The final (sort of) numbers are out and the Obamacare supporters are doing the Happy Dance. The "official" enrollment number for the health insurance exchanges is 7.1 million people, which has been the goal since enrollment began on 10/1/13. The "sort of" comes from the fact that the Obama Administration has allowed an extention for people experiencing "hardships" in signing up. These hardships are self-reported, so essentially the Administration has extended the open enrollment period indefinitely.
Yesterday, The Seattle Times published a story on a nine-years old timber harvest that Times reporters believe may be linked to the tragic landslide in Oso. The article, "State used outdated data to allow logging on slope," argues that part of that harvest was in an area that had previously been restricted.
The story notes there could be several factors contributing to the slide:
It's been said there are two things you never want to see being made - sausage and legislation. In many cases, proposed legislation morphs into a totally different bill when finally passed. Fortunately, this was not exactly the situation with SB 6458.
KVI radio’s John Carlson reported last week on my recent study on the windfall tax revenues Metro received last year and is receiving this year. In 2013, Metro officials collected $443 million from the public, the highest level ever. In 2014, Metro officials expect to collect even more, $471 million, a $32 million windfall above estimates.
14 years ago today this was the scene in downtown Seattle as the Kingdome was brought to its knees:
Since then the Seahawks have made 2 Super Bowl appearances, winning one, and taxpayers have paid nearly $135 million to retire debt on the imploded Kingdome ($25.8 million for original construction and $109 million for repairs has been paid for debt service since 2001 to date).
Who was really underneath those black masks violent protestors wore during the 1999 WTO riots in Seattle? The founder of the Rainforest Action Network Randy Hayes thinks they may have been Seattle police.
With seven minutes to spare, lawmakers adjourned at 11:53 p.m. on the last day of the 60 day 2014 Legislative Session, avoiding for the first time in several years going into a special session. Among the bills passed was a 2014 supplemental operating budget (SB 6002). Unlike previous years, when major re-writes of the budget were needed, SB 6002 was a true supplemental budget making minor changes to state spending.
In newly-released figures, Metro officials announced they received record-breaking levels of tax revenue in 2013, reporting they collected more money from the public in taxes than at any time in the agency’s history.
The state’s largest public transit agency collected $442,731,128 in tax revenue the last calendar year, surpassing pre-recession revenue levels.
Recently the people of Washington enacted the most significant advance in education reform our state has seen in 30 years, Initiative 1240, to allow 40 charter schools to open over five years. Charter schools are independent community-based public schools that are popular with parents. They have been successful in helping some the hardest-to-teach students get a good public education. Nationally over two million students attend 6,200 charter schools, with another 600,000 children on waiting lists.