Washington Policy Blog

Class size mandates force schools to put classes in libraries, gyms and portables

September 24, 2014 in Blog

KOMO News Radio reported yesterday that Evergreen Heights Elementary in Auburn is having trouble meeting the legislature’s mandate to reduce class sizes. The school does not have the room. The school’s principal has instead been forced to put classes in the library, the gym and in a new portable. The library is now off-limits to students during class time. The gym has been divided into two classes, so students will no longer be able to take gym classes inside.

State Economic Modelers Have "No Confidence" In Accuracy of Projections on Climate Policy

September 23, 2014 in Blog

A central argument of the Governor's push for climate policy has been that it will create jobs and help the economy. Along those lines, the Governor's climate workgroup recently released an economic study that showed positive economic results from one potential climate policy.

Now, however, the economists who produced those results admit they have "no confidence" in the accuracy of the projections.

WPC testifies before Congress on the Small Business Health Option Program exchanges

September 22, 2014 in Blog

Last week, WPC's Health Policy Analyst, Dr. Roger Stark, testified at a Congressional hearing, conducted by the Small Business Subcommittee on Health and Technology, to examine the ongoing problems with the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) exchanges. 

Democrats voice opposition to WEA union’s class-size initiative, I-1351

September 19, 2014 in Blog

In a surprise move Tuesday, the 43rd District Democrats in Seattle refused to endorse the Washington Education Association union's class-size ballot measure, Initiative 1351. State senator Jamie Pedersen (D-43, Capitol Hill) spoke against the measure, warning it would hurt legislative efforts to fund the schools in response to the McCleary decision.

Will The Climate March Make A Difference? I Say "No"...Or Your Money Back!

September 18, 2014 in Blog

This Sunday, environmental groups will be in the streets of Seattle, Portland, New York and elsewhere, to promote action on climate change. The left-wing group, Climate Solutions, promises it will "change everything!"

Reduction in Charity Care for Washington State Hospitals; But At What Cost?

September 15, 2014 in Blog

The Washington State Hospital Association released financials for the first half of 2014 as reported in The Seattle Times today. The big news was a decrease of $154 million in charity care for hospitals in the state. Hospitals believe this 30% decrease in charity care is a result of more people being insured through Obamacare. Specifically, the Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid for more people in the low-income demographic.

King County Metro update: Highest-paid unionized workers reject pay raise offer

September 12, 2014 in Blog

Members of Metro Transit’s Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 voted to turn down a fair contract that would have provided them with a 2% pay raise over three years, The Seattle Times reports today.

The contract offer would have provided a fair pay raise, while allowing King County leaders to preserve more bus service for the public without raising regressive taxes.  Still, 66% of union members rejected the offer, saying it was not generous enough. 

Will the state Supreme Court Jump the Shark?

September 11, 2014 in Blog

Responding to today's unanimous contempt order against the Legislature by the State Supreme Court Governor Inslee said: "This unprecedented action by the Supreme Court is a critical moment in our history."

Everything about this statement is true. Not only is the Court's contempt order against a co-equal branch of government unprecedented but what may come next could lead to a doomsday scenario against voters.

Superintendent Dorn changes stance on charter schools

September 11, 2014 in Blog

Superintendent Randy Dorn, who has long opposed charter schools and campaigned against the 2012 voter-approved measure that ended the state ban on charters, now cites them among important education reforms enacted in recent years.

EPA and Ecology Contradict Governor on Ocean Acidification

September 10, 2014 in Blog

It has become Exhibit A for the claim that climate change is "already here." Ocean acidification, with increased atmospheric CO2 being absorbed by the ocean and reducing the pH (i.e. acidifying) of the water, is frequently cited by the Governor and others, pushing their particular climate policy.

Just last month, The New York Times highlighted the Governor's message on acidification and oysters:

King County officials propose raise to “highest paid in the nation” Metro employees

September 9, 2014 in Blog

Executives at the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 587 announced recently they had secured proposed pay raises for their public employee members, who reportedly are already the highest paid in the nation.  Workers will vote September 10th on whether to accept the offered pay raises.   The plan would increases wages by 2% over three years.

 In announcing the proposed agreement one executive reported about maintenance workers:

Why are local schools short of money when school district budgets are going up?

September 5, 2014 in Blog

A mom in Seattle contacted me recently and asked how much money her children’s school, Blaine K-8, receives from the Seattle School District.  I looked it up and we were both stunned to discover how little funding, barely half, reaches a typical neighborhood school out of the central budget.

Many people wonder how education budgets can keep rising while local schools remain chronically short of money, so thought I would share my findings with my readers.

Governor Blames Lack of Education Funding on the Nation’s Highest Minimum Wage

September 5, 2014 in Blog

Yesterday Governor Inslee held a general press conference where he discussed the economic state of Washington and the ongoing effort to fund education to satisfy the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision.

In a new twist, the Governor blamed the state’s failure to fund education to the Court’s satisfaction on too many workers in our state earning the state minimum wage of $9.32 an hour.  This is the highest minimum wage of any state in the nation. 

Union requires photo ID to vote

September 3, 2014 in Blog

Activists on the Left strongly oppose voter photo ID laws, saying such laws and other efforts to protect the integrity of state and national elections suppress the vote and deny citizens access to the ballot box.

At the same time labor union executives, who give 90% of their organizations’ campaign money to Democratic candidates, require voters to present photo ID in union elections.