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Familias wages, miles and miles to go, choosing voters

Monday, June 19, 2017




► In the Spokesman-Review — Farmworker union approves contract with Sakuma Bros. — Familias Unidas por la Justicia, Skagit County’s first and only farmworker union, approved its union contract Thursday night with Sakuma Bros. Farms berry pickers. “From today on, we have a contract,” Familias President Ramon Torres said through an interpreter. “We have a clear path forward … to just wages.”

ALSO at The Stand — Familias Unidas berry pickers ratify historic Sakuma contract

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Washington to extol aerospace industry at Paris Air Show — Washington is sending its largest-ever delegation to the Paris Air Show, the aerospace industry’s marquee trade show. The goal of the 63 delegates is to drum up more business for the state’s aerospace industry, one of Washington’s economic engines.




► From KNKX — Inslee on budget talks: ‘They still have miles and miles and miles to go’ — It looks like Washington Gov. Jay Inslee will have to call a third special session of the state legislature. The current overtime session ends Wednesday — and there’s still no budget deal. Inslee said there’s been some movement between House Democrats and Senate Republicans. He calls it “a little improvement… But they still have miles and miles and miles to go.”

ALSO at The Stand — Day of Action on June 22 against looming state shutdown

► In today’s Olympian — Shutting down state government is a really dumb idea (editorial) — Whether it’s a carbon tax or others, Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) must signal which revenue alternatives he’ll allow to be voted on by the full Senate. That assurance would free moderates in his GOP caucus as well as Democrats to do the necessary but politically unpleasant work of raising revenues. Someone needs to do it, and our state needs a budget agreement. Support from a simple majority is enough.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Legislators heading for inexcusable cram session (editorial) — It’s not unusual for legislators to go into budget showdown mode, often pulling all-nighters at the finish. We haven’t liked it, because the public doesn’t know what occurred until legislative leaders come out and deliver post-mortems. But to pull a cram session on something as momentous and far-reaching as education funding is a dereliction of their duty.

► In today’s Peninsula Daily News — Lawmakers swamped with anti-tax emails, form letters — Sen. Kevin Van de Wege (D-Sequim) has received more than 600 identical emails — generated by eBay — urging opposition to HB 2186 that would require out-of- state sellers and online marketplaces to collect the same sales taxes that all other out-of-state and online sellers collect.

► In the Seattle Times — Don’t roll back transgender protections (editorial) — A proposed initiative on the transgender-bathroom debate would be bad for schools, terrible for business and would put Washington in the vanguard of discrimination.




► In the People’s World — AFL-CIO launches big phone campaign vs. Senate GOP’s stealth health bill — The AFL-CIO is launching a massive telephone campaign, urging unionists and their allies to call their senators and demand they oppose the stealth health care bill the lawmakers are working on.


► From The Hill — Senate Dems to hold late-night protest over Trumpcare — Senate Democrats are planning to hold a late-night talkathon Monday to protest the GOP’s effort to repeal and replace ObamaCare. Democrats are expected to speak from the Senate floor until at least midnight protesting the GOP plan — which is still being hashed out — amid Senate Republicans’ refusal to hold a public hearing, according to a Senate aide. The late-night speeches, which are being organized by Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), comes as Democrats are under growing pressure to grind the Senate to a halt as the fight over ObamaCare’s fate enters a key two-week stretch.

ALSO at The Stand — Senate Dems’ talkathon to decry GOP’s secret Trumpcare talks

► In the Columbian — Cantwell: GOP health bill hurts veterans — “We’re worried that the Trump administration and Congress may break their promise to make sure that veterans are protected and they get access to health care. We do not want to see cuts to Medicaid that would cut veterans off of health care access in Washington and in Oregon,” said Cantwell.

► In today’s NY Times — The Senate is close to a health care bill, but do Republicans have the votes? — The 52 Republican senators have been meeting several times a week behind closed doors to develop a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. At least 50 of them must be on board for the bill to pass.




► Today from the Washington Post — Supreme Court to hear potentially landmark case on partisan gerrymandering — The Supreme Court declared Monday that it will consider whether gerrymandered election maps favoring one political party over another violate the Constitution, a potentially fundamental change in the way American elections are conducted. The justices regularly are called to invalidate state electoral maps that have been illegally drawn to reduce the influence of racial minorities by depressing the impact of their votes.

EDITOR’S NOTE — The question: Should politicians be able to choose their voters instead of the other way around? Given America’s increasing racial polarization among voters (see chart), any district map that prefers one party over the other would necessarily reduce the influence of certain races.




► In the Washington Post — Scores of farm workers, activists march on Ben & Jerry’s — Scores of dairy farm workers and activists marched Saturday to a Ben & Jerry’s factory in Montpelier, Vt., to push for better pay and living conditions on farms that provide milk for the ice cream maker that takes pride in its social activism.


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