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Hometown: South Texas. most of my life I lived in Austin and Dallas
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Middle-aged white guy who believes in justice and equality for all. Math and computer analyst with additional 21st century jack-of-all-trades skills. I'm a stud, not a dud!

Journal Archives

Oregon reproductive health bill rally draws dozens

Dozens of people rallied at the Oregon Capitol Tuesday in support of House Bill 2232, which proponents call the Reproductive Health Equity Act.

The bill would expand reproductive health care, requiring insurance companies in the state to cover the full range of preventive reproductive health services, including abortion, at no out-of-pocket cost to patients.

The bill includes those who are without health care coverage due to citizenship status, and prohibits discriminating against a person based on their gender identity.

The effort comes amidst uncertainty over the federal Affordable Care Act, which President Trump has promised to repeal. The bill would require insurance providers to cover reproductive health services without copays, even if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.

Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/28/oregon-reproductive-health-bill-rally-draws-dozens/98486830/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:03 AM (0 replies)

Sex trafficking, evictions, gun reform among top priorities for Womens Health & Wellness Alliance

Bills to guarantee reproductive rights, help victims of sex trafficking, and provide eviction protection are among 16 pieces of legislation backed by the Oregon Women’s Health & Wellness Alliance.

The group of legislators, state and local agency staff, health care workers and citizen advocates has been working to help Oregon women and families since 1992.

Members announced the group’s 2017 legislative agenda priorities Monday morning.

“(The bills) really go to some of the underlying causes of things that prevent women from having health and safety in the community,” said Rep. Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland, co-chairwoman of the group. “So they go into the areas of firearms and transgender and a variety of things you might not think are specific to women but we know they disproportionally impact women.”

Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/27/sex-trafficking-evictions-gun-reform-among-top-priorities-oregon-womens-health-wellness-alliance/98478948/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 06:01 AM (0 replies)

Oregon bill would help transgender residents change vital records to reflect new name, gender

Transgender residents want the Oregon Legislature to make it easier for them to change their names and gender designations on vital records.

In written and oral testimony at a committee hearing Monday, more than a dozen people described their challenges with the state’s current statute, which requires a legal petition that must be publicly posted in a county courthouse.

“I have feared for my safety because I am transgender, so as you can imagine having to go into a government building where my old feminine sounding name would be publicly announced and posted is prohibitive,” North Portland resident J Gibbons said.

The court process also is inconsistent from county to county and can be costly and hard to navigate, according to Basic Rights Oregon, which requested the legislation.

Read more: http://www.statesmanjournal.com/story/news/politics/2017/02/27/oregon-bill-would-help-transgender-residents-change-vital-records-reflect-new-name-gender/98498396/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:59 AM (0 replies)

Attempt to tie Boeing jobs to tax breaks struggling

OLYMPIA — Aerospace workers attempting to claw back some of a multibillion dollar tax break to the Boeing Co. because of its shrinking workforce in Washington are not getting much traction with lawmakers this year.

Wednesday marks the halfway point of the 2017 session and no legislation has been introduced to tie the company’s continued enjoyment of tax savings to the number of people Boeing employs in the state.

Representatives of unions representing Machinists and engineers said a bill they’re drafting targets the 2013 law extending a suite of incentives to the aerospace industry that could save Boeing up to $8.7 billion in tax payments through 2040. Since lawmakers passed the extension in a special session, Boeing has shed nearly 12,000 jobs while establishing its 777X program in Everett.

“I’m optimistic we’ll get a bill introduced,” said Larry Brown, political director for the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 751.

Read more: http://www.heraldnet.com/news/attempt-to-tie-boeing-jobs-to-tax-breaks-struggling/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:48 AM (0 replies)

Senate OKs bill to add hundreds of ballot drop boxes in state

OLYMPIA — A Monroe lawmaker’s bill that could more than double the number of ballot drop boxes in Washington is on its way to the state House after sailing through the Senate.

On Monday, senators approved the legislation 49-0 with Republicans and Democrats predicting it will boost participation of voters by making it easier for them to return their ballots.

“This is really important for people in the rural areas,” said Sen. Kirk Pearson, R-Monroe, the bill’s sponsor.

Many constituents in his 39th Legislative District must travel a long distance to find a box to return ballots postage-free, he said. Otherwise they need to use a stamp to mail in their ballots and that is like a poll tax, Pearson contended.

Read more: http://www.heraldnet.com/news/senate-oks-bill-to-add-hundreds-of-ballot-drop-boxes-in-state/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:46 AM (0 replies)

Bill allowing robots to travel on Idaho sidewalks wins House committee approval

This Starship Technologies photo shows one of the company’s personal delivery robots en route to a delivery. (Starship Technologies Inc.)

With just one “no” vote, the House Transportation Committee has approved a bill to allow “personal delivery robots” to travel on Idaho sidewalks like motorized wheelchairs and Segways. Rep. Melissa Wintrow, D-Boise, who cast the only “no” vote, said, “I think I’m the only conservative left in the Legislature on this issue.”

But she also added, looking at the small robot that was being demonstrated in the committee room, “I’d love to put my cat in there.”

The company behind the effort is Starship Technologies Inc., a European tech company based in London and Estonia. It was launched by two co-founders of Skype, Janus Friis and Ahti Heinla, who is Starship’s CEO. According to the company’s website, the robot can carry two bags of groceries and is 22 inches tall.

Rep. Sage Dixon, R-Ponderay, asked representatives of Starship Technologies Inc., “How has this played out in Redwood City? If we come back next year, are we going to have hundreds of these little guys running around Boise?”

Read more: http://www.spokesman.com/stories/2017/feb/28/bill-allowing-robots-to-travel-on-idaho-sidewalks-/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:43 AM (0 replies)

State attorney general vows to defend Washington's recreational pot laws

Marijuana users and sellers nationwide might experience “greater enforcement” of federal drug laws from the Trump administration, according to comments Thursday from White House press secretary Sean Spicer.

But Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson said he is prepared to “defend the will of Washington voters.”

“My office will use every tool at our disposal to ensure that the federal government does not undermine Washington’s successful, unified system for regulating recreational and medical marijuana,” Ferguson said in an emailed statement Thursday afternoon.

Ferguson, along with Gov. Jay Inslee, sent a letter last week to U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking to meet with him to talk about the Department of Justice’s position on state marijuana laws.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/local/marijuana/article134637959.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:36 AM (0 replies)

Why Republican lawmakers are pushing for votes on Democratic governors tax raises

Washington’s GOP-led state Senate might hold floor votes this week on more than $5 billion in new taxes proposed by Democratic Gov. Jay Inslee, despite having no intent of approving them.

Republican leadership has consistently opposed the governor’s taxes, in part claiming they’re unnecessarily expensive. But they have a reason for advancing the taxes to the floor: forcing Democrats to vote on them.

The move is part of an ongoing battle over how to comply with the state Supreme Court’s McCleary education ruling. In the McCleary case, the high court ruled the state is overreliant on local levies to pay for basic education in K-12 schools.

While Democrats who control the House have passed a measure that aims to fix the way the state pays for education, they haven’t proposed any taxes they say are needed to pay for it. Their plan is estimated to cost about $7.6 billion over the next four years.

Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/politics-government/article135359374.html
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:34 AM (0 replies)

Judge won't dismiss Seattle's suit against Monsanto over PCB cleanup

A federal judge has refused to dismiss a lawsuit filed last year by the city of Seattle against Monsanto to make the company pay for the cleanup of toxic PCBs from the city’s drainage system and the Duwamish River.

U.S. District Judge Robert Lasnik, in denying Monsanto’s motion to dismiss the case, said the city’s claim “plausibly alleges that Monsanto knew that its chemical products were toxic, yet chose not to modify its toxic chemical products, or to warn of their toxicity, in order to maximize its profits.”

Monsanto was the sole producer of PCBs (polychlorinated biphenyls) for commercial use in the United States from 1935 to 1977, and continued to profit from their sale for years even as its officials knew the chemicals were polluting the environment, causing harm to people and wildlife, according to pleadings filed by the city’s contract attorneys.

They sued last year, and Monsanto moved to dismiss the lawsuit.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/environment/judge-wont-dismiss-seattles-suit-against-monsanto-over-pcb-cleanup/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:27 AM (0 replies)

Trump sons open hotel tower in Vancouver, B.C., as officials boycott event

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — Ignoring protests, claims their newest real-estate venture clashes with Canadian values and a no-show mayor who tried to change the tower’s name, U.S. President Donald Trump’s sons said Tuesday that it was “so fitting” to see the Trump brand in Vancouver, a city known for its diversity and progressive politics.

Protesters, some carrying posters proclaiming, “Love Trumps Hate,” surrounded the entrance to the Trump hotel and condominium tower while police and security officers in black suits gathered on sidewalks at the soaring edifice, which has drawn praise for its sleek design but has also raised ethical concerns about the business interests of the new U.S. president.

Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson, who had lobbied for the Trump name to be removed from the tower, refused to attend the ceremony in protest of Trump’s policies on immigration and other matters.

“The name Trump has now become synonymous not with luxury and lifestyle, but with racism, sexism and intolerance,” said City Councilman Kerry Jang, who was among other city officials boycotting the event.

Read more: http://www.seattletimes.com/business/trump-sons-open-hotel-tower-in-vancouver-as-officials-boycott-event/
Posted by TexasTowelie | Wed Mar 1, 2017, 05:25 AM (0 replies)
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