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I-1433 smiles, VA privatization, Jonesing for Trump…

Thursday, July 7, 2016





► From AP — Supporters of increasing minimum wage turn in signatures — Ariana Davis, a grocery worker from Renton who is the sponsor of I-1433, said that “this initiative is going to change the lives of every worker in Washington.” If it qualifies for the ballot and is approved by voters in November, the wage increase would be phased in starting next year, when the statewide rate would increase to $11 an hour. It would increase to $11.50 in 2018, $12 in 2019 and will hit $13.50 an hour in 2020.The measure also would provide paid sick leave to employees who don’t currently have it.

ALSO at The Stand — Over 360,000 signatures submitted for I-1433

sr-1433-signatures► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Minimum wage, gun control and transgender bathroom rules among initiatives that could make ballot — This year’s parade of campaign workers ferrying boxes into the state elections office started Wednesday morning when supporters of I-1433, which would raise the minimum wage to $13.50 by 2020 and require most employers to give their workers paid sick and safe leave, turned in some 360,000 signatures. The state requires slightly less than 247,000 signatures from registered voters, so a cushion of more than 110,000 is usually more than enough to guarantee a measure a spot on the ballot.

► From KREM — I-1433 looks to raise minimum wage in Wash.

► In today’s Seattle Times — New campaign-disclosure allegations leveled at Tim Eyman — The state PDC is recommending that the state Attorney General’s Office take action on another set of campaign-disclosure allegations made against anti-tax activist Tim Eyman.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Inslee urges unity in the face of ‘fear and hatred’ in speech at Redmond mosque — To mark the end of Ramadan, Gov. Jay Inslee spoke in front of roughly 2,000 people at the Muslim Association of Puget Sound mosque in Redmond.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle mayor proposes more paid leave for city employees with newborns, ill family members — The plan would: extend the city’s four-week paid parental leave to eight weeks; give city workers four weeks of paid family leave; and reorganize and provide additional training within the city’s human-resources department.

► In today’s News Tribune — Parent organization to St. Peter Hospital merges with St. Joseph Health — The new entity called Providence St. Joseph Health now has 50 hospitals in seven states, including Oregon, Washington and Alaska, and employs more than 100,000 people. A spokesman says the two organizations have “no intent to reduce jobs at all.”




privatizing-veterans-affairs► In today’s NY Times — Heal the VA (but first, do no harm) (editorial) — Given the egregious gap between the need for medical care and the supply of doctors and providers, there is clearly a role for qualified private health care providers to pitch in. But privatizing the V.A. — throwing wounded veterans upon the vagaries and mercies of corporations, co-pays and premiums — is no solution.

► From Bloomberg — NLRB will report federal contractors’ labor violations — When an employer is named in an unfair labor practice complaint, the NLRB will report the information to a federal database to comply with the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces executive order President Obama signed in 2014.




► In today’s Washington Post — In Baton Rouge, yet another black man perishes in the hands of police (editorial) — AGAIN. Again, a black man has been shot to death by a white police officer or officers. Again, the incident has been recorded on a cellphone camera. Again, the available evidence — not conclusive, but persuasive — suggests the shooting was unwarranted.

► In today’s Washington Post — Minn. cop fatally shoots black man during traffic stop, aftermath broadcast on Facebook





► MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — How falling behind the Joneses fueled the rise of Trump — Trump’s white working class supporters — who provide somewhere between 58 and 62 percent of his votes, according to polls — have suffered a stunning loss of relative status over the past 40 years. Their wages have stagnated or declined; the ascendance of minorities has threatened their cultural dominance; and the growth of an increasingly large and affluent upper middle class has pushed goods and services once viewed as theirs by right beyond their reach… In effect, the increase in the resources commandeered by the overclass has pulled the rug out from under the once upwardly mobile white working class.

income-inequality► A related story from Think Progress — Income inequality is at the highest level in American history — A new analysis finds that Americans in the bottom 99% of the country’s income distribution saw their take home pay rise 3.9% in 2015 over 2014’s levels, adjusted for inflation, the best increase they’ve seen in 17 years. But the top 1% of the country far outpaced them: the wealthy’s income grew by 7.7% last year, reaching a new high. And in fact, income inequality is now at the highest level the country has ever recorded in its entire history.


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