Tuesday, January 3, 2017
► In the Kitsap Sun — Supporters say wage bump will help workers, economy — The difference between $9.47 and $11 might not sound like much to some. To Ryan De Gouveia, of Silverdale, it’s the difference between scraping by and making ends meet. “I’m able to take care of my necessities,” the 28-year-old Safeway bakery clerk said. “It’s nice to be able to do that and not have to worry about putting gas in my car.”
ALSO at The Stand:
— On Jan. 1, Washington state’s minimum wage will be $11 — If you believe your workplace rights have been denied by such things as not receiving at least the Washington state minimum wage or proper pay for hours worked, being denied rest or meal breaks, or not being allowed to use paid sick leave to care for a family member, you can file a complaint online. The state Department of Labor and Industries investigates all wage-payment complaints. You can also look into forming a union so you’ll have a contract that guarantees and protects your wages and working conditions.
— Raising wages is how to truly ‘make America great again’ (by John Burbank)
► From KUOW — Washington’s minimum wage to break national record on Jan. 1 — Millions of U.S. workers will get a raise on New Year’s Day, as more than a dozen states increase their minimum wage. That will include thousands of people across Washington.
► In the Spokesman-Review — Community colleges still wrestling with ‘troubled’ software system — Now an estimated $10 million over budget and several years behind schedule, the system known as ctcLink still isn’t working properly at the two institutions that volunteered to be guinea pigs – the two-school system in Spokane and Tacoma Community College.
► In the (Everett) Herald — McAuliffe steps down from state Senate, eyes council run
► In the Spokesman-Review — Shortage of legal aid tips the scales of justice against the poor (by Shawn Vestal) — On everything from employment discrimination to housing fairness to debt collections to bankruptcy to foreclosures, poor Washingtonians have little access to the system that is meant to protect their rights. There’s even a term for it, one that gets used in annual reports emerging from Olympia, year after year: the “Justice Gap.”
► From The Hill — GOP Congress storms into Trump era — GOP lawmakers are signaling they will use reconciliation, a procedural shortcut allowing them to clear legislation with only 50 votes, to overhaul the tax code.
► In today’s NY Times — With no warning, House Republicans vote to gut independent ethics office — House Republicans, overriding their top leaders, voted on Monday to significantly curtail the power of an independent ethics office set up in 2008 in the aftermath of corruption scandals that sent three members of Congress to jail… The full House is scheduled to vote on Tuesday on the rules, which would last for two years, until the next congressional elections.
► In the Seattle Times — State’s GOP members of Congress mostly quiet on Russian hacking — Washington’s Republican members of Congress have remained mostly silent on reports of Russian interference in the presidential election. Only Rep. Dave Reichert has expressed concerns.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Congress shouldn’t dump the Affordable Care Act (editorial) — In addition to signing up for insurance in record numbers, people should be letting Congress know in other ways, including letters and phone calls, that the Affordable Care Act should be improved, not abandoned. If you have health insurance through work or Medicare, please recognize that every American should have access to medical care. The Affordable Care Act has made that happen for millions of Americans.
► In today’s Washington Post — Obamacare unlikely to die a swift death, despite GOP rhetoric — While Republicans are determined to rapidly repeal as much of the Affordable Care Act as they can, they have not settled on a replacement plan or on when that plan should take effect.
► In today’s NY Times — Donald Trump, bureaucracy apprentice (editorial) — Donald Trump has no governing experience. This naïveté, combined with his advisers’ and his party’s ideological hostility to government, has led to bizarre moves that have unnerved the federal work force.
► In today’s NY Times — Why corporations are helping Trump lie about jobs (editorial) — President-elect Donald Trump would like everybody to believe that his election is energizing the economy by forcing businesses to create thousands of jobs in the United States. And companies like Sprint seem perfectly happy to go along with this fiction because they know they can profit handsomely by cozying up to Trump.
► Today from The Hill — Trump taps Lighthizer for trade representative — “I am fully committed to President-elect Trump’s mission to level the playing field for American workers and forge better trade policies which will benefit all Americans,” said Robert Lighthizer, who served as deputy U.S. Trade Representative in the Reagan administration.
► From Huffington Post — We’ll soon see Trump’s true trade agenda (by Dean Baker) — Trump is correct in identifying trade as a force that has caused enormous economic damage to millions of people in these states, but he is wrong that the problem was stupid negotiators. We run large trade deficits because securing manufacturing jobs in the United States has not been a priority for our negotiators.
► From CBS News — Report: SEIU plans massive budget cuts in wake of Trump victory — According to an internal memo, SEIU president Mary Kay Henry said the union must “plan for a 30% reduction” in its budget by the start of 2018. That number includes a 10 percent budget cut by the start of 2017.
► From KUOW — Child care scarcity has very real consequences for working families — When NPR, along with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, surveyed more than 1,000 parents nationwide about their child care experiences, a third reported difficulty finding care.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.