Washington Policy Blog

Part 1: Big labor bosses think unions will lose landmark right-to-work case…and admit it could be a good thing

July 29, 2015 in Blog

Greg Devereux, Executive Director of the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE), recently revealed he, and other union executives, believe the era of forced unionism for public sector workers is coming to an end.  And surprisingly, he doesn’t think it will be the union-crippling catastrophe unions have long-claimed.

What a $15 wage will really mean for New York’s fast food workers

July 23, 2015 in Blog

As fast food employers in the state of New York brace for that state’s impending $15 wage mandate, one business owner succinctly explained what the high wage will mean for her business and her employees:

It really is going to come to less people.  What I envision is cutting labor, hiring less people, having less people per shift.”

$15 minimum wage is encouraging a part-time work force

July 23, 2015 in Blog

On the heels of Los Angeles becoming the latest city to pass a $15 minimum wage law and the state of New York moving closer to a mandate requiring a $15 wage for fast food workers, Fox News reports

Tacoma mother explains her charter school choice

July 21, 2015 in Blog

In this thirty-second News Tribune video, Tacoma mother Roquesia Williams calmly explains why she sought a charter school for her children, Gesiah, age 6, Geharii, age 11, Genai, age 14:

 

Lawmakers, in strong response to McCleary ruling, vote historic levels of funding for public schools

July 20, 2015 in Blog

In a recent Facebook post, education policy leader Rep. Chad Magendanz (R-Issaquah) noted that state supreme court justices may soon decide to impose a punishment on him and fellow lawmakers for failing to fund public schools.  He asks readers, “What do you feel might be appropriate sanctions for the Court to impose at this point?”

Seattle housing task force wants to raise taxes to make neighborhoods more crowded

July 15, 2015 in Blog

Danny Westneat’s Seattle Times column on phasing out single-family housing in Seattle drew over 250 comments within the first three hours of being posted online. By the next day, readers had logged over 700 more. Why is a column about housing in Seattle drawing such a large response? A proposal by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray’s housing task force suggests officials may want to make sweeping changes to many of Seattle’s neighborhoods.

2015-17 tax debate: From "buck up" for $1.4 billion to $180 million adopted net revenue increase

July 14, 2015 in Blog

Although Governor Inslee campaigned on the promise in 2012 to not propose new taxes, the 2015 session started and ended in perfect symmetry with him calling for tax increases. The size of those desired tax increases, however, changed significantly from December 2014 to when the 2015-17 budget was finally signed in July. Let's review how the tax debate unfolded.

Vance seeks $5 billion more for schools

July 13, 2015 in Blog

Chris Vance, who works for Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn, has a commentary today at Crosscut on the legislature’s alleged shortcomings in funding public education.  The commentary has bi-partisan roots – Dorn is a Democrat, and Vance is a former Republican state party chairman.

Evolution of 2015-17 budget proposals

July 13, 2015 in Blog

After a record 176 days the Legislature was finally able to adopt all the pieces necessary to put in place a balanced 2015-17 operating budget. The focus of this post is not to review the process used to enact the budget or policies funded in it but instead to provide a timeline of where the tax and spending debate began last December with Governor Inslee’s budget proposal to where it ended with adoption of the final 2015-17 budget.

New report shows $100 buys more in right-to-work states

July 8, 2015 in Blog

The Tax Foundation released a report today showing how much $100 buys in each state.  The same $100 can buy you comparatively more in a low-price state than a high-price state, which shows the true cost of living.

Parents say they like education choices offered by new charter schools

July 7, 2015 in Blog

Reporter Gwen Davis at the Madison Park Times has been talking to parents about the new charter schools opening this fall. She provides this informative report, “Charter schools about choice in education, parents say,” on what she found out.

Starbucks prices increasing more in Seattle area…could the $15 minimum wage be a factor?

July 7, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday Starbucks announced an increase in drink prices that will go into effect in its stores around the country.  Most notable though, was the company’s decision to increase prices even higher in the Puget Sound region.   Customers in the greater Seattle area (which includes King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties) will pay an average of about 3.5% more, while customers in other areas will pay just 1% more.

A Win For Association Health Plans in Washington State

July 6, 2015 in Blog

Several weeks ago we wrote that Association Health Plans (AHPs) were under attack in Washington state.

Could rule changes strengthen state's balance budget requirement?

July 6, 2015 in Blog

You wouldn't know it from the fact that the days old 2015-17 budget has never been balanced and was signed into law with a $2 billion hole but Washington has one of the strongest statutory balanced budget requirements in the country. Per RCW 43.88.055 "The legislature must adopt a four-year balanced budget . . ."