Seattle politicians want taxpayers to fund their re-election campaigns

June 28, 2013 in Blog

This week Seattle City Council members voted 8 - 0 to send a measure to the November ballot that would funnel public money to their own re-election campaigns. It's easy for public officials to create new programs when someone else is paying, especially when they will be the beneficiaries.

Spokesman-Review columnist ignores the cruelty of high minimum wage law that bans entry-level jobs

June 14, 2013 in Blog

Shawn Vestal's column today in The Spokesman-Review touting our state's higher wages compared to Idaho's leaves out an inconvenient truth: Washington's high minimum wage is meaningless if you can't find a job.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Idaho's unemployment rate (6.1%) is almost a full percentage point lower than Washington's (7%), meaning thousands of people in Idaho have family income and job opp

Worker protection bill would ban workplace discrimination and promote social justice

May 15, 2013 in Blog

While the people of Washington and most lawmakers breathlessly await the outcome of closed-door budget negotiations (a process clothed in "sanctity," according to Governor Inslee), Senator Michael Baumgartner has introduced a bill that would promote fairness and social justice for every working person in the state.

The Powerful are seeking to exempt themselves from Obamacare

April 25, 2013 in Blog

Obamacare is coming. Under the law going into effect January 1st thousands of Washingtonians will be forced to get government-approved health coverage through the mandatory state exchange.

As Gov. Kitzhaber threatens hold on Columbia River project, latest light rail accident raises safety concerns

April 24, 2013 in Blog

Within a day of Governor Kitzhaber of Oregon saying he would not permit new highway bridge construction across the Columbia River unless Washington taxpayers agree to put up an extra $450 million toward a light rail route, Sound Transit's light rail system claimed another victim in Seattle. A Mariners fan died of his injuries Tuesday after being hit by a Sound Transit train near Safeco Field.

Should the Secretary of Transportation be allowed to raise the gas tax?

April 22, 2013 in Blog

A key transportation tax bill, HB 1954 "Transportation revenue," was voted out of House committee today. That in itself is not remarkable. What is concerning is the adoption in committee of Rep. Habib's (D-48th) Amendment #4. The amendment would give the Secretary of Transportation the authority to raise the state gas tax by up to three cents a gallon.

Rep. Carlyle bill would help foster youth stay on track for graduation

April 16, 2013 in Blog

Representative Reuven Carlyle’s (D-Seattle) bill to help children in state foster care finish their education continues to advance in Olympia, passing the House and now under consideration in the Senate. This commonsense idea has broad bipartisan support. The bill passed the House March 8th by a vote of 86 to 12.

PubliCola takes umbrage at Washington Policy Center over union’s sub-minimum wage

April 4, 2013 in Blog

Erica C. Barnett over at PubliCola takes umbrage at my pointing out that the national AFL-CIO wants to pay its interns less than Washington’s minimum wage, calling my comments “feigned outrage.”

Union pays less than minimum wage

April 3, 2013 in Blog

Although many Democrats and Republicans support Rep. Gary Condotta’s training wage bill (HB 1150) our state’s powerful unions strongly oppose giving young workers access to job opportunities through a temporary training wage.

Rep. Carlyle bill seeks to help foster kids finish school

March 5, 2013 in Blog

Representative Reuven Carlyle (D-Seattle) has a smart proposal to help foster children complete their education and be better prepared for success in life.

Allow parents and communities, not state bureaucracies, to take over failing schools

January 15, 2013 in Blog

Seattle Weekly reports House budget Chairman Rep. Ross Hunter is considering a state takeover of schools that are denying children access to a quality public education. I admire Rep. Hunter’s concern for children trapped in failing public schools, and his willingness to do something about it, but I think this proposal moves in the wrong direction.

King County Council Proposal Would Expand Union Power and Increase County Costs

January 9, 2013 in Blog

King County faces serious budget pressures, and county residents already pay the highest taxes in the state. So people are wondering why King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn chose this moment to introduce a proposal (K.C.C. 3.16.050) that could increase county costs by expanding mandatory binding arbitration to more public-sector unions.

New CREDO study shows New Jersey charter schools outperforming traditional schools

January 3, 2013 in Blog

During last year’s political campaign against charter schools, Initiative 1240 opponents never tired of citing a single academic study, released in 2009 by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO), showing less-than-stellar results for some charter schools.

Danny Westneat and the Big Lie

July 5, 2012 in Blog

Seattle Times liberal columnist Danny Westneat is upset that Washington Policy Center agrees with national experts that the Obamacare law’s mandate tax is one of the largest tax increases in U.S. history.