Jmercier

Gov. Inslee's 2015-17 budget: Where "extremely volatile" and "unpredictable" become "secure" and "stable"

December 18, 2014 in Blog

Today Gov. Inslee released his 2015-17 budget and tax plan. After reviewing his balance sheet it has become clear that I need to update the dictionary I have been using to decipher budget terms. Earlier this week the Governor said:

U.S. Sen. Murray/Rep. Ryan want Congress to reform the way the federal budget and policy are adopted

December 10, 2014 in Blog

It's not often you see Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree on much let alone reforms to the way the federal budget and policy are adopted. This is what makes the bipartisan introduction of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington (D) and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (R) so exciting. Sen.

Will Gov. Inslee propose tax increases to provide government pay raises?

December 5, 2014 in Blog

Based on the announcement today by the Office of Financial Management that the secretly negotiated state employee contract agreements have been deemed financially feasible we can assume one of two things:

Senate should put voter-approved tax restrictions into its rules

December 2, 2014 in Blog

Now that the 2014 election has been certified we know the official make up of the Legislature. Based on the responses to our supermajority for taxes legislative survey, we also know that the members of the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) in the Senate support allowing the voters to consider a constitutional amendment to put the five-time voter approved policy into the Constitution.

Electing the state Supreme Court by districts

November 12, 2014 in Blog

When the 2014 election is certified, only one of the nine justices on the state Supreme Court will be from Eastern Washington, Justice Debra Stephens. Had she not won her election, all of the state's Supreme Court justices would be from the Puget Sound region.

Governor Inslee on McCleary and tax increases: 2012 versus 2014

November 7, 2014 in Blog

At a post election press conference earlier this week Governor Inslee was asked about his 2012 campaign promise not to ask for tax increases and how that squares with his new calls for tax increases to address the McCleary K-12 funding ruling. When asked what changed since 2012 the Governor said on Wednesday:

And the election winner is . . . To be determined

November 3, 2014 in Blog

Voter turnout as of Saturday for the 2014 Election in Washington is a meager 24.4%. This means if we are to get anywhere close to the 62% forecast by the Secretary of State a flood of ballots will be hitting the mail in the next day. This likely means we'll be waiting several days to weeks to learn the winners of close races.

Will public employee pension costs cause your property taxes to increase?

October 30, 2014 in Blog

The House Finance Committee held a work session yesterday focused on the fiscal health of Washington's cities and counties. Among the presentations lawmakers heard was a pitch from the Washington Association of Counties to provide local governments more flexibility on existing tax sources while providing new tax options. One recommendation in particular of note from the Counties:

Updated legislative tax survey results

October 23, 2014 in Blog

Earlier this month we published the results of our legislative tax survey that asked legislators and candidates the following question:

Survey question to lawmakers and candidates: Would you vote to allow the people of Washington to have the opportunity to vote on a state constitution amendment to require a supermajority vote in the Legislature to raise taxes?

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?

Harris v. Quinn lives in Washington

October 7, 2014 in Blog

It took a few months but we now know the U.S. Supreme Court's June 30 ruling in Harris v. Quinn will be implemented in Washington State. According to the tentative 2015-17 contract agreement between the state and SEIU 775 (Article 4):

State Supreme Court gives green light to retroactive tax increases

October 2, 2014 in Blog

It looks like the State Supreme Court is giving the Legislature a new tool to address its McCleary contempt order: retroactive tax increases. A unanimous Court ruling today said it was not unconstitutional when the Legislature approved a retroactive change to the state's death tax in 2013.