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.
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.
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 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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
The Seattle Times published an excellent article today outlining the crisis in rural health care delivery. All areas of the nation, but especially the smaller communities, face a real shortage in primary care providers.
The news keeps getting better at King County Metro Transit. Metro officials are the beneficiaries of record-breaking sales tax revenues, and are seeing large tax windfalls that were unthinkable just two years ago. Back then, Metro executives assumed their sales tax revenues would grow at a meager pace, and they planned to impose harsh bus cuts in many communities unless they raised taxes. However, a rebounding economy and swelling coffers should allow officials to keep bus service on the road without regressive tax increases.
A story today in The News Tribune demonstrates how the free market works and why government does not need to control the wages a business pays its workers.
Torklift International, a manufacturer of recreational vehicle parts and accessories in Sumner, has decided to raise the wages of its 55 employees to $15 an hour. The company made this decision voluntarily, because it was a good decision for their business.
A study released by the respected Tax Foundation last week ranks Washington among the top 10 most expensive states in which to live. The study calculates the real buying power of $100 in each state to measure the true cost of living.