A month ago, Senator King (R-Yakima) announced a listening tour at seven different locations in the state to talk about a potential transportation tax package. It has now increased to ten due to public demand. I am glad Senator King and others are involving the general public on any potential legislation involving a tax increase. The updated schedule is listed below:
September 17, 2013 - Stevenson Elementary - Bellevue, WA 6-9 p.m.
Today Governor Inslee put his stamp on the state's long track record with performance management efforts with a "soft" launch of Results Washington. As noted by his press release:
Gov. Jay Inslee today formally launched Results Washington, which will provide faster and easier answers to those questions and access to an unprecedented array of performance data related to his top goals.
Blake Island, Washington – Campers and boaters were enjoying the sun Saturday at this popular state park set in the heart of Puget Sound when they noticed something odd. Across the water to the south ferry traffic between Fauntleroy, Vashon and Southworth, one of the busiest runs in the state system, was at a complete stand-still. Why ferry service would halt on an active summer weekend was a complete mystery. Speculation ranged from a snap union strike to simultaneous mechanical break-downs on all the ferries.
Today, Rick Hess at National Review Online writes a great article drawing the battle lines in education reform. On one side are voices like Diane Ravitch, whose new book attacks school reformers for supporting school choice, accountability, merit pay and greater respect for parents' role in the education of their children. On the other side are caring school reformers, of both parties, alike, who have signed on to well-
Tonight, union and environmental activists are threatening to protest Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's speech at our annual dinner. Such protests, of course, are long on rhythmic chanting and short on thoughtful argument.
It is notable, however, that the announcement of the protest encourages "environmental activists" to protest the Governor's "environment-damaging policies." So, here are five questions for environmental activists who decide to show up tonight.
Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is planning to hold three public meetings in October to gather public comment on tolling I-90. Washington Policy Center finds many problems with tolling I-90, described in our Op-Ed in the Puget Sound Business Journal.
Last night, executives at Seattle's powerful teachers union decided to back away from their threatened strike action and allow Seattle's 50,000 public school children to attend classes on time. Over the Labor Day weekend parents across the city had been making alternative child care arrangements in case the union followed through on plans to close schools to students.
The union and District officials settled on a two-year contract agreement. I have just finished reading the new agreement. Here are its key terms:
Governor Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and King County Executive Dow Constantine held a news conference today discussing a possible transportation package this year. The governor said that he will call a special session in November to pass a transportation package if the votes are there.
When asked about the Columbia River Crossing project and its inclusion in a possible package, the governor stated that he is looking at alternative ways to finance the bridge. He also mentioned that the Columbia River Crossing project was not the reason the transportation package didn’t pass last session.
Voters in Spokane won't be seeing two controversial city initiatives on their November ballots.
Spokane Superior Court Judge Maryanne Moreno has ruled the two initiatives were outside the scope of city powers. The ballot measures--pushed by a range of special interest groups—sought to, among other things, amend Spokane’s City Charter to grant inalienable legal rights to the Spokane River’s water and sediment.
"This is nuts." That's how one member of the Washington Health Benefit Exchange Board described the process for approving or rejecting health plans that could be offered to Washingtonians through the Obamacare state exchange.
Earlier, Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler rejected plans offered by five of the nine insurers that had sought to offer customers plans through the regulated state exchange, as he explained in a letter released August 21st.
The governors of Oregon and Washington are attempting to revive the Columbia River Crossing project after the Majority Coalition Caucus in Washington did not pass a gas tax proposal funding the project. News broke this evening that a third company agreed to mitigation terms. A Coast Guard ruling is needed, but not guaranteed, due to the 116-foot height, which would restrict water navigation. Even if the Coast Guard does approve, the Washington side of the project has been cleaning out their offices and the project has been shut down due to lack of money.
This morning, Linda Shaw of The Seattle Times provides an informative report on the threatened Seattle schools strike by union executives over contract negotiations with the school district. One of the issues in contention is the cost of teacher compensation, described as follows:
“Under the school district’s offer, she said [School Board member Shelley Carr], Seattle teachers would remain some of the most highly paid in the state.”
Yesterday I participated in a “Small Business for Sensible Regulations” event with NFIB and Senator John Braun. The event was part of a statewide series spearheaded by NFIB to highlight the national coalition’s effort to reduce the regulatory burden on job creators.
Data available from INRIX, a traffic data collection company based in Kirkland, reveals that traffic congestion in the Seattle metro area increased 23% year over year for the month of July. In July of 2012, drivers wasted about 2.6 hours sitting in traffic versus 3.2 hours in July this year.