Wednesday, January 20, 2016
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — War of words between Boeing, unions at tax-break hearing — In a two-hour hearing, a Boeing executive and Everett’s mayor led the opposition to a bill requiring the aerospace company maintain a certain number of jobs in Washington or risk losing some — or all — of the tax incentives that were extended by lawmakers in 2013. Machinists, engineers and the prime sponsor of HB 2638 argued that the company is not upholding its end of the deal. They said lawmakers presumed Boeing would maintain and add jobs but the company has pared 4,057 jobs — some going to other states in order to qualify for their tax breaks. “Everyone who voted on it thought it was going to keep and grow jobs in the state of Washington,” said Rep. June Robinson (D-Everett). “In fact no one at that time imagined that in two short years we would be sitting here with Boeing having moved 4,000 jobs out of state.”
► From KPLU — House Democrats pick up some Republican support for bill to tie Boeing tax break to jobs — A group of House Democratic lawmakers is trying again to link Boeing’s tax break to the number of jobs the company keeps in the state. This time, they’ve won support from two Republicans: Reps. Cary Condotta (R-Wenatchee) and Richard DeBolt (R-Chehalis).
► From AP — State lawmakers propose free community college — Tuition at community and technical colleges in Washington would be free for state residents without a bachelor’s degree under a proposal announced Tuesday by a group of Democratic lawmakers. “We know that a high school diploma, while still foundational for every student, is simply not enough,” said Sen. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle).
► In the Bellingham Herald — Ericksen’s bill would prohibit state agency from setting carbon cap — A new bill sponsored by Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-Ferndale) takes aim at Gov. Jay Inslee’s carbon policies by prohibiting state regulators from adopting rules that limit greenhouse gas emissions without legislative direction.
► Local legislator makes national news at Huffington Post — Republican lawmaker meets teens, asks if they’re virgins — State Rep. Mary Dye (R-Pomeroy) startled a group of teen visitors lobbying on behalf of Planned Parenthood by asking which ones were virgins and even suggesting one was not.
► JOB OPPORTUNITY with the state Veterans Affairs Dept. — Veterans Apprenticeship Program Specialist — Are you interested in developing statewide apprenticeship opportunities and pathways to skilled trades and employment and training programs for veterans and individuals transitioning from military service? As the Veterans Apprenticeship Program Specialist you will provide organization-wide and statewide project management and coordination responsibilities and serve as an expert in the area of apprenticeships and workforce development. This position will be responsible for developing recommendations and strategic plans with a statewide impact and must exercise a high level of independent judgment.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Alcoa delays idling of Intalco plant until end of June — Alcoa has announced that it is delaying curtailment of the Intalco Works aluminum smelter until the end of June. The plant west of Ferndale was initially slated to be idled by the end of March, but recent changes in energy and raw material costs have made it more cost-effective in the near term to keep the smelter operating, the company said. The curtailment at the end of March would have meant layoffs for about 465 workers. The company plans to keep the casthouse in operation after the curtailment at the end of June, employing about 100 people.
► From Slog — SMASH offers healthcare aid to low-income Seattle musicians, industry professionals — A new nonprofit organization called SMASH (Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare) has arisen to provide “health education, advocacy, and healthcare” to low-income Seattle-area musicians and music-business professionals.
► From Medium.com — A sex advice columnist says unions are great — Sex advice columnist and podcaster Dan Savage has supported unions and working people for pretty much his entire adult life. He has talked about how union contracts were an important first place for sexual equality wins — where gay couples won health care and retirement benefits and other basic protections offered for years to heterosexual married couples.
► From AFL-CIO Now — Supreme Court should approve policies that will provide much-needed relief to immigrant working families — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “We applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to take up the DAPA and expanded DACA case, which will have profound consequences for our immigrant brothers and sisters who live and work every day under a cloud of fear, as well as for the state of racial and economic justice in our country. We are confident the court will reverse the decision of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and allow the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and expanded Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policies to go into effect, affording millions of people the opportunity to apply for work authorization and temporary protection from deportation.”
► In today’s NY Times — The Supreme Court, the Nativists and Immigrants (editorial) — President Obama’s action to protect undocumented parents from deportation was well within his authority.
► In today’s Washington Post — U.S. undocumented immigrant population falls below 11 million, continuing nearly decade-long decline, report says — The total undocumented immigrant population of 10.9 million is the lowest since 2003, says the report from the Center for Migration Studies. The number of undocumented immigrants has fallen each year since 2008, the report says, driven primarily by a steady decline in migrants from Mexico.
► From The National Journal — How politicians divide, conquer, and confuse American workers based on race — Since the 1960s, American workers have been subjected to a steady drumbeat of political messages designed to divide them by race and class, resulting in a dramatic weakening of bargaining power and job security. That is the conclusion of an analysis of nearly 50 years worth of political and economics data by Ian Haney López, Boalt Professor of Law at U.C. Berkeley… “When we are artificially divided, … we lose,” Trumka said. “The labor movement is not big enough to [counteract] negative messages alone, which is why we’ve been reaching out to political progressives, civil-rights organizations, environmental groups, and others.”
► From Huffington Post — Who lost the white working class? (by Robert Reich) — Why did the white working class abandon the Democrats? The conventional answer is Republicans skillfully played the race card… True, but this isn’t the whole story. Democrats also abandoned the white working class. Democrats have occupied the White House for 16 of the last 24 years, and in that time scored some important victories for working families — the Affordable Care Act, an expanded Earned Income Tax Credit, and the Family and Medical Leave Act, for example. But they’ve done nothing to change the vicious cycle of wealth and power that has rigged the economy for the benefit of those at the top, and undermined the working class. In some respects, Democrats have been complicit in it.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.