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Did Boeing tax breaks work? ● Grocery strike vote ● Sofi’s choice

Thursday, July 18, 2019




► From KNKX — L&I proposal would expand overtime pay to more Washington workers — At a packed hearing in Seattle, University of Washington student Abbygial Eleccion testified that the new rule will help people like her mother, who works as a custodian but had to turn down a promotion because the salary was so low: “The reality of the matter is that workers promoted to salaried in management often put in 50 to 60 hours a week, but still do not earn enough to live comfortably.”


► MUST-READ in today’s (Everett) Herald — Did extended tax break get Boeing to build 777X in Everett? — Nearly six years after lawmakers extended a lucrative tax break to the Boeing Co., it’s not certain if those incentives convinced the aerospace giant to build the 777X in Everett, a new state report concludes. The company’s decision to do final assembly of the new jetliner and build a composite wing facility in Washington ensured the 2013 extension took effect. But it “is unknown whether the company would have made this location decision even if the preferences had not been extended,” concludes the report delivered Wednesday to the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee, a bipartisan and bicameral panel of lawmakers. And committee staff also could not determine if the tax breaks helped maintain and grow the aerospace industry, an objective set by lawmakers.

On Sept. 5, the commission will accept public testimony on the findings. Then, in October, it will make recommendations on potential changes in the existing tax-break law that could help determine if the tax breaks are working as intended.

During a November 2013 special session, legislators and Gov. Jay Inslee agreed to a 16-year extension, to 2040, to help convince Boeing to build the 777X in the state. It is projected the extension will enable aerospace firms to save close to $8.7 billion in tax payments, nearly all of it accruing to Boeing. At the time, Inslee said company officials committed to build the new commercial plane in the state if the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAM) agreed to terms of a revised contract, which included concessions on pension and health-care benefits.

► In today’s (Everett) Herald — In tough month, an ally becomes a competitor for Eyman — After getting signatures for a Tim Eyman tax-cutting measure that didn’t qualify for the ballot, Restore Washington wants to do its own.




► In today’s Columbian — Vancouver grocery workers planning to hold strike vote — The local chapter of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union is planning to hold a series of meetings for a strike authorization vote in the Vancouver area at the end of July. UFCW Local 555 created a Facebook event inviting all Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC and Safeway union members in the Vancouver, Longview and Kelso areas to attend one of five meetings at two locations.

ALSO at The Stand — Portland grocery workers OK strike; SW Wash. could be next

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Providence, nurses enter mediated negotiations over benefits — Nurses and and other workers in the Providence hospital system are protesting proposed changes to their benefits plan, which union negotiators say serve the financial interests of the nonprofit health care provider. Contract negotiations have spanned about nine months. Last week, the WSNA and UFCW 21 negotiators had their first mediated sessions with Providence.

► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Spokane firefighters faced HR investigation for calendar featuring ‘inappropriate sexual poses’ — Spokane firefighters were counseled on workplace harassment after a citizen complained about a calendar that featured photos of them in “inappropriate sexual poses,” according to public records. Spokane Firefighters Union President Tim Archer told KXLY that the Station 4 firefighters were poking fun at the trope of “sexy” male firefighters posing for calendar shoots. Proceeds from the calendar sales were supposed to raise money to fight muscular dystrophy: “The whole point was, it was a satirical calendar. It did not warrant an investigation that caused people to fear for their jobs for a number of months.”




► In today’s Washington Post — ‘Malignant, dangerous, violent’: Trump rally’s ‘Send her back!’ chant raises new concerns of intolerance — As thousands chanted “Send her back!” at a campaign rally Wednesday night in Greenville, N.C., the president paused to let it amplify. He listened for 13 seconds, as the stray shouts stretched into a uniform roar. Some raised campaign signs or fists to the rhythm of the crowd as they yelled. “Send her back! Send her back!” they yelled in unison, advocating for deporting Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.), an American citizen and refugee, to Somalia, where she was born. The chanting echoed Trump’s own racist comments on Sunday.

► From Politico — McConnell: Trump ‘on to something’ with attacks on four congresswomen — Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that Trump is “on to something” with his inflammatory attacks against four congresswomen, attempting to frame the president’s racist rhetoric as rooted in ideological differences between the Republican and Democratic parties.

► From AOC on Twitter…

► From Politico — Democrats not willing to totally snub ‘deplorable’ Trump — The toxic relationship between Trump and the opposition party continues to hit new lows, but that’s not stopping Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her party from working with him to avert fiscal calamity and maybe even greenlight his signature trade deal later this fall… When Congress returns from the recess, Trump must work with lawmakers on some kind of spending deal to avoid a government shutdown after Sept. 30. And if he wants to see his trade deal with Canada and Mexico take effect — which would give him a major campaign talking point ahead of 2020 — the president will need the buy-in of Pelosi above all else.

► In today’s NY Times — House votes to kill Trump impeachment resolution — The House on Wednesday killed an attempt to impeach Trump for statements that the chamber condemned this week as racist, turning aside an accusation that he had brought “ridicule, disgrace and disrepute” to his office.

EDITOR’S NOTE — On the motion-to-table vote, 95 Democrats including Reps. Rick Larsen and Pramila Jayapal voted to further consider impeachment, while 137 Democrats including Reps. Suzan DelBene, Derek Kilmer, Kim Schrier, Adam Smith and Denny Heck sided with all Republicans in stopping the impeachment effort.

► From The Onion — House passes resolution overnight apologizing if previous racism resolution came off too harsh




► From The Hill — House votes to repeal ObamaCare’s ‘Cadillac tax’ — The House on Wednesday voted to repeal ObamaCare’s “Cadillac Tax” on high-cost health plans, removing a part of the health law opposed by many in both parties. The wide bipartisan vote of 419-6 illustrates how the tax is one of the few areas of ObamaCare that has opposition across the political aisle.

► From The Hill — Sen. Rand Paul blocks Senate from approving 9/11 victim compensation fund — The Kentucky Republican objected, pointing to the country’s growing debt and arguing that any new spending should be offset by cuts to other spending.

EDITOR’S NOTE — Rand Paul voted in favor of the trillion-dollar tax giveaway to corporations and the rich that is primarily responsible for the skyrocketing deficit since Trump took office. And that “government spending” Rand Paul decries is the only thing keeping his state afloat. He and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell hail from the second most government-dependent state in the nation. Fully 40 percent of Kentucky’s revenue comes from U.S. taxpayers. For every dollar a Kentuckian pays in federal taxes, they’re getting $2.61 back in federal spending.

► From Reuters — Trump’s tariffs trip up the all-American RV industry — About 85% of the recreational vehicles sold in the U.S. are built in and around Elkhart County, Ind., making it a popular stop for politicians to tout their visions for U.S. manufacturing – including Trump, who staged a rally here last May. And yet this uniquely American manufacturing sector has been caught in the crossfire of Trump’s trade war. Data show a steep sales decline amid rising costs and consumer prices. The industry has taken hits from U.S. tariffs on steel and aluminum and other duties on scores of Chinese-made RV parts.




► In the Sacramento Bee — Safeway reaches tentative contract with union representing thousands of California workers — Grocery union leader Jacques Loveall announced Tuesday that the bargaining team for UFCW 8-Golden State has negotiated an agreement with Safeway and Vons, and he is strongly recommending union members vote yes on the deal. “At the bargaining table we were able to build on the key achievements of decades of union solidarity,” said Loveall, president of UFCW 8-Golden State, in a prepared news release. “This contract is one of our best ever, a big ‘win’ for union members.”




► From NPR — 3-year-old asked to pick parent in attempted family separation, her parents say — At a Border Patrol holding facility in El Paso, Texas, an agent told a Honduran family that one parent would be sent to Mexico while the other parent and their three children could stay in the United States, according to the family. The agent turned to the couple’s youngest daughter — 3-year-old Sofia, whom they call Sofi — and asked her to make a choice. “The agent asked her who she wanted to go with, mom or dad,” her mother, Tania, told NPR through an interpreter. “And the girl, because she is more attached to me, she said mom. But when they started to take [my husband] away, the girl started to cry. The officer said, ‘You said [you want to go] with mom.’ ”

EDITOR’S NOTE — What the hell is wrong with us?


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