Washington Policy Blog

Editorial cartoon - painful operation to cut King County Metro bus service no longer needed

June 16, 2014 in Blog

In a masterpiece of clarity and concision, The Seattle Times has posted Frank Shiers’ cartoon that gets at the heart of the reason behind the coming cuts in King County Metro bus service.  County Executive Dow Constantine, despite Councilmember Rod Dembowski’s plan that would save 95% of current bus service, is pushing ahead with a painful operation that is no longer necessary.  As Councilmember Larry Phillips put it, “There’s no action more regressive than gutt

Union Boss Calls Small Business Owners Opposed to Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage “Right-Wing Ideologues”

June 11, 2014 in Blog

An organization representing small business owners in Seattle has filed a charter amendment to undo the City’s recently passed $15 minimum wage law and replace it with a less aggressive and less complicated minimum wage increase.

Franchise Owners File Lawsuit to Block Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage

June 11, 2014 in Blog

Today the International Franchise Association filed a lawsuit asking a court to block implementation of Seattle’s newly passed $15 minimum wage law. The law received unanimous support from the Seattle City Council and is scheduled to go into effect April 1, 2015.

Gov. Inslee touts ranking showing no income tax is good for Washington

June 11, 2014 in Blog

Governor Jay Inslee today praised a national ranking by Forbes that shows Washington state is the best state in which to make a living.  The ranking lists “no income tax” as one of the primary reasons for Washington’s high standing.

Coincidence or Consequence: 160 CenturyLink Jobs to Move to Other States One Week After Seattle Passes $15 Minimum Wage

June 10, 2014 in Blog

Is CenturyLink the first major casualty of Seattle’s passage of a new law mandating a $15 minimum wage for all workers?

King County Executive chooses pain over gain - vetoes responsible plan that would save Metro bus services

June 10, 2014 in Blog

They say governing is about making hard choices, and yesterday a top elected official chose to make life harder for the people of King County.  County Executive Dow Constantine on Monday vetoed a practical and responsible plan offered by Councilmember Rod Dembowski that would preserve 95% of current Metro bus service without raising taxes.

Will Seattle Be Ground Zero of an Automation Nation?

June 10, 2014 in Blog

Everyone is predicting what the real world impact of Seattle’s newly passed $15 minimum wage will be.  The truth is there will not be a mass exodus of businesses from the city, nor will the economy crash.

Seattle School Board chooses math texts for Seattle elementary schools, overruling district managers

June 9, 2014 in Blog

Last week, in a bit of good news for Seattle children, the Seattle School Board voted 4-3 to adopt the Math in Focus textbook for Seattle’s elementary schools. Math in Focus is a solid curriculum based on the effective Singapore method for teaching math. The board of the state’s largest school district, serving nearly 50,000 students, has exercised its authority to reject a lower-standard math text chosen by school district officials, EnVision Math.

Climate Policy Won't Avert a Forest Fire "Apocalypse." Active Forestry Will.

June 9, 2014 in Blog

Last week, as part of his push for his climate policy in Washington state, Governor Inslee warned of the upcoming fire season, citing what he called "the three horses of the fire Apocalypse" - drought, heat and beetles.

As the Spokesman-Review noted, the Governor claimed "The number of wildfires in Washington could quadruple by 2030 if steps aren’t taken to reduce carbon pollution and slow climate change."

Everyone Will Pay for Seattle's $15 Minimum Wage

June 9, 2014 in Blog

Last week I blogged about the unintended consequences of the $15 minimum wage approved by SeaTac voters last fall. 

Do you know how the current state contract negotiations are going?

June 9, 2014 in Blog

No? Neither do we. Realizing that potentially hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake, we believe that like other budget related decisions, these meetings should be open to the public. This is exactly what already occurs in several states.

According to the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, here is how several states treat collective bargaining sessions under their open public meeting laws: 

Update: Did top King County officials cry wolf by promoting bus-service cuts?

June 9, 2014 in Blog

The Seattle Times reports today that top King County leaders may have been “crying wolf” earlier this year when they threatened a 16% cut in bus services unless voters agreed to accept increases in regressive sales and car taxes to direct more money to Metro Transit.

King County Councilmember Dembowski's plan would preserve most Metro bus service without regressive tax increases

June 9, 2014 in Blog

Soon after the people of King County defeated Proposition 1 , King County Executive Dow Constantine’s proposal to increase regressive sales and car taxes to avoid his bus-cuts plan, Executive Dow Constantine said “There are no other options but to cut [bus] service.”

Supporters Admit $15 Minimum Wage Not Based on Facts; It Was a “Political” Decision

June 6, 2014 in Blog

Throughout the heated debates over the controversial mandated $15 minimum wage, opponents have asked “why $15?” 

Four reasons Seattle’s plan to save bus service could be worse than Proposition 1 for Seattleites

June 3, 2014 in Blog

On April 22nd, voters in King County overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 1, County leaders’ proposal to increase regressive car tab fees and sales taxes to collect more money for roads and transit. After the vote, county officials say they will move ahead with their plan to impose deep cuts to bus service in communities across the county.