King County Metro Transit officials may use new revenue from regressive sales and car taxes enacted under April 22nd’s Proposition 1 to provide money to speed negotiations over a stalled three-year union contract.
King County Metro officials reported on the $30 million windfall in sales tax revenues they are receiving this year. Speaking at a committee briefing for members of the King County Council this afternoon, Dwight Dively, Director of the Office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget, called the unexpected new money “...really good news.” But it may not be good news to Metro riders.
On Wednesday, Superintendent of Public Instruction Randy Dorn announced support for the teacher union's new class size reduction initiative, I-1351. The union hopes to gather enough signatures to put this initiative before the voters this November. Superintendent Dorn said:
“Reducing class sizes is key to improving student learning, particularly with at-risk students. That, in turn, will improve graduation rates.”
Washington Policy Center broke news in mid-March about Metro’s record-breaking revenues and future revenue windfalls. Metro officials soon followed up by releasing their new plans to reduce some of their planned bus cuts, saying that “improved sales tax will allow Metro to reduce the proposed package of cuts. Transit planners are finalizing the revised list of reductions.”
Just prior to the April 5th deadline for the governor to act on bills passed by the legislature in 2014, Governor Inslee vetoed HB 2789, which would have placed limits on the use of drones for law enforcement purposes, and HB 1260, which would have cut the number of public works projects subject to prevailing wage regulations in half.
The Seattle Timespublished an editorial Saturday urging voters in King County to reject Proposition 1, saying the transit agency has not kept past promises and is not “thoroughly confronting its well-documented unsustainably high operating costs.”
Voting for candidates for elected office is an important decision. Unfortunately at times there is little information available about candidates to help us make an informed decision. While county auditors and the Secretary of State produce voter pamphlets with information self-provided by those running for office, is the information actually truthful?
That’s where the new CandidateVerification.org in our state has the potential to bring clarity.
In a story on Seattle rent prices yesterday, the left-leaning Publicolaasserts that the “most interesting” data point from an analysis of Seattle’s rental-market is that, “The law of supply and demand is, it turns out, an actual thing." It seems the analysis shows that just as this most basic tenet of economics predicts, demand is inextricably linked to supply. The
Earlier this week, Governor Inslee, speaking at the University of Washington, explained his support for imposing a cap-and-trade system in Washington state to reduce carbon emissions.
Cap-and-trade, the system used by Europeans and others as part of the Kyoto Protocol, has two key elements. First, it sets a total cap on the amount of carbon emissions allowed, typically over the course of a year, by covered entities in the state. Second, covered entities are allowed to buy and trade permits to emit carbon.
Last night hundreds of students, business owners and engaged citizens gathered at the University of Washington campus in Seattle to learn more about the arguments for and arguments against increasing the minimum wage.
The WPC-sponsored event, “The Minimum Wage Debate,” was moderated by award-winning political journalist Robert Mak and included pro and con panels comprised of economists, lawmakers, policy analysts and a Seattle small business owner. The panelists discussed the impacts of minimum wage hikes at the local, state and national level.
King County officials say that if they don’t receive new tax revenue from the public, they plan to cut Metro bus service by 17%, close bridges and let public roads turn to gravel.
County officials say they want to use 60% of Proposition 1’s tax money to save current bus service from the cuts they are proposing, and will devote the remaining 40% to road projects that serve the traveling public.