After handing out two double-digit pay raises to avoid teachers’ strikes, Seattle Schools are running out of money
Happening in Olympia
A group of indigenous protestors refuse to leave the Capital grounds until Governor Inslee meets their environmental demands. A spokesman for the group labeled Inslee’s environmental actions as “green washing” and his deceptive comments were made “just to make sure that he looked green so he could get elected.” Meanwhile Governor Zero was not at his desk in Olympia but seeking TV cameras in New York City. (News Tribune)
While many believe it is difficult for a Republican to win statewide in Washington state, conservative ideas have an easier time becoming law through the initiative process. Whether it is a reduction in property taxes or imposing stricter punishments on repeat criminals, placing these ideas onto the ballot will force Democrat candidates to decide between popular ideas and their party’s platform. (Crosscut)
Washington state’s Labor and Industries Department is considering new wage guidelines for determining who should be paid overtime. Starting in January those making above $35,568 are exempt from federal mandates for overtime pay. Yet Washington state is considering setting the threshold at $49,000 for companies with more than 50 employees. It is estimated that this could impact 250,000 workers in Washington. Yet to be estimated is the number of entry level jobs that will be lost as a result of this change. (KING News)
After two straight years of caving into teachers’ union demands of double-digit raises, the Seattle School District is now trying to figure where it will find the money in its budget. It is believed the contracts, which resulted in some teachers making $124,000 (plus benefits), will cause the district to deplete its reserve funds and could result in layoffs. (Seattle Times)
Once again, the City of Seattle has trouble keeping sewage out of nearby waterways. After several problems of burst pipes and leakage has caused raw sewage to flow into Puget Sound, now an “improper connection” between a private line and the city’s system has caused sewage to flow into Lake Union. (Seattle Times)
More needs to be known about the economic impact to the river cruise and tourism industries if the Snake River dams are breached. Currently seven vessels regularly cruise the Columbia and Snake Rivers between Portland/Vancouver and Clarkston with stops in the Tri-Cities. Dams along the rivers allow the vessels to navigate the waters. (Tri-City Herald)
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) charter flights continue out of Yakima’s McAllister Field. ICE continues to deport those who are in the country illegally and have been charged with a crime. The Yakima City Council previously voted down a proposal to stop these flights. (KIT Radio)
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