Morning Roundup

Morning Roundup: Head Tax, Streetcar Expansion, More Sinclair

Your local politics morning digest.

By Hayat Norimine April 3, 2018

CITY HALL: Parking ordinance. Council members yesterday approved the bill 7-1 (with Lisa Herbold opposed) to change the city's parking code—it now allows for more efficient use of underused parking lots (by opening certain private lots to the public), reduced parking requirements for affordable housing projects and an updated definition of "frequent transit service" that'll cover more areas, and more bicycle parking requirements.

Many Seattle residents at the public hearing spoke against the parking bill that they said was premature when there wasn't enough mass transit. But a supporter: "If you build it, they will come." 

People with disabilities must now be paid minimum wage in Seattle. Another underreported but important bill that passed yesterday removes Seattle employers' authority to pay less than minimum wage to individuals with disabilities. That legislation was modeled off state law (and in the state, it's still legal for someone with a disability to be making less money). 

Housing for all coalition sweeps head tax budget committee hearing oeddd3

A tax on businesses. In council member Sally Bagshaw's finance committee yesterday, officials discussed their options on the progressive revenue tax. Last month, a task force recommended a $75 million employee hours tax (without the details on what that would look like). In committee, officials are still floating around a few different options—like a payroll tax instead of a head tax. 

THE MAYOR: Seattle became one of six cities to join a lawsuit filed today to block President Donald Trump's administration from adding a citizenship question to the 2020 Census. Attorney general Bob Ferguson already announced Washington state would be part of that lawsuit. 

That streetcar project. After Mayor Jenny Durkan announced the city will stop work on the downtown streetcar expansion project, city officials briefed council members on what comes next. Finance director Ben Noble said the delay would be up to six months; the city would give council members a list of potential consultants for the independent review by the end of the week.

COUNTY: King County executive Dow Constantine gave his ninth State of the County address yesterday that focused largely on the region's growth (and growing pains), juvenile justice and the legal system, and partnerships with the private sector. 

MORE SINCLAIR NEWS: The Seattle Times details the frustrations inside the KOMO newsroom over Sinclair Broadcast Group's control—and how many employees have no way out due to non-compete clauses or contracts they have with the company.  

“While it’s romantic to be a martyr, it’s more realistic to put a resume tape together," a KOMO journalist told the Times

Then there's the call to boycott in The Stranger

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