Open Government

WPC's Center for Government Reform's mission is to partner with stakeholders and citizens to work toward a government focused on its core functions while improving its transparency, accountability, performance, and effectiveness for taxpayers.

Open Government Blog

Supreme Court releases reason for allowing vote on I-1366

November 12, 2015 in Blog

The State Supreme Court today released the legal reasoning behind its unanimous decision to allow the voters to consider I-1366. The voters approved I-1366 this month

U.S. Supreme Court rejected challenge to state tax restriction

November 7, 2015 in Blog

With approval of I-1366, is Washington (once again) on the path to becoming the 18th state in the country with a supermajority for taxes restriction? Currently 17 states have some form of tax increase restriction. Among them is Colorado which has the strictest one requiring voter approval of all tax increases at the state and local level. 

Governor Inslee receives open government award

October 22, 2015 in Blog

Earlier this month the Washington Newspaper Publishers Association awarded Governor Inslee with its Walter C. Woodward Freedom’s Light Award. This award recognizes commitment to open government and freedom of the press. 

According to Rowland Thompson, executive director of Allied Daily Newspapers:

This is the most open administration I’ve ever worked with. The governor is extremely transparent about the realities of governing.

Transportation package (bonds) required supermajority vote

October 20, 2015 in Blog

Despite receiving support from voters on five separate occasions, most recently passing statewide in every county, in 90% of legislative districts, and with 64% support in 2012, lawmakers have yet to provide voters the opportunity to place a supermajority vote restriction for taxes in the state constitution. 

Will state Supreme Court open floodgates for income taxes?

September 30, 2015 in Blog

How important are five votes out of seven million Washingtonians? The vote of just five state Supreme Court Justices could be the difference between Washington maintaining its competitive advantage of not imposing state income taxes and the eight decade old dam of legal precedent preventing these types of taxes being torn down. 

What are the possible outcomes if Initiative 1366 is approved by voters?

September 11, 2015 in Blog

Overshadowed by last week's shocking and controversial charter school decision by the Supreme Court is another important ruling by the court to allow the public to vote on Initiative 1366 ("Taxpayer Protection Act"). On September 4, 2015, the Supreme Court issued a brief order unanimously allowing Initiative 1366 to appear on the 2015 general election ballot.

State Supreme Court issues landmark public records ruling on text messages

August 27, 2015 in Blog

In a 9-0 decision this morning the state Supreme Court ruled that the text messages of government employees that relate to official business, even on their private phone, are public records. From the ruling

State rejected WFSE request to pay employees for not crossing strike picket lines

August 26, 2015 in Blog

Now that the 2015-17 state budget has been signed into law the public is able to request details from last summer's secret contract negotiations between state employee unions and Governor Inslee's office. I just received the first batch of public records (more to come in October) with some of these details.

Take 2: Is Initiative 1366 a constitutional amendment?

August 21, 2015 in Blog

Last month we posed this question: Is Initiative 1366 a constitutional amendment? The answer to this question will determine whether voters will have the opportunity to pass their own judgement on the policies proposed by the ballot measure.