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Sunny Jay, ‘Corporate Kadlec,’ Scalia’s flip-flop…

Wednesday, January 13, 2016




inslee-jay-gov► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Education tops Inslee’s to-do list in State of the State address — Gov. Jay Inslee on Tuesday laid out a short to-do list for this legislative session: ease a statewide teacher shortage, improve mental health services and cover the costs of last summer’s devastating wildfires… He called for higher teacher pay to help recruit and retain instructors, and thereby erase a teacher shortage.

MORE coverage from AP, The Olympian/News Tribune, and the Spokesman-Review.

ALSO at The Stand:

State, nation face the future with confidence (WSLC President Jeff Johnson’s statement on the State of the State and State of the Union addresses)

Improving early learning starts with raising teacher pay (by John Burbank)

► In today’s News Tribune — State schools chief Randy Dorn walks out on Gov. Inslee’s speech — The state’s public schools superintendent, Randy Dorn, showed his displeasure with Inslee’s education funding agenda by not attending the governor’s annual State of the State address.

16-Min-Wage-WA-logo-web► From NW Public Radio — Inslee endorses minimum wage initiative in State of the State speech — Gov. Jay Inslee has endorsed a proposed ballot measure that would raise the state minimum wage and require employers to provide paid sick leave. “If you work 40 hours a week, you deserve a wage that puts a roof over your head and food on the table. Period. And you shouldn’t have to give up a day’s pay if you or your kids get sick,” Inslee said.

ALSO at The Stand — Minimum wage/paid sick leave initiative is filed

► In today’s Seattle Times — Hey, Washington state: Try to tune out that endless gloom (by Danny Westneat) — Sunny Jay Inslee tried to bring a little sunshine into the state Capitol Tuesday. After years of warnings that regulations or taxes would kill jobs and devastate the fragile economy, the economy peskily continues to boom… It’s the same story with crime rates, which are mostly down, and graduation rates, which are up, and the medically uninsured rates, which are way down, and so on. None of it seems to register. People are still hacked off. Local pollster Stuart Elway did a survey of 500 registered voters in Washington state last week and found that optimism about the state and the country had plunged from a year ago, by 40 percent. People are more pessimistic now than they were even in 2009, the height of the recession.

► From KPLU — Lawmakers weigh different approaches to restoring charter schools — A panel of state lawmakers weighed their options for keeping charter schools open long term in Washington during a meeting in Olympia on Tuesday.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Thousands more in state sign up for health care — Advertising, community outreach, direct mailers, YouTube videos — local providers and statewide insurance advocates have been promoting health coverage every way they know how. And it appears to be paying off.

shea-matt► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane County sheriff questions Matt Shea’s trip to Oregon armed protest — Spokane County Sheriff Ozzie Knezovich is criticizing state Rep. Matt Shea for visiting with armed protesters who have seized a federal office in Oregon. “I just can’t fathom it,” Knezovich said.




► From KEPR TV — Kadlec nurses light candles to remember hospital before ‘Corporate Kadlec’ — Kadlec nurses gathered Monday night to mourn the lives of the two Richland students lost last week in addition to the hospital they say they lost to “Corporate Kadlec” about a year and a half ago when it was taken over by Providence Health and Services. A major question asked and sung by supporters Monday night, ‘When will the nurses staffing and sick time rights ever return?’

col-VE-hearing► From Columbian — Trust, jobs focus of Vancouver Energy terminal hearing — Supporters of the terminal on Tuesday hammered on the jobs and greater economic benefits promised by the $210 million terminal, which would be the largest of its kind in the country. But their voices were largely drowned out by concerns over protecting the river, residents and workers from the risk of spills and explosions.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Aerospace supplier Zodiac fined $1.3M over factory explosion — Washington state safety regulators have fined aircraft cabin supplier Zodiac $1.3 million, citing workplace safety and health violations that led to an explosion last July in a carbon fiber curing oven. Seventeen workers were injured at the production plant north of Spokane.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford guards to vote on tentative labor agreement — Hanford security guards will vote on a new contract Jan. 26 after a tentative agreement was reached late Monday night.




scalia-antonin-jpg► MUST-READ from The Guardian — Supreme court justices put on defensive in overturning 1977 teachers’ union case — In 1991, Justice Antonin Scalia (right) delivered a robust defense of fair-share fees, writing: “Where the state imposes upon the union a duty to deliver services, it may permit the union to demand reimbursement for them … where the state creates in the nonmembers a legal entitlement from the union, it may compel them to pay the cost.” On Monday, Scalia seemed to have significantly changed his tune since 1991, although he didn’t explain why or point to any changed circumstances. From the start that day, he showed hostility to fair-share fees, asserting that every issue that public-sector unions bargain about is essentially political – and workers shouldn’t be forced to pay union fees over “political” matters… Has Scalia been pulled along by (Justice Samuel) Alito in his crusade against agency fees? Or does Scalia want to help ensure that the conservative majority delivers another powerful ruling to advance Republican political interests, much like Bush v Gore, Citizens United, as well as the Voting Rights Act and voter ID cases?

EDITOR’S NOTE — Ironically, the plaintiffs’ attorneys in this case argue that everything public employee unions do is inherently political. The truth is, this case is inherently political, financed by right-wing billionaires and their “public policy” think tanks whose very existence is to gain political advantage. They could care less about the “freedom” of public employees to get something for nothing, except to the extent that it weakens their political opponents.




sanders-bernie► From WFSE — Washington Federation of State Employees/AFSCME Council 28 endorses Bernie Sanders for President — The WFSE Executive Board on Sunday adopted a motion to endorse Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) for the nomination of the Democratic Party. Our national union, AFSCME, endorsed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in October.

► From Huffington Post — Hillary Clinton wins endorsement from UFCW — The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents 1.3 million workers in grocery and retail, described Clinton as “the best qualified and positioned candidate to win in 2016.” UFCW said it came to its endorsement decision after a series of meetings between union officials and internal polls of its members.




obama-sotu-16► In today’s Washington Post — Amid nation’s anger, a message of faith in America’s potential — Obama’s comments underscored his belief that government can — and must — help citizens in difficult times, but he lamented persistent political divides and acknowledged that too many Americans believe the system is rigged against them.

► In today’s NY Times — Obama urges Congress to pass Pacific trade deal — “With TPP, China doesn’t set the rules in that region, we do,” he said.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Or more specifically, multinational corporations set the rules. Rules that undermine democracy and set out to protect profits and shareholder, not people and the planet.

► From AFL-CIO Now — State of the Union: Don’t let TPP sink our wages (by Celeste Drake) — The thing that’s dangerous about the TPP, and the reason we should worry about it shrinking our paychecks, is not the idea of trade. Trade is good — but we shouldn’t confuse “trade” with so-called “trade agreements,” which set down rules not just for “trade,” but for food safety, Wall Street regulations, prescription medicines and investor rights. These are the kind of rules that should be made in public, in democratic fashion, not in a secretly negotiated agreement that can’t be amended. The TPP’s corporate giveaways are dangerous.




tacoma-raise-the-minimum-wage► From Eater — Study: Minimum wage hikes don’t hurt restaurant industry — When restaurants raise prices to offset moderate increases to the minimum wage, the industry as a whole is not adversely affected. Like, at all. This, the conclusion of a study released last month by the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration entitled “Have Minimum Wage Increases Hurt the Restaurant Industry? The Evidence Says No!”. After an exhaustive audit of tipped and non-tipped minimum wage scenarios at state and federal levels over the course of a decade, professors Michael Lynn and Christopher Boone believe the industry needs to be more receptive to modest hourly pay hikes.

► In the Washington Post — How worker-friendly laws changed life as a server in San Francisco restaurants — Over the past few years, as liberal priorities have been stymied on the state and federal level, a number of cities have emerged as islands with worker-friendly policies like higher minimum wages and mandatory paid sick leave. More are likely to emerge in the years ahead… They might look first to San Francisco, which has served as a proving ground for many of these policies — the minimum wage there is now $12.25, and all employers are required to offer paid sick days and contribute to their employees’ health insurance.

ALSO at The Stand — State minimum wage, sick leave initiative is filed





► From Esquire — More than half of Americans reportedly have less than $1,000 to their names — In a recent survey, 56 percent of Americans said they have less than $1,000 in their checking and savings accounts combined. Nearly a quarter (24.8 percent) have less than $100 to their name. Meanwhile, 38 percent said they would pay less than their full credit card balance this month, and 11 percent said they would make the minimum payment—meaning they would likely be mired in debt for years and pay more in interest than they originally borrowed. It paints a daunting picture of the average American coming out of the spend-heavy holiday season: steeped in credit card debt, living paycheck-to-paycheck, at serious risk of financial ruin if the slightest thing goes wrong.


The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.

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