Washington Policy Blog

Will Governor’s Climate Shortcut Destroy Opportunity for Bipartisan Agreement?

October 28, 2013 in Blog

This morning, Governor Inslee will be signing a climate agreement with other west coast governors and the BC Premier. According to the Governor’s office and press reports, the agreement will cover:

Thirty-one parent and community groups seek approval to open charter schools in Washington

October 27, 2013 in Blog

Last week, Tuesday, October 22nd, was the preliminary deadline for parents, teachers, school principals and other community groups who wish to open a charter public school.  Because the required Notices of Intent had to be postmarked Tuesday, it wasn’t until Friday the state commission realized the full extent of the public’s pent-up interest.  By Friday, twenty-eight groups had filed notices with the state commission, and 3 additional groups had filed their notices with Spokane Public Schools.

Obamacare Is an Entitlement

October 27, 2013 in Blog

Virtually everyone who understands federal government financing in this country believes we need entitlement reform. The existing programs either need benefit reductions, or the government needs more tax revenue to pay for benefits, or the programs need some combination of these two things.

TVW interview of Minnesota Senator who wrote nation's first charter school bill

October 24, 2013 in Blog

This week Ember Reichgott Junge, the Democratic Minnesota state senator who wrote the nation's first charter school bill, visited Seattle to share her charter school knowledge and experience. TVW's Anita Kissee conducts an informative interview of the Senator, which I've posted below.

Senator Reichgott Junge said that charter schools will give Washington children new, exciting learning opportunities.  She also said charter schools will benefit teachers, too, because these schools give teachers new opportunities to try creative approaches with their students.    

Effective Climate Policy for Washington, Step Two: Attempting to Cut Emissions with Renewable Electricity is Costly and Ineffective

October 23, 2013 in Blog

For the first time, Washington state is attempting to base its official climate policy on approaches that provide the greatest environmental benefit for every taxpayer dollar spent. Past efforts have done nothing to measure the actual climate impact or to prioritize the way tax money is used. As a result, Washington politicians have wasted huge amounts of money while yielding little or no benefit for the environment.

Charter school application deadline today

October 22, 2013 in Blog

Today, October 22nd, is a key deadline for parents and community leaders who wish to open a charter school under Washington’s voter-approved charter school law.  Charter schools are popular with parents because they allow local educators to adapt their learning program to meet children’s needs. Notices of Intent to submit an application are due today.  

Effective Climate Policy for Washington, Step One: Count Emissions Correctly

October 21, 2013 in Blog

As part of Governor Inslee’s climate workgroup, known as CLEW, for Climate Legislative Executive Workgroup, state officials are taking public comment about the future of climate policy in Washington. The state hired a consulting firm, SAIC, to issue a report on various strategies to reduce Washington state’s carbon emissions.

This week, we will analyze that report and look at how we can get the greatest environmental benefit for every taxpayer dollar.

State Supreme Court considers $1.3 billion pension case

October 21, 2013 in Blog

The State Supreme Court will hear a pension case this Thursday at 9 a.m. brought by various unions that could cost taxpayers an additional $1.3 billion at the state and local level during the 2015-17 biennium and billions more in the future. At issue is whether lawmakers had the legal right to make changes to what they thought were conditional pension benefit increases.

One of the Greatest Government E-mails I've Ever Received

October 20, 2013 in Blog

Updated below with reply from Department of Ecology

Last week, the State Department of Ecology announced a sole-source contract for $50,000 to study purchases of zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs). The announcement says the survey will...

describe new-car buyers’ valuation of Zero Emission Vehicles (ZEV) and ZEV-enabling technologies, describe why people hold these intentions, and characterize the antecedents to these intentions, e.g., awareness, knowledge, motivations, and barriers toward purchasing ZEVs.

Long Beach Experience Illustrates the Predictable Effect of a Super-High Minimum Wage

October 17, 2013 in Blog

An article in The Seattle Times this week explains the real world effects of what happens when employers are forced to pay a super-high minimum wage.

Tremendous loss for WPC in Eastern Washington

October 17, 2013 in Blog

WPC is saddened to report the passing of one of our most active supporters, Eastern Washington Advisory Board Member John Bennett. John was the President of NAI Black in Spokane and joined the Eastern Washington Board after attending our 2010 Annual Dinner.

John was 57. He will always hold a special place in our hearts at WPC, as John was a tireless advocate for our organization and supported our effort to bring a supermajority requirement for tax increases to the city of Spokane.

State Supreme Court grants prior Governor's office request for shroud of secrecy

October 17, 2013 in Blog

Channeling former President Nixon, the state Supreme Court today showed Washington State isn't that different from Washington D.C. after all by granting the Governor's office the claim of executive privilege to deny citizens access to public records.

Is the Governor Listening to the Aerospace Industry?

October 16, 2013 in Blog

At the Governor’s Aerospace Summit earlier this month, Governor Inslee outlined how he plans to entice Boeing to keep building planes in Washington. 

Extending a series of tax breaks and expediting permitting for the aerospace giant are the centerpiece of his strategy.

GMOs, Eco-Terrorists and the University of Washington

October 15, 2013 in Blog

This Thursday, a group called Responsible Choices Washington will host a debate about labeling of biotechnology crops, known popularly as GMOs, at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture. The choice of the venue is ironic.

Twelve years ago, eco-terrorists firebombed the University of Washington Center for Urban Horticulture. The reason, as evidenced by the spray paint left behind, was opposition to the research being done on the genetics of plants.

Editorial boards pan I-517 and I-522

October 15, 2013 in Blog

Are the state's editorial boards reflective of the general voting public? We'll know after the votes are counted on Initiative 517 and Initiative 522. Based on the near consensus of the editorials to date, supporters of the proposals may be feeling a bit nervous. Here's a roundup:

Seattle Times