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

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. 

Statement by Washington Policy Center on Supreme Court's McCleary sanction order

August 14, 2015 in Blog

Today’s extreme and unprecedented ruling by the state Supreme Court will do nothing to improve education outcomes for Washington students.

Washington Policy Center agrees with state Attorney General Bob Ferguson that the unprecedented contempt sanctions should have been vacated after the historic investment from lawmakers in basic education this session.

Should Washington follow New Jersey's response to Court K-12 sanctions? Fuhgeddaboudit

August 14, 2015 in Blog

Yesterday the State Supreme Court in a 9-0 ruling took the unprecedented step of fining the state (i.e. taxpayers) for the Legislature's failure to adopt a detailed plan showing how lawmakers plan to meet certain K-12 funding goals by 2018.

Budget reforms needed to remove threat of government shutdown

August 7, 2015 in Blog

During the last two biennia Washington has come dangerously close to a state government shutdown. The current 2015-17 budget was signed just 18 minutes before a shutdown (signed at 11:42 p.m. on June 30) while the 2013-15 budget was approved a few hours before the new budget cycle (signed at 4:20 p.m. on June 30, 2013).

WPC joins amicus defending people's right to enact fiscal restraints on lawmakers

August 3, 2015 in Blog

Washington Policy Center (WPC) is a strong defender of the people's right of initiative as well as their power to enact fiscal restraints on lawmakers to help promote sustainable budgeting. This is why we are happy to sign on to the amicus brief in the case of Kerr v. Hickenlooper currently before the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration at the direction of the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Is Initiative 1366 a constitutional amendment?

July 31, 2015 in Blog

Initiative 1366, the "Taxpayer Protection Act," has qualified for the November ballot. Here is the official ballot title and summary for I-1366: