What seemed almost impossible a few months ago is becoming more probable with each passing day; taxes being charged for internet access. The return of taxes on internet access may occur due to the failure of Congress to either extend temporarily or permanently the Internet Tax Freedom Act (ITFA). The current ban on internet access taxes expires on November 1.
The State Board of Education objects to using letter grades to make the State Board’s Public School Achievement Index understandable. The State Board ranks school performance, placing schools in one of six categories: Exemplary, Very Good, Good, Fair, Underperforming and Lowest 5 Percent.
That was the question I was hoping to answer today but after reviewing the state's August 20th response to the Centeno v. Dept. of Social & Health Services lawsuit in federal court the elusive answer will have to wait.
While requesting that case "be dismissed with prejudice" one section of the state's brief today said:
The City of Spokane Valley is the latest local government to consider a supermajority requirement to raise taxes – a WPC recommendation.
The two-thirds requirement is not unfamiliar to voters in the area; they have overwhelmingly approved it five times at the state level and watched as neighbors in the City of Spokane adopted the requirement last year.
An informative Spokesman-Review editorial today, citing figures from the state Office of Financial Management, notes that I-1351, the upcoming class-size initiative, would cost $4.7 billion through 2019, plus another $1.9 billion required from local school budgets. I-1351 includes no funding mechanism, so all this money would be taken from existing education programs, at a time when lawmakers are trying to comply with the McCleary decision on funding public education.
Let's say you used a tool every day to solve a problem. Don't you think you'd wonder if that tool actually did the job?
For more than three decades, the state has required environmental impact analysis for a range of projects as part of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA). The purpose of the analysis is to understand potential environmental problems of projects and proposals.
The third time was the charm for the Benton County public safety sales tax increase. After voters rejected a 0.2% increase in 2007 and 2008 they are giving approval to Proposition 14-5 (0.3% increase). Now that the voters have given their trust to elected officials it is time for these leaders to come through on their promise to enact performance audits to ensure the new resources are efficiently and effectively spent to deliver on the important public safety goals.
I recently reported the Centralia School District, a district of 3,494 students south of Olympia, paid $372,000 for cheating Medicaid under the Medicaid Administrative Claiming program (MAC), for having “knowingly filed scores of false time study forms to obtain MAC reimbursement payments it was not legally entitled to receive.” The Attorney General also found that when a well-place whistleblower, school principal