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Child care crisis ● ‘Emergency’ will cost us ● $15 saves lives

Monday, February 25, 2019




► In the Spokesman-Review — Wage hikes, access put squeeze on child care — The network of quality child care – in Spokane, the state and the nation – is fraying at the edges. Some call it a national crisis. In Washington, providers face rising minimum wages that have climbed from $9.47 per hour a few years ago to $13.50 by the end of this year. While they consider hiking costs to offset higher payrolls, subsidies that many low-income parents rely upon to pay child care costs have not kept pace.




► In the Peninsula Daily News — Port Angeles schools to lay off staff in $2.6 million cuts — The school district will lay off teachers and other staff to address a projected $2.6 million budget shortfall in the 2019-20 school year, its top administrator said. Citing inequities under the state’s new funding model for education, Superintendent Martin Brewer said the district must eliminate staff at “every level” of the organization. The new local levy cap of $1.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, which took effect in January, represents a nearly 40 percent decrease in local levy funds to the district.

► In the Seattle Times — State lawmakers wrestle with how to purge greenhouse gases from state power supply — Environmentalists support requiring Washington utilities to be carbon-free by 2045, and if they fall short — risk financial penalties. The legislation is facing strong pushback from critics who say purging the grid of all greenhouse-gas emissions from fossil fuel could be too expensive and increase the risk of power restrictions or blackouts.

► In the News Tribune — Tim Eyman doesn’t need a chair; he needs to be benched (editorial) — By all rights the last strands of his threadbare credibility with the public should now be gone. His reckless behavior and blithe demeanor should also be unacceptable to the conservative movement he helped spawn. It’s time for Eyman to take a seat on the bench. His partners and donors should tell him to step aside, at least until his numerous legal problems are resolved.

► In the Columbia Basin Herald — Funding proposed to increase mental health workforce — Local programs to recruit and train behavioral and mental health professionals could receive $1.1 million in the next fiscal year under proposed legislation.




► In the Seattle Times — Insult to injury: We’re more on the hook to pay for Trump’s wall than most border states (by Danny Westneat) — Washington state doesn’t want a wall, and didn’t vote for the president pushing a wall. But it looks like we’re disproportionately on the hook to pay for it… The naval base at Bangor could lose $89 million earmarked for a new submarine pier that has been in the works for more than a decade. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island may lose $27.4 million that Congress has already approved for two new facilities to support its Growler jets. Add up all the projects that are eligible to be tapped to fund the Trump wall, and our state is more on the hook to pay than Texas, Arizona or most places actually near the southern border.

► From The Hill — Ex-GOP lawmakers urge Republicans to block Trump’s emergency declaration — Nearly two dozen former GOP lawmakers are urging Republicans to oppose Trump’s national emergency declaration. The former lawmakers in a letter remind Republican lawmakers of an oath to “put the country and its Constitution above everything, including party politics or loyalty to a president.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — The former members of Congress signing the letter include former Rep. Rod Chandler (R-Wash.)

► In today’s Washington Post — Former senior national security officials to issue declaration on national emergency

► In the Washington Post — The Republicans’ big gut-check vote on Tuesday (by Max Boot) — Trump’s emergency declaration is an affront to all that Republicans stand for. They claim to be pro-military, but Trump’s action would take money away from the defense budget. They claim to be pro-property rights, but Trump’s action would result in the taking of private property along the border. And they claim to be constitutional conservatives, but Trump’s action is an obvious violation of Article I of the Constitution: “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law.”

EDITOR’S NOTE — Among Washington’s Republican congressional delegation, Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler has said she opposes the emergency declaration. Both Reps. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-5th) and Dan Newhouse have said they “have concerns” about Trump’s emergency declaration. We’ll see how they vote on Tuesday.

► From Politico — Trump warns GOP senators wavering on emergency declaration — Trump issued a warning Monday to GOP senators considering voting to block his declaration of a national emergency at the southern border, suggesting that those who do have fallen into a “trap” set by Democrats.

► In today’s Seattle Times — Full disclosure of Mueller report is a must (editorial) — Mueller’s report should start an extraordinary and public examination of how vulnerable the world’s leading democracy is to foreign interference. Attempts to hide its findings from the American people, preventing them from learning the full truth and creating more uncertainty, would be tantamount to collusion.

► In today’s Washington Post — Arthritis medicine now costs $38,000 a year: Lawmakers expected to grill drug executives on price hikes — The largest panel of pharmaceutical CEOs in decades will sit before a congressional committee Tuesday, so expect sharp confrontations and pointed questions from lawmakers.

ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Is NAFTA 2.0 a Trojan horse for even higher drug prices? (by Jackie Boschok)

► From the AP — H-1B worker visas in doubt as Trump immigration crackdown widens — Though getting what’s known as an H-1B visa has never been a sure thing, immigration attorneys and employers who hire such workers say they’ve seen unprecedented disruptions in the approval process since Trump took office in 2017.




► MUST READ in New York Times Magazine — Dollars on the margins — For years, when American policymakers have debated the minimum wage, they have debated its effect on the labor market. Economists have gone around and around, rehashing the same questions about how wage bumps for the poorest workers could reduce employment, raise prices or curtail hours. What most didn’t ask was: When low-wage workers receive a pay increase, how does that affect their lives? New studies are finding that a living wage is an antidepressant. It is a sleep aid. A diet. A stress reliever. It is a contraceptive, preventing teenage pregnancy. It shields children from neglect. It prevents premature death. It is literally saving lives.

► In New York Times Magazine — Out of the shadows — The women the National Domestic Workers Alliance represents are diverse and scattered. There are more than two million domestic workers in the United States, most women of color and immigrants. They are housecleaners, nannies and health aides working in private homes, a majority making less than $13 an hour. It’s a work force that is extremely heterogeneous, largely invisible and subject to abuses that range from wage theft to sexual assault and outright human trafficking.

► In the NY Times — ‘Austerity, that’s what I know’: The making of a U.K. millennial socialist — The general election of 2017 exposed the starkest generation gap in the recent history of British politics… So many in this bulge, like their counterparts in the United States, are giving up on free-market capitalism, convinced it cannot provide their families with a decent life. Their grievance is generational: that the state has taken away benefits their parents and grandparents enjoyed, like low-cost housing and free education.

► From Vox — ‘Office Space’ is a low-key masterpiece about unionizing your workplace (by Stacie Williams) — The lasting legacy of the 1999 movie isn’t just that jobs can be horrible; it’s that individuals can pull together collectively and create the jobs and working environments that we want to have. We can create working environments that integrate care-based ethics, that offer men and women equal paid time off to start or care for their families, that have livable wages, that value people enough to pay them fairly for a hard day’s work, and jobs that value the labor of maintenance and understand systems need to be cared for over a long period of time.



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