Thursday, December 29, 2011

Disparity: Mainstream Washington women mainly treading water in wages

Call it the Evergreen Ceiling. Maybe that’s an appropriate and awfully unfortunate new Washington sobriquet -- what with our ranking 41st nationally in the wage disparity between women and men.

So reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, according to this recent "Disparity in wages puts Washington at No. 41" article in the Spokesman-Review newspaper.  Here’s the specific, state-by-state table on the bureau’s website.

That's right. By a good many measures, the Evergreen State justly prides itself on the accomplishments of citizens who make up more than half of its population:
  • Women U.S. senators? Check.
  • Woman governor? Check.
  • Woman Chief Justice of state Supreme Court? Check.
  • Woman majority leader in state Senate? Check.
  • Women significant percentages in both state legislative chambers? Check.

But when it comes to wages for average working women, that's another story. Consider that in 2010 women totaled 938,000 and men 1,255,000 of the state's workforce of 2,193,000.

Washington women working full time earned $748 a week in 2010, which is 76.5 percent of the $978 that the men here took home every week. On average, U.S. women earned $669 a week, which is 81.2 percent of the median weekly wage of $824 for men.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mapmaker, mapmaker, make me a map…

With only a few days to spare, the Washington State Redistricting Commission released its draft proposal for new congressional district boundaries Dec. 28. Due to population growth between 2000 and 2010, the state earned an additional representative in Congress, so the commission had to carve out a new 10th district.

The commission must adopt plans for Congress and the state Legislature by Jan. 1, or the state Supreme Court takes over those tasks. You can follow the commission’s progress and view more maps on its web site.

The next commission meeting will be covered live by TVW on Thursday, December 29 at 10:30 a.m. Check your local listings or click here to watch the hearing.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.

For whom the toll bills

Before the sun rises over Lake Washington tomorrow – in fact, nearly three hours before the sun struggles to shine through the clouds and rain – the first toll will be collected on a car crossing the state Route 520 bridge. 
Although “collected” may not be quite the right word: For a driver who has purchased a “Good to Go!” pass and installed the sticker on his or her vehicle, the toll will be deducted automatically from the prepaid account; otherwise, a camera will record the vehicle’s license plate and send the owner a (higher) bill. 
Visit the Washington state Department of Transportation web site for more information, or the WSDOT blog for the answers to 10 frequently-asked questions about tolling.

To read this story in Spanish, click here.

Photo: WSDOT