This morning the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or Obamacare - the King v. Burwell lawsuit. You can read about the ruling here. This suit deals with the legality of people receiving subsidies in the health insurance exchange established by the federal government. Some 36 states elected to use the federal exchange rather than set up their own exchange. Washington state is one of the 14 that established a state exchange.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown is working with a bi-partisan group of lawmakers to repeal the state’s low carbon fuel standard regulations (LCFS) as part of passing a broad congestion-relief transportation package. The agreement shows how a governor and lawmakers of both parties can come together to pass important legislation that serves the people of their state. Unfortunately, things are working differently in Washington.
South Carolina, North Carolina and New Hampshire are in the same boat as Washington with a major budget fight threatening a government shutdown on July 1. Those three states, however, are using a continuing resolution to keep government open while budget negotiations continue.
After months of suspense and threats of closure, members of the state Charter School Commission narrowly voted Thursday to allow First Place Scholars charter school, located in Seattle’s Central District, to continue operations. The school serves some 75 low-income and homeless families, including a number of special needs children, who otherwise would have difficulty gaining access to a quality public education.
According to House Transportation Committee Chair Judy Clibborn (D-Mercer Island), Democratic leaders have decided to halt work on a transportation package until state leaders agree on a state operating budget. House leaders say they want to work on passing a new capital gains income tax, despite receiving $3.2 billion in new revenue under current tax rates.
Over the past year, there have been many claims about ocean acidification and the impact on oysters. Many of those claims have withered under scrutiny. Taylor Shellfish is on the front line of dealing with environmental issues facing oyster growers. They agreed to answer questions about the current state of science and what they are facing. What follows are their answers and do not reflect our views.
Yesterday was another warm, beautiful day in Seattle. The high temperature was seven degrees more than the average. This temperature is toward the highest end of projections from the IPCC for 2100. Again, if we expected to see air quality impacts due to rising temperatures, we might expect to see some evidence yesterday.
Here is the air quality chart for the Puget Sound area from yesterday afternoon:
Yesterday, we noted that temperatures during the last two weeks have been significantly above average, about 11 degrees F during that period. One of the claims about rising temperatures associated with global warming is that air quality will worsen significantly, causing health and other problems.
We decided to share the actual air quality impact of these warm temperatures day by day to test the accuracy of these projections.
Temperatures cooled off a bit on June 16, but were still about three degrees above normal. That models to temperatures expected in about 2050.
Members of the State Charter School Commission, created by voters in 2012 as part of Washington’s charter school law, plan to meet Thursday at 10:00 a.m. at South Seattle Community College to consider whether to close the state’s first charter school, First Place Scholars school for homeless children in Seattle.
We previously highlighted how the state Department of Commerce has long used Washington’s lack of income or capital gains taxes as part of their marketing pitch to encourage businesses to come to Washington. Apparently department officials still believe having no income tax is a strong selling point.
Among the arguments made by those pushing a costly cap-and-trade carbon emissions policy is the claim that higher temperatures will bring big increases in air pollution. Both the Washington Environmental Council and Puget Sound Sage have recently used air pollution as a justification for pushing these polices.
Does the real world match their claims? We have a chance to test.
Yesterday, Governor Inslee signed a two-year transportation budget into law. The $7.6 billion plan includes about $5 billion for the Washington State Department of Transportation over the next two years, $430 million for the Washington State Patrol, and dedicates about $1.5 billion to pay off Nickel and TPA bonds. The budget for the 2015-2017 biennium also funds other transportation-related offices and departments, like the Department of Licensing.