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On Other Blogs Today: Basketball, Buses, Boeing, and More

Our daily roundup.

By Erica C. Barnett May 15, 2013



1. The NBA's decision to bar the Sacramento Kings from moving to Seattle is today's big news, obviously. Sports Illustrated has a (nonpartisan) recap of the day's events. 

2. Sightline, whose staffer Jennifer Langston was on the scene at yesterday's big Metro hearing, takes a comprehensive look at what's at risk if the state legislature fails to provide King County with the authority to raise taxes to maintain bus service, and Metro has to cut $60 million in bus hours a year.

Leave aside all the engineers and white-collar workers who will switch back to their cars, and all the people who are carless by choice or necessity, Langston writes: The real reason to oppose Metro cuts is that "a more anemic Metro will ... make everyone's life harder."

Fewer buses means more cars on the streets, and that means more congestion for everyone—and congestion means fewer people coming to (and spending their dollars in) places like downtown Seattle, which is one reason groups like the Downtown Seattle Association and Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce support giving Metro new taxing authority.  

3. Emerging from 1983 in his time machine, state Sen. Michael Baumgartner (R-6) proposed making Washington a "right-to-work" state to give Boeing another incentive to build its new 777 here instead of a state with lower wages and fewer worker protections like South Carolina, the Everett Herald reports.

"Right-to-work" is a term for laws aimed at weakening labor unions by prohibiting them from requiring workers to pay dues, giving workers an incentive to opt out of union membership. Baumgartner argues that the cost of labor in Washington state is too high because of workers' compensation rates. According to the state of Oregon, in 2010, Washington's workers' comp rates were 26th in the nation. 

4. The Capitol Record reports that a bill that would crack down on repeat DUI offenders—by, among other things, making a fourth DUI offense a felony—passed a key hurdle yesterday, winning unanimous approval from the senate law and justice committee in the second day of the special session. The bill now moves on to the senate's budget-writing committee.

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