More special pay for them, more austerity for us, more scoring

Wednesday, May 24, 2017




► In today’s Seattle Times — No agreement yet: Washington Legislature goes into second special session — Gov. Jay Inslee has called lawmakers back for a second special session to continue work on court-mandated K-12 education funding and a new state budget. In his remarks, the governor effectively took a proposed tax on capital gains — favored by himself and House Democrats — off the table. He emphasized once again his opposition to the Republican education plan, which would raise property taxes in property-rich places like Seattle and Bellevue to help pay for education in property-poor districts elsewhere.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — No avoiding duty to restore salmon habitat (editorial) — With the state’s habitat restoration now ordered by the courts, it adds more weight to the realization that the Legislature cannot resolve the K-12 public school funding crisis, the demands of fixing its mental health system and meet its social service and other responsibilities without agreeing to new sources of revenue. Closing tax loopholes isn’t going to do the job.

► ICYMI, from the Olympian — If lawmaker pay is going up, why not workers’ too? (editorial) — Republican leaders in the Senate have taken an excessively tight approach to many pieces of writing the two-year state budget. This has led to a political stalemate with the Democrat-led House. Of particular concern is that the Republican-majority coalition controlling the Senate has spurned labor contracts negotiated between Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee’s labor team and more than two dozen employee unions… It seems that the Senate response (of refusing to fund the contracts) might be embarrassing to anyone except a legislator. Until now they are getting larger raises themselves… Our advice: Cut the hypocrisy. Accept the contracts.

► In the Seattle Times — Legislators, let’s teach our children the value of compromise (by Sen. Kevin Ranker) — How do both sides move forward from here? Through basic, old-school, increasingly out-of-fashion legislating. Senate Republicans have publicly stated they will not join us in negotiating a final budget, but a solution cannot be reached without them. If we are to meet our paramount duty and build a thriving educational system, we cannot remain in ideological corners, we must be willing to come to the table and work together to find a solution.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Attacking the First Amendment with mask bill is wrong and a waste of legislators’ time (editorial) — A proposal to prohibit protesters from wearing masks or hoods during demonstrations is so obviously unconstitutional, it’s a wonder state Sen. Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) thought it was a good idea.




► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Worker who lost arm in accident tells teens to know their rights, demand safety training — Matt Pomerinke of Longview tells his story to about 7,000 high school students each year, emphasizing how a lack of proper safety training led to a preventable accident. The state Department of Labor and Industries sponsors his talks, using them to get teens thinking about workplace safety.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Amazon CEO Bezos tells shareholders: ‘We can’t rest on our laurels’ — Protesters for various causes — from pilots working for the airfreight companies that fly Amazon’s planes to animal-rights advocates — swarmed outside the meeting venue, showing how the world’s largest online retailer has become a lightning rod for a wide array of economic and societal issues.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Eyman calls AG’s lawsuit over finances politically motivated — A lawsuit accusing initiative promoter Tim Eyman of concealing the source of donations and accepting kickbacks in the course of a 2012 initiative campaign is factually wrong and politically motivated, his lawyer asserts.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Issaquah Councilmember Tola Marts to challenge Dave Reichert in 8th District — Issaquah City Councilmember Tola Marts, 1 48-year-old Democrat who has built rockets and worked on public health in Africa, will challenge seven-term Republican U.S. Rep. Dave Reichert in next year’s midterm elections.




► In today’s NY Times — Republicans will reject Trump’s budget, but still try to impose austerity — Presidential budgets, especially in times of divided government, are traditionally labeled dead on arrival. This one, with its deep domestic spending reductions, never even drew a breath, despite unified Republican control of Washington. But it will influence the coming congressional spending deliberations, and its most consequential effect may be to push authors of House and Senate budget and spending bills to the right.

ALSO at The Stand — Trump budget ‘most significant betrayal yet of working people’

► From AP — Trump wants to cut $120 million for Hanford in budget proposal despite incidents — President Donald Trump’s proposed budget includes a cut of about $120 million for the Hanford nuclear reservation, despite two recent incidents that raised concern about worker safety at the former nuclear-weapons production site.

► In today’s NY Times — How Trump’s budget would affect every part of government

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — McMorris Rodgers: Trump budget ‘just a proposal’




► From The Hill — What to watch for in new healthcare score — The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday is slated to release its analysis of the GOP bill to repeal and replace ObamaCare — the very analysis that House Republicans declined to wait for when pushing the bill through their chamber in early May. The score from the nonpartisan scorekeeper could shake up the healthcare debate, particularly if the late changes made by House Republicans have significantly altered the projections. Depending on the outcome, the House may even have to revote on the narrowly approved measure.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump advisers call for privatizing some public assets to build new infrastructure — The Trump administration is drafting plans to privatize some public assets such as airports, bridges, highway rest stops and other facilities, according to top officials and advisers. In his proposed budget released Tuesday, President Trump called for spending $200 billion over 10 years to “incentivize” private, state and local spending on infrastructure.

ALSO at The Stand — America for sale—cheap! (Needs work.)

► From The Hill — Senate feels pressure for summer healthcare vote — Senate Republicans are under mounting pressure to pass an ObamaCare repeal-and-replace bill before the congressional recess in August.

► In today’s NY Times — Denver fights back against Trump’s deportation crackdown with surprisingly simple change in law — Denver just passed a law aimed at protecting legal immigrants from being deported for committing relatively petty crimes, those carrying maximum sentences of 365 days — the federal government’s tripwire for kicking people out. The city’s solution? Simply take a bunch of those relatively petty offenses and reduce the maximum penalty to less than 365 days.




► From CNN Money — Carrier plant that Trump helped save will cut 300 jobs right before Christmas — Donald Trump may have convinced Carrier not to move its Indianapolis furnace plant to Mexico. But the company is still shipping about 300 of its jobs to Mexico right before Christmas. In addition, Greg Hayes, CEO of Carrier’s corporate parent, United Technologies, says that automation will ultimately replace some of those 800 jobs that were saved last year.


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

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