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WSUnion Yes, losing ACA protections, Private Skies™, Dems’ agenda

Monday, June 5, 2017




► From WFSE — WSU-Puyallup group files to go 100% union — A group of trades workers at the Washington State University Puyallup Research Extension Center on June 1 took action to become 100% Federation to gain a greater voice at work. The workers in the Farm and Maintenance Operations unit filed the necessary paperwork with the Public Employment Relations Commission to become part of the Washington Federation of State Employees and gain the rights and power under the union’s negotiated WSU collective bargaining agreement.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Would you like to gain the rights and power of a collective bargaining agreement? Form a union!

► In today’s Columbian — Inslee takes bold position (editorial) — Gov. Jay Inslee’s immediate response to President Donald Trump’s stance on the Paris climate accord was bold and forceful. Most important, it was necessary… For naysayers who do not believe that climate change is a threat, we ask a simple question: If the economy will not collapse under the weight of carbon reduction, as has been demonstrated, what is the downside to reducing emissions and making a cleaner planet? Inslee knows the answer, and he is wise to team with like-minded leaders to guide the country into the future.

ALSO at The Stand — ‘A stunning display of ignorance and hubris’ — WSLC President Jeff Johnson decries Trump’s withdrawal from Paris Climate Accord.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Legislators look at compromise ideas to raise more revenue — As Washington state lawmakers grapple with K-12 school funding, the big tax proposals are likely out of the picture. With capital gains, carbon pricing and a large shift in property taxes out, lawmakers may wind up with a series of smaller ideas to raise money.

► In the Seattle Times — Could single-payer health care come to Washington state? One lawmaker wants to find out — As California considers a universal health-care system, Washington state Sen. Maralyn Chase (D-Shoreline) says it’s time to have that discussion here, too.

► In the NY Times — Single-payer party? Democrats shift left on health care — Liberal Democrats have pressed lawmakers to support a single-payer health care system, and supporters say the party has moved further left on the issue.

► In today’s Olympian — ‘New external threat information’ closes Evergreen on Monday




► In Sunday’s Spokesman-Review — Bus drivers union sues Spokane Transit Authority over refusal of pro-union bus ad — The proposed bus advertisement is simple enough. ATU Local 1015 asks, “Do you drive for Uber, Lyft, charter bus, school bus? You have a right to organize.” The ad includes the local union’s phone number. ATU wants to plaster the ad across Spokane Transit Authority buses. STA, the drivers’ employer, has rejected the request. The result: a federal civil rights lawsuit brought by the union against STA. A bench trial is set for June 27.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane Transit bus drivers seek protection after recent assaults — Assaults and threats against Spokane Transit Authority drivers appear to be on the rise, and that has drivers concerned, according to the leader of the union that represents many of the drivers. “Just since December there’s been seven incidents,” said Thomas Leighty, president of Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1015. “Our town is growing.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle Partners withdraws proposal to renovate KeyArena — Leaders of the Seattle Partners group said in a statement that the city’s process has “eroded our confidence in the ultimate execution of this project, no matter which group is selected.”

► In the Seattle Times — In Seattle, is it now taboo to be friends with a Republican? (by Danny Westneat) — In some quarters — like with some down at Seattle City Hall — our extreme political polarization is a badge of honor, not something to worry about or fix.




► In today’s (Everett) Herald — What losing the ACA could mean for two families (editorial) — To better tell the story, let’s put names to a couple of those millions (who could lose ACA protections). Consider Sammy and Colton: Two-year-old Sammy was diagnosed shortly after birth with severe hemophilia A… At 2, Sammy already has received more than a half-million dollars in medical treatment. Colton Matter, 16, plays varsity golf for Jackson High School in Mill Creek and will be a senior next fall. Since the age of 9, Colton has had to fight off acute lymphoblastic leukemia, beating it into remission five times with bone-marrow transplants and trial medications, only to see it return four times. Both of their mothers now are concerned about the loss of the Affordable Care Act and what might replace it, especially if protections for patients with pre-existing conditions are removed or weakened or if insurance companies again are allowed to put lifetime limits on coverage.

ALSO in The Stand — Rep. Larsen: Trumpcare lacks common sense

► From The Hill — Senate returns more pessimistic than ever on healthcare — Senators went into a recess skeptical over whether they could agree to legislation repealing and replacing ObamaCare. They will return on Monday more doubtful than ever.

► From Politico — The GOP’s risky premium pledge — Senate Republicans may be all over the map on an Obamacare repeal plan, but on one fundamental point — reducing insurance premiums — they are in danger of overpromising and underdelivering. The reality is they have only a few ways to reduce Americans’ premiums: Offer consumers bigger subsidies. Allow insurers to offer skimpier coverage. Or permit insurers to charge more — usually much more — to those with pre-existing illnesses and who are older and tend to rack up the biggest bills.

► In the NY Times — Obama unwittingly handed Trump a weapon to cripple the health care law — Obama administration officials knew they were on shaky ground in spending billions of dollars on health insurance subsidies without clear authority. But they did not think a long-shot court challenge by House Republicans was cause for deep concern.




► In today’s Washington Post — White House formally backs plan to send 30,000 federal workers to private corporation — The White House on Monday will formally endorse a plan to spin off more than 30,000 federal workers into a private nonprofit corporation, separating the nation’s air traffic controllers and those who work on a $36 billion modernization program from the FAA. The Trump administration proposal essentially is an endorsement of a plan that failed to gain sufficient traction in Congress last year.

► In The Hill — The case against privatizing the nation’s air traffic control system (by Reps. Peter DeFazio and Rick Larsen) — Opponents have raised serious concerns about whether privatization would guarantee safety, protect national security, expedite new technology and keep our aviation system solvent… The U.S. aviation system is the busiest and most complex in the world. It is also the safest. Privatizing our air traffic control system would present myriad risks. Targeted air traffic control reforms can achieve our common objectives and maintain our nation’s unparalleled aviation safety record.

► In the NY Times — Trump plans to shift infrastructure funding to cities, states and business — President Trump will lay out a vision this coming week for sharply curtailing the federal government’s funding of the nation’s infrastructure and calling upon states, cities and corporations to shoulder most of the cost of rebuilding roads, bridges, railways and waterways.

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

AND then, there’s this…


► From Reuters — Big U.S. companies stay on White House panel despite climate joltSeveral major U.S. companies on Friday said their CEOs will remain in an influential presidential advisory group despite objecting to President Donald Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate accord… AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, who is also on Trump’s manufacturing council, called the withdrawal “a failure of American leadership.” A union spokesman said on Friday that Trumka intends to remain on the council to serve “as a voice for working people.” Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg also will remain on the manufacturing council, the company said.

► In today’s NY Times – Trump doubles down on original ‘travel ban’ — President Trump rebelled on Monday against his own advisers who “watered down” his original executive order barring visitors from select Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States and who insisted on calling it something other than a travel ban.

► In today’s Washington Post — It’s time to bust the myth: Most Trump voters were not working class. (by ) — During the primaries, Trump supporters were mostly affluent people. Trump voters weren’t majority working class in the general election, either. In short, the narrative that attributes Trump’s victory to a “coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters” just doesn’t square with the 2016 election data.




► In the NY Times — To truly resist Trumpism, cities must look within (by Tracey Ross and Sarah Treuhaft) — Even the most politically progressive cities are plagued by deep-rooted, institutionalized racism… In 2005, Seattle became the first city in the United States to start a citywide initiative to eliminate racial inequities and structural racism… City governments that have not done so should emulate this approach.




► In today’s NY Times — Is there an emerging Democratic agenda? (by Jared Bernstein) — under the surface tension, a robust, highly progressive agenda has been coming together in recent months, one with the potential to unite both the Hillary and Bernie wings of the party, to go beyond both Clintonomics and Obamanomics. One of the boldest ideas coming down the pike is a universal child allowance: a monthly stipend for all families with children… Next, even as we close in on full employment, there are parts of America where job growth and labor force participation are well below the national average. Infrastructure build-outs can help, but what’s really needed is a permanent, scaled-up version of a subsidized jobs program that worked well in the last recession… While direct job creation will help achieve the necessary job quantity, we also must boost job quality. A strong idea in that regard is an expansion of the earned-income tax credit into the working class… A higher minimum wage is yet another idea drawing broad liberal support.


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