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Inslee’s budget, paid leave popular, Trump vs. you…

Wednesday, December 14, 2016




► In today’s News Tribune — Gov. Inslee proposes $4 billion in taxes to solve school-funding crisis — Gov. Jay Inslee is proposing more than $4 billion in new taxes as part of his plan to boost teacher pay and end Washington state’s unconstitutional way of paying for public schools. About half of (the new revenue) would come from new taxes on capital gains and carbon emissions. The plan also would increase the B&O tax for service businesses from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent, which would raise about $2.3 billion over two years.

ap-inslee-education► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Inslee wants to funnel $4 billion more into schools over the next two years — Gov. Jay Inslee wants the state to pay almost $4 billion more for public schools in the next two years and would raise some taxes to pay for it. Most state residents, however, would see a drop in their property taxes.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Local educators praise Inslee’s funding plan, but express concerns about levy reductions — Some local educators are cautiously optimistic about the education funding plan announced Tuesday by Gov. Jay Inslee, praising the increased funding but questioning whether the plan will be approved.

► In today’s Seattle Times — McCleary fix? Inslee proposes billions in new taxes to pay teachers — The court ruled that the state, not local districts, must pay for teacher salaries. Currently, local districts pick up a big part of the cost. Under the plan, the state’s minimum portion of a starting teacher’s salary would increase over two years to $54,587, up from the current $35,700.

carbon-pollutionWHO’D PAY MORE? — A 7.9% tax on capital gains from the sale of stocks, bonds and other assets would kick in above $25,000 in gains for individuals and $50,000 for joint filers. It would exempt retirement accounts, homes, farms and forestry. A $25-per-ton tax on carbon emissions, raising about $2 billion in the 2018-19 budget. About half would go toward education and the rest to projects for clean energy, water infrastructure, forest health and transportation. The package also would increase the B&O tax rate on professional services, such as lawyers and real-estate agents. The governor also proposed rolling back several tax exemptions, including one on bottled water and another that benefits oil refineries.

WHO’D PAY LESS? — Under Inslee’s plan, local school tax levies would go down in 119 of the state’s 295 school districts — accounting for more than 75 percent of the state’s households and businesses. No districts would see an increase in local property tax levies. In the Seattle School District the local property-tax bill would drop an average of $262 per taxpayer in the 2018-19 school year, while taxes in the Bellevue School District would drop an average of $297.




ACA-family-value► In today’s Seattle Times — Praise Obamacare now, before we lose it (by Danny Westneat) — Obamacare saved this Ballard woman’s life from spiraling down into ruin — and there are 1.1 million in this state with pre-existing conditions just like her. Congress wants to repeal that law, but we shouldn’t let them take us back to the dark ages without a fight.

► In today’s Seattle Times — The 777 cut: ‘New Seattle’ faces its first stress test (by Jon Talton) — Boeing’s cutback of 777 production will affect the region’s economy, even if it is far more diverse than in previous decades. We’re about to examine its strength and depth.

► In today’s Olympian — Olympia adopts ‘sanctuary city’ resolution in response to presidential election — The Olympia City Council unanimously approved the resolution Tuesday. President-elect Donald Trump’s polarizing campaign rhetoric has generated fear and concerns about deportation and federal immigration policies. The resolution also promises that Olympia “will not inquire upon a resident’s immigration status in providing municipal services or in the course of law enforcement.”




► In the Wall St. Journal — Most Americans support paid leave for workers, poll finds — After an acrimonious election season that divided families and friends, it appears that Americans can at least agree on one issue: paid leave for workers. In a poll conducted around the time of the election, 82% of voters said they believe it is important or very important for Congress and the next president to consider legislation for paid sick days as well as paid family and medical leave. By party, 95% of Democrats and 70% of Republicans agreed. The poll found that a majority of ideologically conservative men who voted for President-elect Donald Trump also support paid leave.

no-overtime-judge_front► From Reuters — AFL-CIO asks to intervene in challenge to overtime rule — The Texas AFL-CIO is asking to join the battle over the legality of an Obama administration rule that would extend mandatory overtime pay to 4.2 million workers, raising concerns that the U.S. Department of Labor will drop its defense of the rule once President-elect Donald Trump takes office. The union has asked U.S. District Judge Amos Mazzant in Sherman, Texas to allow it to join the lawsuit as a defendant. Mazzant last month issued an injunction blocking the rule from taking effect pending the outcome of the case.

► In the Wall St. Journal — Republicans set to battle on legal immigration — The business and populist wings of the Republican Party are set for a battle over the nation’s system of legal immigration, which could prove to be as divisive as the fight over illegal immigrants. The debate turns on whether foreign workers are an engine of economic growth, as many businesses say, or create unfair competition for Americans.

► From KNKX — McMorris Rodgers out as Trump’s Interior Secretary? — President-elect Donald Trump has apparently passed over Cathy McMorris Rodgers as his pick for Interior Secretary.

perry-rick► From Think Progress — ‘Dancing with the Stars’ contestant nominated to oversee the U.S. nuclear program — Former Texas governor Rick Perry has been asked to head the Department of Energy in the Trump administration — a department Perry has repeatedly said should be eliminated. Well over half of the agency’s $32.5 billion budget goes to nuclear safety, management, and clean up (including at Hanford).

► In the Washington Post — Trump’s Cabinet picks are often in direct conflict with the agencies they may lead — Ask a random person on the street what they know about Rick Perry, and a decent percentage of the responses will include the word “oops.” His flailing presidential campaign was doomed when, during one of the year’s Republican primary debates, he tried to name three Cabinet positions that he planned to eliminate, but could only remember two. Oops.

► From Politico — Poll: Trump’s transition has lowest approval rating since 1992




puzder-andy► In the New Yorker — Trump against the American worker — Donald Trump has chosen a fast-food executive, Andy Puzder, to be his Labor Secretary. He is a prominent opponent of raising the minimum wage, of paid sick leave, of efforts to raise the salary threshold for overtime pay, and of Obamacare. Puzder is even critical of the federal relief programs, such as food stamps, that subsidize the poverty wages that he pays his employees. The current federal minimum wage is just $7.25 per hour. The Fight for $15, the most notable labor campaign of recent years, got its start in the fast-food industry, and Puzder, who is passionately anti-union, is among its most determined adversaries. Selecting such a figure to promote the welfare of wage earners is, as Kendall Fells, a Fight for $15 organizer, told The American Prospect, “like putting Bernie Madoff in charge of the treasury.”


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