When Spokane voters this year passed Proposition 2 – requiring a two-thirds vote of the city council or voter approval in order to raise taxes – opponents said the higher standard would make it impossible for to raise the revenue needed to run the city. At the time, Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart said it would “kill government.” A local left-wing newspaper columnist said it would
Yesterday the House Labor & Workforce Development Committee held a work session on our state’s workers’ compensation program. Department of Labor & Industries’ (L&I) Director Joel Sacks gave an overview and update of the state-run monopoly system, explaining to lawmakers the current financial state of the system, how the reforms passed in 2011 are
The state's Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup (CLEW) is examining policies designed to reduce the state's carbon emissions. The key tool in that process is supposed to be a report analyzing the effectiveness of those strategies. The report, however, provides very little useful information about what strategies are best.
According to the washingtonstatewire.com, Representative Judy Clibborn (D-41st), Chair of the House Transportation Committee, has said she would approve of exempting transportation projects from sales tax.
The state charges itself sales tax on transportation, and exemption could mean millions of dollars would cease being diverted into the general fund every year. There is still some opposition in the House, however.
One day after participating in Washington Policy Center’s back-to-back Solutions Summit statewide policy conferences discussing whether a “right-to-work” policy is right for Washington State, Senator Michael Baumgartner today called for Governor Inslee to convene a special session to make Washington a right-to-work state.
The national policy announced by President Obama today that is intended to allow people who like their health care coverage to keep it will not be available to Washington state residents. The problem arose when the country learned in recent weeks that the President's oft-repeated pledge that, "If you like your health care plan, you can keep your health care plan. Period," is untrue.
Governor Inslee last week announced his plan to improve the business climate for Boeing in an effort to keep 777x production in Washington State. The governor convened a special session and called for lawmakers to pass a $10 billion transportation tax package. Lawmakers say the package would include an increase in gas taxes and increased license fees.
Now that the GMO labeling debate has subsidized (it will assuredly return), it is time for many who support biotechnology, but were unwilling to say so during the campaign, to stand up for that technology. One person who was noticeably absent from the recent debate about biotechnology crops was Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark.
When he ran for office in 2008, Goldmark, a PhD molecular biologist, spoke frequently of his creation of a GMO strain of wheat. In his voters' pamphlet statement in both 2008 and 2012 he listed himself as a "wheat breeder/scientist."
When Governor Inslee signed the regional climate agreement last week, it included two policies he had already advocated publicly as part of the Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup (CLEW) process. It called for a cap-and-trade system and a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS) which would require fuel to have less carbon per gallon than standard gasoline (among other things). Including both of these policies, however, makes it more expensive to reduce carbon emissions while doing nothing to increase those reductions.
Governor Inslee is clearly worried, as are many Washingtonians, about the power of union executives and their ability to disrupt our state’s aerospace sector. There is a very real danger that the threat of union action in the future could lead Boeing to locate 777x assembly in another state.