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

Does the initiative process need fixing?

January 22, 2015 in Blog

Washington's constitution doesn't waste any time laying down the law when it comes to who is in charge:

ARTICLE 1, SECTION 1 POLITICAL POWER. All political power is inherent in the people, and governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, and are established to protect and maintain individual rights.

Remote testimony option progressing in Spokane and Tri-Cities

January 14, 2015 in Blog

You know it's getting real when a job posting for a Senate Remote Testimony Clerk in Spokane goes out and the President of Columbia Basin College in the Tri-Cities volunteers the school to be a remote testimony location.

As reported by KNDU Tri-Cities last night:

Revenue forecast reform proposed

January 13, 2015 in Blog

During a budget writing session there are three key dates to keep in mind: The March revenue forecast, June 1, and July 1.

It is after the March revenue forecast that budget discussions kick into high gear. June 1 is the date in law by which the budget for the next biennium is supposed to be enacted and July 1 is the beginning of the fiscal year for a new biennium (meaning no budget could mean a government shutdown).

Senate considers tax rule change

January 11, 2015 in Blog

The 2015 Legislative Session is set up to be on the most historic gatherings of lawmakers in Washington since the founding of the state. Not to disappoint, on the first day a potential fight over Senate rules may unfold. According to a press release:

A proposal to change the Senate’s voting rules to make it harder to raise taxes will be one of the first items of business when the Legislature convenes Monday.

Governor Inslee wants to raise taxes by $560 per household in King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, then give some families a $223 “tax rebate”

January 2, 2015 in Blog

The Seattle Times reports today that Governor Inslee has proposed giving $223, or 61 cents a day, in tax rebates to low-income families in recognition of the higher tax burden his administration plans to impose on the people of Washington.  The news comes after Governor Inslee said he wants to raise taxes by $1.4 billion in 2015-17, after making the decision to break his promise not to raise taxes.  Lawmakers will consider the governor’s tax increase proposal starting January 12th.

Gov. Inslee's 2015-17 budget: Where "extremely volatile" and "unpredictable" become "secure" and "stable"

December 18, 2014 in Blog

Today Gov. Inslee released his 2015-17 budget and tax plan. After reviewing his balance sheet it has become clear that I need to update the dictionary I have been using to decipher budget terms. Earlier this week the Governor said:

U.S. Sen. Murray/Rep. Ryan want Congress to reform the way the federal budget and policy are adopted

December 10, 2014 in Blog

It's not often you see Democrats and Republicans in Congress agree on much let alone reforms to the way the federal budget and policy are adopted. This is what makes the bipartisan introduction of the Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray of Washington (D) and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin (R) so exciting. Sen.

Will Gov. Inslee propose tax increases to provide government pay raises?

December 5, 2014 in Blog

Based on the announcement today by the Office of Financial Management that the secretly negotiated state employee contract agreements have been deemed financially feasible we can assume one of two things: