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On Other Blogs Today: Closing Loopholes, Ousting the Executive, and Mending Fences
Our daily roundup.
1. Mayor Mike McGinn said today that he'd like to sit down with city attorney Pete Holmes, police chief John Diaz, and independent SPD monitor Merrick Bobb to discuss how to reform SPD, the Seattle Times reports.
McGinn's tone today was conciliatory—in marked contrast to a defiant memo he sent Holmes yesterday outlining conditions that would have to be met before he'd agree to any reforms and informing Holmes that he (McGinn), not Holmes, had the final say in whether to approve Bobb's recommendations.
2. Gov. Jay Inslee, who won office pledging that he wouldn't raise general state taxes, told the House Democratic Caucus that he will soon introduce a plan to fund education by closing tax "loopholes" he says are now obsolete, the News Tribune reports.
Under the state supreme court's McCleary decision, the state legislature is supposed to find between $1 billion and $1.6 billion in funding for education over the next biennium. Inslee did not say which loopholes he would propose eliminating and how much funding his plan would provide.
3. Also in the News Tribune: A new study by two left-of-center advocacy groups, the Washington Community Action Network and the Alliance for a Just Society, concludes that the "living wage" for a single, working resident of Washington is $16.13 an hour, based on the average cost of basic needs like transportation, food, shelter, and health care.
Washington state's minimum wage is currently $9.19 an hour, or about $19,000 a year, (it rises annually with inflation); Republican legislation in the state senate would allow employers to pay new workers a "training wage" of 75 percent of minimum wage, or $6.89 an hour, for their first 680 hours of work. The federal minimum wage is currently $7.25 an hour.
4. In a scathing editorial, the Everett Herald argues that Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon, who announced his resignation after a series of escalating scandals last month, should "hasten his retreat" and get out well before May 31, the date at which he promised to step down. Reardon, they write, has said he needs to stay that long so that the Snohomish County Democrats can put three names before the county council, and to give the council time to deliberate.
"The county executive should submit his resignation letter, clean off his desk and vamoose."
The Herald has some choice words for Reardon, likening him to "Huey Long without the charm," saying his drawn-out proposed timeline only makes sense "if the party and the council are on Ambien," and concluding, "The county executive should submit his resignation letter, clean off his desk and vamoose."
5. The News Tribune reports that Republican senate transportation leaders like Curtis King (R-14), Yakima) are arguing against legislation that would give Pierce Transit (which just cut a third of its service) the option of asking voters in a special district to save bus service in that district. The reasoning is tiresomely familiar: Giving cities local options will reduce people's appetite for a statewide transportation package.
Except, ha: Now that there is an actual statewide transportation package to discuss, the Republicans in the senate don't support it.
Additionally, it's ironic that Republicans, supposedly the party that supports local control, are so dead-set against letting state voters in places like Seattle and Tacoma set their own course, at no cost to the rest of the state.