Offering frequent news and analysis from the majestic Evergreen State and beyond, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Governor Gregoire: State of the State is dire

Earlier today, Governor Gregoire gave her State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature. Her remarks repeatedly emphasized the need for compassion and leadership in this time of crisis.

The Governor issued a strong call to action to the House and Senate, urging them to act in the best interests of posterity.
For all of us who are called to public service, I would suggest that NOW is the time for leadership — it is the most important time to serve. For as difficult and challenging as the decisions that lie ahead of us will be, now is the time to be decisive, and now is the time for compassion.

It’s the time to make a real difference for people.

It’s the time to truly shape the future of Washington.

In the best of times, people forget legislative sessions. In the worst of times, history shows decisiveness is what is remembered.

We must have the courage to make hard choices — and to plan for tomorrow while making decisions for today.
The Governor stressed that Washington's economy needs new jobs. In 2009, 475,000 Washingtonians signed up for unemployment benefits and some areas of the State are at 14% unemployment. Governor Gregoire:
We need to get Washington back to work.

We owe it to our families to provide job opportunities. I have a plan to create as many as 40,000 new jobs this year.
She will be releasing the full plan on Thursday.

The Governor took pains to disavow the "balanced" budget she released in December, saying she wants to "buy back" many of the proposed cuts.
In December, I presented a balanced state budget as required by state law.

It is said that budgets are state policy. But they are much more than that. The budget reflects who we are as a state and the values we hold.

The December budget was balanced, but it would force us to abandon the values that define this state: fairness and compassion.

It would be unjust, unwise and unfair to abandon our friends and neighbors when they need us the most.
And to renege on the state's paramount duty to provide for the education of young Washingtonians:
Education is the single best investment for our future and the key to the success of our kids.

The balanced budget takes away health care for 70,000 individuals and 16,000 children. That’s not fair. We must not deny health care to families and kids and then pass the costs on to the insured.

The balanced budget eliminates early learning for 1,500 kids and would eliminate state funds for all-day kindergarten. That's not wise.
The Governor is calling upon the Legislature to new revenue. She says that it is "not wise" to let our state fall apart out of fear of raising taxes.

There are plenty of places that she and the Legislature can look to for revenue, such as getting rid of tax loopholes for big corporations.

The current budget is unacceptable and would tear apart our common wealth. It's our hope that our state's Democratic majority will find the courage to protect and preserve the vital services that the people of Washington depend on.


Blogger Create American Jobs for American Workers. End H-1B only jobs said...

A fair, inexpensive, and fair way to end a large portion of the unemployment crisis in Washington State. (A brief context first provides the reasoning behind the plan to end unemployment)

It is my understanding WA State has the largest per capita concentration of H-1B and L-1 temporary visa workers in the USA..

Why? Microsoft. MS tops the charts as the world's largest sponsor of corporate visas.

The Laws - MIcrosoft and their top DC lobbyist (and convicted felon), Jack Abramoff, masterminded and funded H-1b visa legislation that makes it legal for Microsoft and and other greedy corporations to discriminate against Americans and hire only foreign visa workers. With this loophole, it makes no difference if an American is qualified or wants the job.

Microsoft laid off 5,800 employees in 2009 (most US citizens) and hired more than 5,800 foreign visa replacements at the same time.
--> Laid off workers, this is a big reason WHY you are not hearing back from employers on job applications.

These guest worker programs are filled with fraud and abuse. In fact, GAO audits found over 20% H-1B applications are fraudulent. Thankfully, Congress, DOJ, DOL, USCIS and Congress are cracking down on the fraud and abuse.

New bills in front of Congress now will close egregious loopholes in these laws that result in depriving Americans the right to compete for jobs in our own country.

--> Write your Congressmen insist they pass S887 and Employ America Act to end H-1B and L-1 visa fraud and abuse.

How to lower Washington State unemployment

Short Term
• Prohibit the hiring of H-1B and L-1 temporary visa workers for all Washington State, County, and City jobs.

• Penalize Washington State employers who lay off American citizens while hiring H-1B and L-1 replacements exclusively offshore.

• Ban ALL H-1B and L-1 ONLY Job ads and post all jobs on Worksource for 60 days before seeking H-1B and L-1 visa workers.

• Outlaw H-1B transfers in Washington State. They displace American workers.

• Outlaw awarding state, county and city contracts to all H-1B and L-1 contracting firms, their subcontractors, and their corporate visa guest workers for all Washington State government contacts.

• Investigate potential fraud regarding Microsoft hiring practices of foreign workers for the laid off Americans they replaced.

• Reform Washington State Campaign Finance policies to prevent special interest influence of lawmakers.

• Initiate public service campaign to publically recognize and reward Washington State employers that hire Americans.

• Give Washington State employers a tax credit to hire laid off American citizens.

January 13, 2010 5:42 PM  
Blogger Eric said...

I am absolutely appalled with the h-1b situation! Some people are making sure that this country with have tons of overqualified and underpaid workers and then even Americans owing $50,000 in secured student loans and not have a job. Microsoft and IBM will end up like Lucent technologies if they are not careful. Why would you want to devalue your own country? It will then become harder for you to obtain goods here in the US because American money is worth less. It's not the country that you are really hurting it's the people and in the end your own family. Bill Gates wife has a good heart, what happened to her talking Bill into being more compassionate? He has a brilliant mind but his greed to own the world is becoming absolutely repulsive. I am a junior psychology and economics major and profiler. Maybe I should move to India so I can get a job.

January 29, 2010 3:46 PM  

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