Travel ban’s back, 5 days to go, dueling wage studies

Monday, June 26, 2017




► BREAKING from AP — Supreme Court reinstates Trump travel ban, will hear arguments — The Supreme Court is letting the administration mostly enforce its 90-day ban on travelers from six mostly Muslim countries, overturning lower-court orders. The action Monday is a victory for President Donald Trump in the biggest legal controversy of his young presidency.





► From AP — How bad would it be? Partial state shutdown looms unless budget passed by Friday — State lawmakers have less than a week to avert a partial government shutdown that would close state parks and disrupt other services, affecting thousands. Notices went out last Thursday to about 32,000 state workers warning them they will be temporarily laid off if a budget is not in place by the deadline. Here’s a summary of the long list of impacts from a government shutdown…

TAKE A STAND! — Call 1-800-562-6000 and leave a message for your State Senator to STOP THE SHUTDOWN and pass a budget!

ALSO at The Stand — Rally Tuesday to tell Amazon: Pay fair share, stop shutdown

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — GOP refusal to work on capital budget threatens projects — With a critical deadline near, Senate Republicans’ refusal to negotiate a new capital budget could mean dozens of nonprofit groups and Edmonds Community College will not receive state funds they’ve sought to expand services and construct new buildings.

► In the (Everett) Herald — Lawmakers must come to terms on school funding (editorial) — Lawmakers know this, and don’t have to be reminded that a government shutdown would be a horrendous historical first for the state… Agreement on education funding and the larger operating budget will be the heaviest lift, and has to be done before Friday, but the impasse over those issues has left other important issues unresolved. Lawmakers can’t reach a budget deal, bang the gavel and get out of town. Still waiting for action are an expansion of mental health services, reforms to the state’s corrections system, creation of a new agency serving children and family needs, paid family leave funding, a water rights agreement for private development and education-related issues such as teachers union bargaining, a salary scheduled, how state education funding will be allocated and how tests are tied to graduation requirements.

► In the News Tribune — You’ve got more riding on Boeing’s next plane than you might think (by Bill Virgin) — Will the 797 be built at one of its assembly facilities in the Puget Sound region or in South Carolina? Maybe Boeing will try a new state like Texas. Or perhaps it will spread the work out to one of its biggest markets – China. That sets up this state for another round of a competition with which it has become familiar, if not exactly comfortable, and the ensuing debate over economic incentives (i.e. tax breaks) offered vs. economic returns received. It’s one thing to grumble and vow to impose much more stringent conditions next time, and the Legislature has been indulging in a bit of that in its last few sessions. It’s quite another to carry through when next time arrives and pressure mounts from the company, the electorate and competing regions, with the looming fear of not just losing out on the next project but possibly what the region currently has.




► In today’s Seattle Times — UW study finds Seattle’s minimum wage is costing jobs — Seattle’s minimum-wage law is boosting wages for a range of low-paid workers, but the law is causing those workers as a group to lose hours, and it’s also costing jobs, according to the latest study from a University of Washington team studying the law’s impacts for the city of Seattle.

► Last week from AP — Study: Seattle minimum wage hasn’t cut jobs — Seattle’s $15-an-hour minimum wage law has boosted pay for restaurant workers without costing jobs, according to a study from the University of California at Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment.

► In today’s NY Times — How a rising minimum wage affects jobs in Seattle — Over the past week, two studies have purported to demonstrate the effects of the first stages of that increase — but with starkly diverging results. (Neither study has been formally peer-reviewed.) Minimum wage experts questioned the methods of the UW researchers. Most seriously, skeptics argue that the researchers confused the effects of a minimum-wage increase with the effects of a hot labor market. During a boom, which Seattle has experienced in recent years, employers bid up wages, effectively replacing low-wage jobs with higher-paying ones. Under such a scenario, one would expect to see a decline in the overall number of hours worked in low-wage jobs. In their place would be a significant increase in hours worked at somewhat higher-paying jobs.

► In today’s Columbian — Wage a work in progress (editorial) — Assessing and applying the lessons from Seattle’s enterprise will require years of empirical evidence that goes beyond the rhetoric that typically surrounds debate over the minimum wage.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Everett mayor’s race brings up firefighters’ old labor disputes — Not counting the levy, spending on firefighters accounts for about one in six general fund dollars. Their union, IAFF Local 46, long has been a political force in Snohomish County. Its interest in the Everett mayor’s race isn’t a new development. There is history there, and it’s going to come up again.




► In today’s NY Times — Senate leaders try to appease members as support for Trumpcare slips — Senate Republican leaders scrambled Sunday to rally support for their health care bill as opposition continued to build inside and outside Congress, and as several Republican senators questioned whether it would be approved this week. President Trump expressed confidence that the bill to repeal the guts of the Affordable Care Act would pass.

► In today’s NY Times — Senate Trumpcare bill gets a wary reception, from coast to coast — Local news coverage across the nation shows that the reaction to the health care bill unveiled by Senate Republicans is almost uniformly negative.

► From Politico — CBO score sure to add to McConnell’s headaches — The CBO is poised to tell Senate Republicans this week that their health plan will leave millions more uninsured — with the losses estimated from 15 million to 22 million over a decade, according to a half dozen budget analysts.

► In the NY Times — If we lose our health care… (editorial) — Republicans have demonized the Affordable Care Act for so long that people may have forgotten that nearly one in five nonelderly Americans lacked health insurance before the law was passed. Many of them didn’t get the care they needed because they feared it would bankrupt their families. The A.C.A., or Obamacare, has not solved those problems completely, but it has extended health care coverage to 20 million people.

► From The Hill — Experts warn GOP bill could destabilize insurance markets — One of the primary arguments from Republicans for repealing ObamaCare is that the healthcare law is “collapsing.” But experts warn that the GOP’s legislation might destabilize insurance markets even more.

► In the NY Times — Medicaid cuts may force retirees out of nursing homes — Medicaid, targeted for deep cuts by the Republican health care bill, currently pays for most of the 1.4 million people in nursing homes.

► In the Seattle Times — No wonder Senate kept health bill under wraps (by Jon Talton) — Unless something drastic changes in the Senate, or the draconian changes are vetoed by President Donald Trump, plenty of people are going to suffer. So will the economy, with a million jobs lost in the health-care sector and fewer people willing to risk losing their employer-provided insurance by striking out on their own. Inequality will worsen.

► In the Seattle Times — Calling their bluff: A Seattle doctor pegs what the GOP health bill is really about (by Danny Westneat) — What’s definitely cruel is that by repealing the Medicaid expansion for the working poor, it goes hardest after the one part of Obamacare that worked the best. That’s where the money is — nearly a trillion dollars, much of which will be converted into tax cuts solely for the wealthy. “I have to start off by, I guess, congratulating all the millionaires on the incredible gift they are about to get,” said Dr. Ben Danielson, senior medical director at the Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic in Seattle. “I always wondered what you get for the person who has everything, and now I know; it’s cutting benefits to young children, poor families, the infirm, the elderly.”




► In today’s Oregonian — Oregon Senate passes bill to mandate work schedule predictability — Oregon could become the first state in the nation to mandate work schedule predictability for certain food service, retail and hospitality workers, if a bill advanced by the Senate Thursday also passes the House.

► Special report in Sunday’s NY Times — In towns already hit by factory closures, a new casualty: retail jobs — Thousands of workers face unemployment as retailers struggle to adapt to online shopping. But even as e-commerce grows, it isn’t absorbing these workers.


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

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