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Let’s end poverty wages, SPEEA’s safety net, twice the music…

Thursday, March 31, 2016




16-Min-Wage-WA-logo-web► From Vox — Low-income Americans can no longer afford rent, food, and transportation — Low-income Americans are experiencing a staggering price hike in housing costs — a change that makes it sometimes impossible to afford basic necessities. A new Pew Charitable Trusts analysis of data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that in 2013, low-income Americans spent a median of $6,897 on housing. In 2014, that rose to $9,178 — the biggest jump in housing spending for the 19-year period of data that Pew studied. The cost of other necessities, like transportation and food, also rose, albeit not as dramatically. 2014 was the first year that Pew studied in which median spending on these three categories was higher than the median income for those in the lower third of income groups.

TAKE A STAND! — Make a difference! Click here to volunteer to collect signatures for Initiative 1433.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Washington voters likely to decide on minimum wage initiative — About 730,000 Washington workers would benefit from Initiative 1433’s wage increase, according to Raise Up Washington. A raise to $13.50 an hour would put about $607 more a month into a full-time employee’s pocket. Overall, that would be $2.5 billion more in annual earnings statewide, according to Raise Up Washington. “That’s money that’s going directly back into the economy, and that’s going to have a multiplier effect,” said Teresa Mosqueda of the Washington State Labor Council.




SPEEA-12► In the P.S. Business Journal — New SPEEA contract lessens blow if Boeing job cuts lead to layoffs — Boeing said it plans to eliminate at least 4,000 jobs by mid-year, putting numbers to an efficiency plan the company announced in February. While Boeing has said it will use layoffs only as a “last resort” in the current reductions, the new contract language will reduce the impact on SPEEA members if people are laid off.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Cash flow seen as driving Boeing cuts — and possibly layoffs — Industry analysts say Boeing likely needs to free up cash to cover expenses. The aerospace giant is spending money on developing new derivative airplanes — the 777X and 737 MAX, buying back shares, and covering losses from the 747 and the KC-46A Pegasus tanker programs.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing supplier puts shiny new plant in Everett — Although a cost-cutting drive at aircraft-interiors supplier B/E Aerospace has shrunk its presence at some locations in the U.S. and overseas, it’s doubling down in Washington state to support Boeing’s planned production ramp-up.

► In the P.S. Business Journal — Boeing cuts won’t stop colleges from expanding aerospace training programs — Boeing may be cutting back positions to save costs, but community college aerospace training programs are full speed ahead.




oban-steve► In today’s (Everett) Herald — GOP’s report on prisoner-release scandal is not imminent — (The Republican’s investigation) has blown through $125,000 from Senate coffers and there’s no more money coming. The law firm Republicans hired to lead the investigation and compile a report stopped working when the dough ran out. GOP leaders are now pondering the use of nonpartisan committee staff and partisan Republican Caucus staff to compile something conclusive and meaningful — and different from the review ordered by the governor.

EDITOR’S NOTE — “We’ll just have Republican staffers finish off this report and make sure it’s different from the governor’s investigation.” If there was any question that this GOP probe was a political ploy, there isn’t any longer.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — State budget has millions for Spokane projects — Construction projects in the Spokane area will get millions of dollars under legislation approved just before the Legislature adjourned for the year late Tuesday night.




supreme-court-do-your-job-garland► In today’s Washington Post — The Supreme Court needs a 9th justice immediately (editorial) — The split court’s ruling (in Friedrichs) still leaves a cloud of legal uncertainty around the union fees issue, because only a majority of justices can set court precedent. The case offered an early glimpse of what is to come in an era in which the court cannot reliably act as a final arbiter, resolving legal disputes in a way that makes the law more predictable and, therefore, fairer… It is likely that, without a ninth justice, the court will more often deadlock on major cases, in which values are more fundamentally in conflict. Even if we might agree with some of the results, a quarter of a presidential term is a long time to go without a full Supreme Court. Senate Republicans should consider Merrick Garland’s nomination immediately.




► From KPLU — Lawmakers adjourn, campaign solicitations immediately go out — The Legislature has adjourned. And now the campaign season has begun. Within hours of the final gavels falling Tuesday night, fundraising pleas went out.

heck-denny► In today’s Seattle Times — Rep. Denny Heck leading Democrats’ push to retake House because of the Trump effect — Heck, chief recruiter for the DCCC, says, “People are now beginning to understand that things could set up — could set up — to give (Democrats) a shot at the majority.”

► In today’s NY Times — Corporations grow nervous about participating in Republican convention — In addition to Donald Trump’s divisive politics, there is the possibility that protests, or even violence, will become a focus of attention at the convention. Mr. Trump has suggested that there will be “riots” if he is not chosen as the party’s nominee, and the city of Cleveland recently sought bids for about 2,000 sets of riot gear for its police force.




nyt-fast-food-organize2► In today’s NY Times — Marching toward a $15 minimum wage (editorial) — Workers in New York were the first to demonstrate for $15 an hour. State leaders in New York would be seizing a historic opportunity — as well as doing the right thing — to make $15 an hour the minimum wage for the entire state.

► In today’s NY Times — Spate of social-conservative bills draws sharp party line in state legislatures — This year, in many of the 30 state legislatures under full Republican control, lawmakers continued to pass a number of new expansions of gun rights and groundbreaking restrictions on abortion. Perhaps most controversially, they also approved bills that opponents say would allow for discrimination against gays, lesbians and transgender people.

► Case in point, from Think Progress — Mississippi’s new anti-LGBT bill claims that women can be fired for wearing pants

wp-womens-soccer► In today’s Washington Post — Five U.S. women’s soccer players file wage discrimination complaint — Five key members of the U.S. women’s soccer team have filed a federal complaint against the U.S. Soccer Federation to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, alleging wage discrimination. In the complaint, the players cite USSF figures from last year showing that they were paid nearly four times less than men’s players despite generating much more revenue.




► The Entire Staff of The Stand will be out of the office — and therefore our news service will be on hiatus — until Monday, April 11. Hopefully, nothing newsworthy will happen during this time. But since you’ll be missing out on two TGIF music videos, here are two chosen for no reason other than they are both great songs and iTunes shuffled them into our playlist this morning on the way to work. The second one features some great sampling of Kim Carnes’ “Bette Davis Eyes,” particularly at 1:50. Enjoy!


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

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