Family leave is back. Plus: state stimulus, TARP money, and unions vs. business

January 26, 2009 | Alex Stone

Family Leave bill is back; Funded by 2-cent-an-hour employee tax: In 2007, Washington adopted FLI with benefits to new parents scheduled to begin October 1, 2009. As originally passed, the program had no dedicated funding source. Governor Gregoire put preparations for the new program on hold in the fall of 2008 as part of her response to the projected budget deficit. But now the program is back, and has legislative support.

Stimulus for state close to $3 billion: A massive economic stimulus package headed for a vote on the House floor next week contains more than $2.8 billion in federal funding for Washington state for infrastructure projects and Medicaid over the next two years, Democratic leaders and committee staff said Thursday.

The Banks Have Stolen Enough; It’s Time to Take Them Over: Hold onto your wallets. The bankers are coming back for more money. They burned through the $350 billion that we gave them in the first round of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and they are worried that even the second $350 billion will not be enough money to keep them solvent. The selective leaks from Treasury tell us that the banks will need far more money to cover their bad debts.

Early Obama test: unions vs. business: One issue that could soon test President Obama is card check — or, as it’s also known, the Employee Free Choice Act. Passage of that legislation, which Obama supported as a presidential candidate, is a key goal of the unions. Labor is hoping for action this spring — and that’s got some other Obama allies worried.

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Posted in State Economy, Tax and Budget, Work & Family

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