic election: Two Latinos elected to Yakima City Council — Political ceilings were broken Tuesday as two Latinos were elected to the Yakima City Council, and a third was leading her opponent. And in another first, the majority of the City Council’s members will be female.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Congratulations to Dulce Gutierrez, Labor Community Organizer for the Washington State Labor Council, on her election to the Yakima City Council!
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane voters reject Worker Bill of Rights — A controversial measure to bolster worker rights in Spokane failed at the polls Tuesday, as 62 percent of voters rejected it.
► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — $930M Move Seattle levy passed; Sawant retains City Council seat — It looks like Seattle voters have approved the so-called “Move Seattle” transportation levy, which would spend $930 million on roads, bridges and other infrastructure improvements around the city.
► From Huffington Post — Maine, Seattle pave path for campaign finance reform — Voters in Seattle and Maine went to the polls Tuesday night and supported ballot initiatives to reform their campaign finance laws and expand the role of small donors in elections… In Seattle, voters backed a sweeping measure to enact public financing of the city’s elections by a vote of 60 percent to 40 percent.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Court-ordered expansion of Western State Hospital nixed — The head of the Washington state health services agency said Tuesday concerns about safety at Western State Hospital, the state’s largest psychiatric facility, have led him to end all expansion until they can hire more staff.
► In The Inlander — Divide and conquer — Last year, by a 5-4 vote, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Harris v. Quinn that Illinois home-based health-care workers can’t be required to financially support a union even if it’s negotiating on their behalf. In Washington, the ruling is having an effect, as the conservative Freedom Foundation is peeling off members and financial support from one SEIU affiliate.
ALSO at The Stand — State Attorney General sues anti-union group over RTW efforts (Oct. 15)
► In the LA Times — Did the budget deal close a Social Security ‘loophole,’ or harm poor women? (by Michael Hiltzik) — The main change has been a purported closing of a “loophole” that allowed some couples to claim more than their share of benefits. The idea is that the loophole chiefly benefited the wealthy. The truth is, however, that closing it may harm people who already get the least out of Social Security: women, especially widowed and divorced women.
► In today’s Washington Post — Clinton proposes $12 federal minimum wage — Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton said Tuesday the federal minimum wage should be $12 an hour. The national figure is currently $7.25 an hour. Clinton had previously expressed support for a Democratic proposal in the Senate for a $12 federal minimum but had not discussed it at length on the stump.
► From The Hill — House picks up pace on highway bill — The House is working its way through hundreds of amendments to a $325 billion highway bill under Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), who is touting it as an open amendment process intended to show that the chamber is under new leadership.
► From The Nation — Congressional Democrats launch a new strategy to restore the Voting Rights Act — Their bill compels states with a well-documented history of recent voting discrimination to clear future voting changes with the federal government, requires federal approval for voter-ID laws and similar measures, and outlaws new efforts to suppress the growing minority vote.
► From The Atlantic — The growing ranks of America’s high-earning poor — There’s a growing segment of the American population that earns a decent salary but lives paycheck-to-paycheck: the income-rich and asset-poor. Empty bank balances are often associated with those on the lowest rungs of the income ladder. But many members of America’s upper-middle class have almost no emergency cushion and are woefully unprepared for retirement. And years into the recovery, they are still struggling, leaving the entire economy vulnerable.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.