Saying that lack of transparency gave them "a huge political advantage," MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who helped write the Affordable Care Act, told the audience (see below) at an October 17th, 2013 forum that hiding key purposes of the bill "was really, really critical to getting anything to pass." Gruber said he wished "we could make it all transparent...but I'd rather have this law than not."
The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week to hear King v. Sebelius this term. This is one of at least four lawsuits that deal with the legality of the IRS giving out taxpayer subsidies in the federal health insurance exchange.
The Indiana Supreme Court has dealt another blow to unions desperate to turn back existing right-to-work laws and stop them from spreading to other states. Yesterday the Court unanimously rejected a lawsuit by unions to have the state’s recently passed right-to-work law found unconstitutional.
After day two of ballot returns from Election Day, WPC is closely watching the result trends of Initiative 1351, the class size initiative. Below you will find our statement on the ballot returns for I-1351.
Republicans will control the U.S. Senate next session. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, remains unpopular with Americans and the issue for the G.O.P. will be to repeal or reform the law. With President Obama in the White House until 2016, the chance for repeal is virtually zero. The Republicans don't have enough votes to override a presidential veto.
Voter turnout as of Saturday for the 2014 Election in Washington is a meager 24.4%. This means if we are to get anywhere close to the 62% forecast by the Secretary of State a flood of ballots will be hitting the mail in the next day. This likely means we'll be waiting several days to weeks to learn the winners of close races.
New research finds that some justices on the state supreme court have received political contributions from a lead party in a key lawsuit now before the court.
Parties in the case, League of Women Voters, Washington Education Association, et al vs State of Washington, are asking the court to strike down Washington’s charter school law, passed by voters in 2012, and bar children from attending a charter public school.
This year, voters in Oregon will decide on a GMO labeling initiative similar to the one Washington residents turned down last year. During last year's campaign, we noted that Washington State University was developing a strain of wheat that would eliminate or greatly reduce the gluten toxicity. We thought it would be a good time to check in on the progress of this effort.
The House Finance Committee held a work session yesterday focused on the fiscal health of Washington's cities and counties. Among the presentations lawmakers heard was a pitch from the Washington Association of Counties to provide local governments more flexibility on existing tax sources while providing new tax options. One recommendation in particular of note from the Counties:
The Seattle Times reported on this morning’s horrendous traffic jams, noting politics and policy choices are getting in the way of providing people with congestion relief. Transportation reporter Mike Lindblom noted, “Congestion relief is no longer an official top priority of Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT)” as it was in the past. In 2007 lawmakers re-prioritized transportation spending to achieve five goals with transportation money. They added a sixth in 2010.
Union executives have spent $3.5 million promoting Initiative 1351, because they stand to profit by up to $7.4 million a year in new member dues taken from public education budgets. If it passes, they could double their “investment” in the first year.