UW Today

March 28, 2014

News Briefs: Minimum wage analysis; Climate change discussion; Suicide prevention bill

Evans School faculty members analyze minimum wage increase

Raising the minimum wage in Seattle to $15 an hour would have the effect of increasing the pay of one-fourth of the City of Seattle’s workforce, according to an analysis by three faculty members of the Evans School of Public Affairs.

Marieka Klawitter, Mark Long, Robert Plotnick

Marieka Klawitter, Mark Long, Robert Plotnick

The analysis was done by professors Marieka Klawitter and Robert Plotnick and associate professor Mark Long, along with several graduate student assistants. The professors presented their findings to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s Income Inequality Advisory Committee as well as at a Seattle University symposium. The Seattle Times summed up the report in a March 24 article.

The team analyzed the characteristics of workers and businesses that would be affected by a minimum wage increase. They also performed simulations of the effects of a minimum wage increase on the rate of families in poverty and the effects on food stamp receipt.

“We were given a challenging task: to produce a thorough analysis expeditiously so as to be useful for real-time policymaking,” said Long, who is also interim director of the UW’s West Coast Poverty Center. “The analysis was conducted rapidly so as to provide the committee with valuable data for their deliberations.”

Gov. Jay Inslee, UW faculty to discuss climate and energy

A free public discussion on the future of climate and energy next week will feature Gov. Jay Inslee, Lisa Graumlich, dean of the UW College of the Environment, Daniel Schwartz, UW professor of chemical engineering and director of the UW Clean Energy Institute, and journalists David Roberts, Paul Shukovsky and Chris Mooney.

The discussion, Climate Action Goes to Washington (State): Energy Solutions in the Pacific Northwest, will take place Tuesday, April 1, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the UW Tower auditorium. The event will also be live-streamed at ClimateDesk.org, a media partnership co-hosting the event with the UW College of the Environment and other groups.

The event is free, but online registration is required to attend in person.

Wash. suicide prevention bill signed with help from UW-based group

Stuber, Inslee and others at bill signing

The UW’s Jennifer Stuber and her children are present as Gov. Jay Inslee signs the suicide prevention bill. Stuber’s husband – the children’s father – died by suicide in 2011.Washington State Legislative Support Services

Gov. Jay Inslee signed suicide prevention bill HS 2315 on March 27, making Washington the first state to require suicide prevention training for doctors and nurses.

The UW-based organization Forefront: Innovations in suicide prevention had lobbied for the bill.

“Yesterday was a historic day in Washington as it became the state in the country with the most forward-thinking suicide prevention policy,” said Jennifer Stuber, Forefront director and UW social work professor.

Read more about how the bill aims to prevent suicides on Forefront’s website.