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Defend the Dream | School funding | No longer a democracy

Wednesday, January 3, 2018




► In today’s NY Times — Ex-officials urge faster action to shield ‘dreamers’ — The window for legislative action to protect undocumented immigrants brought to the country as children will close by the middle of January, three former Homeland Security officials said in a letter.

ALSO at The Stand — WSLC: ‘We stand tall with the DREAMers’ (Sept. 6, 2017)

DREAM nurse speaks out to save DACA (Sept. 17, 2017)

► From The Hill — DACA tensions roil GOP — A recent CNN poll indicated 83 percent of adults want the program’s benefits to remain in place. So Democrats believe their party has significant leverage to tie DACA protections into a spending bill to avert a government shutdown. The deadline for such a deal is Jan. 19. That leaves Republicans having to decide if there is a way to extend the program’s protections while not incurring the wrath of their anti-immigrant base.

► From The Hill — Dem, Republican leaders meet in search of budget deal, DACA fix — House and Senate leaders from both parties are meeting with White House officials on Capitol Hill today, in search of an elusive budget deal before a Jan. 19 deadline.

► In today’s Washington Post — Trump takes hard line on ‘dreamers’ but remains willing to deal — Inside the White House and the Republican Party, President Trump is caught in a thicket of political pressures as he maps out possible requisites for a deal over the fate of young immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children.




► In today’s (Aberdeen) Daily World — Local businesses react to raised minimum wage, paid sick leave — Michelle Hutchinson, owner of the Organics 101 Market and Smoothie Bar in Montesano: “Everyone deserves to make enough for them to really live off of. I think research right now shows if you had a part-time job in Grays Harbor, you could barely afford to rent here.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — We look forward to some news reports that bother to ask minimum wage workers and those who’ve never before received paid sick leave what they think of these new standards.

ALSO at The Stand — Washington state gets raise, paid sick leave

► In today’s News Tribune — DuPont curve where Amtrak derailed long known as problem for high-speed train alignment — The curve where Amtrak Cascades 501 derailed Dec. 18, killing three people, was identified years ago as an obstacle to Washington state’s dream of creating high-speed rail.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle Police guild files 2nd unfair-labor complaint related to reforms — The latest complaint claims the city’s new “accountability legislation” can’t be implemented without collective bargaining.




► In today’s Yakima H-R — School funding still a top priority for new Legislature — School funding will be among the more contentious issues confronting lawmakers when they convene in Olympia on Monday for the start of the 2018 legislative session, but how they will solve the $1 billion question remains to be seen… Gov. Inslee announced he will propose a tax on carbon pollution to replenish the roughly $1 billion withdrawal from budget reserves he wants legislators to make to fund school spending. Rep. Gina McCabe (R-Goldendale) said it could see bipartisan support. “We all care about the climate, and I don’t think there would be hardcore opposition to a carbon tax as long as it struck a balance between the environment and the economy,” she said. “I’m not a fan of new taxes, but I’m also not a fan of not negotiating.”

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — “Important progress can be made” in 2018 — WSLC announces its Shared Prosperity Agenda for legislative session that begins Monday.

► In today’s Olympian — Western State Hospital’s woes need firmer hand (editorial) — The ongoing public safety and treatment troubles at Western State Hospital have tagged along with the new year. Our state Legislature, which opens a 60-day session next Monday, has no choice but to wade back into these ongoing problems.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Sen. Baumgartner hosts town hall Thursday — Sen. Mike Baumgartner (R-Spokane) will hold a town hall meeting at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Northwest Museum of Art and Culture, 2316 W. First Ave. in Spokane.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Last year, Baumgartner was the sole sponsor of a Senate bill to make Washington a “right to work” for less state. He has also sponsored bills to promote lawsuits against unions, block cities from enacting higher minimum wages, weaken prevailing wage standards, require laid-off workers to do community service (you know, like criminals) before collecting unemployment benefits, privatize public services, and privatize the state workers’ compensation system (an idea voters soundly rejected just a few years ago). Just thought you should know.

► In today’s News Tribune — Leader of Washington State Republican Party to step down next month — Washington State Republican Party Chairman Susan Hutchison will step down next month. (At right, she is pictured at the 2016 Republican National Convention allocating the state’s GOP delegates to Donald Trump as the party’s nominee for President of the United States of America.)

► A related story from NBC News — Trump to North Korean leader Kim: My nuclear button ‘is bigger & more powerful’




► From The Hill — Labor Department eyes drug test rule for unemployment pay — The Trump administration is looking to bring back and broaden a rule requiring drug testing for unemployment benefits.

► From Politico — The sexual harassment vote the GOP would like to forget — Not long before a deluge of sexual harassment claims engulfed Capitol Hill, congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump quietly repealed safeguards to protect hundreds of thousands of American workers from such harassment. The vote last year is especially relevant now that Congress, under immense public pressure, is weighing legislation to outlaw the very same secrecy agreements that it voted to keep legal less than a year ago.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Washington’s GOP Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse and Dave Reichert all voted to repeal the rule requiring federal contractors to disclose sexual harassment.

► In today’s Washington Post — Hundreds of highly skilled personnel have left NSA since 2015, officials say — Hackers, engineers and data scientists — including some disillusioned with the intelligence agency’s leadership and an unpopular reorganization — have taken higher-paying, more flexible jobs in the private sector.

► In today’s NY Times — Critics say questions about citizenship could wreck chances for an accurate census — The Justice Department’s request to ask people about citizenship status in the 2020 census would keep Latinos and other ethnic minorities from being counted, critics say.

► In today’s NY Times — Orrin Hatch plans to retire, creating an opening for Romney — Orrin G. Hatch, the longest-serving Senate Republican, announced that he would retire at the end of the year, clearing a path for Mitt Romney to run.

► In today’s Washington Post — Say it again, Mitt Romney: Trump is unfit to serve (by Greg Sargent)




► In today’s NY Times — Care suffers as more nursing homes feed money into corporate webs — In what has become an increasingly common business arrangement, owners of nursing homes outsource a wide variety of goods and services to companies in which they have a financial interest or that they control. Owners can then arrange highly favorable contracts, in which their nursing homes pay more than they might in a competitive market, and siphon off higher profits that are not recorded on the nursing home’s accounts. A Kaiser Health News analysis of inspection and quality records reveals that nursing homes that outsource to related organizations tend to have significant shortcomings: They have fewer nurses and aides per patient, they have higher rates of patient injuries and unsafe practices, and they are the subject of complaints almost twice as often as independent homes.

► In today’s LA Times — More workers say their bosses are threatening to have them deported — Complaints over immigration-related retaliation threats surged last year in California. The cases include instances in which employers allegedly threatened to report workers to ICE after they raised issues over working conditions, including wage theft.

► From NPR — Los Angeles Times newsroom employees to vote on unionizing — The paper has not fared well since it was first sold to the Tribune company in 2000, with rounds of layoffs and buyouts that continued under new ownership called Tronc. Now, fresh concerns are surfacing over the paper’s new editor-in-chief.




► In the News Observer — North Carolina is no longer classified as a democracy (by Andrew Reynolds) — In the just released Election Integrity Project report, North Carolina’s overall electoral integrity score of 58/100 for the 2016 election places us alongside authoritarian states and pseudo-democracies like Cuba, Indonesia and Sierra Leone. If it were a nation state, North Carolina would rank right in the middle of the global league table — a deeply flawed, partly free democracy that is only slightly ahead of the failed democracies that constitute much of the developing world. Indeed, North Carolina does so poorly on the measures of legal framework and voter registration, that on those indicators we rank alongside Iran and Venezuela. When it comes to the integrity of the voting district boundaries no country has ever received as low a score as the 7/100 North Carolina received. North Carolina is not only the worst state in the USA for unfair districting but the worst entity in the world ever analyzed by the Electoral Integrity Project.


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

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