Washington Policy Blog

Do you know how the current state contract negotiations are going?

June 9, 2014 in Blog

No? Neither do we. Realizing that potentially hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, we believe that like other budget related decisions, these meetings should be open to the public. This is exactly what already occurs in several states.

According to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, here is how several states treat collective bargaining sessions under their open public meeting laws: 

Update: Did top King County officials cry wolf by promoting bus-service cuts?

June 9, 2014 in Blog

The Seattle Times reports today that top King County leaders may have been “crying wolf” earlier this year when they threatened a 16% cut in bus services unless voters agreed to accept increases in regressive sales and car taxes to direct more money to Metro Transit.

King County Councilmember Dembowski's plan would preserve most Metro bus service without regressive tax increases

June 9, 2014 in Blog

Soon after the people of King County defeated Proposition 1 , King County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposal to increase regressive sales and car taxes to avoid his bus-cuts plan, Executive Dow Constantine said “There are no other options but to cut [bus] service.”

Supporters Admit $15 Minimum Wage Not Based on Facts; It Was a “Political” Decision

June 6, 2014 in Blog

Throughout the heated debates over the controversial mandated $15 minimum wage, opponents have asked “why $15?” 

Four reasons Seattle’s plan to save bus service could be worse than Proposition 1 for Seattleites

June 3, 2014 in Blog

On April 22nd, voters in King County overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 1, County leaders’ proposal to increase regressive car tab fees and sales taxes to collect more money for roads and transit. After the vote, county officials say they will move ahead with their plan to impose deep cuts to bus service in communities across the county.

In SeaTac, Everyone Pays for the $15 Minimum Wage

June 2, 2014 in Blog

Last week I blogged about SeaTac employers who have responded to the new $15 minimum wage law by reducing or eliminating the benefits workers receive.  Employees earning the new wage say they have lost benefits such as 401k, paid holidays, paid vacation, free food, free parking and overtime hours.  

As one SeaTac worker put it, “It sounds good, but it’s not good.”

Who paid for the Prop. 1 campaign?

June 2, 2014 in Blog

Disclosure filings show major donors would have profited from Prop. 1 spending

Real World Costs Show Effective, Low-Carbon Fuel Standard Costs $1.01 Per Gallon

May 30, 2014 in Blog

There has been a great deal of debate about the potential cost of Governor Inslee's proposed low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS). In an effort to reduce carbon emissions, the Governor wants to require gasoline sold in Washington to be mixed with a certain percentage of biofuel, although he has not yet provided details.  

SeaTac’s $15 Minimum Wage Is Hurting the Workers It Is Supposed to Help

May 29, 2014 in Blog

The law of unintended consequences is an economic idiom warning that the intervention of people and government in economic systems almost always has effects that are unanticipated and often undesirable.

Wall Street Journal Experts: The Market—Not Policy—Will Dictate Coal’s Future

May 27, 2014 in Blog

The Market—Not Policy—Will Dictate Coal’s Future

12:02 pm ET
May 23, 2014

TODD MYERS: Whatever the EPA does about coal, there are several realities that will continue to dictate the future of coal in our energy mix.

Wall Street Journal Experts: To Save Water, Stop Subsidizing It

May 27, 2014 in Blog

To Save Water, Stop Subsidizing It

9:15 am ET
May 23, 2014

TODD MYERS: As a child growing up in California, my dad sat me down and gave me insight on drought that rings true to this day. He said, “Son, California is the land of surf and sun. We don’t flush for number 1.” Those words still echo in my ears.

Wall Street Journal Experts: What’s Next for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

May 27, 2014 in Blog

What’s Next for Alternative Fuel Vehicles

3:42 pm ET
May 22, 2014

TODD MYERS: Looking ahead 10 years, will electric, natural gas or hydrogen vehicles have made significant inroads in the car market?

Each of these technologies is on a different path.

We Stand Corrected: Paul Kennard Does Not Link Oso Landslide to Logging

May 23, 2014 in Blog

In early April, we noted a story in the Seattle Times insinuating a link between a nine-year-old timber harvest and the Oso landslide. One of the sources quoted regarding the inadequacy of the analysis of the timber harvest and the underlying watershed analysis was geologist Paul Kennard.