July 7, 2015
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U.S. Supreme Court rules on EPA power regs, set to hear public sector union dues case

In a landmark ruling last week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that the Environmental Protection Agency did not properly consider the costs of air quality regulations that went into effect three years ago.

The case, Michigan v. EPA, centers on the EPA's limits on emissions from coal-fired power plants. Representatives of manufacturers say the regulations are the most costly ever issued. The agency "unreasonably" interpreted the Clean Air Act when it decided not to consider the costs for industry to comply, Justice Antonin Scalia wrote in the majority ruling.

The National Association of Manufacturers hailed the ruling, saying it could help lead to a balanced approach to regulations that consider both costs and benefits: "Today, the Supreme Court called out the EPA for a systematic problem — failure to appropriately consider costs — that the agency has repeatedly used to issue overly aggressive regulations that place manufacturers at a competitive disadvantage. Manufacturers, as energy users and producers, depend on a reliable energy supply to remain competitive and face a suite of additional pending regulations, such as ozone and greenhouse gases, that will further burden them."

Also last week, the Supreme Court agreed to hear a potentially landmark case on public-sector unions. Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association looks at whether non-union public employees should have to pay fees for collective bargaining. If the high court sides with the non-union teachers, the effect could be to require public unions to operate in all 50 states as they do in the 25 right-to-work states that forbid unions from collecting dues or fees from non-members.

Politico has more on the story and NFIB runs down the reaction on Twitter.

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Ex-Im Bank Critical to Economy

Here are the jobs Congress just put in jeopardy by nixing the Ex-Im Bank

By the U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Our representatives in Washington sat idly by this month and watched the Export-Import Bank's charter expire for the first time in 80 years, not even allowing for a vote to save an agency the helps thousands of American firms sell their products around the world.
Click here to read the full blog post on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce website
State Budget in Limbo

A monkey wrench from Olympia's Senate Democrats

By The News Tribune editorial board

Washingtonians last November chose not to let Democrats control the state Senate. After what happened in Olympia early Wednesday morning, it's hard to quarrel with the voters' verdict.

On Tuesday, the Legislature appeared on the verge of major bipartisan achievements. After months of wrangling that led to three overtime sessions, the Democratic majority of the House of Representatives and Republican majority of the Senate had settled on a surprisingly good operating budget, a solid construction budget, plus a roads-and-transit package that required a hard tax vote from many Senate Republicans.

But after all of it had seemingly come together, the Senate's minority Democrats suddenly threw a wrench into the gears....
Click here to read the full editorial in The News Tribune
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