Features

Taxpayer’s Nightmare: The Fight That Few Win

After nearly 100 years manufacturing signs, Greg Stuart was shocked to learn that his company, Vancouver Sign Group, was not legally a manufacturer – At least as far as the Washington State Department of Revenue was concerned.

A Look at the 2015 Legislature: Fresh Faces, Old Battle Lines

In the view of Senate Republican Leader Mark Schoesler, Washington voters sent a simple message in last week’s election as they gave his party full control of the upper chamber — stay the course.

With Oregon and Vancouver Decided, Coal Export Fight Moves to Washington

Environmentalists and industry supporters searched for meaning last week in the recent rejection of a coal dock in Oregon and the expansion of an existing terminal in British Columbia, and both sides prepared for what promises to be an even larger fight over coal exports in Washington state. The British Columbia expansion marks the second move by Canadian ports to boost their exports this month.

McCleary Showdown: Two Messages from the Washington Supreme Court

As the McCleary case becomes a showdown Wednesday afternoon at the state Temple of Justice, reading the mood of the state Supreme Court isn’t easy. The court is overseeing implementation of its decision in McCleary v. State of Washington, which held that the state needs to beef up spending on K-12 education by the 2017-18 school year.

The Most Challenging Issue Facing Liberalism Today

The truth is that liberals and labor leaders bear little regard for one another. Such mutual alienation is an indulgence that neither group can afford. By “liberals” I mean not the entire left-of-center spectrum but rather the sort of centrist liberals who dominate within the Democratic party.

US Unions Are Shrinking. These 7 Charts Show What That Means.

Just 30 years ago, around 1 in 5 workers was a union member. Today, it’s just over 1 in 10, around 11.3 percent as of 2013. The fall happened entirely in the private sector. While unions have shrunk, inequality has grown. That may not be a coincidence.

On Labor Day, Don’t Write Off Union Power

Although unions sometimes failed to live up to them, the values represented by worker organization – solidarity, mutual aid, dignity of work – served to temper the competitive dog-eat-dog ethos of the market economy. Despite diminished membership, fierce conservative attacks on unions representing public workers, rules and policies that have “stacked the deck” against working people and a perception by many that unions “are no longer needed or relevant to the new service, high-tech, global economy,” steps have begun toward restoring workers’ rights.

Health-Benefit Exchange Budget Grows; Will More Spending Mean More Revenue?

Because revenue generated by the exchange goes into the state’s general fund, to be doled out later by the Legislature, the $59.2 budget approved by the exchange board Thursday will require lawmakers to lift a $40 million cap established early on in the Affordable Care Act’s history.

As Many as 1 in 5 State Health Exchange Enrollees Affected by Technical Problems, Staff Concedes

A lack of transparency in describing and fixing technical problems became an issue in Thursday’s Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board meeting. Glitches and technical problems have affected as many as 28,000 people trying to buy health insurance through the Washington Healthplanfinder online marketplace, said associate operations director Brad Finnegan.