Blake Island, Washington – Campers and boaters were enjoying the sun Saturday at this popular state park set in the heart of Puget Sound when they noticed something odd. Across the water to the south ferry traffic between Fauntleroy, Vashon and Southworth, one of the busiest runs in the state system, was at a complete stand-still. Why ferry service would halt on an active summer weekend was a complete mystery. Speculation ranged from a snap union strike to simultaneous mechanical break-downs on all the ferries.
"This is nuts." That's how one member of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board described the process for approving or rejecting health plans that could be offered to Washingtonians through the Obamacare state exchange.
Earlier, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler rejected plans offered by five of the nine insurers that had sought to offer customers plans through the regulated state exchange, as he explained in a letter released August 21st.
Union executive Dianne Gross of the MLK County Labor Council and the Washington State Labor Council expressed angry opposition to the upcoming visit to Seattle of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. The comments were made in a live interview August 17th with KIRO radio's Jason Rantz.
The widely-read federal employee news site FedSmith.com reports that in a reader survey 92% of the 2,500 respondents rejected getting their health coverage through Obamacare's exchanges, and instead want to continue with their current coverage. The survey questions and results are below.
"Do you think federal employees should be required to use the health insurance exchanges or continue to use the current health insurance program?
A Spokesman-Revieweditorial this week laments the awkward summer ritual of teachers, sometimes assisted by parents and charities, having to spend their own money to provide basic classroom supplies. As the editorial notes, "The problem is that lawmakers have underfunded basic education for so long." Two things are surprising about this statement.
Labor executives in Washington state are upset Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker is coming to Seattle September 5th to speak at the Washington Policy Center annual awards dinner, according to the Washington State Labor Council newsletter The Stand.
As Americans enjoy a long hot summer, we are increasingly realizing that the return of cold weather will bring an equally chilling effect on our health care. Starting on January 1st nearly everyone will have to comply with the individual mandate imposed by the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Some people on the left sure don't like ALEC. One who does, however, is Governor Jay Inslee. ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a voluntary, non-partisan professional organization that periodically brings together lawmakers from around the country to share ideas about model legislation and sound policies that can advance the public good in their states. ALEC is reviled by extremists on the far left, and they have launched a national campaign to run down its reputation.
Washington's school children had little to celebrate as lawmakers added $1.5 billion in new spending to an inefficient, unreformed K-12 public education system. The new money will do little to bring about real change. Currently only 59 cents of every education dollar reaches the classroom and mandatory teacher assignment rules prevent principals from getting the best teachers into the classroom.
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.
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
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.
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.