Wednesday, February 26, 2020
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Will the Boeing repeal push lawmakers into overtime? (by Jerry Cornfield) — Lawmakers appear willing to grant the Boeing Co.’s wish — to repeal a tax break to help resolve an international trade dispute and stave off retaliatory tariffs from European nations. But a bill to repeal the tax break contains a provision to give it back if the company successfully settles differences with the WTO. That’s an issue with Democratic lawmakers. They want to capitalize on this opportunity to impose new conditions before reinstating the lower tax rate. Boeing officials haven’t said anything, but it’s a safe bet they don’t want to rewrite the rules.
ALSO TODAY at The Stand — Labor: No ‘snapback’ without accountability — Union leaders tell legislators that Boeing tax breaks should not be automatically reinstated without strong, specific accountability language to boost aerospace jobs in Washington state.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Ending Boeing’s tax break could give Washington a windfall. How would it be spent? — Ending a tax preference for Boeing and other aerospace manufacturers would also mean big dollars for Washington: an estimated $363 million in new state revenue through 2023.
► In today’s Seattle Times — State lawmakers pitch transportation budgets, warn big effects of car-tab cut are still to come — After dire warnings about the devastation of Initiative 976, dramatic pain may not be felt in Washington state transportation plans after all. At least not yet. State lawmakers this week released their proposed transportation budgets, which don’t feature severe cuts to offset the nearly $500 million in lost revenue during this budget cycle from I-976. Instead, lawmakers suggest shifting around some costs and revenue for now.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — Transportation projects paused by I-976 could restart soon as lawmakers near budget agreement
► In today’s (Everett) Herald — Path toward clean fuels and transportation funding (editorial) — A recent proposal from more than 30 House Democrats might offer a path to achieve both.
► In today’s Spokesman-Review — ‘Blood is required of every generation’: Video surfaces of Rep. Matt Shea speaking in 2013 — It was early July 2013, and Rep. Matt Shea’s (R-Spokane Valley) message was clear: Prepare for conflict. The federal government is coming to get you. “Arm yourselves. Arm your families. Arm the church,” he said, according to video footage that surfaced this week.
► ICYMI from the AP — Efforts to expel Rep. Shea from Legislature ended — All 98 members of the state House of Representatives were asked Thursday to sign a letter calling for the expulsion of Spokane Valley Republican. All 56 Democrats signed the letter, but no Republicans did. An independent investigation found that Shea engaged in “domestic terrorism” and planned political violence.
► In today’s News Tribune — Ax falls at Puyallup School District headquarters. Net total of nine jobs eliminated — Facing a $13.4 million deficit in the current fiscal year, the district eliminated 13 positions in the central administrative office last week. Four of those positions will be re-posted in a different form. Ninety-two percent of Washington school districts get more state and local funding per pupil than Puyallup, a study done by the League of Education Voters said.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle archbishop puts Kennedy Catholic school president on leave of absence until the end of school year — Exactly one week after protests rocked his school’s hallways and front steps, Mike Prato, the president of John F. Kennedy Catholic High School is out – for now — after revelations about the resignation of two teachers who were engaged to same-sex partners.
► In today’s Tri-City Herald — Hanford subcontract for 200 employees expires without renewal — Hanford contractor Mission Support Alliance is making job offers to employees of subcontractor Akima Facilities Management because the Akima subcontract is expiring Friday.
► In today’s News Tribune — Building products company expands in Frederickson, predicts 240 new jobs over time — James Hardie Industries, a manufacturer of fiber-cement siding and trim products, plans a $187 million expansion in the tacoma area.
► In today’s Seattle Times — FAA orders inspections of all Boeing 737 MAXs to fix defect — The FAA has prepared an airworthiness directive requiring all Boeing 737 MAXs to be inspected for a manufacturing defect the jet maker discovered in December. All MAXs found to have the defect will have to be fixed before they can fly again, although Boeing doesn’t expect this requirement to add further delay to the aircraft’s return to service. The work required to fix the issue is just 12 hours per airplane — five hours to do the inspection and a further seven hours if a fix is required, the FAA estimated.
► In today’s NY Times — New rule makes it harder to challenge labor practices — The new NLRB rule announced Tuesday, which will take effect on April 27, scales back the responsibility of companies like McDonald’s for labor-law violations by their franchisees, such as firing workers in retaliation for attempts to unionize. The rule also applies to workers employed through contractors like staffing agencies or cleaning services.
► From the AFL-CIO — Trump administration’s politicized NLRB rule is an attack on working people’s freedom — AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka: “This rule will allow companies to manipulate the system to limit working people’s freedom to negotiate for fair wages and benefits by hiring contractors to serve as a shield between the companies and their obligations to employees. It is a step backward in modernizing our outdated labor laws, by empowering corporations and special interests instead of supporting rules that will level the playing field and reflect the true nature of today’s economy.”
► From Capital & Main — Under Trump, growth slows across America — New analysis of government data shows that, since Donald Trump took office, inflation-adjusted income growth has slowed significantly across the United States. All but two states saw a decline in growth of real median household income under Trump. Middle-class incomes grew at a rate of 2.7 percent from 2016 through 2018, compared to a 5.8 percent growth rate from 2014 through 2016 when accounting for inflation.
► From the Guardian — Starbucks worker says he was fired for union organizing and ‘to create fear’ — Gabriel Ocasio Mejias worked as a barista at Starbucks in Orlando international airport for two years before he was fired on Feb. 18, shortly after he emerged as one of the leading organizers to unionize his co-workers with labor union UNITE HERE. “I was fired three hours after another union organizer was fired,” Mejias told the Guardian. “They took me to the back of the food court, in a dimly lit area, and a manager fired me over a third write-up for drinking water. That was their way to get rid of me, for drinking water, because they know I was one of the strongest organizers. They targeted me specifically to create fear for my co-workers of joining the union.”
► From the AP — Virginia Democrats poised to pass public bargaining measures — Newly empowered Democratic lawmakers in Virginia appear poised to extend collective bargaining rights to at least some public workers, a historic change backed by labor unions and opposed by business associations and many of the state’s local governments.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.