Questions about the state budget. Plus: unemployment, health care, pension relief and family care.

December 11, 2008 | Alex Stone

More from the budget front: The Governor’s budget is now tentatively scheduled to be released the morning of December 18.  There are literally hundreds of decisions that go into the final preparation of a budget proposal, so people involved are emphasizing that it could slip a day — but not much more since state law requires the proposal to be released by December 20.

As Olympia wrestles with a budget crisis, can it avoid the mistakes of 1931?: Gov. Christine Gregoire and the Legislature are on track to repeat the mistakes of 1931. Balanced budget laws are important in normal times, perhaps even in times of normal recessions. But this is a crisis that requires more flexibility.

New unemployment claims surge unexpectedly: New claims for jobless benefits rose more than expected last week, exceeding even gloomy expectations for an economy stuck in a recession that seems to be deepening.

Daschle Will Lead Health Care Overhaul: Barack Obama presented former Senator Tom Daschle as his choice for secretary of health and human services.

House bill provides relief for pension funds: Companies with pension plans would receive billions of dollars in recession-era relief in a House bill that supporters said could deter employers from freezing those plans or laying off workers.

Addressing family responsibilities discrimination (FRD): Workplace discrimination against mothers and others based on their family caregiving responsibilities is a rapidly growing problem. Recently, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) responded by issuing new enforcement guidance on caregiver discrimination. State policymakers are beginning to respond, too.

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

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