Senator King (R-Yakima) recently proposed a strong transportation package. It wouldn’t divert funds to the costly Columbia River Crossing project or to subsidizing transit, contrasting the House proposal and delivering direct benefits to drivers.
Shawn Vestal's column today in The Spokesman-Review touting our state's higher wages compared to Idaho's leaves out an inconvenient truth: Washington's high minimum wage is meaningless if you can't find a job. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Idaho's unemployment rate (6.1%) is almost a full percentage point lower than Washington's (7%), meaning thousands of people in Idaho have family income and job opp
The state Employment Security Department announced yesterday that Washington state's average annual wage grew by 3.4% last year to $51,595. The average weekly wage rose from $959 to $992. ESD says most of the wage increase was driven not by increased wages for all workers, rather by strong growth in industries that offer above-average pay—a 6.1% increase in the number of workers earning more than $75,000.
Though various reform bills proposed by the Senate have been pointed to by state Democrats and Governor Inslee as holding up a budget deal, the real sticking point continues to be whether to increase taxes despite the fact state revenues are currently projected to increase by $2 billion for the 2013-15 biennium (and may increase more at next week's Revenue Forecast).
Over the weekend, the Senate Majority Coalition, in negotiations with the House Democrats over the budget, continued to push for ending the “Dance of the Lemons”; the practice of force-placing bad teachers from school to school, which I’ve written about here, here, and
Today is the last day of the 1st Special Session for lawmakers to finish work on the 2013-15 budget. So where do we stand? Here are the thoughts of House Majority Leader Rep. Sullivan (D) as quoted in The Olympian:
“We are still pretty far apart,” Sullivan said, noting that Gov. Jay Inslee had said last month that the chambers were light years apart. “I would say we are still somewhere out in space.’’
When innovators working in a free-market come up with a better, environmentally friendly solution to a problem, what is the reaction of government agencies? Attack it.
Tom Watson, a King County employee who calls himself the "EcoConsumer," offers his thoughts on how to be a good environmentalist. On his (taxpayer-paid) blog, you will find a range of topics, from praise for Occupy Wall Street to recommending that people eat more kimchi (he calls it one of the "most enviro-friendly foods you can eat" but doesn't explain why).
Today the Seattle City Council unanimously passed the so-called "Job Assistance Bill." The new law prohibits employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history until after an initial screening to eliminate unqualified applicants and prohibits employers from rejecting job applicants with a criminal history unless they can prove a “legitimate business reason” for doing so.
Today the Seattle City Council is scheduled to vote on an ordinance that would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about their criminal history until after an initial screening to eliminate unqualified applicants and prohibit employers from rejecting job applicants with a criminal history unless they can prove a “legitimate busin
Obamacare remains unpopular with the American public. A recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News survey revealed 49% of people believed the health law a bad idea, with 43% "strongly" holding that opinion. Only 37% of people thought the law was a good idea. Last month, even the liberal CNN poll found that 54% of Americans were opposed to the law compared to 43% of those in favor of the law.
This sunny afternoon House budget writers, led by Rep. Ross Hunter, (D-Bellevue), released a new budget proposal, significantly narrowing the distance between its budget and the Senate’s. The new House proposal would spend $33.7 billion, yet still depends upon passage of a new tax. The Senate budget would spend $33.3 billion without increasing taxes. Here is a comparison of education spending in these budgets:
House: $14.97 billion for K-12 Public Schools, $2.99 billion for Higher Ed.
Senate: $15.165 billion for K-12 Public Schools, $3.04 for Higher Ed.
Yesterday in The Seattle Times, Jonathan Martin writes that parents of second-grade students in Room 105 at Seattle’s West Woodland Elementary realized their teacher was incompetent. This teacher didn’t learn the names of the children, bungled attendance, didn’t assign math or reading work, didn’t grade homework, mumbled instead of teaching, didn’t return parents’ emails, and wrote inappropriate words on the blackboard.
After other local cities have banned plastic grocery bags, the City of Kirkland commissioned a public opinion survey to see what residents would think about bringing the policy to the community. Not much, apparently.