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Social Security: Not Just for Seniors in Washington

News Coverage | August 7, 2015 | Public News Service

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.

VIDEO: Mother is calling on Gov. Inslee to fund paid maternity leave

News Coverage | May 29, 2015 | KIRO TV

An Everett mom is calling on Governor Jay Inslee to fund paid maternity leave - with comments by Marilyn Watkins, Policy Director, Economic Opportunity Institute.

Good step on retirement accounts

News Coverage | May 21, 2015 | The Olympian

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.

New Law Helps More Wash. Workers Save for Retirement

News Coverage | May 19, 2015 | Washington News Service

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.

Michigan plan promises to cover college tuition, but students must ‘pay it forward’

News Coverage | May 19, 2015 | PBS Newshour

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.

This Chart Shows How State Taxes Screw You

News Coverage | April 13, 2015 | Mother Jones

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.

Do Washington State tax breaks level the playing field or reward the powerful?

News Coverage | March 24, 2015 | KPLU

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.

Paid sick leave helps workers and businesses

News Coverage | March 11, 2015 | Everett Herald

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.

County Councilmembers introduce legislation for up to 12 weeks of paid parental leave for county employees

News Coverage | February 26, 2015 | Kent Reporter

Metropolitan King County Council members on Thursday introduced legislation that would guarantee working moms and dads employed by the county up to 12 weeks in paid parental leave after a birth, adoption or new placement of a foster child. Dr. Marilyn P. Watkins, Policy Director of the Economic Opportunity Institute says, “We know that babies thrive best when their parents can spend those first weeks of life with them, with lasting benefits for their health and development.”

Senate panel forwards bill to pay teens lower wages

News Coverage | February 16, 2015 | Yakima Herald

A bill that would allow employers to pay seasonal teen workers the lower federal minimum wage passed out of a Senate committee last week. Supporters argue that the measure, Senate Bill 5421, would help small businesses stay competitive and offer more motivation to hire teenagers. Opponents of the bill, however, say lowering the wage more than $2 below the state minimum would hurt the youngest workers more than might be expected. EOI's Marilyn Watkins says cutting teen wages would damage students and families. “Teen workers along with everyone else need to receive fair compensation for their labor."

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