Washington Policy Blog

Washington state’s highway performance ranks 42nd best in United States

October 17, 2014 in Blog

A report released last month by the Reason Foundation ranks Washington as the state with the 42nd best highway performance out of the 50 U.S. states. Just three years ago, the state ranked 24th among other states. Washington received poor marks because “mileage in poor condition (on urban and rural Interstates and rural arterials) increased considerably, despite increased spending (relative to the U.S. average).”

Some findings from the study:

WPC debates Initiative 1351 in Spokane

October 16, 2014 in Blog

WPC Eastern Washington director Chris Cargill debates Mary Howes of Class Size Counts - backers of Initiative 1351 - at a League of Women Voters forum in Spokane October 7th.


King County Municipal League says vote “No” on Seattle Proposition 1 regressive tax increases

October 15, 2014 in Blog

Yesterday, the Municipal League of King County announced it is recommending a “No” vote on Seattle’s Proposition 1 ballot measure to increase car tab fees and sales taxes to send more money to King County Metro Transit.  In the announcement the Municipal League said, “voters do not have a clear understanding of what they are voting to approve,” and that passing Proposition 1 would be giving a “blank check” to transit agency managers. 

Why Initiative 1351 will not improve learning for school children

October 15, 2014 in Blog

Initiative 1351, the ballot measure on class sizes, will bring new profits to the powerful WEA union because all new teachers will be forced to pay about $1,000 a year in dues as a condition of employment.  Overall the measure represents a $7.4 million windfall for the union, every year.

At the same time, I-1351 would do little to improve learning for Washington’s school children. 

Here’s why:

Medicaid Can Not Survive as an Open-ended Entitlement

October 15, 2014 in Blog

No surprise, as the economy improves states are expanding their Medicaid programs.

Democratic party statement wrong about Initiative 1351 endorsements

October 15, 2014 in Blog

A statement released Saturday by the Washington state Democratic Party falsely describes the political support behind Initiative 1351, the unfunded ballot measure intended to reduce class sizes.

The statement says “As Democrats, we are united” in supporting strong schools and educational opportunities then adds in bold lettering,  “That’s why Democrats support Initiative 1351 to reduce class size for every child, in every grade.”

100 lawmakers and candidates respond to tax survey

October 14, 2014 in Blog

Curious to know if those that hope to represent you in the Legislature next year believe you have the right to settle the twenty year debate about whether tax increases should receive a supermajority vote or voter approval?

Charter School Commission rejects three of four applications – rejections fall hardest on Hispanic families

October 13, 2014 in Blog

Last week in Yakima, in the second round of charter school applications, the Washington State Charter School Commission approved only one new school and rejected three others. Here are the actions Commissioners took:

A Real World Look at Increasing the Minimum Wage

October 10, 2014 in Blog

The CEO of CKE Restaurants, which runs 2,000 restaurants nationwide, published an outstanding editorial in the Wall Street Journal last weekend that explains why a government mandate increasing the minimum wage is bad for employers and workers.

King County Mandates Higher Wages for County Employees...While Proposing to Cut 500 County Jobs

October 9, 2014 in Blog

This week the Metropolitan King County Council passed an ordinance that will require most county employees, and the employees of companies that do business with the county, to earn a “living wage.”

State Charter School Commission to decide on new applications tomorrow

October 8, 2014 in Blog

Washington’s charter school law, one of the best in the country, is working as the voters intended when they passed Initiative 1240 in 2012.  The state Charter School Commission has approved seven new schools to open their doors to students this year and next, and officials at the Spokane School District have approved a charter school to serve the city’s low-income families.  The state’s first charter school, First Place Scholars, opened in September in Seattle’s Central District, helping homeless and low-income children gain access to a good public education.

Washington State's Wireless Taxes are the Highest in the Nation

October 8, 2014 in Blog

A report released today by the Tax Foundation ranks Washington as the state with the highest wireless taxes in the nation.

Seattle and Tacoma port alliance reflects WPC recommendation

October 8, 2014 in Blog

After years of debate on whether the ports of Seattle and Tacoma should merge, port officials announced today they have formed a single Seaport Alliance. According to the Seattle Post Intelligencer, “The Seaport Alliance will manage marine cargo terminal investments plus marketing, planning and operations, while existing government structures, taxing authority and ownership of assets remain in place.”

How schools can reduce class sizes without increasing taxes

October 7, 2014 in Blog

A lot of false claims are being made these days about school funding and class sizes. Supporters of Initiative 1351, the class-size reduction initiative, say Washington’s schools do not have enough adults on staff to provide smaller class sizes. They want to increase the number adults paid by public schools by creating 25,561 new staff positions.