A state job program to help people through hard times. Plus: what to do about the state budget, a living wage and health care

December 10, 2008 | Alex Stone

State pushes job aid program: Several years ago, Cal Yates had as much as 20 percent of his hours cut at the metal fabrication shop where he works as a welder. The move came during a tough four-month stretch when one of the shop’s biggest clients, a local RV manufacturer, closed its doors. | Read

Take prudent approach to state budget: The country is headed for hard times, and the outlook for state budgets is truly ugly. States ramp up spending when tax revenues are flush and strip down services during downturns.

Oregon School districts tighten their belts in wake of state cuts: Gov. Ted Kulongoski’s order last month to cut state spending by 1.2 percent means East County’s four school districts — Reynolds, Gresham-Barlow, Centennial and Corbett — have to tighten their belts.

New jobs offer less than living wage: Nearly 80 percent of job openings in Washington last year paid less than a living wage for a single parent with two children. And every opening that did offer a living wage for that type of family drew an average of 10 job seekers. | Report

We Must Establish a Constitutional Right to Health Care: The absence of health care as a right is costing taxpayers billions.

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Posted in Health Care, Social Security, State Economy, Tax and Budget, Work & Family

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