Washington Policy Blog

We Stand Corrected: Paul Kennard Does Not Link Oso Landslide to Logging

May 23, 2014 in Blog

In early April, we noted a story in the Seattle Times insinuating a link between a nine-year-old timber harvest and the Oso landslide. One of the sources quoted regarding the inadequacy of the analysis of the timber harvest and the underlying watershed analysis was geologist Paul Kennard.

Seattle’s $15 Minimum Wage Not in Effect, But Already Killing Jobs

May 22, 2014 in Blog

It seems Seattle’s anti-business policies are taking their toll on the city’s small businesses.   And while the city’s most controversial policy, a proposed $15 minimum wage, has not been passed yet, it is already having a chilling affect on jobs.

Secret state budget meeting held in Lacey

May 22, 2014 in Blog

The first of a series of secret meetings on the workforce costs that will be included in the next state budget took place Tuesday at the Thurston County Fairgrounds in Lacey.  Union negotiators presented state officials with an initial proposal seeking advantages on behalf of some 30,000 employees working at dozens of state agencies.

Voters in Switzerland Reject Minimum Wage Over Concerns It Would Cripple Economy

May 21, 2014 in Blog

Critics of the United States often say we should follow the progressive policies of European nations.  One progressive policy many European countries have is no minimum wage.  In addition, the progressive leaders of the European Union have not enacted an EU-wide minimum wage law.

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.