Washington Policy Blog

Will state Supreme Court open floodgates for income taxes?

September 30, 2015 in Blog

How important are five votes out of seven million Washingtonians? The vote of just five state Supreme Court Justices could be the difference between Washington maintaining its competitive advantage of not imposing state income taxes and the eight decade old dam of legal precedent preventing these types of taxes being torn down. 

Plenty of comments about first morning commute with I-405 HOT lane program

September 28, 2015 in Blog

Commuters took to social media this morning to vent some of their frustrations with tolling two lanes of traffic on I-405. Many tweeted about the increase in congestion in the general purpose lanes, as KING TV reported the Monday morning Everett to Bellevue commute had a “Jam Factor” of 10.

Here is a quick compilation of some Twitter users’ experience with the new HOT lanes:

Sierra Club’s Donation to UW Coal Study Raises Red Flags

September 28, 2015 in Blog

"Unable to fund the project through traditional sources, they went online and found 271 people who were willing to make an average donation of $75 to have experts answer the question."

That is how the University of Washington described the funding for Professor Dan Jaffe’s project to measure coal dust from trains in Washington state. Crowdfunding, it was argued, was a more pure approach to funding, free of ideological obligations, allowing the scientists to go where the sciences leads.

It wasn’t exactly true.

Attorney General Ferguson says supreme court’s ruling on charter schools will cause real harm

September 28, 2015 in Blog

Last week Attorney General Bob Ferguson asked Chief Justice Madsen, and Justices Johnson, Owens, Wiggins, Stephens, and Yu of the state supreme court to reconsider their ruling striking down charter schools. AG Ferguson's excellent analysis shows these six justices have made serious errors which, if uncorrected, will hurt charter schools and other innovative school programs in Washington.

Five Washington state Attorneys General say charter school ruling is wrong

September 23, 2015 in Blog

Five Washington Attorneys General, past and present and representing both parties, say the state supreme court’s decision striking down the voter-approved charter school law is wrong. They note that from a legal standpoint the decision is flawed, disruptive and unfair to families, and that its newly-invented “common schools” doctrine is pointless.

Here is what the AGs are saying.

Mixed Results with Accountable Care Organizations

September 22, 2015 in Blog

The United States spends more for health care than any other country. Last year, total costs were $3.15 trillion or 18 percent of the economy. For the past 30 years, health care payers, specifically the government, employers and insurance companies, have pursued ways to hold down health care costs.

Has the state Supreme Court ever reversed one of its opinions?

September 22, 2015 in Blog

The state Supreme Court has granted a request to extend the deadline to October 23 for motions for reconsideration for its highly controversial 6-3 charter school ruling. The Attorney General, however, still plans to file his motion on Septemb

A Few Facts About The Department of Ecology's Billion-Dollar Climate Regulations

September 22, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday, the Department of Ecology released the process for Governor Inslee’s announced climate change regulations. The notice of rulemaking says only that those covered by the new regulations will “have an obligation to reduce emissions over time,” and it promises that a “wide variety of options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will be available.”

Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand on Health Care

September 18, 2015 in Blog

The Republican presidential candidates held their second major debate earlier this week. After the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in King versus Burwell this summer, many people assumed health care would take center stage in the campaigns. Obamacare, Medicare and Medicaid were barely mentioned during the debate.

However, several of the candidates have already taken a position on health care.

Unions brace for Court decision that could end forced unionism

September 16, 2015 in Blog

In three months, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in the potentially precedent-setting and game-changing Freidichs v California’s Teacher Association case.  The case was filed by California teachers who argue the compulsory union dues they are forced to pay are unconstitutional.  If the Court rules in favor of the plaintiff, Rebecca Freidichs, individual teachers would have the right to decide for themselves whether to join and support a union. 

WPC joins landmark labor case in U.S. Supreme Court

September 16, 2015 in Blog

Washington Policy Center has signed onto an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in an important U.S. Supreme Court case impacting worker freedom.

WPC on KING TV special program, "Fighting Traffic"

September 14, 2015 in Blog

Washington Policy Center recently participated in the KING TV special program, “Fighting Traffic,” which aired last week. Even as a panelist, I was anxious to see what plans public officials had in mind to reduce traffic congestion and make trips quicker around the Puget Sound Region, but elation soon turned to disappointment.

Charter school student: “I love my school and I want it to stay open”

September 14, 2015 in Blog

“I love my school and I want it to stay open.”  That was the reaction of sixth-grader Marshall Wheatcroft when he learned that six supreme court justices had voted to close charter schools across the state.