11.15.2007 | Associated Press | The state's controversial law calling for an automatic review of the minimum wage each year does little to harm business and benefits the vast majority of low-paid workers, a new study by Washington State University says. Full Story »
09.27.2007 | Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Last spring, state lawmakers pushed Washington near the forefront of family benefits by creating only the second statewide paid family leave benefit in the nation, but they didn't say exactly how. Now an Olympia task force is hashing out the details. The effort places Washington in the middle of one of the biggest debates among two-career families: how to balance the needs of starting a family with the growing demands of 21st-century jobs.
05.01.2007 | On Wall Street | Instead of recreating a TSP-style 401(k) plan in the private sector, experts have proposed that such government plans open a separate branch for private-sector employers. The plan would be administered by the state or federal government, with the funds managed by private companies, just as the TSP is managed. Proposals to offer a publicly administered, privately managed 401(k) plan have been set forth by Gov. Granholm in Michigan, by the Keystone Research Center in Pennsylvania and by the Economic Opportunity Institute in Washington, among others.
03.06.2007 | Seattle Times | A bill to give workers up to five weeks of paid family leave -- which would be one of the most generous benefits in the nation -- was approved Monday by the Senate budget committee. The vote came as a coalition of labor unions, women's groups and other organizations has stepped up pressure on lawmakers to finally pass the measure after six years of failed attempts. "This has a lot more momentum than it's had in the past," said Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute.
03.02.2007 | Olympian | The Economic Opportunity Institute in Seattle arranged for the poll and released it at a news conference in Olympia. Backers of two pending legislative measures cited the results as evidence they have an idea that deserves passage this year in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.
02.29.2007 | Spokesman-Review | Washington residents have enthusiastically embraced a state-sponsored college savings program. In less than a decade, parents have set up 70,000 accounts worth more than $800 million, money that will help future students pay for their education. Now, AARP Washington and the Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute hope to work the same magic with retirement planning.
01.30.2007 | News Tribune | Workers in Washington could get paid leave to stay home and bond with a new baby or care for a sick parent, under a bill proposed by a Democratic representative in the Legislature.It would create a family and medical leave insurance program, paid for by workers. Those workers would then receive money to care for themselves, family members or domestic partners.
01.25.2007 | Seattle Times | Democratic lawmakers are taking another crack at passing one of the nation's most generous paid-family-leave benefits. Legislation introduced Wednesday would give Washington employees up to five weeks of paid family medical leave each year. Workers could use it for personal sick leave, to bond with a newborn or adopted child, or to care for an ailing relative or domestic partner.
01.01.2007 | Seattle Times | A bill to give Washington workers up to five weeks of paid family medical leave is clinging to life in the state House, where it has run into an onslaught of opposition from business lobbyists. While the Legislature's Democratic leaders rave about the proposal, there are signs they might balk at passing it and instead put the controversial issue up for a statewide referendum next fall. "It would be a huge, expensive fight," said Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute, a liberal public-policy think tank. "This would be seen as a national referendum on this issue."
10.16.2006 | Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Prominent Seattle-area religious leaders called Washington's estate tax moral and fair Sunday evening in a panel discussion with Bill Gates Sr. and John Burbank, executive director and founder of the Economic Opportunity Institute. Weiner and other panelists spoke to community members in Bellevue about Initiative 920, which would repeal the controversial tax if successful in November's midterm election.
03.04.2006 | The Olympian | With less than a week left to go, majority Democrats in the Legislature say they're close to a budget agreement that leaves as much as $950 million in cash for next year's needs while cutting taxes by $60 million or more for business interests this year. One analysis by the Economic Opportunity Institute in Seattle pegged the tax loss at close to $94.6 million this year if all were to pass, with the cost soaring to $194.6 million in the next budget cycle.
01.06.2006 | Yakima Herald-Republic | The state Family Care Act would be significantly expanded to include companies with 25 or more employees and their domestic partners under a legislative proposal being pushed by Democrats. The threshold is now 50 or more employees under federal law, which allows for up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for the birth or adoption of a child, care of a seriously ill family member or the worker's own serious health condition.
03.28.2005 | Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Advocates of a proposal went before state lawmakers to testify in favor of providing five weeks of paid time off for Washington workers caring for new babies or sick relatives. But business owners say the family leave bill would jeopardize their survival -- and that's left the measure in political jeopardy.Full Story »
02.02.2005 | Seattle Times | Democrats in the state Legislature say they have their best chance in years to give Washington employees up to five weeks of paid family medical leave — and a guarantee that they would still have a job when they return.Full Story »
05.07.2004 | Puget Sound Business Journal | Too many of the more than 500 tax exemptions, deferrals, credits and other tax breaks in the state's tax code are ineffective in keeping and creating jobs, says the Economic Opportunity Institute in a new report. And the effectiveness of state tax breaks is bound to be an issue during this fall's gubernatorial campaign and in the 2005 state Legislature.
09.01.2003 | Seattle Times | If workers could write the rules, American job benefits might look something like Canada's: Up to a year paid parental leave. Guaranteed vacations. A cap on the number of hours worked in a week. Guaranteed medical coverage, courtesy of Canada's universal health-care system. Oh, and if you're fired without cause? Your boss had better be polite and offer a nice severance check. As if the neighbor to the north hasn't been getting enough attention in recent months — from winning the 2010 Winter Olympics to allowing same-sex marriages — Canada's employee safety net is yet one more reason for Americans to be envious on this Labor Day.
05.31.2002 | Seattle Times | A group of parents, child-care directors and teachers want to add a 10-cent tax on your latte in the name of improving early childhood education. The Early Learning and Care Committee today plans to file an initiative that asks Seattle voters to approve the tax on espresso drinks. Drip coffee would not be included.
12.09.2001 | Spokane Spokesman-Review | Welcome to Olympia, on the eve of a $6 billion state budget shortfall. Brown and the state’s other 148 lawmakers on Monday will begin a high-stakes battle over what to cut, what to save, and whether they can persuade a recession-saddled public to support tax increases. The state’s budget woes are fixable, Brown says, but it won’t be easy.
06.28.2001 | Seattle Weekly | Is the cost of child care driving some parents into poverty? A study on living wages released last week by the UW's Northwest Policy Center and the activist group Washington Citizen Action certainly gives some ammunition to that point of view.
06.18.2001 | The Nation | The Economic Opportunity Institute sounds like a typical think tank—of any political persuasion. Each of the name’s three interchangeable words evokes Dupont Circle, position papers and regression analysis. But the institute, from the small building it shares with an architect a few blocks from the University of Washington—about as far from the other Washington as you can get without the Pacific lapping over your fax machines—sees itself differently. Full Story »
05.08.2001 | Yakima Herald-Republic | It's a given that as the dynamics of the work force continue to change with the growing number of single parent and dual-income households, so must the emphasis be increased to provide adequate child care. That's why Yakima is fortunate to be in on the ground floor of a state-sponsored pilot program that gives money to child-care centers for pay raises and training.
05.02.2001 | Seattle Post-Intelligencer | Center owner Mary Hansen saw something in Bills: respect for children. She hired her as a substitute day-care worker. That was nearly four years ago. Today, the 28-year-old Bills has worked her way up to program supervisor, managing the center's program for school-age children. She has earned one set of child-care worker credentials and is currently working on an associate's degree and more credentials. Each increase in education has brought her an increase in wages, thanks in part to a pilot state program known as the career and wage ladder.
05.02.2001 | The Olympian | A 10-month-old program is giving child-care workers higher wages -- if they get training to become better teachers. The state program is already reducing job turnover in the besieged industry, advocates said Tuesday.
05.02.2001 | Yakima Herald-Republic | Nearly a year into a state-sponsored pilot program that gives money to child-care centers for pay raises and training, Gov. Gary Locke is calling the experiment a success.
02.28.2001 | Seattle Post-Intelligencer | The exciting new idea of family leave insurance could fulfil the promise of family leave in Washington state by helping working people care for their loved ones in times of great need.
01.25.2001 | Everett Herald | With two small boys at home and her husband serving with the Marines in Japan, Amy Stayrook doesn't have many options when one of her kids gets sick. She takes unpaid time off from her part-time job at the Columbia Center mall. "When my kids are sick, I have to take time off to be with them, unless my mom happens to have the day off. Then, I can leave them with her," said Stayrook, a Kennewick resident. A pair of bills before the Legislature this session would impose a small new tax on Washington's workers so new parents and others who have to spend more than a week away from work can deal with family emergencies and receive a small stipend. Full Story »
01.19.2001 | Olympian | When President Bill Clinton took office in 1993, the first bill he signed was the Family and Medical Leave Act, ensuring unpaid time off for workers at businesses with more than 50 employees. Today, as Clinton leaves office, supporters of the federal act are working to expand it at the state level, to grant paid leave to all employees, regardless of the size of the business. Washington is one of 18 states where efforts are under way to pass paid leave legislation.
09.27.2000 | Seattle Times | They are among the hardest to employ, single parents without a high-school diploma, unable to leave welfare because of drug abuse, domestic violence or physical disabilities. But under Community Jobs, a special welfare-to-work program, they are earning far more money than the thousands of welfare recipients being nudged off public assistance, according to a report released yesterday by the Economic Opportunity Institute, a nonpartisan public-policy institute. Full Story »
05.04.2000 | Seattle Times | Day-care centers in Washington say they can't compete for workers, so the state is stepping in, offering extra pay for college degrees. At the Tiny Tots Development Center in South Seattle, Angelia Hicks-Maxie is experiencing a brain drain of sorts.. Full Story »
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