Washington Policy Blog

Seattle School Board to vote on weakening math standard

May 21, 2014 in Blog

The Seattle School Board is scheduled to vote tonight on providing a watered-down math curriculum for the city’s elementary schools, a change that would affect the 95 schools in the district and some 49,000 students and their families.  A District committee is recommending that School Board members adopt a program called EnVision Math.   A group of concerned math and science high school teachers and college professors calls EnVision Math the weakest choice available.  

Wall Street Journal Experts: Don’t Let Politicians Make Energy Policy

May 21, 2014 in Blog

Don’t Let Politicians Make Energy Policy

9:04 am ET
May 21, 2014

TODD MYERS: What technologies are likely to have the biggest effect on reducing energy consumption?

Is It Time To Close the V.A. Hospital System?

May 21, 2014 in Blog

For years, proponents of a single-payer health care system in the U.S. have pointed to the V.A. Hospital System as the example of how government-run health care can work in this country. It is now being revealed that the V.A. system has some terrible flaws. (Here, Here, Here)

Secret state budget talks start today - Governor makes early concession on salary costs

May 20, 2014 in Blog

Governor Inslee’s appointed representatives will meet today in Lacey with executives of the state’s public-sector unions to begin a series of closed-door meetings.  The secret sessions will decide how much the public will pay in state employee salary and benefits in the 2015-17 state budget.

The high-level negotiations are expected to last several months.  No open meetings are planned, and participants have indicated they will not take comment from the public.

Seattle City Councilmembers announce another tax plan to bolster Metro’s budget

May 19, 2014 in Blog

According to The Seattle Times, Seattle City Councilmembers Kshama Sawant and Nick Licata want to impose three tax increases to maintain Metro bus service in Seattle: a new tax on employers, higher parking taxes, and a hefty car tab fee.

Will the Washingtons keep access to the internet tax free?

May 16, 2014 in Blog

Only in Washington D.C. can near unanimous agreement on a policy mean there is danger it may not occur. Consider the pending expiration of the ban on internet access taxes and whether or not Congress will act in time. As reported by The Wall Street Journal:

Nationwide Survey Shows Dramatic Improvement in Honeybee Health

May 16, 2014 in Blog

During the last week, there has been a great deal of attention to a study claiming pesticides are responsible for an increase in honeybee hive death. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), beekeepers and scientists have been working to find out what is to blame for the trend.

New tax proposal to maintain bus service in Seattle; a timeline of events

May 15, 2014 in Blog

On April 22nd, voters in King County overwhelmingly rejected Proposition 1, a ballot measure to increase regressive car fees and sales taxes to provide more money for existing levels of public transit.  The special election cost about $1.8 million.  The measure’s defeat has sparked a crisis in the County’s management of Metro bus services.

Remote testimony approved in Colorado

May 15, 2014 in Blog

If the Seattle Seahawks' Super Bowl demolition of the Denver Broncos taught us anything, it's that anything Colorado can do Washington can do better. With that in mind, it is worth noting that Colorado lawmakers have sent to their Governor a bill to allow remote testimony. As reported by Colorado's KREX news:

Liberal Think Tank Says Obamacare Employer Mandate is "Regressive" and Should Be Scrapped

May 14, 2014 in Blog

At WPC’s annual Health Care Conference yesterday, panels of experts discussed the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on individuals, employers, insurers and providers.  A common theme throughout the presentations and Q&A sessions centered on the uncertainty of how employers will respond once the controversial employer mandate begins to take effect next year.

The controversy, confusion and uncertainty over the new requirements has prompted the Obama Administration to delay implementation of the employer mandate and soften requirements during the first year.

Cities in King County may target drivers to pay for bus service under new plan

May 12, 2014 in Blog

At a press conference today, King County Executive Dow Constantine announced a plan to allow cities or groups of cities to purchase bus service to avoid service cuts.

National Small Business Week Proclamation Touts Obama Administration’s Accomplishments More Than Small Businesses'

May 12, 2014 in Blog

Today is the start of National Small Business Week, whereby government officials pay the usual platitudes to small businesses and their importance to our nation’s economy.  Throughout the week, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will hold events and festivities in cities around the country to celebrate the small business owners who drive innovation and create jobs.

New Study Reveals High Costs and Job Losses With Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage

May 9, 2014 in Blog

A new, independent study from a Seattle economist reveals the impact of a $15 minimum wage in Seattle may be much greater than indicated in a University of Washington study requested and funded by the Seattle City Council.

George Will explains the Common Core in one minute

May 8, 2014 in Blog

As we’ve seen, Common Core is meeting increasing resistance from parents and educators across the country.  George Will explains why.

Legislative survey says: Remote testimony is a winner

May 7, 2014 in Blog

Washington State University has released the results of the "2013 Washington State Legislative Service Survey and the Washington State Governance Series." Based on the answers of lawmakers, legislative staff and lobbyists, WPC's recommendation for remote testimony options for citizens is a clear winner.