skip to main content
skip to newscasts

Saturday, June 15, 2024

Public News Service Logo
facebook instagram linkedin reddit youtube twitter
view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court throws out a Trump-era ban on gun bump stocks; a look at how social media algorithms and Shakespearian villains have in common; and states receive federal funding to clean up legacy mine pollution.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

view newscast page
play newscast audioPlay

As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

A Few More Bucks in WA Teachers' Pockets?

play audio
Play

Monday, January 20, 2014   

SEATTLE - An issue coming up again this year in the Washington Legislature is whether to restore the cost-of-living allowance (COLA) to paychecks of teachers and other education workers who have done without it since 2009.

To community college instructors such as Esther "Little Dove" John, a psychology instructor at Seattle Central Community College, the COLA is a matter of fairness. Washington voters decided in 2000 that workers in public education should get cost-of-living adjustments based on inflation, but the legislature put them on hold during the state budget crunch.

Today, John said, the budget crunch is hers. She said she worries about spending even an extra $5.

"Since the COLA has been suspended, it's felt like I've been in one of those rooms where the walls are closing in on you. It's gotten harder and harder for me to make my rent, to afford food, to find the money to pay for my health care," John said.

Teachers' unions have said restoring the COLA also helps the local economy by giving more workers a little more take-home pay to spend. Gov. Inslee's proposal, for a 1.3 percent COLA, is part of a $200 million boost he is advocating for school funding.

A preliminary bill in the House (H 2832) would restore the COLA, which has bipartisan support from more than 50 lawmakers. It's an idea that has not made headway in past sessions, but John said this year could be different, with the governor's backing.

"He said that by closing some unnecessary tax loopholes that big businesses get, we could fund the cost-of-living adjustment for this year," John said. "So, I feel like we have a better chance this time than we've had in a while."

The governor did not specify which tax loopholes might be closed, although one that has been unpopular is the so-called "Big Oil Loophole." Passed in the 1940s, it gives today's oil refinery owners what detractors say is an unintentional $41 million annual state tax break.




get more stories like this via email

more stories
The wells providing water on Santee Tribal lands had manganese levels more than 50 times greater than what is considered safe for adults. Excessively high manganese can cause problems with memory, attention and motor skills. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

play sound

Members of the Nebraska Santee Sioux Tribe hope a solution to their five-year water ordeal may be on the way. Their tap water has been unusable for …


play sound

Hurricane season is here, and conservationists are shining a light on the role salt marshes play in protecting coastal North Carolina communities…

Social Issues

play sound

This weekend, Father's Day will be tough for children with a dad in jail or prison. More than 200,000 kids in Michigan have had an incarcerated …


Social Issues

play sound

Local election administrators have new guidance from Wisconsin's highest court on alternative early voting sites. A political expert says the timing …

Between 2017 and 2022, Minnesota saw a more than 30% increase in farm acres planted with cover crops. (Adobe Stock)

Environment

play sound

When Minnesota farmers watch their crops grow this summer, some will monitor land that has better soil health. It's because of a fairly popular …

Environment

play sound

West Virginia will receive $140 million to clean up legacy pollution in regions decimated by decades of coal mining. The money is part of $725 …

Environment

play sound

Close to 200 events are planned now through Sunday at California state parks for the third annual State Parks Week. The events advance Gov. Gavin …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021