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Schools and salaries, tax-free Apple, suing over RTW…

Thursday, September 8, 2016




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Supreme Court justices skeptical of school-funding prospects — The state Supreme Court seemed skeptical Wednesday that lawmakers will come up with a plan that sends enough money to public schools to meet the constitutional duty they’ve arguably been shirking for decades.

MORE coverage in the Columbian, News Tribune, and Seattle Times.

WEA-education-funding► In today’s (Everett) Herald — State needs to answer question of school employees’ salaries — Thus far, the state has boosted funding to school districts to pay for things like books, supplies and bus transportation. Paying employee salaries, the largest chunk of which is for classroom teachers, is the last big-ticket item they are wrangling over. Right now, a bipartisan task force of House and Senate members is gathering data on how much money the state is spending on salaries and how much more it will need to spend to meet its paramount duty.




sound-transit-front► From PubliCola — A regional response to regional growth (by Lorena Gonzalez) — With our city and our region continuing to grow rapidly, we know we are not going to be able to expand our road capacity significantly. But each light rail line has the capacity to move 16,000 people per hour — the equivalent of eight general-purpose freeway lanes. We need that additional capacity. In November, let’s choose to expand light rail by supporting Sound Transit 3.

► In the PS Business Journal — Bucking national trend, Boeing political donations favor Democratic candidates in Washington state — Nationally, Boeing’s PAC has steered 58 percent of its money to Republican contenders versus only 42 percent to Democratic hopefuls. Boeing’s contributions in Washington state highlight a different trend, though: Democrats are getting more campaign cash than Republicans.

► In today’s NY Times — Measure 97, seeking to raise corporate taxes, splits Oregon voters — If approved by the voters here in November, Measure 97 would create the biggest tide of new tax revenue in any state in the nation this year as a percentage of the budget, economists said — and one of the biggest anywhere in recent history.




putin-trump-on-horse► In today’s Washington Post — Trump praises Putin, battles Clinton on national security — At a primetime forum, Donald Trump suggested that Russian President Vladimir Putin is more worthy of praise than President Obama. Hillary Clinton offered herself as a model of “absolute rock steadiness” on foreign policy and navigated tough questions about her use of a private email server as secretary of state.




warren-elizabeth-l► In today’s NY Times — What Apple teaches us about taxes (by Sen. Elizabeth Warren) — For years, corporate tax dodgers have taken full advantage of all the benefits of being American companies, while searching out every possible way to avoid paying American taxes. Now that other leading countries are starting to get tough on tax enforcement, these tax dodgers suddenly want to move their money back to the United States. When they do, they should pay their fair share, just as working families and small businesses have been all along.

► In today’s NY Times — Life got better under Obama, according to Gallup — In the years since President Obama first took office, more Americans are thriving, exercising and enjoying a high standard of living, according to the polling organization’s analysis.




► In the Spokesman-Review — Idaho’s right-to-work law faces court challenge — A federal lawsuit argues that it’s unconstitutional for Idaho’s 1985 “right-to-work” law to require unions to spend money and time representing nonmembers without an ability to recoup those costs through fees. “Right to work is the law of Idaho,” said James Piotrowski, an attorney representing the IUOE Local 370 in the case. “What we’re looking at is: Can they get help and force the other guy to pay for it?”

itt-technical-inst► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Student loans propped up failing for-profit school (editorial) — Taxpayers were investing $30 billion a year among 15 publicly traded companies who relied on student aid, G.I. Bill benefits and Department of Defense tuition assistance for 86 percent of their revenue. Compare that to about 17 percent of revenue from federal sources for public colleges. ITT’s closure is a headache for students and a stunning loss for employees, but the business model used by ITT and other for-profits warrants tighter controls on how the schools generate their revenue, what they tell their students and the value of the educations they provide.


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