Friday, January 8, 2016
► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing must disclose tax-break savings, state Department of Revenue rules — In a major reversal, the state Department of Revenue has ruled Boeing and other aerospace firms must start disclosing savings from some of their biggest tax breaks. The action came after an appeal by The Seattle Times, which challenged the tax agency’s earlier interpretation of a tax-incentive transparency law passed in 2013. The Department of Revenue previously had maintained Boeing and the other firms would not have to reveal their tax savings publicly for a decade.
EDITOR’S NOTE — This is just Step One: allowing the public to see exactly how many billions of dollars they are diverting from schools, universities, roads and other priorities to subsidize Boeing and other aerospace companies with tax breaks. Step Two is to establish some accountability for these companies’ promises, as other states do, in terms of job creation/maintenance and the wages they pay. Learn more.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee: Failure to act on prison errors was ‘mind-boggling’ — Gov. Jay Inslee said Thursday he has “some preliminary observations” about who may be responsible for the state failing since 2012 to fix a prison-sentencing error that released up to 3,200 prisoners early. But the governor said he will wait to take action to hold those accountable until an independent investigation is complete.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — DSHS chief blames lawmakers for state mental-health logjam — An impassioned and combative DSHS Secretary Kevin Quigley blamed years of neglect on lawmakers, who, he said, have failed to fully fund the state’s mental health hospitals. Washington routinely has ranked last in the country for the number of available adult psychiatric beds. There are 100 fewer beds than there were 10 years ago, Quigley said.
► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Local industries say proposed carbon standards will hurt them, their customers — Gov. Jay Inslee’s rule would hurt jobs, raise prices and increase global carbon emissions by pushing companies out of Washington to states and countries with more lenient air quality standards, said Chris McCabe, executive director of the Northwest Pulp & Paper Association, which includes KapStone and Weyerhaeuser.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Another bill proposed to save charter schools in Washington — Lawmakers will have two bipartisan charter-school bills to consider when the new session starts next week: one tackles the funding source, the other addresses governance.
► From KPLU — Opponents doubt efforts to save Wash. charter schools will work — “Anyone who thinks you can put the toothpaste back into the tube and make the system of charter schools constitutional by simply renaming something is not in the reality of the Washington state constitution. It’s just wrong,” said Rep. Gerry Pollet (D-Seattle).
► From Slog — Pramila Jayapal is strongly considering a run for Congress — State Senator Pramila Jayapal tells The Stranger she’s seriously considering a run for the U.S. House seat being vacated by Jim McDermott, who plans to retire this year after 14 terms.
► From PubliCola — Walkinshaw announces key endorsements — State Rep. Brady Walkinshaw (D-Seattle), currently the only official candidate running for McDermott’s seat, announced some major endorsements from Seattle city council members Lorena González and Tim Burgess
► In today’s News Tribune — Pellicciotti challenges Kochmar for state House — Mike Pellicciotti is assistant attorney general, former deputy prosecutor.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Record deliveries keep Boeing ahead of Airbus — Boeing secured its position as the top airplane maker in the world for another year, surpassing Airbus in 2015 by delivering a record number of airplanes as production climbed relentlessly higher. Boeing said Thursday it delivered 762 jets last year. That’s 39 more aircraft than in 2014.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Congratulations to the Machinists, engineers and other front-line workers who are literally delivering for the Chicago-based company with their accelerated production work.
► From The Nation — This Supreme Court case could make all public unions ‘right to work’ — Jan. 11, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, a full-bore attack on public-sector unions. The lead Friedrichs plaintiffs, a group of fiercely anti-union California public-school teachers, seek to reverse Abood v. Detroit Board of Education (1977) on First Amendment grounds. Abood has provided the bedrock constitutional analysis and recommended administrative structure for public-sector unionism for nearly 40 years. Its reversal would trigger an earthquake in American labor relations. The legal foundations of thousands of public-sector bargaining agreements, covering millions of workers providing all manner of public services, will disappear. The whole of American public employment, at all levels of government, will become a “right to work” (i.e., right not to pay for service) killing field for unions.
ALSO at The Stand — 1%ers’ D.C. think tank refuses Friedrichs petitions
► From Reuters — In Supreme Court labor case, echoes of gay marriage fight — Six of the teachers that joined the Friedrichs lawsuit are members of CEAI. According to its website, the group “supports the Biblical view of traditional marriage” and criticizes the National Education Association for its “support of the Homosexual Agenda.”
► From The Stranger — Local arrest, national immigration crackdown lead to fears in Seattle area — Amid a nationwide crackdown on undocumented immigrants, the arrest of a longtime Auburn resident by immigration agents as he prepared to take his kids to school has led to fears and panic in the area, according to the Seattle-based immigrant rights group El Comite.
► In today’s NY Times — A shameful round-up of refugees (editorial) — Many who pose no threat to American security are being sent back to some of the most dangerous countries in our hemisphere.
► From House.gov — Rep. Adam Smith on immigration, customs enforcement actions
“I am extremely disturbed by recent accounts of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) actions in several states that are specifically targeting undocumented women and children from South and Central America.. I am particularly troubled that in carrying out sweeping new enforcement activity, individuals may not be fully afforded their rights to due process.”
► In today’s NY Times — A rush of Central Americans compounds Obama’s immigration task — This recent influx is compounding President Obama’s troubles with immigration in his final year in office, as his efforts to achieve broad protections for immigrants already living in the country illegally have stalled in the federal courts and his fallback actions to try to quell a new border surge have alienated many political allies.
► In today’s Washington Post — Hundreds of advocacy groups ask Congress to block Obama’s Pacific Rim trade pact — A coalition of more than 1,500 interest groups is sending a letter to Congress on Thursday demanding that lawmakers block the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). In the four-page letter, the coalition writes:
“The questions policymakers should be asking about these rules is whether, on the whole, they would create American jobs, raise our wages, enhance environmental sustainability, improve public health and advance human rights and democracy. After careful consideration, we believe you will agree, the answer to these questions is no.”
► From The Hill — GOP heads into 2016 fight with no clear ObamaCare plan — The GOP has failed to put forward a full ObamaCare replacement plan, a significant political liability in an election year that stands to permanently cement the law.
► From The Hill — More than 11.3 million have signed up for ObamaCare — Signups have reached the lower end of the administration’s projections with almost a month still remaining to sign up.
► In today’s LA Times — U.S. adds a surprisingly robust 292,000 jobs in December — The U.S. labor market ended last year on a high note, adding a surprisingly strong 292,000 net new jobs in a sign that the slow but steady U.S. recovery was bucking a global economic slowdown.
► From Think Progress — Strong job growth in 2015 still couldn’t give workers a raise — Despite job growth that exceeded expectations, gains in wages were weak. Hourly earnings fell 1 cent in December after a 5-cent increase in November, and average hourly earnings have risen just 2.5 percent over the last year.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Alcoa to close one Indiana smelter, idle another in Texas — With this latest announcement, Alcoa will be left with just one active smelter, the Massena West plant in New York, which was saved from closure with $70 million in New York state aid. Alcoa pointed to low global prices as a factor in these decisions. Prices have been dropping even after its announcement in November that it was idling its smelter operations in Wenatchee and the Intalco Works facility near Ferndale.
► Today is a big day for birthdays. David Bowie turns 69. Elvis Presley would have turned 80. But The Entire Staff of The Stand is celebrating the birthday of legendary diva Dame Shirley Bassey, who is 78 today. Best known in the U.S. for her James Bond theme songs (“Goldfinger,” “Diamonds Are Forever,” “Moonraker”), Bassey was one of Britain’s most popular vocalists of the second half of the 20th Century. But we refer you to this awesome 2003 collection of Shirley Bassey remixes by the likes of Groove Armada and Nightmares on Wax, and this, her memorable 1997 collaboration with the Propellerheads. What a voice!
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.