12.28.2008 | Kitsap Sun | When the minimum wage rises, everybody's paycheck usually gets a little bigger at Martha & Mary. Not this time. Full Story »
12.19.2008 | Public News Service | Even Governor Chris Gregoire says she "hates" the lean state budget she's proposing for the next two years - but she laid it out on Thursday, nonetheless. Full Story »
11.30.2008 | Everett Herald | State lawmakers facing a deficit could ask you to decide by putting a tax hike on the ballot. One progressive think tank, the Economic Opportunity Institute, suggested several means of generating cash, including an income tax on those earning more than $200,000 a year. "It is critically important to put everything on the table, including new revenue," said Marilyn Watkins, executive director of the Seattle-based research organization. Going to the voters "is a very good likelihood" next year, she said. Success will hinge on whether it is clear how and where money will be spent.
11.20.2008 | The Stranger | In a decision that shocked and disappointed family-leave advocates around the state, Governor Christine Gregoire announced last week that she was suspending work on the popular paid-family-leave program that passed the state legislature last year. Marilyn Watkins, acting director of the Economic Opportunity Institute, which pushed for family leave last year, says that although "I understand the desire to show fiscal constraint and find ways to cut spending," paid family leave isn't the place to cut—"particularly in economic times like these, when families really need these kinds of programs to build up their economic security."
11.29.2008 | When Washington state created a program giving parents five weeks paid time off to be with a new child, it was lauded as being ahead of the curve. But the question of how to pay for the program is still unanswered, raising doubts about whether benefits of as much as $250 a week will start in October 2009, as the law requires. Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute, a labor-backed think tank, said lawmakers could temporarily use existing taxes to cover benefits until they can get a tax collection program up and running.
10.24.2008 | Seattle Times | Would Republican Dino Rossi really lower the state's minimum wage by $1.50 an hour if elected governor? Full Story »
09.27.2008 | Seattle Post-Intelligencer | The financial storm of the past two weeks blew the curtains away from the Seattle economy. Full Story »
09.21.2008 | The Bellingham Herald | Trying to figure out what's going on in today's economy is more challenging than ever, but a new study seems to put a fresh look on some of the numbers. Full story »
09.19.2008 | The Columbian | Every day I meet women who are on their own, holding down jobs, managing families, paying the bills and trying to keep their cars running. Full Story »
09.17.2008 | Tri-City Herald | Job growth in the Tri-Cities is slowing. But from August 2007 to August 2008, the local economy added 2,600 jobs, an increase of 2.84 percent. Full Story »
09.17.2008 | Seattle Times | As economic thunderstorms lash Wall Street and soak most of the rest of the country, Seattle and Washington state have managed to stay fairly dry. Full Story »
09.16.2008 | Yakima Herald | Yakima County's employment situation is showing mixed signals these days. Full Story »
09.16.2008 | Bellingham Herald | Locally the unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, was 5.6 percent in August, up from 5.5 percent in July, and the highest rate since February 2005. Full Story »
09.16.2008 | Seattle P-I | Washington's unemployment rate last month reached its highest level in nearly four years, and the number of people looking for jobs is only expected to grow. Full Story »
09.15.2008 | Public News Service | Many Washington families haven't had enough recovery time since the last recession to rally, or even to brace for another downturn. Full Story »
08.24.2008 | Spokane Spokesman-Review | Senate Majority Leader Lisa Brown is doing something that would make many a politician squirm: going to court to make it easier to raise taxes. Full Story »
07.10.2008 | Tri-City Herald | The progressive Economic Opportunity Institute is proposing tax increases and cuts it believes would help plug Washington’s multi-billion dollar budget deficit. Full Story »
07.10.2008 | Spokesman-Review | Washington's private Economic Opportunity Institute, a liberal-leaning budget think tank, has done something that virtually no state politicians dares: propose an income tax. Specifically, the group is suggesting a "high incomes tax" for Washingtonians. Under the plan, the state could afford to reduce some sales and property taxes while still netting hundreds of millions of dollars more each year for government services.
06.19.2008 | The News Tribune | State lawmakers have done little of the heavy lifting needed to ensure that new parents can collect benefits beginning next year. Full Story »
04.25.2008 | Sacramento Bee | A proposal making its way through the California Legislature has people talking about whether the state can make putting aside retirement money more palatable. Full Story »
04.09.2008 | Public News Service | It's no surprise, but now it's documented in black and white: A new report on "income inequality" says wages of the lowest-income families in the state have lost ground , while the richest have made about 12 percent more money. Full Story »
04.04.2008 | Crosscut.com | Legislators failed to provide paid family leave with permanent funding, but their budget did give it an administrative home and start-up funding of $6.2 million. Full Story »
03.14.2008 | Puget Sound Business Journal | Last year, Washington lawmakers created a family medical leave provision. The original idea was to let workers take paid time off to care for sick family members or a newborn or to recover from a disability. Full Story »
03.10.2008 | Public News Service | Juggling preschoolers and paychecks isn't as hard for families in some countries as it is for Americans. Full Story »
02.25.2008 | Democrats have large majorities in the Washington legislature. But they’re having trouble figuring out how to fund a major new social program. The program is Paid Family Leave for parents of newborn or newly adopted children. Olympia correspondent Austin Jenkins reports.
02.20.2008 | California Progress Report | The budget news is grim in some states. The impulse by some state leaders is to slash state spending, but that could be disastrous for the economy. Full Story »
02.10.2008 | The Olympian | Creation of paid family leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted baby was a bold step forward by the 2007 Legislature. But a new program like paid leave is meaningless unless lawmakers decide how to pay for it. Full Story »
01.25.2008 | Seattle PI | When it comes to the first few weeks after a child's birth, the state of Washington plans to give parents a small taste of the fair treatment that is the standard worldwide. Full Story »
01.09.2008 | Public News Service | After eight years with the state's minimum wage pegged to inflation, both workers and employers appear to have benefitted. Full Story »
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from the Economic Opportunity Institute. Liquid layout thanks to Matthew James Taylor.