Wednesday, August 2, 2017
► In today’s Seattle Times — In high-profile state Senate race, Democrat Manka Dhingra leads — Democrat Manka Dhingra took a comfortable lead Tuesday evening over Republican Jinyoung Lee Englund in a key special Washington Senate election that will determine the balance of power in Olympia. In the initial returns, Dhingra led with 50.5 percent of the vote in the 45th District race to fill a vacancy created last year by the death of Sen. Andy Hill (R-Redmond). Englund got about 42.5 percent.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — How labor’s candidates fared on Tuesday
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle poised to elect first woman mayor since 1926; Durkan, Moon and Oliver lead the pack — Former U.S. Attorney Jenny Durkan held a commanding lead over the 21-candidate field with 31.6 percent, while urban planner Cary Moon and educator and attorney Nikkita Oliver were neck and neck with 15.6 percent and 13.9 percent.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Mosqueda and Grant appear headed toward November runoff for Seattle City Council — If Tuesday returns hold, the Position 8 race would pit labor-backed Teresa Mosqueda, 37, against socialist-supported Jon Grant, 35. Mosqueda had 31 percent of the vote, while Grant had 24 percent.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Judge dismisses lawsuit seeking to block Seattle law allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize — A federal judge dismissed one legal challenge to Seattle’s first-in-the-nation law allowing Uber and Lyft drivers to unionize, but another related challenge remains and the law will not begin to go into effect until that lawsuit is settled. In April, U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik temporarily blocked the law, passed in 2015, from going into effect, while he considered the legal challenges. On Tuesday, Lasnik rejected the first of those challenges, a lawsuit filed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on behalf of its members, including Uber and Lyft.
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — How berry pickers, construction workers can beat the heat this week — With construction and berry season in full swing, this week’s record-setting hot weather poses a risk to people who spend their days working outdoors – and employers are required to provide water and respond appropriately to workers with any symptoms of heat-related illness.
► From KNKX — Hanford managers unveil new plan for unstable tunnels at nuclear site — Washington state officials have been waiting to see how the U.S. Department of Energy plans to deal with an unstable tunnel filled with radioactive waste at the Hanford nuclear site.
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Capital budget delay costs money, opportunities (editorial) — While the House, with Democrats in the majority, passed the capital budget with a 92-1 vote that reflects the typical bipartisan attitude toward such spending, the Republican-controlled Senate put off adoption of the budget until it won passage of legislation to address the water rights issue… Schools, youth and community centers, parks and more are not being built because of the lack of a capital budget. In most cases, it represents a delay, but delays add to construction costs and can result in lost opportunities and needed services that these projects provide in our communities.
ALSO at The Stand — Senate GOP’s brinkmanship suspends construction, kills jobs (by Sen. Bob Hasegawa)
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Senate wrong to hold capital budget for water rights fix (letter) —
► In today’s Bellingham Herald — Ethics complaints against Ericksen for temporary EPA job dismissed — Legislative Ethics Board dismisses complaints filed against Sen. Doug Ericksen for working with President Donald Trump’s transition team while serving as a state legislator.
► In today’s Washington Post — Why generic drug prices may no longer be as affordable — A Government Accountability Office report last year found that more than 300 of 1,441 generic drugs had at least one “extraordinary price increase” over a five-year period.
PREVIOUSLY at The Stand — Bill seeks prescription drug price transparency to manage costs — The true costs of prescription drugs are largely hidden, hard to understand, and nearly impossible to predict. That’s why prescription drug pricing transparency legislation was proposed in Olympia this year: to help lawmakers understand what is driving drug prices and address the root causes of rising healthcare costs. It passed the Democratic-controlled House but never got a vote in the Republican-controlled Senate, which it was blocked in the Senate Health Care Committee. Reason #537 why the WSLC has endorsed Manka Dhingra.
► A related story from The Hill — Retailers, drug industry surge in lobbying’s top 50
► From The Hill — GOP chairman opens door to Democrats on ObamaCare — Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who helms the Senate Health Committee, announced he will hold bipartisan hearings during the first week of September on strengthening ObamaCare’s individual markets for 2018. The goal: to craft a bipartisan, short-term proposal by mid-September. The hearings will give Democrats — particularly Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), the committee’s ranking member — a seat at the negotiating table on healthcare for the first time, opening up a process that, to this point, has been tightly controlled by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.)
► In today’s Washington Post — Appeals court ruling could help preserve key subsidy in Affordable Care Act — The ruling could make it more difficult for the White House to carry out threats by President Trump to cut off payments that benefit health insurers and millions of people.
► In today’s Washington Post — Trump, GOP senators to introduce bill to slash legal immigration levels — The bill, which aims to cut immigration by half from the current level of more than 1 million green cards per year, is expected to face fierce resistance from congressional Democrats and immigrant rights groups.
► From HuffPost (not The Onion) — Trump reportedly calls White House ‘a real dump’ — The White House — the storied, 55,000-square-foot mansion that’s housed America’s first families for centuries — is apparently not up to snuff for President Donald Trump. “That White House is a real dump,” Trump reportedly told members of his Trump National Golf Course in Bedminster, New Jersey, before teeing off recently.
► Fake News update in today’s Washington Post — Lawsuit alleges White House link in discredited Seth Rich conspiracy theory — A private investigator and Fox News contributor claims the president was aware of and urged Fox to publish a bogus story about the Democratic National Committee staffer.
► From The Onion — ‘Leaking sure is cool, huh, guys?’ says disguised John Kelly to White House aides — “Anybody else just love leaking information to the press, or have any fun leaking stories they want to tell? It’s totally cool if you do; everybody’s doing it,” said Kelly.
► In the USA Today —NLRB lodges charge at Nissan ahead of union vote — With a union election scheduled this week, the National Labor Relations Board is charging that Nissan violated workers’ rights at its Mississippi plant by engaging in anti-union activity. The board alleges a supervisor acted illegally on March 30, well before workers filed for a vote asking that the United Auto Workers to represent them.
► From WBUR — $15 minimum wage and paid leave questions proposed for 2018 Mass. ballot — Proposed questions being offered for next year’s state ballot would gradually raise the minimum wage in Massachusetts to $15 an hour and require that workers have access to paid family and medical leave from their employers.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.