Three years ago Washington state's elected officials took the lead in implementing Obamacare, saying that if Washington did not set up a state health care exchange, as required by the 2010 Affordable Care Act the federal government would do it for us. The Exchange will cost the state about $50 million a year to operate.
Under the law the online Exchange was to be up and running today. Instead visitors find it is not working. A notice at the site, WAHealthPlanFinder, tells those seeking health coverage:
Yesterday proponents of Proposition 1, the SeaTac ballot measure to implement a $15 per hour minimum wage, paid sick leave and other labor mandates on some SeaTac businesses, released a study declaring passage of the initiative would inject $54 million in increased household spending throughout the region and create 400 new jobs.
The study also says employers will be able to easily absorb the increases in the cost of doing business by raising prices on consumers and local governments will benefit by receiving more revenue from the increase in earnings and spending.
This week, the Wall Street Journal is publishing four pieces I wrote addressing various aspects of energy and environment policy. You can read them all at the WSJ Experts page. There are some nice pieces by others as well, so it is worth a look at all of the articles.
Today the Washington State Charter School Commission launched its charter school application process. The Commission invited communities and charter school pioneers to file their charter school applications. See the Commission's Request for Proposals, available here.
On July 30th, the largest tunnel boring machine in the world began digging the tunnel that will replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct underneath Seattle. Three weeks later the machine stopped. It wasn’t malfunctioning parts or bad planning that held up the project, it was unions fighting over four dirt-hauling jobs.
Estimated to progress at six feet per day, the machine has only traveled 24 feet, four days worth. It is expected to progress at about 35 feet per day once in good soil underneath downtown.
On Saturday, Lynne Varner of The Seattle Times wrote an informative editorial about Rainier Beach High, a Seattle school that serves mostly poor and minority students. Varner notes something remarkable:
“Rainier Beach successfully persuaded the Seattle School District to exempt it from forced teacher placements.”
There is a great editorial in today’s Seattle Times on increasing the minimum wage. Iconic Seattle-based business Dick’s Drive-In is featured as the best argument against a government mandated increase of our state’s already-high minimum wage.
Raising the minimum wage is a hot topic in the news right now. Voters in the City of SeaTac will decide in November whether to increase wages for workers in that city’s hospitality and transportation industries to a minimum of $15 per hour, fast food workers are striking for higher pay, and Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn is
On September 18, 2013, Joint Legislative Audit & Review Committee (JLARC) is holding a hearing regarding a forensic accounting audit on the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) project. Washington Policy Center has been among the first of those calling for a fraud audit. A timeline of events leading up to the JLARC hearing follows: