Small businesses struggling under high cost of health care. Plus: an economic bill of rights, state stimulus, early education

January 21, 2009 | Alex Stone

Health care costs burden small employers: When it comes to providing health coverage to her employees, Susie Taylor considers her business one of the lucky ones. Taylor, part-owner of TNT Software in Vancouver, has managed to keep providing health insurance to the company’s 13 workers. But it’s getting harder. | More

An economic Bill of Rights for Americans: On January 11, 1944, in his annual State of the Union Address, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt called for an economic bill of rights. We have accepted, so to speak, a second Bill of Rights under which a new basis of security and prosperity can be established for all — regardless of station, race or creed.” Among the economic rights that FDR discussed were the right to protection from fear of old age, sickness, accident and unemployment; the right to adequate medical care; the right to a good education; the right of every family to a decent home; and the right to a “useful and remunerative job.”

State stimulus plan a hard sell, officials say: Gov. Chris Gregoire is pushing a statewide stimulus package that she says would quickly create thousands of new construction jobs, add $45 a week to state unemployment checks and give businesses a temporary break on their unemployment insurance taxes.

Education system gets a ‘C’: Washington’s education system is getting a “C” average when it comes to investing in early learning, focusing enough on math, science and engineering and preparing students for life beyond high school, a new report says.

Oregon’s unemployment rate climbs to 9 percent: Oregon’s unemployment rate hit 9 percent in December, up from the 8 percent mark posted November. At the same time, the state lost 9,700 jobs, following a similar drop of 8,400 jobs in November.

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

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