IVN Daily Digest — August 4, 2014

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1. The Columbian says Washington state’s top-two primary system is on the “cutting edge.”

“Washington is blessed to have a top two primary, meaning that two candidates in each race will advance, regardless of party. It also means that voters can cross party lines in the primary, a system that is much preferable to that found in many parts of the country. Most states have party primaries, and the result in modern times has been that party members often support the more extreme adherents to their ideology at the expense of moderation and without consideration of a candidate’s ability to govern.”

Washington state will hold its primary election on Tuesday, August 5, 2014.

2. The Detroit News runs story about how most races in Michigan are decided in the primary.

“A least 75 of Michigan’s 110 state House seats and 26 of the 38 state Senate seats are either locks or likely wins for one of the two political parties. It’s due largely to the partisan way in which the district lines were drawn during the last redistricting plan, adopted in 2011, under Republican guidance.”

It is also worth mentioning that Michigan has an open partisan primary system, where voters must select a party ballot and cannot vote for candidates in another party.

3. New York Time’s The Upshot looks at 5 sectors of the economy that are responsible for slow economic growth.

“Together their deficit adds up to $845 billion — in other words, if those sectors returned to their typical share of economic potential, the economy wouldn’t just be doing well, it would be in an outright boom.”

The economy isn’t doing completely bad, as we are seeing growth, sometimes even better than expected growth, but the analysis presented in the article identifies 5 sectors that are not performing as well as they would in a healthy economy. Two of the five listed are all levels of government.

4. According to The Washington Post’s GovBeat, there are 8 states that have a lower minimum wage than the federal government — or no minimum wage laws at all.

“On Friday, large employers in Minnesota had to begin paying $8 an hour, up from $6.15 an hour, and small employers had to begin paying $6.50 an hour, up from $5.25 an hour, according to the Minnesota Department of Labor & Industry. The state will see additional increases in the next two years, and by 2016, the minimum wage for large employers will be $9.50 an hour, and for small employers, $7.75 an hour.”

Arkansas, Georgia, and Wyoming currently have state minimum wages that are lower than the federal minimum wage. Five additional states do not have a state minimum wage at all.

What news stories have you been following?