The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) when passed into law in 2010 called for a $500 billion cut in Medicare over ten years. These cuts were on the provider side and would decrease payments to doctors, hospitals and some nursing homes. Substantial cuts would also occur in Medicare Part C, or Medicare Advantage, possibly eliminating this entire part of Medicare.
The updated cut is now at $716 billion over the ten years from 2012 to 2021 and will ostensibly pay for 40 percent of the PPACA.
With any luck, Seattle's urban forests will soon be certified dolphin safe. That may seem strange, but it would be just about as meaningful as the city recently receiving a forest certification it promises it will never use.
Our board recently announced it is giving this year’s Champion of Freedom Award to the 32 Democratic and Republican lawmakers who sponsored the bill to allow public charter schools in Washington.
The Award will be formally presented on October 15th at our Annual Dinner in Bellevue, simulcast in Spokane, attended by over 1,500 supporters.
The prime sponsors of HB 2428 and SB 6202 will receive special recognition: Representative Eric Pettigrew (D-Seattle), Representative Glenn Anderson (R-Fall City), Senator Steve Litzow (R-Mercer Island), and Senator Rodney Tom (D-Bellevue).
On the heels of L&I’s unexpected announcement that average workers’ compensation tax rates will not increase in 2013, department officials are trying to assure businesses they will not face a double-digit tax hike in the future by shifting an increase from an election year (now) to a non-election year in near the future.
But a double-digit increase is exactly what is in store for employers over the next decade.
I’ve been speaking to civic groups about Initiative 1240 and one question I get is whether charter schools are unconstitutional in our state. As an attorney my first instinct was to write an 80-page brief in response. But I realized even other attorneys would find that boring, so I came up with something more concise. Here’s my response.
The main constitutional objections are that charter schools would be run by “corporate boards” and that they would not be under the supervision of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
Opponents of Initiative 1240, the charter school measure, are disseminating a study known as the CREDO study. We have criticized this cherry-picking here. Another reason to be wary of this study comes from CREDO’s director, Margaret Raymond. She now says the variation in charter school performance can be traced to the quality of state laws authorizing and overseeing charter schools.
I hear that school administrators are telling legislators that the poverty of the children is why so many conventional schools in Washington fail so many children. The Public School Accountability Index shows that in 2011, fully 41.9% of Washington’s schools ranked on the lowest two tiers of achievement, as either “Fair” or “Struggling.”
Today the Department of Labor & Industries (L&I) announced it will not increase average workers’ compensation rates in 2013. L&I has increased workers’ compensation taxes by 66% over the past 12 years.
One of the consistent issues we address here is the gap between the science and Washington's environmental policy - even as policymakers and politicians claim to be following the science. Now there is a great book from the editor of Real Clear Science highlighting the many ways left-wing environmentalists ignore the science when it is inconvenient to their ideology.
As the burgeoning teachers strike closed schoolhouse doors across the Windy City Monday, parents of 350,000 students scrambled to secure daycare or make other arrangements while their children’s education is delayed. No one knows how long the strike will last, or what the lasting impact will be on Chicago school kids.
Is Washington’s state constitution undemocratic? Some opponents of supermajority vote requirements seem to think so. Voters have enacted or re-affirmed the two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases four times: 1993, 1998, 2007 and 2010. They are being asked do so for the fifth time this year with Initiative 1185.