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A win for women, Olympia realism, #MASA, Friedrichs 2

Monday, June 12, 2017




► In the Seattle Times — Seattle hotel-worker rights intact after judge tosses hotel-owners’ lawsuit — Initiative 124, approved by voters last year, gave certain Seattle hotel workers new rights related to assault and sexual harassment, injuries, workloads, medical care and changes in hotel ownership.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Union says it has reached first contract deal with Sakuma berry farms — Just in time for the strawberry harvest, leaders of a union representing hundreds of farmworkers say they have reached a tentative contract agreement with Sakuma Brothers Farms in Skagit County.

ALSO at The Stand —Familias Unidas announces tentative deal with Sakuma Bros.

► In today’s Olympian — What state has the best economy? 49 states must be evergreen with envy — The online credit score company WalletHub ranked the states based on economic activity and health and innovation potential. Washington ranked No. 1, the only state to rank in the top four in all three categories.

► From AP — Rallies against Islamic law draw counter-protests in Seattle, across U.S. — Demonstrators around the country rallied to protest Islamic law, saying it is incompatible with Western democracy. But many of the rallies drew even more raucous counter-protests by people who called such fears unfounded. Hundreds of counter-protesters marched through downtown Seattle behind a large sign saying “Seattle stands with our Muslim neighbors.”

► In today’s Seattle Times — The rise and dramatic fall of King County’s black homeowners — The Boeing Boom elevated the Seattle area’s black homeowners. The tech boom? Just the opposite, as the region’s rate of homeownership ranks among the lowest in the country.




► From KUOW — A budget deal by June 30? Key Washington lawmakers say it’s realistic — There are just 10 days left in Washington’s second legislative overtime session. And still there’s no sign of a budget deal. But Senate Republican budget chair John Braun said reaching a deal by June 30 — the end of the fiscal year — is realistic.

EDITOR’S NOTE — We’re relieved to hear that it’s “realistic” that legislators might do their jobs after two overtime sessions and avoid a government shutdown. But realistically, you should send them a message to urge them to make it happen.

► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Why a $67 million fine isn’t motivating the Legislature to act — “Why that isn’t motivating legislators is one, it is a relatively small number in the big budget,” said Tom Ahearne, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the McCleary case. “Two, legislators aren’t paying it themselves, so they don’t really care.” Now, the court is threatening more serious sanctions if lawmakers can’t agree on a McCleary solution by the time they adjourn this year.

► In the Seattle Times — Lawmakers should stop partisanship and solve McCleary (editorial) — Anything short of an announced plan by Friday should be considered a failure… For the future, the state needs a better, more transparent budget process that does not conclude on the brink of a government shutdown.

► In the News Tribune — These bills have no hope of passing, so why do politicians even bring them up? — Rep. Matt Manweller (R-Ellensburg), who introduced the bill to privatize Evergreen State College, called his legislation a “figurative shot across the bow” to school administration and protesters over recent debates about race at the college.




► From The Hill — Senate GOP sees path to ObamaCare repeal

► From Vox — Obamacare is in real danger — Senate Republicans began to coalesce around the framework of a plan to repeal and replace the law last week. Their plan would, like the bill the House passed in May, almost certainly cause millions of low-income Americans to lose coverage by ending the Medicaid expansion. It would help the young and healthy at the expense of the older and the sick. Meanwhile, across the nation, health insurance plans are beginning to flee the Obamacare marketplace. They’ve cited the uncertainty around the health care law’s future, sown by congressional Republicans and the Trump administration. The number of counties with zero health plans signed up to sell 2018 coverage keeps growing.

► In the Seattle Times — First to lose Obamacare? The sickest county in the state (by Danny Westneat) — Obamacare’s attempt to insure millions using subsidies for free-market insurance has been a mixed bag, and it is teetering now. Any healthy political system would respond by fixing it, but nobody in Washington, D.C., is apparently going to lift a regal finger to help Grays Harbor County, the sickest county in the state. The sickening truth is, the plan is to make it sicker.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Speaking of Making America Sick Again, here’s Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ tweet from yesterday. Read the story she linked to and you’ll learn that Anthem blamed its withdrawal on market uncertainty caused by Trump and Republican threats to withdraw federal subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. Nice work, Cathy! Step 1: Actively undermine the ACA and cause Americans to lose coverage. Step 2: Blame Obamacare! How many Americans will be bankrupted — or die — as collateral damage in this unholy partisan campaign? And speaking of Anthem…

► Previously in the NY Times — Trumpcare’s lonely, and seedy, supporter (by David Leonhardt) — The Republican health bill doesn’t have many outside supporters. Groups representing doctors, nurses, hospitals, retirees, patients of various diseases and even insurers have all criticized it. Some of the only outside praise has come from the chief executive of Anthem, the country’s second largest insurer. It turns out that one of the bill’s few high-profile fans may not even support it on the merits. Instead, Anthem appears to be providing political cover to the administration at the same time that company officials are lobbying the administration for a favorable decision on another matter. It’s pretty brazen.

► In today’s NY Times — Flexibility that ACA lent to work force is threatened by GOP plan — If the Republican replacement plan approved by the House becomes law, changing jobs or careers could become much more difficult.




► In today’s NY Times — Unions come into the justices’ cross hairs, again — Last year, the Supreme Court seemed poised to deal a sharp blow to public sector unions. Then Justice Antonin Scalia died and the court deadlocked, granting the unions a reprieve. It may not last long. Last week, a new case raising the same legal question arrived at the court, which is back at full strength with the appointment of Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. Unions again have reason to be nervous. Having already determined that the issue in the case warrants the court’s attention, the justices will probably agree to hear it.

► In today’s Washington Post — Wisconsin redistricting effort could reshape U.S. elections — The Supreme Court is weighing whether the state’s electoral maps are unconstitutional because areas were carved out using census data for partisan advantage.

► In today’s Washington Post —D.C., Maryland to sue Trump over foreign payments to his businesses — The lawsuit by the jurisdictions’ two Democratic attorneys general, the first of its kind brought by a government entity, alleges the president has breached his constitutional oath.

► In the NY Times — Democrats in split screen: The base wants it all. The party wants to win. — The growing tension between the party’s ascendant militant wing, and Democrats in conservative-leaning terrain, where the party must compete to win power in Congress, was on vivid, split-screen display over the weekend.




► From ABC News — San Rafael community rallies behind undocumented immigrant being detained — Undocumented immigrant Hugo Mejia, a husband and father of three is being detained after trying to show up to a construction job. A grassroots community movement is calling for his release. According to U.S. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.), Mejia’s only offense is showing up to work.

EDITOR’S NOTE — IUPAT has set up a Free Hugo website to tell his story and collect petition signatures for his release.

► In today’s NY Times — Finally, something isn’t the matter with Kansas (by Michael Tomaskey) –Last week, state Republicans voted to increase taxes. Will other conservatives finally do the same?

► In today’s NY Times — Uber Board discusses a leave for embattled CEO — The board was meeting to address Travis Kalanick’s future and the recommendations of Eric Holder Jr.’s investigation into the company’s culture.

► In the Washington Post — Solar’s rise lifted these blue-collar workers. Now they’re worried about Trump — Mike Catanzaro, a solar panel installer with a high school diploma, likes to work with his hands under the clear Carolina sky. That’s why he supported President Trump, a defender of blue-collar workers. But the 25-year-old sees Trump’s withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement as a threat to his job.


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

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