Post-Janus update ● Parking planes ● Trump needs Pelosi ● Shiver

Friday, April 5, 2019




► In today’s Columbian — Stonier-sponsored bill addressing public-sector unions advances — HB 1575 would modify how public-sector employees can join and leave unions, shield unions from liability from collecting past fees and would make it easier to organize some work environments. Rep. Monica Stonier, (D-Vancouver) who is the lead sponsor of the bill, said that the legislation will align state law with the Janus ruling. Stonier, a teachers union member, said that the bill will help ensure that public-sector employees are aware of their union’s benefits before opting out.

ALSO at The Stand — Lawmakers updating state’s bargaining laws — The Legislature has the task in 2019 of updating 40-plus years of collective bargaining statutes to ensure that they are aligned with the Janus decision, while promoting clarity and consistency across public-sector bargaining relationships in our state.

► In today’s Seattle Times — After late-night amendments, fate of school levy bill remains unclear — A bill that might have given Washington school districts some flexibility about how much money they can raise locally imploded in a series of late-night votes Tuesday. Now, the fate of the original proposal remains unclear as lawmakers work against the clock to reach a final budget agreement before the end of the month.

ALSO at The Stand — Senate panel’s amended bill attacks teachers

► From The Stranger — In the middle of the night, two Senate Democrats slipped poison pill amendments into an education bill (by Rich Smith) — In the early hours of Wednesday morning (1:30 a.m!!!), Sens. Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) and Guy Palumbo (D-Maltby) slipped two potentially poisonous amendments into SB 5313, which allows school districts to tax themselves more to pay for stuff they need (e.g. librarians). The move pissed off several education advocates and a couple of Democratic senators, who say the amendments limit the ability for teachers to collectively bargain (which would effectively slash their pay) and increase funding for charter schools. Mullet and Palumbo refused to vote the bill out of the Ways and Means committee, which sometimes has to run long into the night, unless they got their way on these dumb amendments.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Senate passes $52.2 billion operating budget — A $52.2 billion plan to cover most state programs and salaries for the next two years easily passed the Senate on Thursday with some Republican votes, setting up the next phase of the legislative budget process: Negotiations between the two chambers and the governor’s office to find a plan that all three can support. They’ll have just over three weeks to work out the details if the Legislature is to adjourn on time on April 28.

► In today’s (Longview) Daily News — Report: State has nearly 400 structurally deficient bridges — The American Road & Transportation Builders Association recently released its 2019 Bridge Report. Of the 8,278 bridges in Washington, 382 or 4.6% are classified as structurally deficient — which means one of the key elements is in “poor or worse condition.” Five of the top 25 most heavily traveled deficient bridges are on Interstate 5 and six more are on Interstate 90, including the two floating bridges over Lake Washington.

► From KUOW — Motel 6 and Washington state settle over privacy violation — Motel 6 will pay $12 million for violating Washington state residents’ privacy. The agreement comes after an investigation found the national motel chain was sharing guest information with immigration agents. The State Attorney General sued Motel 6 more than a year ago for unlawfully and routinely providing guest lists to ICE.




Boeing 737 MAX planes parked on the closed crosswind runway at Paine Field in Everett.

► From Bloomberg — Boeing races ahead with 737 output, parking some in Everett — Boeing will soon learn whether the financial fallout from the global grounding of its best-selling jetliner will be a brief jolt — or a much more painful ordeal that would have repercussions for suppliers and the U.S. economy. Production of the 737 MAX in Renton has continued at full tilt even though regulators grounded the single-aisle jet following a March 10 crash… For now, the company and its supplier base are sticking to a carefully orchestrated schedule, which predates the disasters, to raise monthly output to 57 jets by midyear. That’s about 10 percent higher than the current factory tempo, which is already a record. But if regulators take their time in certifying the MAX’s return to the skies, Boeing would be forced to stash hundreds of factory-fresh jets at airports across the Western U.S.

► From The Hill — Boeing admits ‘erroneous’ data contributed to 737 MAX crashes — Boeing CEO Dennis Muilenburg on Thursday posted a video saying that “erroneous” data contributed to a pair of Boeing 737 Max 8 plane crashes. He said that two recent accidents involving the planes were caused by a “chain of events” but added that it was the company’s responsibility to resolve the issues with the system. “It’s our responsibility to eliminate this risk,” he said. “We own it and we know how to do it.”


► In today’s Seattle Times — Reacting to crash finding, congressional leaders support outside review of Boeing 737 MAX fixes — The FAA announced this week the formation of a review panel headed by former NTSB chairman Christopher Hart comprising a team of experts from the FAA, NASA and international aviation authorities. The group will conduct a comprehensive review of the certification of the automated flight-control system on the Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, as well as its design and how pilots interact with it, the FAA said. Both Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) and Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-Washington) endorsed the FAA’s plan.




► In today’s Seattle Times — Pass the Paycheck Fairness Act (editorial) — Last month, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill that tries to eliminate some of the factors keeping women’s pay down compared to men’s. Washington Sen. Patty Murray on Tuesday called upon her Senate colleagues to pass it, too… overcoming inequity of all kinds takes time, persistence and leadership. Even incremental change can be a welcome step along the journey. The Senate should bring this bill up for a vote and pass it.

EDITOR’S NOTE — When the House passed it, Washington Republican Reps. Jaime Herrera Beutler, Dan Newhouse, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers voted against it. All Democratic members of the state’s delegation voted to pass it.

ALSO at The Stand — Union Sisters pointed the way to gender equity (by April Sims)

► In today’s Washington Post — Pelosi expresses doubts about Medicare-for-all, says she would rather build on Affordable Care Act –The House speaker also wondered whether the proposal embraced by several presidential candidates would be too expensive.

► From The Hill — Dems struggle to unite behind drug price plan — Progressive House lawmakers met this week with Speaker Nancy Pelosi‘s top health care staffer, Wendell Primus, to push for a drug pricing bill authored by Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) that would impose severe punishments on pharmaceutical companies that refuse to negotiate prices with the federal government. The concern among liberals is that a competing measure being crafted by Pelosi’s office will go easy on drug companies. They’re also wary of Pelosi’s staff holding talks with the White House about drug price reforms.

► In the LA Times — Trump needs Nancy Pelosi, his biggest adversary, to help pass revamped NAFTA — President Trump is showing surprising deference to his top political adversary, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, as he feels pressure to fulfill a signature election promise — approval of a revised trade deal with Mexico and Canada. In many ways, Trump has no choice, as the president and his allies scramble to notch a policy victory before the 2020 election.

► From Reuters — Canada says reopening USMCA trade pact could be a ‘Pandora’s box’

► In today’s NY Times — One Trump victory: Companies rethink ChinaThe trade war is nearing a possible truce, but global companies are nevertheless moving to reduce their dependence on Chinese factories to make the world’s goods.

► From Politico — How Trump conspired with the Freedom Caucus to shut down the government — Months after the 34-day standoff that followed, the full story of how the president was pushed into the shutdown is a lesson in how to take the reins in Trump’s Washington. The lawmakers around Trump who wanted a shutdown knew exactly how to bring the president around to their side: threaten that others might perceive him as weak and push that threat around Capitol Hill and, eventually, all the way to Fox News. It helped to have a man on the inside, too—in this case, acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

► In today’s Washington Post — Potentially damaging information in Mueller report starts political fight — Attorney General William Barr is facing more pressure to release the full report by special counsel Robert Mueller amid revelations that members of the Russia probe team are frustrated with the limited information that Barr has released so far.

► From The Onion — White House says Mueller report must be kept private because it’s so exonerating it would drive public mad




► In today’s NY Times — Making video games is not a dream job (by Jason Schreier) — Worker exploitation has always been part of the video game industry’s DNA. Executives with multimillion-dollar stock packages often treat their employees like Tetris pieces, to be put into place as efficiently as possible, then promptly disposed of… There’s only one way for these workers to push back against the way they’re exploited while franchises like Call of Duty churn out money for those at the very top: unionization.

EDITOR’S NOTE — 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 just go ahead and contact a union organizer today!

► From the AP — Hiring rebounds as U.S. employers add a solid 196,000 jobs — Wage growth slowed a bit in March, with average hourly pay increasing 3.2% from a year earlier.

► In today’s NY Times — Winning the war on poverty (editorial) — The Canadians are doing it; we are not. About 15 years ago, a disparate group of Canadians realized that a problem as complex as poverty can be addressed only through a multisector comprehensive approach. They realized that poverty was not going to be reduced by some innovation — some cool, new program nobody thought of before. It was going to be addressed through better systems that were mutually supporting and able to enact change on a population level… The two biggest changes were efforts in city after city to raise the minimum wage and the expansion of a national child benefit, which can net a family up to nearly $6,500 a year per child. Canada essentially has guaranteed income for the young and the old.




► In today’s Washington Post — Die, robocalls, die: A how-to guide to stop spammers and exact revenge




► Twenty-five years ago today, at the age of 27, Kurt Cobain killed himself at his Seattle home. Six months earlier, he and his Nirvana bandmates, along with some members of the Meat Puppets, performed for the “MTV Unplugged” show. They played a set list (with none of their hits) in a single take (unusual for the show) and concluded with this Lead Belly song. The Atlantic’s Andrew Wallace Chamings wrote that it “ranks among the greatest single rock performances of all time”…

“For the final line, ‘I would shiver the whole night through,’ Cobain jumps up an octave, forcing him to strain so far he screams and cracks. He hits the word ‘shiver’ so hard that the band stops, as if a fight broke out at a sitcom wedding. Next he howls the word ‘whole’ and then does something very strange in the brief silence that follows, something that’s hard to describe: he opens his piercingly blue eyes so suddenly it feels like someone or something else is looking out under the bleached lank fringe, with a strange clarity.”


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

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