November 17, 2014
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Airlines and Port of Seattle at odds over unilateral wage increases

The state minimum wage, the highest in the nation, will increase to $9.47 per hour in January. However, the Port of Seattle commissioners voted last July to increase the minimum wage for workers who require a security badge to $11.22 per hour beginning in January 2015 and going up to $13 an hour in January 2017.

The airline industry trade group, Airlines for America, quickly sued the port in federal court, arguing the port’s wage increase mandate is in direct conflict with state and federal wage laws, as well as negotiated labor contracts.

It will be interesting to watch as this debate unfolds considering the prediction that there will be many discussions on increasing the state minimum wage through legislative action next year. We’ll continue to watch the issue closely.

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MOVING IN THE WRONG DIRECTION

Long term, transportation funding is school funding

By The News Tribune editorial board

"Children before concrete" is one of the catchphrases of people who've been fighting transportation funding in the Legislature.

It's a false choice. Smart investments in highway and transit infrastructure don't steal money from schools and social welfare programs. They create jobs and expand the economy, helping pay for public services that benefit children and everyone else.

The 2015 Legislature will rightly focus on increasing public school funding, as mandated by the state Supreme Court's 2012 McCleary decision. But this shouldn't mean stiffing the state's infrastructure needs. It's not an either-or dilemma: Further investment in transportation is needed to fully fund public education over the long haul.

Click here for the full column in The News Tribune
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