The issue of paid family leave is coming into the forefront in Washington again. The state is among eight recently selected for a federal grant to research the benefits of implementing a paid family and medical leave program.
Considering the new raises in the context of average teacher salaries dating back to 2010, teachers have lost $8,728 in average salary over the last five years, according to John Burbank, executive director of the Economic Opportunity Institute.
While the importance of Social Security to seniors is most often in the spotlight, said Marilyn Watkins, policy director for the Economic Opportunity Institute, the program also has helped stabilize the economy overall.
An Everett mom is calling on Governor Jay Inslee to fund paid maternity leave - with comments by Marilyn Watkins, Policy Director, Economic Opportunity Institute.
AARP and the left-of-center Economic Opportunity Institute in Seattle describe the program concept as an “easy to use retirement tool” for employers that will benefit workers, and they note 1.5 million Washington workers currently lack access to retirement plans through their employers.
The idea of small business retirement plans has been raised before in the Statehouse, but until now, the financial service industry opposed it as potential competition, because the state would have managed the program. Gary Burris, senior policy associate with the Economic Opportunity Institute, says the difference now is the industry has agreed to do it.
Higher education doesn’t come cheap, but legislators in Michigan have proposed a creative solution for financing college tuition — make it free. That’s the first step. Second step: require the student to “pay it forward” by contributing a fixed percentage of their post-collegiate income into a fund that would help aid future college students.
A lot of people think the federal tax code should be more progressive, but it looks downright socialist compared to the typical state tax code. A chart released last week by Citizens for Tax Justice puts it in context, showing how the wealthy typically pay lower state tax rates. I asked John Burbank, the executive director of the Seattle-based Economic Opportunity Institute and an architect of Washington's failed 2010 income tax measure, why he thought the measure had failed to pass.
KPLU explores Washington State's tax system through a week-long series. In their second installment of “Where’s the Dough? On the Hunt for Washington’s Missing Tax Dollars," KPLU takes a look at tax exemptions for farmers and what their role is in creating a fair economy. EOI's Executive Director John Burbank weighs in on the cost of Washington's 600 exemptions, especially when nearly $11 billion of that impact comes from the 25 biggest exemptions alone.
Staying home when you're sick helps you get well and keeps others from getting sick. But there is no law requiring employers to ensure workers have paid sick days — or any other kind of leave or vacation, for that matter. And there's nothing to prevent an employer from firing someone for missing a day of work if they are sick. That's why we need House Bill 1356, which recently passed the state House. Washington workers need paid sick days.
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