The Stand

I-1433 wins (again), must-see Kimmel, GOP vs. 40-hour workweek…

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Wednesday, May 3, 2017

 


THIS WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Two House bills link Boeing tax break with jobs in state — As its Washington workforce shrinks, the Boeing Co. is again fending off lawmakers seeking to take back the multibillion-dollar tax break they gave the aerospace giant in 2013. And now a handful of Republicans are engaged alongside liberal Democrats in this effort.

► From AP — Bills seek link of aerospace tax breaks, state workforce — Frustrated by the loss of thousands of Boeing jobs in recent years, lawmakers are weighing two measures that would tie Boeing’s eligibility for tax breaks to the amount of people they employ in Washington.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Amid Boeing job cuts, state eyes accountability

► In today’s Seattle Times — Judge rejects suit against I-1433’s statewide minimum wage and sick leave — Kittitas County Superior Court Judge Scott Sparks on Thursday denied a motion by the Washington Retail Federation, Washington Farm Bureau and other trade groups to void Initiative 1433, passed by Washington voters last November. The judge wrote, “plaintiffs have failed to establish that I-1433 has violated the Washington State constitution in any manner.” A NFIB spokesman says his organization is “discussing the next steps with the coalition.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — And here are some next steps being taken by a business coalition…

► From KUOW — Business groups target House Majority Leader over support of tax plan in Olympia — It’s a bold move by Washington Realtors, homebuilders (BIAW), the oil and gas lobby, and other business groups. They’re taking on the number two Democrat in the Washington House, Rep. Pat Sullivan (D-Covington), with a TV ad that accuses him of “squeezing” taxpayers.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Community colleges key to Washington’s economic future (editorial) — It is disappointing that the Legislature, under court pressure to fully fund K-12 schools, seems to be eyeing higher education and early learning for cuts. The state Senate used cuts to community and technical colleges to help balance its proposed biennial budget. The Legislature should be looking for ways to enhance colleges and help more students get a degree or certificate after high school, not using Washington’s higher education system as a rainy-day fund.

► In today’s News Tribune — So goes the special session in Olympia: Lawmakers are redoing work they’ve already done — The Legislature’s extended game of chicken entered a new phase Tuesday, with each chamber re-approving several bills it already passed. The likely next step: Lawmakers across the Capitol rotunda will keep ignoring those measures for the next several weeks.

► In the Columbian — Inslee urges SW Washington to agree on an I-5 Bridge effort — Despite a lukewarm response from across the river after Washington lawmakers approved a measure to address the chronically congested crossing over the Columbia River, Gov. Jay Inslee is hopeful Oregon will eventually get behind a replacement I-5 Bridge project.

► In the Peninsula Daily News — Labor & Industries office moving from Port Angeles to Sequim

 


TRUMPCARE

 

► In today’s Seattle Times — Trump, Pence lobby Reichert in all-out effort to pass GOP health-care plan — Personal lobbying by President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence have not swayed U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert to commit to voting for the beleaguered Republican health-care overhaul legislation. “I told the president I’d like to help, but I am not there yet,” Reichert said, citing worries about the legislation’s protections for people with pre-existing medical conditions, cuts to Medicaid and costs for middle-age Americans.

ALSO at The Stand — Call Congress! Urge them to vote ‘NO’ on new Trumpcare bill — Please call your U.S. Representative TODAY toll-free at 866-829-3298 and leave a message for him or her to vote “NO” on the new AHCA.

► In today’s News Tribune — Will Western Washington’s congressional Republicans vote to repeal Obamacare? — President Donald Trump’s latest effort in the U.S. House to repeal the Affordable Care Act has yet to land the support of two Republicans from Western Washington.

► In today’s Washington Post — GOP health-care push faces new obstacles as concerns about pre-existing conditions grow — Republican efforts to overhaul the nation’s health-care system collided Tuesday with fierce resistance about how it would affect people with preexisting medical conditions, casting the proposal’s future into deeper uncertainty as GOP leaders scrambled to try to salvage it.

► In today’s Washington Post — The simple reason Republicans are stuck with Obamacare (by Matt O’Brien) — It’s no surprise that moderate Republicans who didn’t like this bill when it “only” took health insurance away from the old and poor don’t like it any more now that it would take health insurance away from the sick as well… It’s only a matter of time until Republicans settle on an even bolder and newer strategy for not replacing Obamacare: admitting that, for many of them, the only real problem with the law was its name.

► From Politico — Poll: Voters resist pre-existing condition opt-out

► From TPM — House GOPer: Move to another state if you have a pre-existing condition

► From HuffPost — Jimmy Kimmel’s humanity underscores heartlessness of GOP’s approach to the poor (by Maxwell Strachan) — On Monday, Jimmy Kimmel delivered a stirring monologue to open his show. With tears in his eyes, he revealed that his wife had recently given birth to a beautiful baby boy, but the child was suffering heart disease and would require immediate open-heart surgery.

EDITOR’S NOTE — This is must-see TV, including Kimmel thanking the nurses, doctors and health-care professionals who saved his son’s life.

 

Said Kimmel:

“Before 2014, if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition. And if your parents didn’t have medical insurance, you might not even live long [enough] to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition.” Choking back tears, he continued, “If your baby is going to die, and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make. I think that’s something that, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or something else, we all agree on that, right?”

Also on Monday, a GOP congressman said only people who live “good lives” deserve good health insurance. Then on Tuesday, a former Republican representative mocked Kimmel’s son’s surgery. Classy!

 


THAT WASHINGTON

 

► In today’s Washington Post — House Republicans just voted to change overtime rules for workers — On Tuesday afternoon, the House voted to pass a bill that Republicans have promoted since the Newt Gingrich era, one that would allow private-sector employees to exchange overtime pay for “compensatory time” off, electing to accrue extra hours off rather than extra pay in their wallets. The bill passed 229 to 197, largely along party lines.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington Republican Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Dan Newhouse and Dave Reichert all voted to end the 40-hour workweek, while every Democratic member from the state voted “no.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Pros, cons in Trump’s plan to privatize air traffic control — The Trump administration has proposed turning over management of the nation’s air traffic control system to an independent nongovernment group funded by airport user fees. The experience of other countries shows the benefits and pitfalls of such a plan.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump’s very good idea: Raise the gas tax (editorial) — The revenue would help pay for the president’s infrastructure plan, bolster economic growth and reduce motorists’ costs.

► In today’s NY Times — Trump gets a win he wasn’t counting on: He saved the filibuster — By demanding in two Twitter posts that the Senate change one of its signature legislative rules, Trump created an uncharacteristic cause for bipartisan unity. Senators in both parties rushed to embrace the filibuster and profess that it would remain untouched.

 


LOCAL

 

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Initial thoughts (editorial) — After five years and $15 million, the final state EIS issued last Friday is disappointing because it appears the state has strayed from its mission. It’s not the state’s job to pick a side during the permitting process of any business, but it certainly looks like it did on the Millennium project. From the start of the permitting process, the state Department of Ecology was against the Millennium project. Anytime it takes five years to get a final environmental impact statement completed it’s pretty clear the state dragged its feet at every turn.

ALSO at The Stand — Arbitrary regulatory process can cost jobs (by Larry Brown and Lee Newgent)

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Benton County considers opening up union negotiations — Benton County has joined the Kennewick in considering if contract negotiations with employee union should be open to the public. County commissioners made no decision but all three commissioners indicated they’re interested in studying the idea.

► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Workers prepare to tackle Hanford’s potentially deadliest spill — The initial work has begun to clean up a spill of Hanford waste so radioactive that it would be lethal within two minutes of contact. Workers have entered the airlock of the nuclear reservation’s 324 Building for the first time in 15 years.

► From KUOW — Kent Valley: The boom nobody’s heard of — When you think about the Puget Sound region’s economic boom, where do you think it’s coming from? Many people would answer Amazon, in South Lake Union. Or the Eastside, with its band of glittering tech companies.  Few people would think of the Kent Valley, but there too a boom is underway.

 


NATIONAL

 

► From Inside Higher Ed — Brandeis grad students vote to unionize — Graduate students at Brandeis University voted to form a union affiliated with SEIU, 88 to 34. Graduate students at Tufts University also are expected to hold a union vote this month, following a decision last year by the NLRB saying that graduate teaching and research assistants on private campuses have the right to form unions.

EDITOR’S NOTE — What are you waiting for? Get a union!

► In today’s NY Times — Hollywood writers kept the heat on studios to win their contract — The Writers Guild said that the near-unanimous backing of its members allowed for “unprecedented gains,” including $130 million more for its members.

► In today’s NY Times — Coal jobs prove lucrative, but not for those in the mines — The wage gap between the coal industry’s top executives and average coal workers has expanded, while low-end pay has stagnated.

► In today’s Washington Post — Heritage Foundation board ousts president Jim DeMint — The firebrand former senator from South Carolina was blamed him for management and communication problems that have roiled the venerable conservative think tank.

EDITOR’S NOTE — As a senator, Tea Party godfather Jim DeMint championed national “right-to-work” legislation and the privatization of Social Security, while opposing the Export-Import Bank that he derided as the Bank of Boeing. Ultimately, “the DeMint-era emphasis on political activism overshadowed the institution’s role in the intellectual development of the conservative movement,” according to this article. Somehow, we think he’ll land on his feet… in the Trump administration.

 


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

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