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Capital budget damage | Bargaining CHIPs | More Walmart cuts

Wednesday, January 17, 2018




► In today’s News Tribune — Apartment project meant to help people might be cancelled if state budget doesn’t pass — Once constructed, the seven-floor apartment complex will shelter 54 domestic violence victims and their families. But to get funding for the $21 million project, state lawmakers must pass the state capital budget TODAY (Wednesday, Jan. 17.)

EDITOR’S NOTE — As Republican negotiators are reportedly holding out for a slightly better deal on the Hirst water rights issue, their nearly year-long strategy of taking the capital budget hostage continues to have significant consequences out in the real world.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Housing projects depend on capital budget passage by Jan. 17 — Communities throughout Snohomish County and around the state are struggling with an affordable housing and homelessness crisis. Yet funding to build income-restricted homes was held up last year by the Senate Republican leadership’s refusal to pass a capital budget unless a water rights issue was addressed first.

► In the Olympian — Federal tax cuts make state tax reform urgent (by Sumayyah Waheed) — Low- and middle-income Washingtonians should pay attention: We will be hit doubly hard thanks to Washington’s tax code, the worst in the nation…  Now is the time to begin cleaning up our tax code and protect Washington from the looming impact of the federal tax bill. This legislative session, our representatives should work to close wasteful tax breaks, especially the tax break on capital gains.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Don’t add a work requirement to Medicaid (editorial) — The last thing Washington state should do is accept the Trump administration’s invitation to add a work requirement to Medicaid. Contrary to an administration letter, working itself does not help improve the health of poor people. Medicaid health insurance can help ailing people get healthy enough to work.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Activist Maru Mora-Villalpando says ICE using deportation threat as ‘intimidation tactic’ — Some undocumented immigrants keep their heads down, careful not to attract attention that might get them noticed by federal officers. Not Maru Mora-Villalpando. The 47-year-old Mexican native has been an outspoken activist for years and has been upfront about staying in the United States after her tourist visa expired. Now, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has put Mora-Villalpando in deportation proceedings, and she and her supporters have charged the agency with retaliation.

TAKE A STAND!Click here to sign the petition urging ICE not to target Maru Mora-Villalpando and others advocating for immigrant and human rights.

► From Teamsters 174 — Hertz Equipment Rental Teamsters ratify strong new 3-year contract — HERC employees will see over 11% improvement in their wage and benefit package in the first year of the contract, and over 5% improvements in each of the subsequent years. The agreement also includes a change from a company medical plan to a superior Teamster medical plan.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Find out how YOU can negotiate better wages and benefits by joining together in a union. Contact an organizer today!




► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing opens new $17 million training center in Auburn — The Workforce Readiness Center is the Auburn site’s first new building in 25 years. Workers and dignitaries marked the grand opening of the facility, which is dedicated “to enhancing the skills of Boeing Fabrication employees in Puget Sound and, in particular, the Auburn site’s 6,000 employees,” according to Boeing.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Boeing jumps into aircraft-seat production in threat to suppliers — Fed up with delays that have plagued production of luxury jetliner cabins, Boeing is forming its own company with a major seat supplier to the auto industry.





► In today’s Washington Post — A burst of acrimony on Capitol Hill threatens immigration deal — A burst of public acrimony across Capitol Hill on Tuesday exposed how much negotiations on immigration and border security have been set back since President Trump’s use of a vulgar expression during a meeting on the issue.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Bottom line: President Donald Trump, a racist, is prepared — perhaps even eager — to shut the federal government down because the bipartisan deal to keep it open doesn’t keep enough people of color (from “shithole countries”) out of America. So what are Republicans in Congress — including those from Washington state — doing about it?

► In today’s NY Times — GOP to use Children’s Health Insurance as lure for averting shutdown — With little hope of an immigration agreement this week, Republicans in Congress are looking to head off a government shutdown this weekend by pairing another stopgap spending measure with long-term funding for the popular Children’s Health Insurance Program, daring Democrats to vote no… Having dithered for months, Congress has suddenly discovered a painless, cost-free way to extend the CHIP. They received a new estimate from the Congressional Budget Office showing that the cost would shrink over time and that extending the program for eight to 10 years could actually save money.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Read that last part again. That’s right. Denying health coverage for about 9 million children costs more money than it saves, but Republicans STILL refuse to extend the program. Instead, they cynically use the health of millions of children as a bargaining chip. Truly shameful.

► In today’s Columbian — Herrera Beutler offers another call-in meeting — U.S. Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA3) is hosting another call-in event Monday, Jan. 22. The hourlong call is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. The announced theme is tax cuts and tolling, but constituents are invited to ask about any subject.

► In today’s Washington Post — Unexpected defeat in rural Wisconsin special election sets off alarm bells for Republicans — While the midterm elections are 10 months away, a stunning Democratic victory deep in the heart of Trump country suggests a blue tsunami could be forming.

► From The Onion — New report finds adult film star may have paid over $130,000 to cover up sexual encounter with Trump — “Newly uncovered legal documents seem to indicate that Ms. Daniels paid out six figures to keep Trump quiet about a sexual encounter that undoubtedly would have proved embarrassing and perhaps career-threatening,” said the report.




► From Think Progress — After bonus announcement, Walmart fires thousands of co-managers, replaces them with cheaper workers — After Walmart’s flashy announcement of bonuses of up to $1,000 for some of its workers, the real story played out quietly. On Wednesday, as news of the bonus announcement was lauded by Trump and Fox News, Walmart abruptly closed down 63 Sam’s Clubs stores. More than 9,000 people lost their jobs. Some only learned about the decision when they showed up to work and found the doors locked. Then it got worse for Walmart workers. On Friday, the company confirmed that about 3,500 “co-managers” will be laid off across the country. They will be replaced by new, “assistant manager” positions, which would have a lower salary. The laid off workers will be able to “apply” for these new jobs.

► From The Guardian — How America’s ‘childcare deserts’ are driving women out of the workforce — This summer, researchers at the Center for American Progress, a progressive thinktank, analyzed census data in 22 states and found that 51% of the population resides in “childcare deserts.” In most other advanced economies, parents don’t pay for childcare by themselves but share the cost with the government, their employers, or labor unions. That’s usually not the case in the U.S., where in 2011, a typical two-income family paid more than twice their share of income toward childcare compared with families in other countries that belong to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development.


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

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