Monday, March 4, 2019
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford workers are being paid for common illnesses at taxpayer expense, feds say — The federal government has laid out for the first time what it sees as the problems in a new state law that makes it easier for ill Hanford workers to get state worker compensation. The new law covers Hanford nuclear reservation workers very differently than other workers in the state and at a greater cost, the Department of Justice said in documents filed in federal court Friday evening… The federal government earlier remained silent as the state Legislature discussed and then passed the new law, which took effect in June 2018. But it filed a lawsuit in December asking the federal court to overturn the state law.
FROM the WSLC 2018 Legislative Report — Safety net strengthened for Hanford workers
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — ‘Facing the monster’: Spokane firefighter battles PTSD — “It’s like being on anxious, high alert, all day long, 24 hours a day, you just can’t turn it off,” Lou Franchino said. “And you talk to yourself like ‘Come on, calm down, you’re safe, everything’s fine.’ You can’t turn it off.” He sought answers from multiple doctors and everyone arrived at the same conclusion: Franchino was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Luckily for him, Washington legislators passed a law last March which allowed him – and all other first responders – to receive treatment through workers’ compensation.
► In the Spokesman-Review — GOP stalls energy bill vote, gives Inslee a win — Legislative Republicans vary between genuinely skeptical and openly hostile to Gov. Jay Inslee’s run for president. So it’s a sure bet they didn’t intend to hand him a timely win on one of his climate change proposals. But they did. Here’s how.
ALSO at The Stand — Job-creating 100% clean energy bill advances (WSLC Legislative Update)
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — 100% clean electricity in state achievable (editorial) — The public support for 100 percent clean electricity is there. And major customers are demanding it. Utilities themselves already are moving toward that mark, most notably the Snohomish County PUD, which already is providing power to its 350,000 electric customers that is 98 percent from renewable sources. Other utilities have further to go, but still are within reach of 100 percent. Washington state should make this effort simply because it is within our reach to get all of our electricity from carbon-free and renewable sources. The investments by utilities, public and private — supported through the energy we use and pay for — can help develop the technologies required and make that switch more affordable and achievable across the country.
► In the (Everett) Herald — Cities will suffer if voters approve $30 car tabs — In November, voters will get another chance to reduce their car tab fees. Anti-taxer Tim Eyman’s latest initiative takes aim at Sound Transit but, if it passes, will have impacts closer to home. Across the state, local transportation benefit districts would lose $125 million over the next two years if I-976 passes, according to a fiscal note compiled by Senate staff.
► From Teamsters 117 — Teamster Corrections employees rally on the Capitol steps — The group of more than 175 members and their families met with legislators throughout the day, calling on lawmakers to fund the Department of Corrections and University of Washington Police Department contracts and to pass legislation granting interest arbitration rights to both groups.
► From The Hill — Inslee announces White House bid — Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) announced in a video Friday morning that he will run for president, becoming the first governor to join a crowded field vying for the Democratic nomination. Inslee, 68, made clear in his announcement video that he will put the battle against climate change at the heart of his platform like no other candidate would.
► From Governing magazine — States with the strongest job growth in 2018 — Washington, recorded an annual average gain of 3 percent (third highest in the nation) and a year-over-year increase of 3.1 percent. The Seattle metro area accounted for about 63 percent of the state’s net increase — slightly more than its share of the state’s employment base.
► In the Seattle Times — Air Force won’t accept any more Boeing tankers until manufacturing process is cleaned up — Boeing grounded the tankers just over a week ago after loose tools and bits of debris — known in the aviation world as Foreign Object Debris, or FOD — were found in various locations inside completed airplanes, the airframes of which are built on the 767 assembly line in Everett.
► In the Charleston Post and Courier — Boeing investigating after foot-long noose found hanging in North Charleston plant — The Boeing Co. said it is investigating a racial incident that took place at its 787 Dreamliner campus in North Charleston.
► In today’s Columbian — Evergreen Public Schools ponders how to make cuts of up to $18 million — Evergreen Public Schools faces as much as an $18 million budget deficit. But until now, the district has been relatively quiet about that fact.
► In today’s Seattle Times — First commercial flight taking off from Paine Field in Everett today — The first commercial flight from Snohomish County’s Paine Field is an Alaska Airlines flight to Portland. The new, two-gate passenger terminal opens up more options for travelers from the greater Seattle area.
► From The Hill — Trump on brink of GOP rebellion over emergency declaration — Trump is facing a potential revolt among Senate Republicans over his decision to declare a national emergency to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Republicans in both chambers have criticized the Trump decision as an assault on Congress’s authority that could lead a Democratic president to circumvent lawmakers on climate change or gun control.
► In the WSJ — Labor Department set to propose rule on joint employment (subscription req’d) — The Labor Department sent a proposed rule seeking to clarify when a worker has two employers to the White House for review, potentially addressing a policy priority for many businesses, including franchises and companies using contractors.
► From The Hill — Trump: I’ve told FEMA to give Alabama ‘the A Plus treatment’ — Trump said he has directed the Federal Emergency Management Agency to give Alabama “the A Plus treatment” after a string of deadly tornadoes ripped through the state. Alabama is deep-red state that strongly backed Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
► From MarketWatch — The biggest winners of a minimum wage hike might not be who you think — Millennials and Generation Xers would, by far, be the biggest beneficiaries of a proposed federal minimum wage hike to $15 an hour, the Economic Policy Institute reports. A mere 9% of the 39.7 million workers who would directly and indirectly benefit from the raise were 19 and younger. More than half of workers, 53%, who would benefit were between the ages of 25 and 54.
► From HuffPost — Oakland teachers end strike after 7 days, reach agreement with schools — Teachers in Oakland, Calif., announced the official end of their weeklong strike on Sunday, two days after the educators’ union and school district reached a tentative accord. Union members voted to ratify the agreement on Sunday afternoon. The new contract will provide teachers with an 11 percent salary raise and a one-time 3 percent bonus, as well as reduce class sizes.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Want a raise? Get a union! Get more information about how you can join together with co-workers and negotiate a fair return for your hard work. Or go ahead and contact a union organizer today!
► From Bloomberg — Amazon plans to open dozens of grocery stores, WSJ reports — The first of the stores will open in Los Angeles as early as the end of 2019, and Amazon is in talks to open locations in shopping centers in San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Washington D.C. and Philadelphia, the Journal reported.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.