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Boeing mistrust, who’s running for what, how Alaska Air profits…

Thursday, January 21, 2016




aerospace-tax-incentice-accountability► From CrossCut — Will Washington rethink Boeing’s tax breaks? — In a packed Olympia hearing room, union members and Boeing employees pounded home a single message home Tuesday: Boeing broke a promise. As much as at any time in recent memory, the message found a sympathetic audience in lawmakers, who called the hearing on a proposal by Rep. June Robinson (D-Everett) to link state tax breaks for the company to the number of jobs it creates. The proposal is one of four since 2015 seeking to add hard accountability measures to what amount to the largest tax relief package given to any private employer in the nation. While all but Robinson’s are unlikely to pass, the four bills collectively point to a larger shift in Olympia: The Lazy B is losing some of the trust it has long enjoyed among lawmakers.

► In today’s News Tribune — State Senate votes to continue charter schools — The proposal, SB 6194, would pay for charter schools through state lottery revenues, instead of through tax revenues that feed the state’s general fund. Supporters said changing the funding source would resolve problems that caused the state Supreme Court to strike down the charter school law in 2015. But opponents said it wouldn’t address the biggest problem raised by the court: that charter schools aren’t run by publicly elected boards, but by boards that are appointed.

EDITOR’S NOTE — SB 6194 passed 27-20 on a largely partisan vote with most Republicans voting “yes” and most Democrats “no.” The bill’s fate is uncertain in the House, where Democrats hold a narrow majority.




musical-chairs► From KUOW — James McDermott is running for Jim McDermott’s seat — James Joseph McDermott, who goes by Joe, announced Wednesday he’s running for Washington’s 7th Congressional District. He’s NOT related to the sitting congressman. Joe McDermott is a King County Council member, and served for 10 years as a state representative.

► From PubliCola — Jayapal set to announce she’s running for Jim McDermott’s seat — State Sen. Pramila Jayapal (D-Seattle) is expected to announce this afternoon that she’s running for longtime U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott’s open seat. Jayapal, 49, the founder and former executive director of the state’s go-to civil rights organization OneAmerica, has been in the state senate for one term, first getting elected in 2014.

► In today’s Olympian — Lacey teacher who stopped shooter will seek House seat — North Thurston High School teacher-turned-hero Brady Olson, 44, announced Wednesday night that he’ll run as a Democrat for for the House seat of Rep. Chris Reykdal, who’s running for state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Race for McMorris Rodgers’ seat draws new, old challengers — Joe Pakootas, Dave Wilson and Tom Horne all will make a second attempt to oust her after failing in 2014. Democrats will have another choice in addition to Pakootas: First-time politician David Kay, a U.S. Army and Foreign Service veteran who describes himself as a moderate.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Koster says he’ll seek a 39th District state House seat — The Arlington Republican with a long political resume announced he will seek the seat of Rep. Elizabeth Scott (R-Monroe), who is running for Congress.

► From AP —  Union submits signatures for $15 California minimum wageA faction of California’s largest union began submitting signatures Tuesday for a ballot initiative asking voters to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021, one of two competing proposals vying for the November ballot.




► From KPLU — Tacoma’s higher minimum wage and paid leave policy will start Feb. 1 — Tacoma workers will be entitled to a minimum wage of $10.35 starting Feb. 1, up from the state’s current wage floor of $9.47. It’s the first of several hikes that will gradually phase in a $12 minimum wage approved by voters in November.

16-Min-Wage-WA-logo-webALSO at The Stand — Statewide minimum wage/paid sick leave initiative is filed — It would raise Washington’s minimum wage incrementally to $13.50 and provide opportunities to earn up to seven days of paid sick and safe leave per year for employees who currently lack that benefit through their employer.

► In today’s Oregonian — Oregon’s governor lays out 2016 agenda, puts minimum wage hike at the top — Days after jumpstarting Oregon’s minimum wage debate, calling for a $13.50 wage across much of the state by 2022, Gov. Kate Brown on Wednesday stood by her plan as she unveiled the rest of her agenda for 2016.

► From AP —  Union submits signatures for $15 California minimum wageA faction of California’s largest union began submitting signatures Tuesday for a ballot initiative asking voters to raise California’s minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2021, one of two competing proposals vying for the November ballot.




alaska-airlines-WRA-Seatac-suit► In today’s P.S. Business Journal — Alaska Airlines flies high with record profits — Alaska Air Group finished 2015 flying high, earning more than 40 percent more than it did in 2014. Today, Alaska Air Group reported that it earned $848 million in 2015 compared to net income of $605 million the prior year. The record profits were in part due to increased passenger revenue and lower fuel costs.

tilden-brad-alaska-air-ceoEDITOR’S NOTE — Alaska Air has spent much of the past two years fighting in court to deny $15 voter-approved raises to the lowest paid workers at Sea-Tac International Airport. Apparently, CEO Brad Tilden believes that hiring poverty-wage paying contractors to do Alaska’s baggage handling, food service, airplane cleaning, etc. is essential to achieving these record profits. (For this visionary leadership, the Puget South Business Journal named Tilden Executive of the Year for 2015.)

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Experts: Tri-City economy positioned for strong growth — The Tri-City economy fired on all cylinders in 2015 and the momentum should continue in the coming year. That’s the forecast offered by some of the region’s top economists at the 17th annual Tri-City Development Council economic outlook.

► In today’s Seattle Times — New report says Gates Foundation favors businesses, not poor — As Bill Gates hobnobs in Switzerland, a U.K. group is critical of Seattle Foundation’s emphasis on technology and capitalism.




► In today’s Seattle Times — United chooses Boeing 737s in $3 billion snub of Bombardier — United Continental Holdings said it would buy 40 of Boeing’s smallest jetliner, snubbing Bombardier’s C Series in favor of a model that already accounts for the bulk of the airline’s fleet.




► In today’s Minneapolis S-T — University of Minnesota faculty to file for union vote — For the first time in nearly 20 years, faculty members at the University of Minnesota’s Twin Cities campus are calling for an election to form a union. If the vote goes their way, this would become one of the largest faculty unions in the country, according to the SEIU.

► From Reuters — Nearly all Detroit schools closed due to teachers’ sickout — Nearly all public schools in Detroit were closed on Wednesday as teachers called in sick to protest conditions, the school system and teachers’ union said.

► From BuzzFeed — Can the labor movement support both Black Lives Matter and police unions? — Union leaders like AFL-CIO President Trumka are threading a particularly difficult needle: trying to embracing a new wave of worker activism driven largely by minority communities, while not alienating the large, well-funded police unions that remain a major constituency of the union movement.


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