State budgets pass | GOP’s game of chicken | Putting kids to work

Monday, April 24, 2023




► From the Spokesman-Review — Legislature passes $70 billion operations budget before adjourning Sunday — The House and Senate both passed a $70 billion general operating budget that covers most state programs and salaries, along with public schools and universities. Sen. Christine Rolfes (D-Bainbridge Island) described it as an “ambitious and responsible spending plan.” It increases state money for things that members of both parties want, like special education, free school lunches, affordable housing and public safety.

► From the News Tribune — Legislature sends $13.4 billion transportation budget to governor for signature — State lawmakers on Saturday passed a $13.4 billion transportation budget for the 2023-25 biennium, with major investments in the ferry system, transportation workforce, traffic safety and keeping projects on track that are already in the works.

► From the (Everett) Herald — House OKs capital budget with funds for dozens of county projects — The two-year $9 billion state capital budget sets a new high for investment in building and preserving housing, as well as steering significant sums into school construction, clean energy, environmental preservation and support of community organizations.

ALSO see capital budget coverage from Spokane’s KXLY.

► From the (Everett) Herald — Snohomish Health District retirees to regain access to health benefits — Dozens of retirees’ plans were lost in the shuffle when the district became a county agency. State Sen. June Robinson proposed the fix.




► From the Seattle Times — Are 2 instructors in a WA community college class better than 1? — More than 6,000 Washington community and technical college students enrolled in the state’s Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training (I-BEST) program, which features two teachers in the classroom: One provides job training and the other teaches basic skills in reading, math or English. Statewide data shows students in the program graduate at a higher rate than those enrolled in traditional adult basic education.

► From the Seattle Times — Metro Transit workers sue over order to limit use of Amharic language




► From Reuters — Boeing investors seek answers after latest 737 production glitch — Boeing is expected to reveal whether the latest 737 MAX manufacturing problem will derail the U.S. plane maker’s annual goals for passenger jet deliveries and free cash flow when it unveils its first quarter financial results on Wednesday.

► From NPR — Acting head of the Federal Aviation Administration says he will leave — Billy Nolen, who has been acting administrator for the past year, will leave the agency this summer, putting pressure on the White House to quickly find a replacement after Biden’s first choice withdrew last month.




► From Reuters — House to vote on Republican debt limit bill this week — Republican U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Kevin McCarthy said the House would vote on his spending and debt bill this week. Biden and the Democratic-controlled Senate are likely to reject the proposal, but McCarthy has called it a basis for negotiations between the two parties in the coming weeks. Failure to raise the debt ceiling would lead to a U.S. default on its financial obligations, shaking the global economy.

► From The Hill — McCarthy faces moment of truth in debt limit battle — It is not clear that the GOP bill has enough support to pass, leaving leaders in limbo heading into the high-stakes vote.

EDITOR’S NOTE — How will Washington Republican Reps. Dan Newhouse and Cathy McMorris Rodgers vote on a bill that holds the economy hostage — and risks the United States defaulting on its already spent debt obligations — unless Biden and the Senate Democratic majority permanently cancel student debt relief, create new work requirements for Medicaid and food stamps, slash IRS funds targeting wealthy tax cheaters, and repeal renewable energy incentives, among other things.

► From Politico — One reason the debt fight is getting awkward for Republicans — GOP lawmakers want to repeal clean-energy programs as part of a deal to avert a default. But those programs are creating jobs in Republican-held districts.

► From Roll Call — Supreme Court pauses rulings limiting abortion drug for now The Supreme Court put a halt Friday to lower court rulings that would have limited a commonly used abortion medication drug, maintaining access to mifepristone while the challenge to FDA approval moves through the court system. The order means mifepristone will still be approved for abortion up to 10 weeks of pregnancy and be used at home with distribution by mail.




► From the Washington Post — The conservative campaign to rewrite child labor laws –The Iowa Senate just approved a bill to allow children as young as 14 to work night shifts and 15-year-olds on assembly lines. The measure is among several the Foundation for Government Accountability is maneuvering through state legislatures. The Florida-based think tank and its lobbying arm, the Opportunity Solutions Project, have found remarkable success among Republicans to relax regulations that prevent children from working long hours in dangerous conditions. And they are gaining traction at a time the Biden administration is scrambling to enforce existing labor protections for children.

► From Jacobin — Apple store workers want to unionize. Apple is union busting. — Workers at an Apple Store in Kansas City say they were fired in retaliation for trying to form a union. It’s another episode in the wave of labor organizing hitting big corporations in the U.S. — and those corporations responding with illegal union busting.

► From the Guardian — Hotel workers face unwelcome guests: union busters hired by bosses — Workers at the Fairmont Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa, a luxury resort in the heart of California’s wine country, have faced union avoidance consultants hired by management and staying at the hotel for the past several months to try to suppress their union organizing drive.


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

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