With almost all of the legislative Republicans on the record in support of providing the voters an opportunity to consider a supermajority for taxes constitutional amendment, are there any Democrats that believe the voters should have this chance?
In response to our recommendation that lawmakers act on retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed's proposal to change Washington's postmark ballot deadline to Oregon's 8 p.m. election day deadline (with exceptions for military and overseas voters), some have expressed concern that doing so would reduce voter participation and disenfranchise voters.
When I saw this headline today out of Michigan I didn't think the article would become the poster child for legislative transparency reforms, but that's exactly what the story demonstrates: Right-to-work bills pass in Lansing
When the Legislature adopted the state's first balanced budget requirement last session (SB 6636) it also required a standardized 4 year budget outlook to be published. Today's revenue forecast saw the release of the first official 4 year budget outlook required under SB 6636.
If the election results hold (still 178,863 ballots left to count) there will be at least 58 lawmakers in Olympia next January that answered yes to this question:
If Initiative 1185 is adopted, 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?
Not only did voters for the fifth time in the past twenty years approve a supermajority for taxes requirement but they also are recommending that lawmakers repeal the two tax increases they adopted last session. Just in case a translation for these votes is really needed, lawmakers should focus their attention on balancing the 2013-15 without tax increases.
As Americans head to the polls today, Washingtonians who haven't voted yet should drop their ballot off at designated drop sites. Although our ballots only need to be postmarked by today's deadline, election officials advise instead to drop off your ballots versus take the chance on the mail today to ensure they are eligible for counting.
Our neighbors in Oregon also are voting exclusively by mail. Unlike Washington, however, Oregon's ballots need to be received by 8 p.m. tonight versus postmarked.
At her press conference this morning announcing state efforts to "breakdown the silos" between the state's dual eligible population for Medicaid and Medicare, Governor Gregoire said we need to move away from "Bureaucratic Centered Health Care" and instead focus our efforts on "Patient Centered Health Care." We couldn't agree more. In fact, that is the focus of a book written by WPC's Health Care Analyst Dr.
Jason Mercier is Director of the Center for Government Reform at Washington Policy Center and is based in the Tri-Cities. He serves on the boards of the Washington Coalition for Open Government and CandidateVerification, and was an advisor to the 2002 Washington State Tax Structure Committee. Jason is an ex-officio for the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce. In June 2010, former Governor Gregoire appointed Jason as WPC’s representative on her Fiscal Responsibility and Reform Panel.