Washington Policy Blog

Proposed City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance: Part 4—Paid Sick Leave

October 29, 2015 in Blog

The final provision examined in this five part series dissecting the complex provisions of the proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance,” mandates paid sick leave for all workers in the city.  Introduced by City Councilmember Jim Cooper, the Olympia proposal is alarmingly broad and open-ended.

Proposed City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance: Part 3—Restrictions on Shift Scheduling

October 28, 2015 in Blog

Shift scheduling is emerging as another battleground issue when it comes to how much discretion employers should have to run their business.  Part 3 of the five part series on the proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance,” covers the three prongs of restrictions and regulations the ordinance would place on Olympia employers when scheduling their

Proposed City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance: Part 2—Promoting Full-Time Employment

October 28, 2015 in Blog

Continuing the five part series dissecting the complex provisions of the proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance,” is the provision that reflects a growing trend to remove employers’ independent decision-making rights by requiring additional hours be offered to current part-time employees before hiring additional part-time employees.

Proposed City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance: Part 1—$15 Minimum Wage

October 28, 2015 in Blog

Under the proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance,” every worker in Olympia who clocks a minimum of two hours during a two-week period would earn a wage of at least $15 per hour. 

The ordinance splits employers into two groups with separate phase-in schedules.

Schedule 1 employers (more than 25 employees) would have two years to phase in the higher wage—$13 in 2016 and $15 in 2017. 

Proposed “City of Olympia Minimum Wage Ordinance” is much more than a $15 minimum wage

October 28, 2015 in Blog

Earlier this week I blogged about a proposal by Olympia City Councilmember Jim Cooper to force every employer to pay a $15 minimum wage, provide paid sick leave, give 3 weeks notice of scheduled shifts, allow a minimum 11 hours of rest between shifts and require employers to give current employees the opportunity to work additional hours before hiring additional employees. 

What has the Seattle School Board done with $753 million?

October 27, 2015 in Blog

A couple of weeks ago, Brian and Anna Jones, Seattle public school parents, donated $70,000 of their own money to Alki Elementary School to keep a popular teacher from being transferred. The Joneses learned that the Seattle school board wants to abruptly reassign 25 teachers, and they heroically stepped forward to help one school.

CO-OPs Continue to Fail

October 27, 2015 in Blog

Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans, or CO-OPs, continue to fail. (here) As I testified before the Congressional Joint Subcommittees of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, CO-OPs were doomed from their creation in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare. (here)

Job losses in Seattle offer a glimpse of the future for the restaurant industry in $15 Now cities

October 27, 2015 in Blog

A recent article in the Puget Sound Business Journal exploring the impacts of the city’s new $15 minimum wage law concludes the predictions of an economic hit on businesses in Seattle never happened.  Instead, the article, “Apocalypse Not: $15 and the cuts that never came,” says the industry most impacted by the new wage law—the restaurant industry—has actually grown:

“…the thunder in the city’s already booming restaurant scene contrasts with the early fears of shuttered cafes and empty tables.”

Olympia considering SeaTac-style labor regulations

October 26, 2015 in Blog

Hoping to follow in the footsteps of SeaTac, City of Olympia Councilmember Jim Cooper will introduce legislation that would not only mandate a $15 minimum wage, but impose a slew of new labor regulations on business owners in the city.

Governor Inslee receives open government award

October 22, 2015 in Blog

Earlier this month the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association awarded Governor Inslee with its Walter C. Woodward Freedom’s Light Award. This award recognizes commitment to open government and freedom of the press. 

According to Rowland Thompson, executive director of Allied Daily Newspapers:

This is the most open administration I’ve ever worked with. The governor is extremely transparent about the realities of governing.

"The Cartel" documentary and school finance are topics for discussion Tuesday evening at University of Washington

October 22, 2015 in Blog

Professor Thomas Halverson, director of UW’s Master in Education Policy program, has created a free film series and public forum to discuss important education policy issues. School finance is the subject for Tuesday, October 27, at 6:00-8:00 pm, Smith Hall 120. The award-winning film documentary The Cartel will be shown, followed by a discussion of the movie. I am one of the panel members. 

Transportation package (bonds) required supermajority vote

October 20, 2015 in Blog

Despite receiving support from voters on five separate occasions, most recently passing statewide in every county, in 90% of legislative districts, and with 64% support in 2012, lawmakers have yet to provide voters the opportunity to place a supermajority vote restriction for taxes in the state constitution. 

WSDOT forgets it converted general purpose lanes to toll lanes

October 16, 2015 in Blog

State Department of Transportation officials continue to say they did not convert general purpose lanes on Interstate 405 to toll lanes. We wrote on this fallacy five years ago, stating that:

Rap video takes on mean-spirited school choice opponents

October 13, 2015 in Blog

The Washington state supreme court's mean-spirited ruling against charter schools has sparked reaction across the country. Defenders of family choice in education have created a humorous satire, a three-minute rap video. Parents in this satire video say that, since judges, administrators and union executives want to take away choice, they should "Tell us what to think! Tell us what to do!"

Check it out for yourself:

Jeopardy! clue highlights absurd Washington state policy

October 12, 2015 in Blog

If you're a contestant on Jeopardy!, you must answer in the form of question. But an answer in Double Jeopardy from a program last week just led to more questions.

The answer: "Washington leads all states by getting 76% of its electricity from this renewable method."

The correct question, of course: "What is hydropower?"