Features

Income Inequality, Climate Change Must Be Tackled Together

by K.C. GOLDEN and JEFF JOHNSON | WSLC Stand

Climate disruption itself is an equity issue: The people who have done the least to cause it are the most at risk from its impacts. Working people struggling to make ends meet and our children and grandkids will suffer the most as water levels rise and storms intensify.

Split May Be forming in State Federation Over Adequacy of Worker Contract Agreement

by BRAD SHANNON | Olympian

The governor’s Office of Financial Management has estimated that the pay adjustments would cost the state’s general fund about $250 million over two years if extended to all employees, both union and nonunion, in agencies where the federation has workers. A salary survey by consultants for the state Office of Financial Management helps to back up opponents claims that workers’ pay is falling short.

Study Says Natural Factors, Not Humans, Behind West Coast Warming

by Craig Welch | Seattle Times

The rise in temperatures along the West Coast over the past century is almost entirely due to natural forces — not human emissions of greenhouse gases, according to a major new study. But that doesn’t refute the idea that humans are contributing to global climate change, the authors say. The study found wind responsible for more than 80 percent of the warming from Northern California to the Northwest.

Carbon Tax: State’s Prediction of Lost Economic Growth Was an Error

by John Stang | Crosscut

It appears that a possible Washington carbon emissions tax won’t have a major impact on the state’s economic growth through 2035. That’s a reversal from what the state said less than two weeks ago, when it predicted significantly less long-term growth if a tax were enacted. Officials say human error led to a false prediction of a potential tax’s long-term impacts

Worldwide Rallies Call for Action Now on Climate Change

by Seattle Times Staff

In Seattle, New York and around the world, people took to the streets Sunday, urging policymakers to address conditions they say threaten the survival of future generations. The grass-roots demonstrations came just before the start of the U.N. Climate Summit.

Free Pre-K: Strong Early Gains, But Long-Term Questions

by Claudia Rowe | Seattle Times

Universal, free preschool in Tulsa, Okla., has produced results attracting national attention, and could be a blueprint for Seattle. But after 16 years the long-term outcomes raise almost as many questions as they answer. Legislators have begun to question the value of state-funded pre-K.

Forecast: State Revenue Grows, But Won’t Pay All the Bills

by Joseph O'Sullivan | Seattle Times

OFM announced Thursday it had upped the forecast of revenue for the current budget cycle (2013-2015) by $169 million over its June forecast. OFM also forecast a revenue bump of about $139 million for the 2015-17 biennium. That would mean projected general-fund revenue for the current cycle is $33.95 billion and about $36.7 billion for the next two-year budget cycle, which begins July 1, 2015.

WSIB Wants More Disclosure on Climate Change Risks

by WSIB Press Release

At its meeting on Thursday, the State Investment Board adopted an investment belief initiated by outgoing Board Chair and state Treasurer James McIntire, which calls for full disclosure of climate change risks anticipated by the companies in which WSIB invests, along with full disclosure of what they are doing to manage these risks.

State Worker Pay Drought Over? State Employee Union Deal Offers Raises of 3%, 1.8%

by BRAD SHANNON | Olympian

The agreement will raise most state agency workers’ pay by 3 percent next July and approximately 1.8 percent in 2016. About 2,800 workers in certain job classes – where pay inequities are found – would receive an additional 2.5 percent increase. Roughly a third of workers also receive step raises each year that are tied to increased experience.