Business and Finance

Issues

At Home, Many Seniors Are Imprisoned by Their Independence

Almost two million people over age 65, or nearly 6 percent of those Americans (excluding nursing home residents), rarely or never leave their homes, researchers recently reported in JAMA Internal Medicine. The homebound far outnumber the 1.4 million residents of nursing homes. Using data from the 2011 National Health and Aging Trends Study, the study authors defined as homebound those who in the past month had not left their homes at all or had gone

Read more
For the Love of Animals By J. PEDER ZANEMAY 13, 2015

Retirement remains a time when many Americans move away from things they have to paint, feed or nurture. Only 41 percent of Americans 65 and older live in households with pets, compared with 68 percent of those 45 to 54 and 76 percent of 18- to 24-year olds, according to a 2014 survey by Mintel, a market research agency.  The golden years may have less bark, bite and meow, but in the last decade new scientific studies, evolving attitudes about pets

Read more
Washington is odd state out on a capital-gains tax

By Laurie Jinkins Our tax system hurts middle-class and low-income families while the wealthiest reap record gains on Wall Street. “THE U.S. economy has recovered,” the news media tell us.The signs are everywhere: The stock market is up, business is booming, unemployment is down and corporate profits are through the roof. But if you look beneath the shiny exterior you see a different story. Families are working harder and harder but not seeing

Read more
New PASS IT ON campaign

The Federal Trade Commission works to prevent fraudulent, deceptive and unfair business practices in the marketplace.  Their new campaign is Pass It On.  The goal of the Pass It On campaign is to empower older adults to share information about fraud and scams with their family and peers.   http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/features/feature-0030-pass-it-on

Read more
PBS NewsHour report On Easing Burden For Caregivers

For the 42 million Americans who take care of loved ones at home, the responsibilities of care -- once the purview of trained nurses -- have become increasingly complex. AARP has begun to advocate for greater caregiver support through public policy and legislation, but the health care industry may be wary of additional regulation. Special correspondent Kathleen McCleery reports at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/advocating-care-home-caregivers/ Two

Read more
Understanding Washington State Taxes

To help you evaluate fiscal issues in our state, review the excellent guides listed below, prepared by the Washington State Senate's non-partisan staff. "A Citizen's Guide to Washington State Budget" "A Legislative Guide to Washington State Property Taxes" "A Citizen's Guide to Washington State K-12 Finance" "Legislative Guide to Washington State's Tax Structure"    

Read more
Reforming Ferguson-style “debtors’ prisons” here in Washington State

The most shocking news out of Ferguson, Missouri following the shooting of Michael Brown wasn’t about police violence or racism. It was the way Ferguson and neighboring cities balanced their budgets by operating what are widely called “modern-day debtors’ prisons.” Courts there routinely jailed poor people for failing to pay traffic tickets and other minor infractions, then charged them a never-ending series of court fees and jail costs,

Read more
Keep Patients Healthy, and Doctors Sane

Obamacare has ripped the invisibility cloak off millions of people who ignored signs of deteriorating health until the consequences were irreversible. But, in case you haven’t been listening to talk radio, Obamacare is not perfect. Small communities such as mine must cope with thousands of patients who need specialty care at Medicaid and Medicare reimbursement rates. Many doctors are straining to treat urgent and expensive problems while paying

Read more
Moneytree leads push to loosen state’s payday-lending law

Washington’s payday lenders have lost three-quarters of their business in the five years since a tough new state law restricting the high-cost loans marketed to poor families took effect. Now the industry, led by Seattle-based Moneytree, is lobbying state lawmakers to revamp the law. Lenders are backing legislation to eliminate traditional two-week payday loans and replace them with “installment loans” that would stretch repayment out for up

Read more
Two Generations, Retired and Together By FRAN HAWTHORNE

Retiree Sr. and Retiree Jr. Longer lives and pensions have meant families with retirees from two generations in one family. But disappearing pensions and delayed retirements will probably change that. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/12/business/two-generations-retired-and-together.html

Read more
Retirement Reality Is Catching Up With Me By JOHN SCHWARTZ

I am an idiot. That, at least, is the impression I get from personal finance websites and magazines and books. They all seem to say I’m doing pretty much everything wrong when it comes to my financial life, basically because I don’t pay that much attention to my finances. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/12/business/retirement-reality-is-catching-up-with-me.html

Read more
State Alzheimer’s Planning Group Seeks Public Input

Washington State's Alzheimer's Disease Working Group is hosting  Community Meetings.  The group wants to hear about what's  needed and what could be improved to better help people with dementia and their family caregivers.  Public input will be used to shape strategic plans and policies. In person meetings will be held: Yakima - March 31, Seattle April 1, Spokane April 8, Olympia/Lacey April 28, Sequim May 1 See the Calendar for locations and

Read more
Medicare for All

Universal health care, Improved Medicare for All, will establish cost efficiency that eliminates major medical bills and medical-related bankruptcies. It will simplify our way of paying for health care and lower the total cost for the United States. It will be good for the physical and financial health of Americans and America. All other 29 free-market countries (1) implemented their versions of universal health care between 1883 and 1972. Their

Read more
Committee On Aging and Disability Issues Final Report

JLEC Final Report (click to read) The Joint Legislative Executive Committee on Aging and Disability Issues (Committee) was established in the 2013-15 operating budget. The Committee was charged with the responsibility to identify strategic actions to prepare for the aging of Washington's population by: 1.Establishing a profile of Washington's older population and population with disabilities and a projectionof those populations through 2030; 2.Establishing

Read more
Can Canada ease our transportation mess?

Canada builds many of its projects with an eye toward long-term performance and maintenance. Washington state has talked about the idea, but tied itself in knots. America’s infrastructure is in disrepair. Decades of deferred maintenance, complex and sometimes contradictory regulations across various agencies and levels of government, and a combination of wasteful spending and a refusal to raise taxes have all lead us to where we are now. http://crosscut.com/2015/01/02/transportation/123262/leveraging-private-equity-public-good-canadian-way/?page=single

Read more
Lawmakers Talk Nuclear Energy, And Washington’s Clean Energy Future

Given the current political climate surrounding energy production in Washington state, perhaps it wasn’t surprising a nuclear energy task force consisting of Democratic and Republican lawmakers failed to make recommendations when it met for the final time in 2014 on Wednesday. But despite the inaction, comments from key lawmakers on energy policy from the respective parties provided some glimpse of how they’ll view nuclear energy in the broader

Read more
More political games in Congress with our sales tax deduction

Nothing is more certain than death and taxes — and, seemingly, the December battle over the sales tax deduction. Again this year, Congress is going through the ritual of “deciding” whether to extend the deduction, which people in Washington and six other states rely on. The House on Wednesday approved a retroactive extension good for only 2014. Next year, it will be another fight. Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/04/3523421_more-political-games-in-congress.html?sp=/99http://www.thenewstribune.com/2014/12/04/3523421_more-political-games-in-congress.html?sp=/99/447/465/&rh=1/447/465/&rh=1#storylink=cpy

Read more
Mountains to Sound passes out of committee

The U.S. House Natural Resources Committee passed the Mountains to Sound Greenway National Heritage Act out of committee on Nov. 18. The act would designate a stretch of scenic landscape from Seattle to Ellensburg as a National Heritage Area. A Natural Heritage Area is a large, lived-in area designated by the U.S. Congress where historical, natural, recreational and cultural resources combine to form a landscape worthy of national distinction.  

Read more
WSDOT: Freight congestion could cost Washington $3.3 billion, tens of thousands of jobs

The just-released Washington State Freight Plan, the most comprehensive Washington state has ever attempted, is an effort to prioritize where dollars should be spent to best help the state's freight transportation system.   http://www.bizjournals.com/seattle/news/2014/12/02/wsdot-freight-congestion-could-cost-washington-3-3.html

Read more
Growth game: Housing prices challenge Puget Sound

The growth game is back: How many construction cranes are visible from Lake Union? Sixteen? Twenty? New ones seem to sprout weekly, signaling a remarkable rate and concentration of growth. Although Emmett Watson turns in his grave at all this change, growth does provide jobs, tax revenues and a promising future for those emerging from school. And it is far easier to engage in progressive public policy when the private sector is booming. But enthusiasm

Read more