ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

Spin Control

Posts tagged: Jay Inslee

Sunday Spin: Right-to-work in the soviet of WA?

Somewhere in the great beyond, James “Big Jim” Farley is having a good day.

The former Tammany Hall boss and political strategist for Franklin Delano Roosevelt may have been pulled out of celestial poker game late last week when word drifted heavenward about a press release from state Sen. Mike Baumgartner. The Spokane Republican came up with a solution to the fix Washington could find itself in after Boeing’s union machinists voted down a contract extension that would have guaranteed the 777X be built in the state.

Call a special session to turn Washington into a “right-to-work” state, Baumgartner said.

Such a suggestion must’ve made Farley spit out his cigar, if smoking is allowed in whatever suburb of the afterlife old pols inhabit. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Right-to-work special session ‘not going to happen’

In the wake of the Boeing machinists’ rejection of a contract extension the company said would assure the 777X would be built in Washington, a Spokane legislator said the state needs to take a bold step to become more attractive to manufacturing.

Make Washington a “right-to-work” state, which would make union membership and its dues optional.

That would be part of making the state “a welcoming overall environment” with a lower possibility of strikes, Republican Sen. Mike Baumgartner said. He wants Gov. Jay Inslee to call a special session to consider and pass such legislation.

“That’s not going to happen,” a spokesman for Inslee said. Boeing never mentioned right-to-work legislation as something it was seeking to guarantee the plane would be built in Washington, David Postman said. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

 

Inslee signing Boeing legislation today

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee travels to the Museum of Flight this morning to sign legislation passed over the weekend in the hurry-up special session.

Probably an appropriate backdrop, considering the session was all about luring a new Boeing assembly line and wing manufacturing plant for the 777X, and the Museum of Flight is at Boeing Field, just down from Boeing facilities, and there are lots and lots of Boeing planes inside and out.

On Saturday, after the Legislature wrapped and the many fathers of the legislative victory assembled with Inslee for a victory press conference, the governor was asked when the “dog and pony show” of bill signing would take place. Normally these occur in the governor's conference room.

Time and date to be determined, Inslee said, but added: “Just dogs. It's a Lean Management things. We don't use ponies.”

Apparently Lean Management does, however, allow the use of planes.

 

Inslee delays China trip

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee is postponing his trade mission to China.

Inslee was scheduled to leave Saturday on a previously arranged trade mission. But with the Legislature in a special session he called earlier this week to pass proposals aimed at convincing the Boeing Co. to build the 777X in Washington, it was expected he'd need to stay in the state.

Inslee's office announced the trip will be rescheduled but “at this point we do  not have a new departure date planned.”

Inslee: Boeing contract is ‘jobs for decades’

Gov. Jay Inslee says union members should consider contract in 'cool light of day.”

OLYMPIA — With Boeing machinists reportedly unhappy with a proposed union contract, Gov. Jay Inslee tried today to keep the momentum going for a legislative package tied to securing a new jetliner.

Inslee wouldn't go as far as asking union members to ratify the contract. But at a press conference in the halls of the Capitol building, he urged them to “look at it in the cool light of day” and consider that it represented “assurance of jobs for you, and your family and your community for decades.”

The Seattle Times reported this morning that rank-and-file union machinists at a meeting Thursday night were vocally unhappy with the contract, which freezes pensions at their current level and replaces a defined benefit plan with contributions to worker's retirement savings accounts. One of their leaders, Tom Wroblewski, who earlier this week stood with Inslee when the governor called for a special session, tore it up in front of his members and called it “a piece of crap”, the Times reported.

Inslee called legislators back to Olympia to pass legislation that would accompany the contract and ensure that the 777X would be built in Washington state. Union members aren't scheduled to vote on the contract until Wednesday; the Legislature could vote on a package of tax breaks worth some $8.9 billion through 2040, as well as expanded training programs for aerospace workers, as early as tomorrow.

If the machinists don't ratify a contract and the Legislature does not approve the tax breaks and training programs, Boeing will have offers to build the 777X elsewhere.

“People want to poach these  jobs…if in fact the deal doesn't go through this week,” Inslee said.

Some question if state getting enough for Boeing tax breaks

OLYMPIA – The Legislature opened its third special session, which some have dubbed the Boeing session, with a look back 10 years, trying to make sure the aerospace giant keeps jobs in Washington in return for some $8.4 billion in proposed tax breaks.

Gov. Jay Inslee and most other witnesses at a House Finance Committee hearing on the tax break package extolled the economic and civic virtues of the state's largest manufacturer. It employs tens of thousands in its factories, has hundreds of suppliers around the state, keeps ports busy, stimulates the Puget Sound economy and even provides work for more than 100 visually impaired machinists through Lighthouses for the Blind in Seattle and Spokane.

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, click here to continue inside the blog.

Special session starts Thursday

OLYMPIA – The Washington Legislature will meet in a special session starting Thursday to consider a $10 billion transportation package and other legislation Gov. Jay Inslee said is key to landing the manufacturing plant for a new Boeing jetliner.

Standing with legislative leaders, Boeing executives and union officials, Inslee said a combination of transportation improvements, extended tax breaks, faster permits for building and aerospace education programs would guarantee the company will build the new jetliner and a new carbon fiber wing in Washington state.

The current 777 facility supports 56,000 jobs, and the new plane will create thousands more, Inslee  said: “These jobs are ours if we act now.”. .

 

To read the rest of this post, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

Yo ho Halloween at governor’s mansion

OLYMPIA — Gov. Jay Inslee and wife Trudi will be hitting the pirate theme tonight for trick or treaters at the Governor's Mansion.

Technically, there are only treaters. The security system at the governor's mansion discourages tricksters. But the mansion is a stop on may Olympia kid's route. It's off by itself and out of the way, and there's often a wait because the line is long. But the candy is usually far better than the standard fare at most houses.

In the Capitol Building during the day, staff at the Secretary of State's office is donning costumes as well. Secretary of State Kim Wyman is dressed as an '80s rocker.

Majority of Washington lawmakers back Columbia River bridge

While touring Spokane on Wednesday, Gov. Jay Inslee said his withdrawal of plans to seek $450 million in state money for a controversial span over the Columbia River should eliminate the last roadblock to passing a comprehensive transportation package for the state before year's end.

A majority of Washington lawmakers want Oregon to know that doesn't mean they've turned their backs on the project.

A letter to Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber sent Wednesday was signed by 75 Washington legislators, including many members of the Senate Democratic caucus that were denied a vote on the bridge project during the Legislature's regular and two special 2013 sessions.

“I’m disappointed our two states aren’t sharing leadership of this project, as we once were,” said Rep. Sharon Wylie, D-Vancouver. The project would replace existing spans over the Columbia River that have been in operation for more than half a century and are badly in need of repair to alleviate congestion, according to engineers.

Inslee said in an interview with The Spokesman-Review on Wednesday that Kitzhaber is pondering calling a special session of his own to attain authorization for his state to move forward on the project without Washington's assistance. Inslee said the state attorney general has reviewed that option and there is no legal barrier to Oregon connecting its bridge to Washington roads.

The project recently received the go-ahead from the U.S. Coast Guard. The leader of the Oregon Senate indicated Wednesday plans to push a vote on the project to February, according to the Oregonian.

Click here to read the entire letter sent by Washington lawmakers to Kitzhaber.

Inslee in Spokane Wednesday

Gov. Jay Inslee comes east for a full day today:

  * Press conference at 9:30 a.m

  * Roundtable discussion on transportation at 10:30 a.m. at the downtown library.

  * Shows off the Washington Healthplanfinder’s Mobile Enrollment Tour at 2:45 p.m

  * Speech at the Greater Spokane Inc.’s 5th Annual State of the Green Economy conference at 3:15 p.m.

  * Holds a public hearing for a climate workgroup at 5 p.m. at the Spokane Falls Community College auditorium.

 

He may be trying to make up for the fact that he didn't make it to Hoopfest, as he promised on his inauguration day, because the Legislature was still in session.

Inslee asks feds to let banks serve pot businesses

OLYMPIA — Governors of the two states that legalized marijuana last year are asking federal regulators to find a way that businesses licensed to raise and sell the drug can use banks.

Govs. Jay Inslee of Washington and John Hickenlooper of Colorado sent a letter to the heads of the Treasury Department, the Federal Reserve Board, the Comptroller of the Currency and other key banking regulators, asking them to come up with guidance to allow the fledgling businesses to establish accounts.

Federal banking regulations currently forbid banks from accepting money from illegal drug transactions, and the federal law classifies marijuana as an illegal drug, even though voters in the two states have passed laws making it legal for recreational use by adults.

Without bank accounts, businesses that are licensed by the state to grow, process or sell recreational marijuana will have to deal in cash, which creates “an unnecessary inviting target for criminal activity,” the governors say in their letter. It also makes it more difficult to track the flow of money and prevent diversion of some proceeds into illegal activities, they added.

Washington voters last November approved Initiative 502, which legalizes the recreational use of marijuana by adults in private, but the state Liquor Control Board is still developing rules for the businesses to operate. The board is expected to begin accepting applications for recreational marijuana businesses in November, with licenses awarded early next year and stores open by June.

Inslee: Healthcare page to open despite shutdown

OLYMPIA — Washington state will debut its web site to help people find medical insurance under Obamacare on Tuesday even if the federal government is forced into a shutdown over health care reform, Gov. Jay Inslee said.

Some state workers might be furloughed, some job training programs could be cancelled and some road projects might eventually put on hold if the shutdown continues, Inslee said. But the new health care exchange, a way for uninsured people to shop for the best deal on medical insurance, will be up and running sometime in the morning even if Congress deadlocks and doesn't pass legislation to continue paying for some parts of the government.

 “We will be open for business,” Inslee said of the Washington Health Plan Finder, which had its web address and toll-free number on the podium beneath his microphone. 

 As many as 1 million Washington residents are expected to get health care in the coming years through the exchange and the expansion of Medicaid. Increased federal money for the Medicaid expansion is also expected to help the state balance its budget.

State agencies are still trying to determine how programs that get some or all of their money from the federal government will be affected by a shutdown. Training programs to help returning military veterans would be put on hold, Inslee said. Extended unemployment insurance benefits come from the federal government, and could be delayed. The state Department of Transportation might delay some projects that  rely on federal transportation money.

Some 1,000 civilian employees of the Washington National Guard could be sent home a few hours after they arrive at work Tuesday. Karina Shagren, a spokeswoman for the Guard, said they could come to work Tuesday morning and be told they have four hours to wrap up and go home until further notice. About 120 workers got notices last week that they could be furloughed, but their labor contract requires a seven-day notice, so they may be working through this week but it's not clear if the state would be reimbursed for their pay.

Encroachment as a political pawn?

Alarm over potential Fairchild encroachment is being sounded so often and by so many and over so much these days that it's at risk of becoming a bad Spokane punch line.

Don't like the new paint job on your neighbor's house? Argue that it creates too much of a distraction for Air Force pilots trying to find the Fairchild runway.

Looking for a sure-fire way to either stop or support Spokane's efforts to crack down on all those R-rated bikini barista stands? Suggest that the position opposite of yours puts the future of Fairchild in peril but that base officials have been instructed by the Pentagon to keep mum and stay out of local politics.

The real reason it's taking so long to get the North Spokane Freeway built? No one has figured out yet how to link its rapid completion to possibly helping keep Fairchild off the BRAC closure list.

To be sure, Fairchild is a critical piece of Spokane's economy and no one questions taking all reasonable steps to keep the base viable.

But with the dizzying number of times the encroachment issue is getting raised these days by groups at odds with each other over one project or another, it's getting tougher to discern reasonable from opportunistic. Casinos. Municipal zoning. Trailer parks. Industrial expansion. Gravel pits.

The latest salvo came yesterday, when Gov. Jay Inslee openly questioned why Spokane County commissioners are creating new encroachment risks with a controversial industrial expansion while at the same time trying to persuade voters to increase taxes to pay for alleviating a separate risk. Inslee has joined others in trying to get the expansion overturned.

Commissioners suggest Inslee's concern is misguided and are hoping to meet with him to iron things out. But that sounds a lot like the kind of response commissioners tend to get from backers of proposals that they're trying to block by raising the specter of encroachment.

Regardless of where anyone might stand on any of the various proposals, the real risk right now seems to be political fatigue.

Pickets come down at tunnel dig

Inslee says digging to resume soon.

OLYMPIA — The longshoremen's union removed pickets from the site of Seattle's tunnel dig this morning at the request of Gov. Jay Inslee, which could allow the digging to resume in a few days.

The work stoppage on one of the state's major transportation projects was threatening to undermine any public support for a possible package of tax increases for road maintenance and new projects being discussed at hearings around the state by the Senate Transportation Committee, Inlee said. 

The governor announced this morning at a press conference that the International Longshore and Warehouse Union agreed to remove its pickets for an undetermined amount of time while negotiations continue on a labor dispute. The ILWU contends that some jobs loading dirt being removed from the tunnel and loaded onto barges for transport should be performed by its members.

 The pickets had stopped work on the tunnel being dug by “Bertha”, a drill boring a 57.5-foot hole under the Seattle waterfront, to replace the Alaska Way Viaduct.

“Bertha will soon be back in business,” Inslee said. “This had gone on long enough.”

The pickets came down as “a sign of good faith” after Inslee met with union officials and contractors. A solution to the dispute has not yet been found.

Inslee's spokesman David Postman said the governor suggested removing the pickets and union officials agreed. The union set no deadline for an agreement before resuming the pickets, and is expected to call Inslee before resuming the action.

 

(Editor's Note: Because of incorrect information supplied, an earlier version of this post contained an incorrect diameter measurement of the hole being bored under the Seattle waterfront.)

Sunday spin: Inslee enters Twitter universe

OLYMPIA – It is impossible these days to criticize any experiment to merge politics with social media without sounding like a 21st Century Luddite, or at least some cranky octogenarian telling teenagers to turn down their music and get off the lawn.

Social media, after all, fueled the fire of the Arab spring and Tahrir Square. It eats dead-tree journalism for breakfast then orders a pumpkin spice latte to clear that “past its expiration date” taste out of the mouth.

So it is with some trepidation that I say the governor’s recent Twitter Town Hall was a bit underwhelming, at least from the standpoint of connecting state government and large segments of the population that don’t have regular access to the machinery of governing. . .

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.

ResultsWA Town Hall: How tweet was it?

OLYMPIA — Gov Jay Inslee and about a dozen state officials tried to answer questions and get suggestions about improved state government over Twitter this morning.

At one point during the one-hour Twitter Town Hall, the topic, #ResultsWA was “trending” in Seattle, which for those not well versed in twitter-lingo means it was among the more popular topics in the city. And that, spokeswoman Jaime Smith said, was “pretty damn cool”.

Just how cool, or how effective, might be hard to quantify.

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, CLICK HERE continue inside the blog.

Inslee tweeting Town Hall on improving government

OLYMPIA — If you have an idea to improve state government that you're just dying to tell Gov. Jay Inslee about, you might get your chance this morning.

If you have a Twitter account, and can keep it to 140 characters.

Fresh of his more conventional press conference Tuesday for Results Washington, his plan to make state government more efficient, Inslee is hosting aone-hour Twitter Town Hall on improving government starting at 10 a.m.

People can tweet their questions to Inslee and his management team, who will try to answer them. But wait, you might be saying, what about answers to those questions that require more than the 140 character limit on Twitter? (Which is to say, almost anything of substance.)

They'll be answered more fully on the results.wa.gov website next week.

To participate, or even just to watch, follow @GovInslee. Questions should have a #ResultsWA .

Inslee, U.S. attorneys meet on pot

OLYMPIA — Washington and federal officials had what's being called a “standard followup” meeting this morning about the new policy on state-legal marijuana. Nothing earth-shattering to report, apparently.

Gov. Jay Inslee, state Attorney General Bob Ferguson and U.S. Attorneys Mike Ormsby and Jenny Durkan has a morning meeting in Inslee's office. No big policy changes, say those familiar with the meeting.

Ormsby after the meeting described it as just an opportunity to underscore last week's memo out of Washington, D.C., on federal policy regarding states that have legalized marijuana in some form. The Justice Department said it would not be trying to stop Washington and Colorado from proceeding witlh rules to allow the growing, sale and use of recreational marijuana to adults, but it would step in to stop sales to minors, laundering of money from criminal enterprises and some other activities.

Inslee's office, too, said nothing new came out of the meeting. “It was just standard followup,” spokeswoman Jaime Smith said. “It's all an ongoing conversation.” 

Sunday spin: A special session on transpo if. . .

OLYMPIA – With enough time, things that were once unthinkable can become conceivable options.

I’m not talking about anything as outrageous as using sarin gas or electing a Democrat in the 4th Legislative District. But a few months ago, it would have been incomprehensible to talk seriously about calling yet still another special session of the Legislature this year.

When legislators limped wearily out of Olympia in late June after two overtime sessions, it seemed like returning in January would be more than soon enough.

Now, however, a special session to address some of the state’s major transportation woes is being floated by Gov. Jay Inslee, who said last week he’d consider calling one in November if legislators could agree on a package of projects and revenue. . .

Feds won’t pre-empt WA pot law

OLYMPIA — The federal government will not try to stop Washington from setting up a way to allow adults to use legal marijuana.

In what state officials described as a “game changer”, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder announced Thursday the federal government will focus attention on several key areas of illegal marijuana production and sales, but allow Washington to continue setting up systems for legal marijuana to be grown and sold to adults.  .  .

 

To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.
  


Documents:

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

Jim Camden is a veteran political reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Jonathan Brunt is an enterprise reporter for The Spokesman-Review.


Kip Hill is a general assignments reporter for The Spokesman-Review.

Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on Spin Control.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here