Gov. Jay Inslee said this morning that state lawmakers have a tentative budget deal that will be finished by 5 p.m. The governor said plans for a possible government shutdown on Monday have been canceled, and all state workers are being told to plan to be at work Monday. The governor began his statement, “I am happy and I know we are all relieved." Relieved? Inslee, especially. Imagine the mark an unprecented shutdown would have left on a rookie governor. As it is, this week's tense negotiations go down as the latest example of a long pattern of legislative procrastination.
Sims backs Murray
Former King County Executive Ron Sims today endorsed state Sen. Ed Murray for Seattle mayor. In a statement, Sims said, "He builds coalitions that deliver results, and that is exactly the kind of leadership we need in our next mayor." Seattle Weekly's Ellis Conklin reports that at the press event this morning, Sims, who had considered his own run for mayor against McGinn, said he isn't "anti-McGinn" but that "Seattle has lost its flash."
However you spin that, Sims was the biggest single endorsement available and McGinn didn't get him. Or, to put it as positively as the inspirational postings Sims favors on Facebook, its a big win for Murray.
Help for Nickelsville residents
Union Gospel Mission and Seattle's Human Services Department are working on a contract to provide extensive shelter and case management services to residents of the closing Nickelsville tent encampment. The plan is for counselors and case managers to work one-on-one with Nickelsville's 160 residents to place them in stable housing situations through partner institutions, said Union's Terry Pallas. The services will, of course, be free of any religious requirement and be available for a full year.
The city council voted to shut down the shelter by Sep 1st and have appropriated $500,000 toward helping find new shelter options and services. Council President Sally Clark and others said they were acting because the city can do better than leaving people in what was becoming a near-permanent tent encampment. It sounds like Human Services intends to be sure that happens.
Sound Transit to Ballard?
Sound Transit and the Seattle Department of Transportation are unveiling eight possible rail routes from Ballard to downtown tonight during a 5 p.m. meeting at Ballard High School.
Mayor McGinn shared his excitement about the possibility of Ballard rail service in a blog post today (it's a long way and many dollars away). "These routes represent an opportunity to provide Ballard with the transportation infrastructure that should have come along with the addition of significant housing and jobs in this great neighborhood," he wrote. For once, a city official is acknowledging a neighborhood's feeling that the city got things backassward on density and services. Bet a lot of other neighborhoods would like to hear that their concerns are more than mere NIMBYism.
Sticking up for the cabin cleaners
Campaigners seeking better pay and working conditions for employees at Sea-Tac International Airport today revealed that an airlines contractor has been fined $25,000 for unsafe and unsanitary working conditions among cabin cleaners. The Department of Labor and Industries finding, released by Working Washington, cites inadequate protection from exposure to bodily fluids and a lack of planning for safety procedures by airline contractor Air Serv. Working Washington said Air Serv primarily works with United Airlines at Sea-Tac. The group is lobbying the Port of Seattle to require better conditions and pay. The notice said violations must be corrected by July 10.
A recording on a phone number for Air Serv's Seattle office said the party is not accepting calls; an email has been sent to the corporate offices.
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