The Department of Health explains that Washington state law limits the amount of thimerosal "as a precaution." In other words, the state is ignoring the science in favor of an amorphous standard of "precaution." What is the result of that precaution? Selecky’s agency goes on to explain:
Despite Executive Order 11-03 from Governor Christine Gregoire implementing a moratorium on “non-critical” agency rulemaking in 2012, state agencies still imposed more regulations than the previous year. Under the Executive Order, agencies weren’t supposed to adopt new regulations unless they, “protect Washingtonians from significant risks to public health, safety or welfare, or by request of local governments, businesses or entities the state regulates.”
It does not appear agencies paid much heed to Gregoire’s directive.
At a press conference at the state capitol today, Washington Policy Center offered policy recommendations showing how lawmakers can improve Washington’s small business climate, help working families and spur economic recovery in our state.
The state health insurance exchanges are a big part of the Affordable Care Act, or ObamaCare. These exchanges will function as insurance brokerages to help customers purchase health insurance that will be subsidized by federal taxpayers. As of this writing, only 18 states, including the District of Columbia, have set up exchanges. The federal government is suppose to establish an exchange for any state unwilling or unable to set up its own.
The deadline for approval of a state exchange by the federal government was January 1, 2013.
A weekly Spokane newspaper apparently thinks taxpayers should just be quiet and let politicians raise taxes as much as they like.
The editor of The Inlander recently wrote an editorial slamming the very idea of Spokane's Proposition 2. The measure would require a two-thirds vote of Spokane’s City Council in order to raise taxes. It’s an important policy change that will require elected officials to work together in an era of increased partisanship.
The Senate Ways and Means Committee held a work session yesterday on the opportunities for competitive contracting. I was invited to participate on a panel along with a representative from the Washington Federation of State Employees.
My presentation focused on the need to simplify the state's current competitive contracting process while utilizing performance-based contracts. From my testimony:
A single data chart caused a big stir last week when Professor Marguerite Roza of the Center for Reinventing Public Education at the U.W. presented her findings to the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. Professor Roza's presentation only happened because the Committee is under new leadership. Senator Steve Litzow (R–Mercer Island) is allowing committee members to see briefing materials and consider bills that were previously blocked under the chairmanship of Senator Rosemary McAuliffe (D-Bothell).
We don't have much natural gas in Washington state, but the impacts of the boom in natural gas production are certainly being felt here with lower prices. The low cost has also caused natural gas to replace coal in many parts of the country, causing a steep decline in nationwide carbon emissions.
The education policy world is abuzz with news that teachers at four Seattle schools are refusing to give their students the mandatory Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) test. See Linda Shaw’s latest here.