Although 2014 is a general election year with control of the Legislature up for grabs and still unknown ballot measures yet to qualify, perhaps the most important vote of the year will be tomorrow on Boeing's 777X contract offer. Not only does this union vote have the potential to impact tens of thousands of jobs, but it could dramatically change the state's fiscal outlook, not to mention its economic psyche.
The Obama Administration continues to lurch from one fix to another as the Obamacare trainwreck barrels down the tracks. The latest came yesterday when officials declared that people with cancelled health insurance could purchase simple catastrophic plans for one year on a "hardship" exemption.
It is a familiar pattern. Politicians promise to take a science-based approach to climate policy only to ditch the science and data for partisan politics and feel-good rhetoric when deadlines draw near.
The Seattle City Council’s Taxi, For Hire, and Limousine Committee recently unveiled draft plans for a two year rideshare pilot program to regulate the spate of new companies that offer citizens an alternative to driving and traditional taxi services. The city’s proposal, echoing century-old regulations on taxicabs, stifles innovation and unfairly picks winners and losers.
The Obama Administration and leading Washington state Democrats are now promoting a "new" plan that allows employers to purchase employee health insurance with federal tax credits. This is being advertized as a one-year stop-gap measure to give employers financial releif until the the SHOP program is up and running state-wide in 2015.
Two days ago the Washington Postpublished a map of the states showing average teacher pay in the 50 states. The map reports teachers in Washington state receive an average estimated salary of only $53,571.
Medicaid began in 1965 as a health insurance entitlement for poor children and their families. Over the past 48 years, the program expanded to include disabled adults and long-term care. Today in the legacy Medicaid, 25% of enrollees are disabled and long-term care adults, but these people account for 75% of the cost of the overall program.
On Tuesday, the Majority Coalition Caucus held a press conference to announce their plans for the 2014 Legislative Session. When a reporter asked what plan A is for the Majority Coalition Caucus, Senator Tom said:
In 1996, voters approved Sound Transit’s 10 year plan for a light rail system that would stretch from Seatac to the University of Washington. In 2009, thirteen years later, the initial segment opened from Seatac to Downtown Seattle. The 3.1 mile light rail connector from Downtown to the University, called University Link, is planned to open in 2016.
Despite Seattle mayor-elect Ed Murray’s hope that a $15 minimum wage would be decided by the Seattle City Council and not by voters, an initiative was filed today with the City of Seattle Clerk’s Office to establish new minimum wage rates. In a twist, the initiative also would also lower the City’s Square Footage Business Tax and Business & Occupation Tax on employers.
This morning Judge Jean Rietschel upheld Initiative 1240, the voters’ charter school law, clearing the way for Washington’s first charter schools to open next fall. Her ruling rejects claims made by Washington Education Association, the state teachers union, and the League of Women Voters, that Initiative 1240 violates the state constitution.