Connect with us


Capital politics, Trumpcare mystery vote, Dems vow not to flinch

Monday, July 24, 2017




► In the News Tribune — Legislature adjourns with no rural water fix or capital budget — After a record-long session, lawmakers couldn’t find an agreement on the last of their unfinished business. That means the Legislature adjourned Thursday with two major unresolved issues on the table: Rural water rights and the capital budget.

ALSO at The Stand — Senate GOP’s partisan brinkmanship suspends construction, kills jobs (by Sen. Bob Hasegawa)

► In today’s Columbian — 193 days, no capital budget (editorial) — Senate Republicans refused to consider the budget until lawmakers addressed a water-rights issue resulting from a state Supreme Court ruling known as the Hirst decision. The impasse reflects a lamentable breakdown. In tying the capital budget to the Hirst decision, Republicans played politics with unrelated funding that puts people to work and provides for important projects throughout the state.

► In the Seattle Times — Legislature needs to fix capital budget fiasco — soon (editorial) — The capital budgetmust be approved — and soon — even though that will require Gov. Jay Inslee to call a record fourth special overtime session. Leaders in the GOP-controlled Senate should have accepted an offer by leaders in the Democrat-led House to suspend the Hirst ruling for two years.

► From KNKX — Lack of capital budget leaves big wildfire risk for Wash. state forests — The state Department of Natural Resources asked for $15 million this year to thin out forests that have been neglected. But without a capital budget, the department can’t do the work. That means state firefighters can expect to see the same intense fires they’ve been facing over the past decade.

► In the Seattle Times — Passage of paid-family-leave act shows power of working together (by Melinda Gates) — Washington’s new paid family and medical leave policy makes me proud of my state. It’s not just the groundbreaking policy, which fills a need for every worker in Washington. It’s also the way our state government worked together to hammer out a paid-leave bill that people across the political spectrum wanted to support.

ALSO at The Stand — State (again) leads nation on family leave (by John Burbank)

► In the Seattle Times — Big money fuels Eastside race, with control of state Senate at stake — More than $2.2 million is sloshing around in the race for state Senate in Washington’s 45th Legislative District — and more is expected to pour in. The election will determine the balance of power in Olympia.

► In the Olympian — State representative resigns to lead small state agency — State Rep. John Koster (R-Arlington) is quitting the Legislature next month to head the County Roads Administration Board.




► In The Stranger — The UW study on $15 an hour does not reflect my life as a minimum wage worker (by Crystal Thompson) — The study says workers have fewer hours with the new minimum wage, but my hours at Domino’s Pizza have been steady. Nobody’s hours have been cut at my store. We’re actually having a hard time finding people to work here, we’re growing really fast and not enough people are applying. Business has gone way up since the wage was increased. … When I see how quickly we’re growing, I can’t really understand how someone could be saying things are worse for us. Apparently though, if we weren’t a chain and we opened up another store like we did, that would show up that we all lost our jobs in this study. But we aren’t even in there in the first place! How is someone studying the effect of the $15 minimum wage without actually looking at the people who needed it bad enough that they went on strike to win it?

► From KUOW — Seattle income tax could face uphill battle, says former justice — Former chief justice of the Washington state Supreme Court, Gerry Alexander, was against the legislation all along for legal reasons. He says the income tax violates two state statutes.




► From The Hill — Obamacare repeal vote looms over Senate — Senate Republicans are heading for a showdown on their years-long campaign pledge to repeal and replace ObamaCare without a clear path to passing the legislation. GOP senators are set to return to Washington on Monday evening still confused about whether the endgame is to repeal ObamaCare with a delayed replacement or try to move them together in one bill. Leadership is pressuring rank-and-file lawmakers to agree to take up the House-passed healthcare bill, which is being used as a vehicle for any action, without knowing what the final outcome will be.

► From Reuters — Republican strategy on health care bill in flux ahead of vote — Republican Senate leaders aim to hold a procedural vote as early as Tuesday to take up legislation to repeal or replace Obamacare, but it remained unclear which version of the bill senators would vote on.

► In today’s NY Times — Health care is still in danger (editorial) — We may see a repeat of what happened in the House in the spring: with the media spotlight shining elsewhere, the usual suspects may ram a horrible bill through. And the House would quickly pass whatever the Senate comes up with. So this is actually a moment of great risk.

► In the USA Today — Former GOP senator: Resist the bullying. Don’t vote for a mystery health care bill. (by David Durenberger) — There will be no do-overs on this. Take it from me: a “no” vote this week is the only one that will be defensible in the years to come… Senators, you are being asked to approve a Motion to Proceed to a vote:

  • Without knowing what will be in the bill you would vote on.
  • Without knowing what the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office will say about the impact of major amendments and the final bill on coverage and premiums.
  • With full knowledge that the Senate parliamentarian, who rules on what can and can’t be allowed in a budget bill, has said that the Senate must remove provisions intended to prevent an insurance market death spiral of sicker patients driving up costs.
  • Without knowing the details of the secret state Medicaid waivers the Trump administration insists will make the bill work.
  • Without knowing how your own state budget will be impacted.
  • Without knowing how you will defend the provisions you will only learn about later, including the payoffs and other things that will be sneaked into the bill at the last minute.
  • Without even knowing which bill you are being asked to vote on, what the defining amendments will be and how much time you will have when being pressed for a final vote you’ll be stuck with. Forever.





► In the Washington Post — Hits on federal retirement advance as bill is introduced to fire feds for ‘no cause at all’ — House Republicans greeted current and future federal employees with two controversial body blows in recent days — one amounts to a pay cut and the other would allow new feds to be fired for “no cause at all.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington Democratic Reps. Suzan DelBene and Pramila Jayapal, who serve on the Republican-controlled House Budget Committee, both opposed this federal pay cut and overall budget proposal but it advanced anyway.

► In the Washington Post — During ‘Made in America Week,’ President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club applies to hire 70 foreign workers — President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida has asked permission to hire 70 foreign workers this fall, attesting — in the middle of the White House’s “Made in America Week” — that it cannot find qualified Americans to serve as cooks, waiters and housekeepers.




► In today’s NY Times — California shows how states can lead on climate change (editorial) — California, which has long been a pioneer in fighting climate change, renewed its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions last week by extending, to 2030, its cap-and-trade program, which effectively puts a price on emissions. It’s a bold, bipartisan commitment that invites similarly ambitious policies from other states, and it sends a strong signal to the world that millions of Americans regard with utmost seriousness a threat the Trump administration refuses to acknowledge, let alone reckon with.

► In the Detroit Free Press — UAW president hopeful about campaign to unionize Nissan plant — The United Auto Workers union has a good chance of persuading Nissan employees in Canton, Miss. to form the only significant unionized workforce at a U.S. assembly plant owned by a foreign automaker, the labor group’s president said Thursday.




► In today’s NY Times — A better deal for American workers (by Sen. Chuck Schumer) — For far too long, government has gone along, tilting the economic playing field in favor of the wealthy and powerful while putting new burdens on the backs of hard-working Americans. Democrats have too often hesitated from taking on those misguided policies directly and unflinchingly — so much so that many Americans don’t know what we stand for. Not after today. Democrats will show the country that we’re the party on the side of working people — and that we stand for three simple things. First, we’re going to increase people’s pay. Second, we’re going to reduce their everyday expenses. And third, we’re going to provide workers with the tools they need for the 21st-century economy.


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

CHECK OUT THE UNION DIFFERENCE in Washington: higher wages, affordable health and dental care, job and retirement security.

FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN TOGETHER with your co-workers to negotiate for better wages, benefits, and a voice at work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!