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Inslee implores, GOP killing coverage & unions, pay women more…

Thursday, January 12, 2017




► In today’s Seattle Times — Gov. Inslee implores lawmakers in inaugural speech to focus on education funding — Calling the need to fully fund Washington’s K-12 public schools a historic opportunity, Gov. Jay Inslee Wednesday used his inaugural address to motivate lawmakers to come together to complete the court-ordered task. The Democratic governor’s remarks appeared to offer Republicans an olive branch at a time when legislators remain divided over how to fund education — and how much it will cost.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — “The bugle of justice never sounds retreat” (by Jeff Johnson on Gov. Inslee’s inaugural address)

► In today’s News Tribune — Legislature finds common ground on proposal to reshape Western State Hospital — Key lawmakers from both parties are even endorsing a central concept of Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s plan to upgrade mental health infrastructure: shifting nearly all patients committed to the state’s two psychiatric hospitals in their civil — or noncriminal — wards to other treatment centers around the state.

► From — WFSE 304 member urges end to postage ‘poll tax’ that hinders voting — Local 304 member Brooks Salazar testified in support of SB 5019, which calls on counties to include prepaid postage on return envelopes for primary and general elections. The current voter-paid postage requirement “essentially is a poll tax,” agreed Sen. Kirk Pearson (R-Monroe) who sits on the committee.

► In today’s Yakima H-R — Fair funding? State to trial pay-by-mile tax to combat falling gas tax revenue — As more drivers opt for hybrids, electric or just plain highly fuel-efficient cars, the more concerned state officials become.




► In today’s NY Times — Senate takes major step toward repealing health care law — Senate Republicans approved a budget blueprint Thursday that would allow them to gut the health care law without the threat of a Democratic filibuster. The vote was 51 to 48. During the roll call, Democrats staged a highly unusual protest on the Senate floor to express their dismay and anger at the prospect that millions of Americans could lose health insurance coverage. One by one, Democrats rose to voice their objections and were gaveled down by Republicans. Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) said that Republicans were “stealing health care from Americans.”

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Repealing Obamacare will kill coverage, jobs for thousands here (by John Burbank)

EDITOR’S NOTE — And, oh yeah, as a direct result of repealing Obamacare, thousands of Americans will die who otherwise would have lived.

► From Huffington Post — Obamacare repeal would give 400 super-rich U.S. households a giant tax cut — Repealing Obamacare would give 400 of the richest families in America a tax cut worth an average of $7 million each, even as it yanks health insurance away from low- and middle-income Americans.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Dismantling of state’s health reforms in 1993 may offer lessons for Obamacare repeal — As Republicans in Congress move to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Washington state’s experience in 1990s with health-care reform may offer a lesson. Repealing unpopular parts of the state’s health-care law led to the collapse of the insurance market.




► From AFL-CIO Now — Puzder’s employees explain why he’s the #AntiLaborSecretary

EDITOR’S NOTE — The forum, hosted by Sen. Patty Murray and other Senate Democrats, begins at about 45:00 on this video.


► From Huffington Post — These Hardee’s workers wound up with less than minimum wage under Trump’s labor pick — Puzder’s company violated minimum wage law by paying Hardee’s workers with pre-paid Visa debit cards, according to a 2014 investigation by the Labor Department. Workers incurred fees on those cards whenever they used ATMs outside of the designated network to redeem their pay. The workers’ pay rates were so low that the fees pushed their overall pay below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour, investigators found.

► From AFGE — VA employee union: Dr. Shulkin ‘strong choice’ to lead the VA — AFGE President J. David Cox: “(Shulkin) has extensive knowledge of the VA and is committed to continuing its reputation as a world-class health care system. Dr. Shulkin recognizes that the VA must continue to improve, and that the answers to its most pressing issues can only be solved with the help of dedicated frontline VA workers.”

► In the Washington Post — Democrats still grappling with how to navigate the new normal of a Trump news cycle -(by Paul Kane) — Fanning the flames of Trump controversies didn’t help Hillary Clinton. But Democrats can’t seem to resist — and they don’t know how to change the subject.

► In the Seattle Times — Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz reportedly was Hillary Clinton’s pick for Labor secretary — Schultz, who had endorsed Hillary Clinton, had also reportedly been considered for the vice presidency, along with Bill and Melinda Gates, according to a list included in a hacked email released earlier by WikiLeaks.

RELATED STORY in The Stand — The Democratic Party is losing the working class




► In the St. Louis Post-Dispatch — Missouri right-to-work measures advance, unlikely to appear before voters — After hours of debate this week, a House panel on Wednesday approved controversial right-to-work legislation, bundling five similar bills into one package that will soon head to the House floor for consideration.

► From AP — Hot debate on NH bill targeting labor unions — Hundreds of people flocked to Concord to testify, cheer and boo as they debated the merits of right-to-work legislation during the session’s first public hearing on the topic.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Amazon plans to hire 100,000 full-time workers over the next 18 months — said it plans to add 100,000 full-time U.S. staffers over the next 18 months, a move that comes amid pressure on the private sector by the incoming Trump administration to create new jobs.

► From Think Progress — Thousands of women will go on strike to protest Trump’s inauguration — On Jan. 20 and 21, inauguration weekend, Ann will not just be joining a March in Seattle that’s affiliated with the Women’s March on Washington. She is also one of more than 3,300 committed to going on strike from paid and unpaid work.




► From Time — Pay women more if you want a stronger economy (by Rep. Carolyn Maloney and Heidi Hartmann) — During the presidential campaign, Donald Trump and his daughter Ivanka promised to improve the lives of working women. The campaign vowed to align federal policies with the needs of women and families — from pledging to fight for equal pay for equal work, to guaranteeing six weeks of paid maternity leave and tax credits for child care expenses. President-elect Donald Trump would be smart to take action on these and other issues — they are not only for the good of women and their families, but for our economy.


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

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