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.
Last month, Kirkland City staff released a report advocating a ban on plastic grocery bags, arguing "single-use plastic bags have proven to be detrimental to our environment and a drain on our non-renewable natural resources." The report argues a ban achieves the greatest balance of business, environmental and public benefits.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, while the rest of us were giving thanks,two Tacoma-area two school superintendents, Patti Banks of University Place and Frank Hewins of the Franklin Pierce School Districts, were complaining that taxpayers were not giving them enough money. Their editorial complains they can't adequately educate the children entrusted to them because Tacoma-area families don't pay enough in taxes, compared to people in Seattle, which they say give school officials
Both Pierce Transit and Community Transit plan to add service hours without raising taxes. Community Transit is adding 2,500 new hours without new taxes, living within their means. However, the Senate Majority Coalition Caucus (MCC) proposal to give Community Transit higher tax authority is still on the table.