Washington Policy Blog

Seattle City Councilmembers announce another tax plan to bolster Metro’s budget

May 19, 2014 in Blog

According to The Seattle Times, Seattle City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Nick Licata want to impose three tax increases to maintain Metro bus service in Seattle: a new tax on employers, higher parking taxes, and a hefty car tab fee.

Will the Washingtons keep access to the internet tax free?

May 16, 2014 in Blog

Only in Washington D.C. can near unanimous agreement on a policy mean there is danger it may not occur. Consider the pending expiration of the ban on internet access taxes and whether or not Congress will act in time. As reported by The Wall Street Journal:

Nationwide Survey Shows Dramatic Improvement in Honeybee Health

May 16, 2014 in Blog

During the last week, there has been a great deal of attention to a study claiming pesticides are responsible for an increase in honeybee hive death. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), beekeepers and scientists have been working to find out what is to blame for the trend.

New tax proposal to maintain bus service in Seattle; a timeline of events

May 15, 2014 in Blog

On April 22nd, voters in King County overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 1, a ballot measure to increase regressive car fees and sales taxes to provide more money for existing levels of public transit.  The special election cost about $1.8 million.  The measure’s defeat has sparked a crisis in the County’s management of Metro bus services.

Remote testimony approved in Colorado

May 15, 2014 in Blog

If the Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl demolition of the Denver Broncos taught us anything, it's that anything Colorado can do Washington can do better. With that in mind, it is worth noting that Colorado lawmakers have sent to their Governor a bill to allow remote testimony. As reported by Colorado's KREX news:

Liberal Think Tank Says Obamacare Employer Mandate is "Regressive" and Should Be Scrapped

May 14, 2014 in Blog

At WPC’s annual Health Care Conference yesterday, panels of experts discussed the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on individuals, employers, insurers and providers.  A common theme throughout the presentations and Q&A sessions centered on the uncertainty of how employers will respond once the controversial employer mandate begins to take effect next year.

The controversy, confusion and uncertainty over the new requirements has prompted the Obama Administration to delay implementation of the employer mandate and soften requirements during the first year.

Cities in King County may target drivers to pay for bus service under new plan

May 12, 2014 in Blog

At a press conference today, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a plan to allow cities or groups of cities to purchase bus service to avoid service cuts.

National Small Business Week Proclamation Touts Obama Administration’s Accomplishments More Than Small Businesses'

May 12, 2014 in Blog

Today is the start of National Small Business Week, whereby government officials pay the usual platitudes to small businesses and their importance to our nation’s economy.  Throughout the week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will hold events and festivities in cities around the country to celebrate the small business owners who drive innovation and create jobs.

New Study Reveals High Costs and Job Losses With Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage

May 9, 2014 in Blog

A new, independent study from a Seattle economist reveals the impact of a $15 minimum wage in Seattle may be much greater than indicated in a University of Washington study requested and funded by the Seattle City Council.

George Will explains the Common Core in one minute

May 8, 2014 in Blog

As we’ve seen, Common Core is meeting increasing resistance from parents and educators across the country.  George Will explains why.

Legislative survey says: Remote testimony is a winner

May 7, 2014 in Blog

Washington State University has released the results of the "2013 Washington State Legislative Service Survey and the Washington State Governance Series." Based on the answers of lawmakers, legislative staff and lobbyists, WPC's recommendation for remote testimony options for citizens is a clear winner.

Marijuana, Lean management and public records best practices

May 7, 2014 in Blog

No, that's not the opening line of a joke but instead an example of how the (now misnamed) Washington State Liquor Control Board (LCB) is improving access to public records. According to Governor Inslee's Results Washington process, the Liquor Control Board has made progress using Lean management to improve its response time to growing public records requests as a result of the state's legalization of marijuana.

Benton County Proposition 14-5: Sales tax increase but no performance audits?

May 6, 2014 in Blog

Washington Policy Center calls on King County leaders to protect bus services

May 5, 2014 in Blog

Erica C. Barnett over at Publicola criticizes Washington Policy Center for proposing ways King County leaders can protect Metro bus service from the cuts they plan to impose on local communities. Erica doesn’t like our ideas for saving bus service (and that’s ok), but she doesn’t offer any of her own.

Seattle Times Editorial urges look at tribal gas tax agreements

May 5, 2014 in Blog

Last week, The Seattle Times editorial board suggested the state Supreme Court should look into gas tax diversion. According to their editorial, former State Auditor Brian Sonntag looked at tribal agreements for fuel tax refunds he says the tribes aren’t eligible for. At tribal gas pumps, gas taxes are paid by the wholesaler, not the tribe.