Jmercier

Should volatile capital gains taxes be relied on to fund the state's "paramount duty"?

February 26, 2015 in Blog

In our prior blog post we looked at the volatility of capital gains taxes and how California adopted a constitutional amendment to force more savings of its revenue from that source versus spending it to reduce the state's rollercoaster budgeting.

Are capital gains taxes "secure and stable" or highly volatile?

February 25, 2015 in Blog

When releasing his 2015-17 budget plan Governor Inslee said, “We have a very solid, fiscally sound, secure and stable way of financing everything I’ve talked about today." Among the new taxes he proposes to fulfill this statement is a 7% capital gains tax to generate an estimated $798 million.

B&O tax reform bill would exempt nearly 286,000 small businesses from tax

February 18, 2015 in Blog

A major B&O (Business & Occupation) tax reform proposal was introduced today by Rep. MacEwen. The proposal (HB 2150) is a variation of the Single Business Tax WPC first proposed in 2010.

Title only bill would provide every Washingtonian one free drink a week (satire)

February 12, 2015 in Blog

While traveling to Olympia to testify on a bill on a holiday may not be a high priority for most Washingtonians, you may want to make an exception for next Monday. The title only bill, HB 2082 (Relating to commerce in liquor) is scheduled for a public hearing and executive action that day. Based on my best interpretation of that blank piece of legislation, it would provide every Washingtonian one free drink a week paid for by the per diem of lawmakers. Who could object to that?

Senate bill would codify U.S. Supreme Court union ruling

February 9, 2015 in Blog

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee held a public hearing today on SB 5671: Addressing the payment of union dues by partial public employees. The bill would fully implement the ruling issued by the U.S. Supreme Court last June in its Harris v. Quinn decision.

Should fiscal impact of initiatives be described in ballot title?

February 6, 2015 in Blog

Last November voters narrowly approved I-1351 to reduce class sizes. Although the policies proposed by I-1351 are estimated to cost $4.7 billion over the next few years, the ballot measure included no funding source to implement the policy.

District elections for Supreme Court gets public hearing

January 29, 2015 in Blog

This morning the Senate Law & Justice Committee held a public hearing on SJR 8205: Amending the state Constitution so that justices of the supreme court are elected by qualified electors of a supreme court judicial district.

Senate adopts remote testimony rules - work session from Tri-Cities February 4

January 27, 2015 in Blog

The Senate Facilities and Operations Committee has officially adopted rules for the use of remote testimony during the 2015 Legislative Session. As adopted by the F&O Committee:

SENATE REMOTE TESTIMONY PILOT PROJECT

Does the initiative process need fixing?

January 22, 2015 in Blog

Washington's constitution doesn't waste any time laying down the law when it comes to who is in charge:

ARTICLE 1, SECTION 1 POLITICAL POWER. All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Remote testimony option progressing in Spokane and Tri-Cities

January 14, 2015 in Blog

You know it's getting real when a job posting for a Senate Remote Testimony Clerk in Spokane goes out and the President of Columbia Basin College in the Tri-Cities volunteers the school to be a remote testimony location.

As reported by KNDU Tri-Cities last night:

Revenue forecast reform proposed

January 13, 2015 in Blog

During a budget writing session there are three key dates to keep in mind: The March revenue forecast, June 1, and July 1.

It is after the March revenue forecast that budget discussions kick into high gear. June 1 is the date in law by which the budget for the next biennium is supposed to be enacted and July 1 is the beginning of the fiscal year for a new biennium (meaning no budget could mean a government shutdown).

Senate considers tax rule change

January 11, 2015 in Blog

The 2015 Legislative Session is set up to be on the most historic gatherings of lawmakers in Washington since the founding of the state. Not to disappoint, on the first day a potential fight over Senate rules may unfold. According to a press release:

A proposal to change the Senate’s voting rules to make it harder to raise taxes will be one of the first items of business when the Legislature convenes Monday.

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.