Jason Mercier, Director, Center for Government Reform, May, 2014
In August, Benton County residents will consider Proposition 14-5 and whether to increase the local sales tax rate by 0.3 percent, raising approximately $9 million per year for public safety spending.
Erin Shannon, Director, Center for Small Business, January, 2013
The Seattle Times published this column on January 30, 2013.
Seattle is often the incubator for bad business policy. In 2011, the city became one of the few in the nation to mandate paid sick leave for all workers. Now the Seattle City Council is considering an ordinance that would make Seattle one of the few to restrict employers’ ability to conduct criminal-background checks on potential employees.
Erin Shannon, Director, Center for Small Business
and Melanie Stambaugh, Research Assistant
Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research, April, 2009
Lawmakers in Olympia are considering a proposal to change the state’s Three-Strikes-You’re-Out law by removing second degree robbery from the list of criminal offenses that count as a strike.
Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research, January, 2007
A recent P.I. editorial agrees with Mayor Nickels’ call for more gun control, saying “the legal system could do a lot more to control guns. ”There’s just one problem with this approach – it won’t work.
John Barnes, Policy Analyst, May, 2006
It’s an age-old story. A criminal shoots someone, and then politicians propose gun-control measures that would have done nothing to prevent the shooting. On March 26, Kyle Huff killed six people at a late-night party in Seattle. Seattle mayor Greg Nickels immediately called for more regulations on guns. None of his proposals would have prevented the tragedy.
Eric Montague, Policy Analyst, April, 2003
The primary function of government is to protect the lives, liberty and property of its citizens. Public safety is thus essential to the continuance of civil society. Public safety depends on a reliable and effective criminal justice system, and central to the administration of justice is a humane, secure and efficient prison system.
Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research, March, 2003
The single most important problem our state legislators face this year is the need to pass a balanced budget. Right now lawmakers are looking for any means possible to close the projected budget gap, by boosting taxes and fees, trimming planned spending increases, or some combination of both.
Paul Guppy, Vice President for Research, February, 2003
The cost of maintaining Washington’s state-run prison system is becoming increasingly unsustainable. The state Department of Corrections budget has more than doubled over the last ten years, rising from $502 million in the 1991-1993 biennium to $1,072 million in the current biennium. Corrections costs rose more than 12.3% over the last two years, a rate more than four times faster than inflation. The increasing cost of operating the state prison system has outpaced the rise in total General Fund spending in every biennium in the 1990s, and is now one of the fastest growing areas of state spending.