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Close loophole and college can be affordable

Commentary | February 25, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Tuition for the University of Washington now takes up almost one-third of the typical wage earner's annual salary. But State Sens. John Braun, R-Centralia, and Barbara Bailey, R-Oak Harbor, have an idea. They introduced a bill to cut tuition at our four-year colleges. It currently lacks a funding source and without funding, these tuition cuts are completely hypothetical. But it doesn't have to be this way - and there is a solution.

Why are state lawmakers pushing a bill, HB 1922, that will insure poor people stay poor and the struggling working class always struggling?

Commentary | February 13, 2015 | Sky Valley Chronicle

If your friend told you that she could get a payday loan of $700, and that the interest would be 36%, plus a small loan origination fee of 15%, plus a monthly maintenance fee of 7.5%, you might advise her to get out her calculator. Here’s why.

Pay-day loan bill would reverse reforms

Commentary | February 11, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

If your friend told you that she could get a payday loan of $700, and that the interest would be 36 percent, plus a small loan origination fee of 15 percent, plus a monthly maintenance fee of 7.5 percent, you might advise her to get out her calculator. Here's why.

For Seahawks and workers, 12 is a magic number

Commentary | January 28, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

12… 12… 12. It seems that everywhere we look, we see 12s. Windows, doors, cars, shirts, socks … 12, 12, 12. Which is as it should be, leading up to the second Super Bowl in a row for the Seahawks. So 12 is key to paving the way to the Super Bowl. It is also a key to decent pay in our state. In Olympia there is a movement for 12 as well, but it won't end on Sunday. It is a movement to establish $12 an hour as our statewide minimum wage.

Does the state legislature work for you or the 1%?

Commentary | January 16, 2015 | By John Burbank | Sky Valley Chronicle

The economy is doing well. But the reality of current state financing is that we just don’t have the money to pay for high quality education and good and appropriate public goods and services. If the economy is doing so well, where is that money?

Follow the money and fix the state budget

Commentary | January 14, 2015 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

Now that the Washington Legislature is back at work, they need to confront a fundamental reality of current state financing: We just don't have the money to pay for high quality education and good and appropriate public goods and services. Yet the economy is doing well - so where is that money?

A higher statewide minimum wage means workers will earn more

Commentary | January 7, 2015 | By John Burbank | Real Change News

The stock market is going great guns. But let’s be clear about this money: it is the automatic effect of wealth creating more wealth. If you have money, you make money, creating more wealth, more privilege and more power. So what is the good news, if it isn’t the stock market? How about the 15 cent increase to our state’s minimum wage?

The stock market is doing great

Commentary | January 2, 2015 | By John Burbank | Sky Valley Chronicle

The stock market is going great guns! That’s supposed to be the good news for the new year. It is indeed for a very small slice of people, but not really for the rest of us. So what is the good news for 2015, if it isn’t the stock market? How about the 15 cent increase in our state’s minimum wage?

15-cent boost to minimum wage means a lot to workers, economy

Commentary | December 31, 2014 | By John Burbank | Everett Herald

What is the good news for tomorrow? How about the 15-cent increase in our state's minimum wage? January's increase of 1.59 percent will directly benefit about 176,000 workers in our state. People you know will see a wage increase — your neighbor, your teenage kid, and the person who serves you coffee and donuts.

Dissecting the governor’s budget proposal

Commentary | December 23, 2014 | By Marilyn Watkins | South Seattle Emerald

Governor Inslee’s first draft budget devotes new resources to education and transportation, takes small steps at modernizing our outmoded and regressive tax structure, and takes a swipe at climate change. The draft budget is a good start, with a vision for a better future. But it doesn’t move us far enough toward providing all our state’s children and families with true opportunity.

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