Friday, February 17, 2017
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington’s GOP members of Congress under pressure to stop ducking town halls — Despite a campaign by some constituents, U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert is refusing to attend any in-person town halls. It’s part of a trend of some Republican members of Congress shying away from the events in light of anti-Trump protests.
ALSO at The Stand — Stand up, be heard at actions next week — Next week, there will be rallies outside congressional Republican offices during the recess week to demand they protect all Washington families from attacks on health care and immigrants.
► In today’s Columbian — State’s wage gap wider than U.S. average — The wage gap between men and women in Washington appears to be wider than the national average. A new report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics says the state’s full-time workers who are women earn, on average, 77.8 percent of the earnings of men. The gap in Washington is the 36th-largest among the United States.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — State Supreme Court rules Richland flower shop discriminated against gay couple by refusing wedding service — The Richland floral shop owner sued over her refusal to make arrangements for a longtime customer’s same-sex wedding had an offer to settle the litigation two years ago by paying a penalty and agreeing not to discriminate in the future. She refused.
► From KUOW — New 520 and hundreds of other bridges labeled deficient — Drive over the 520 or I-90 floating bridges often? Both have made a new list of bridges that are structurally deficient. It doesn’t necessarily mean the bridges are unsafe for travel, but that they need some attention.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Top Port of Seattle executives will return disputed bonuses — Twelve top executives will return the bonuses, the port announced days after the full list of executive payouts became public.
► From the Machinists Union — Boeing workers in South Carolina opt against union representation — “We’re disappointed the workers at Boeing South Carolina will not yet have the opportunity to see all the benefits that come with union representation” said IAM lead organizer Mike Evans. “But more than anything, we are disheartened they will have to continue to work under a system that suppresses wages, fosters inconsistency and awards only a chosen few.”
► From AP — Trump announces Alexander Acosta as his new Labor Secretary pick — Acosta served as assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division under President George W. Bush, selected by the president in August 2003. Acosta was a member of the National Labor Relations Board and also served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Rights Division. Most recently, he was the dean of Florida International University College of Law.
► From The Hill — AFL-CIO: Trump’s new Labor pick ‘deserves serious consideration’ — “Working people changed the game on this nomination. Unlike Andy Puzder, Alexander Acosta’s nomination deserves serious consideration. In one day, we’ve gone from a fast-food CEO who routinely violates labor law to a public servant with experience enforcing it,” AFL-CIO president Richard Trumka said.
► In today’s NY Times — Trump’s inroads in labor ranks have labor leaders scrambling — Some unions, even if traditionally Democratic, have aims that align with Trump’s stated priorities: building infrastructure, rewriting trade agreements, blocking an exodus of jobs. But union leaders are in many cases scrambling to get in step with members who responded to his pro-worker rhetoric — and to tap into that energy.
► In today’s NY Times — House GOP leaders outline plan to replace Obama health law — It leans heavily on tax credits to finance individual insurance purchases and sharply reducing federal payments to the 31 states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility. But the talking points they provided did not say how the legislation would be paid for, essentially laying out the benefits without the more controversial costs.
► In today’s NY Times — One-month report card (by Timothy Egan) — You slap yourself. You douse your head with water. The incompetence, the leaking, the daily indignities. What country is this? Is this behavior normalized?
► In today’s NY Times — Bring on the special prosecutor (editorial) — The Trump administration’s ties with Russia must be investigated immediately and fully. No one else can credibly do it.
► In today’s Concord Monitor — ‘Right-to-Work’ fails in New Hampshire House, 200-177 — The Republican-led House voted to kill the union-targeted legislation Thursday afternoon, ending weeks of high-charged debate. While many expected a close vote, the final tally was much wider, at 200-177. The body then voted to ban consideration of right-to-work for the rest of the session, effectively killing it for the next two years. The bill’s defeat deals a blow to Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who had labeled the policy a priority.
► In today’s NY Times — On a ‘Day Without Immigrants,’ workers show their presence by staying home — Restaurants, from San Francisco to Phoenix to Washington, D.C., were some of the most visible spots affected, with well-known chefs closing some of their eateries for the day in support.
► Happy 45th birthday to Billy Joe Armstrong, lead singer of Green Day. He wrote this song as a memorial to his father, a Safeway truck driver, who died when Billie Joe was just 10.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.