Washington Policy Blog

Washington State Oyster Harvests Rising Despite Claims of Acidification

December 3, 2014 in Blog

Last year was a banner year for oyster aquaculture in Washington state waters.

According to data from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, the harvest of shelled oysters rose dramatically last year, more than double the amount from 2012, and 78 percent higher than the previous high in 2005.

Senate should put voter-approved tax restrictions into its rules

December 2, 2014 in Blog

Now that the 2014 election has been certified we know the official make up of the Legislature. Based on the responses to our supermajority for taxes legislative survey, we also know that the members of the Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) in the Senate support allowing the voters to consider a constitutional amendment to put the five-time voter approved policy into the Constitution.

Even Obamacare Supporters Now Believe It Was Wrong

December 1, 2014 in Blog

Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has had a position of leadership in the Democratic caucus for years. He has been one of the most outspoken supporters of Obamacare since the Congressional debate in 2009.

However, in an address to the National Press Club last week (audio available here), he admitted that: "Unfortunately, Democrats blew the opportunity the American people gave them (in the 2008 election). We took their mandate and put all of our focus on the wrong problem: health care reform."

King County Council drops threats to neighborhood bus service, votes to adopt Washington Policy Center’s money-saving recommendations

November 24, 2014 in Blog

Seattle leaders now have the money to drop regressive tax increases

Last week, the King County Council voted to preserve 95% of Metro bus service without raising taxes. The council’s action will likely comfort those who stood to lose most from tax increases and threatened bus cuts: the public, bus riders, and especially, low-income families and the disabled. Earlier this year King County officials threatened to cut 17% of bus service if voters did not raise regressive tax increases on the April ballot.

Net Neutrality: Why It Will Result in New Taxes, Why Americans Oppose It and Why It Isn't Needed

November 21, 2014 in Blog

President Obama has announced his support for regulating the Internet, also known as  “net neutrality,” and is asking the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to apply the “strongest possible rules” on Internet service providers.  The President's “net neutrality” would regulate Internet providers as public utility companies, under the same law that regulates telephone companies. 

State officials tell drivers: “Go back to bed”

November 19, 2014 in Blog

The Washington State Department of Transportation’s daily Twitter notices provide people with up-to-date news and traffic alerts about their commute. WSDOT officials often suggest alternative routes around traffic accidents or inform travelers of upcoming bridge closures or repairs. But lately, WSDOT officials have allowed daily traffic congestion to get so bad they are starting to tell people to stay home, instead of using the highways we all pay for.

WEA union sees declining influence in recent election

November 18, 2014 in Blog

It has been widely reported that Democrats lost the recent mid-term election, but less noticed is that voters also delivered a series of defeats to executives at the Washington Education Association (WEA) union.

Electing the state Supreme Court by districts

November 12, 2014 in Blog

When the 2014 election is certified, only one of the nine justices on the state Supreme Court will be from Eastern Washington, Justice Debra Stephens. Had she not won her election, all of the state's Supreme Court justices would be from the Puget Sound region.

Obamacare advisor says "stupidity of the American voter" was used to pass health care law

November 11, 2014 in Blog

Saying that lack of transparency gave them "a huge political advantage," MIT economist Jonathan Gruber, who helped write the Affordable Care Act, told the audience (see below) at an October 17th, 2013 forum that hiding key purposes of the bill "was really, really critical to getting anything to pass."  Gruber said he wished "we could make it all transparent...but I'd rather have this law than not."

Obamacare Remains At Risk

November 11, 2014 in Blog

The U.S. Supreme Court decided last week to hear King v. Sebelius this term. This is one of at least four lawsuits that deal with the legality of the IRS giving out taxpayer subsidies in the federal health insurance exchange.

Governor Inslee on McCleary and tax increases: 2012 versus 2014

November 7, 2014 in Blog

At a post election press conference earlier this week Governor Inslee was asked about his 2012 campaign promise not to ask for tax increases and how that squares with his new calls for tax increases to address the McCleary K-12 funding ruling. When asked what changed since 2012 the Governor said on Wednesday:

Another Victory for Right-to-Work: Indiana Supreme Court Rejects Union Lawsuit

November 7, 2014 in Blog

The Indiana Supreme Court has dealt another blow to unions desperate to turn back existing right-to-work laws and stop them from spreading to other states.  Yesterday the Court unanimously rejected a lawsuit by unions to have the state’s recently passed right-to-work law found unconstitutional.

WPC on I-1351 after day two of ballot returns

November 6, 2014 in Blog

After day two of ballot returns from Election Day, WPC is closely watching the result trends of Initiative 1351, the class size initiative. Below you will find our statement on the ballot returns for I-1351.

Repeal or Reform Obamacare?

November 6, 2014 in Blog

Republicans will control the U.S. Senate next session. The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, remains unpopular with Americans and the issue for the G.O.P. will be to repeal or reform the law. With President Obama in the White House until 2016, the chance for repeal is virtually zero. The Republicans don't have enough votes to override a presidential veto.