Features

Environmental Group Names Candidates It Supports

by RACHEL LA CORTE | Bellingham Herald

NextGen Climate said its support would be focused on two Senate contests: one in Pierce County between Democratic Rep. Tami Green and incumbent Republican Sen. Steve O’Ban, and the other in King County between the Senate’s main Republican budget writer, Sen. Andy Hill, and Democratic challenger Matt Isenhower.

Washington’s Unemployment in Charts

by Jon Talton | Seattle Times

August’s unemployment report for Washington — stuck at 5.4 percent, the same as July — was preliminary and might be revised for the better. Still, this is a very slow recovery in the labor market. Unemployment actually increased in 24 states, more than five years after the official end of the Great Recession. Here is a snapshot of Washington’s situation.

King County Budget Director: Broken Tax System Leads to Deeper Cuts

by Annie Zak | Puget Sound Business Journal

A broken tax system and young people spending less to avoid King County’s 9.5 percent sales tax contributed heavily to deep cuts in the county’s proposed 2015-2016 budget. In the mid-1990s, about 50 percent of every dollar spent on personal income was subject to sales tax. That number is now about 37 percent.

Report Raises Questions about Handling of Welfare Fraud Tips

by Chris Ingalls | KING 5 News

The new report says 95 percent of the Fraud Early Detection tips reviewed were made accurately. The problem, the report found, is in the follow-up investigation conducted by the fraud unit. “200 of 200 cases (100%) were considered invalid,” according to the report, because investigators did not respond to the tips in a timely or accurate manner.

Income Inequality, Climate Change Must Be Tackled Together

by K.C. GOLDEN and JEFF JOHNSON | WSLC Stand (union)

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.