On Other Blogs Today
On Other Blogs Today: Lawyers, Guns, and Money
Our daily roundup.
1. The Grocery Manufacturers Association, which state Attorney General Bob Ferguson has already accused of concealing the source of $7.2 million in contributions to the (ultimately successful) effort to kill I-522, the genetically modified food labeling initiative, may have concealed millions more. In an amended complaint yesterday, the AP reports, Ferguson said the GMA failed to reveal the source of $10.6 million in contributions funneled through the GMA to the anti-522 campaign, most of which came from large food corporations like Coke, Pepsi, and Nestle.
In a statement about the amended lawsuit, Ferguson noted that the $10.6 million was "the largest amount the state has ever addressed in a campaign finance concealment case"; the campaign was also the most expensive in state history.
2. As SeaTac's proposed $15 minimum wage for hospitality and transportation workers slightly increased its lead in the latest vote count (it's now up by 69 votes), the director of the San Francisco International Airport, John L. Martin, has written a letter to the New York Times arguing that higher pay and paid vacation and sick leave are good for worker retention and airport safety, which "is not well served when exhausted employees have to work two jobs just to make ends meet."
SFO pays its workers a minimum of just under $13 and guarantees 12 paid and 10 unpaid days off per year, plus employer-provided health coverage.
3. Good news for transit funding? Can it be? KING 5 reports that Pierce Transit has actually seen revenues from sales taxes increase over the past year, enabling the agency to expand and, agency leaders believe, remain sustainable through at least 2019. That's after major cuts and voter rejection of two proposed transit-tax initiatives, but it's still a bright spot that could be the harbinger of good news for other agencies, like King County, that rely primarily on sales tax.
4. Don't get too excited, though: Sound Progress has a solid summary of everything that's wrong, from an environmental and transit perspective, with the Republican-dominated Majority Coalition Caucus' $12 billion transportation package, which would provide almost no money (less than 2 percent of total funding) for transit or biking and pedestrian facilities. The package, they write, will make cuts that fall most heavily on low-income people and people of color, for whom transit is most likely to be the "primary source of transportation to get to jobs, schools, day cares, and grocery stores."
My report on what failure to pass a balanced transportation package that includes a local funding option will mean for King County is here.
5. Gun advocates turned in 340,000 signatures for their proposed initiative that would bar the state from passing any gun background-check laws more restrictive than those at the federal level, the AP reports. The measure, I-591, would effectively bar Washington state from requiring background checks at gun shows and other private sales, because they aren't barred by the federal government. A separate measure, Initiative 594, would require background checks for all sales; it's unclear what would happen if both contradictory measures passed.