The state House of Representatives on Tuesday passed its version of the 2014 supplemental operating budget, seeking to spend an additional $236 million over the $33.6 billion 2013-15 budget approved last year. The vote was 53-44, along party lines, with one Democrat and all Republicans voting against the bill.
Economists at the Beacon Hill Institute at Suffolk University in Boston have responded to Rep. Ross Hunter’s recent criticism of their economic model. The model analyzed the impact on Washington residents of Superintendent Dorn’s proposal to increase the state sales tax and state property taxes. Economic results show that Superintendent Dorn’s plan to increase taxes by $7.5 billion would hurt working families and weaken the economy by costing 18,500 jobs. Rep. Hunter dismissed the finding as “unlikely to say anything interesting” and “not trustworthy.”
The Obama Administration announced yet one more major delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. (Here) People who have health insurance in the individual market may now keep their non-Obamacare-compliant insurance for an additional two years instead of one year.
In just a few weeks the country will be celebrating "Sunshine Week," a time committed to celebrating the people's right to know about what their government is doing. Recent developments in Olympia, however, may put a damper on those celebrations.
Yesterday, the Governor's office released an analysis of the potential cost of a low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS), arguing the cost is as low as four cents per gallon. The purpose was to respond to analyses, like ours, showing the potential cost was much higher.
The analysis, however, suffers from a number of shortcomings.
House Democrats in Olympia released a 2014 supplemental budget proposal Wednesday that would restore cost-of-living (COLA) increases for teachers and would spend additional money on school programs, while ending some tax exemptions, including imposing a state sales tax on bottled water. The bottled water tax would narrow the state’s general sales tax exemption on food items.
The Senate Transportation Committee passed SB 6001, making supplemental appropriations to the transportation budget, and moved the bill to the Rules Committee for full Senate consideration. Lawmakers provided a plan to pay for the $170 million in cost overruns on the 520 Bridge Project.
More than 2,000 people attend Washington Policy Center’s Annual Dinner each year and those attending east of the Cascades will now enjoy an even more spectacular evening.
WPC, the state’s leading independent research organization, announced plans today to hold two separate Annual Dinner events beginning this year – one in Eastern Washington and one in Western Washington. Both dinners will feature live, prominent national speakers.
Over at Cross Cutyesterday, John Stang provides a description of the Senate’s proposed supplemental budget. His reporting suggests teachers will not be receiving pay increases, noting “Sorry,Teachers,” and “no cost-of-living raise for teachers.”
By describing just one type of teacher pay increase, the Cost of Living Adjustment, the article gives the impression that teachers haven’t received any pay increases.
In a press conference Monday afternoon, state Senate leaders from both parties released the Senate’s proposed 2014 supplemental to the 2013-15 budget. The legislature generally writes a supplemental budget in the second year of a budget cycle to make adjustments for changing conditions, such as fluctuations in state services and revenue projections.
Today, the King County Council moved towards putting new taxes on the ballot. On April 22, 2014, King County voters may vote on a costly plan to impose a $60 annual car tab fee and a .1% sales tax increase on drivers and consumers. Both of the new taxes would sunset after 10 years. According to Crosscut, King County has nearly 2 weeks to get the measure on the ballot. However, if state lawmakers approve of new local taxes for transit, the King County Council would meet to discuss eliminating both taxes.