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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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.”
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.
Last week I blogged about SeaTac employers who have responded to the new $15 minimum wage law by reducing or eliminating the benefits workers receive. Employees earning the new wage say they have lost benefits such as 401k, paid holidays, paid vacation, free food, free parking and overtime hours.
As one SeaTac worker put it, “It sounds good, but it’s not good.”
There has been a great deal of debate about the potential cost of Governor Inslee's proposed low-carbon fuel standard (LCFS). In an effort to reduce carbon emissions, the Governor wants to require gasoline sold in Washington to be mixed with a certain percentage of biofuel, although he has not yet provided details.