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.

What's New

Roll call

February 6, 2010 in In the News
Wenatchee World
Source: 
Wenatchee World
Date: 
Saturday, February 6, 2010

Roll Call Report

February 5, 2010 in In the News
Bellevue Reporter
Source: 
Bellevue Reporter
Date: 
Friday, February 5, 2010

How South Sound lawmakers voted this week

February 5, 2010 in In the News
The Olympian
Source: 
The Olympian
Date: 
Friday, February 5, 2010

Sunshine Committee shouldn't be eliminated to cut spending

February 4, 2010 in In the News
The Daily News (Longview)
Source: 
The Daily News (Longview)
Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2010

How Government Officials Increase Home Prices

February 4, 2010 in In the News
The Snohomish Times
Source: 
The Snohomish Times
Date: 
Thursday, February 4, 2010

Bill introduced to amend I-960

February 3, 2010 in Blog

Nine Democratic Senators (Prentice, Murray, Kohl-Welles, Regala, Fairley, Ranker, McDermott, Kline, Keiser) introduced a bill today to amend the provisions of the voter approved I-960.

Here are the details on SB 6843: Preserving essential public services by temporarily suspending the two-thirds vote requirement for tax increases and permanently modifying provisions of Initiative Measure No. 960 for improved efficiency and consistency with state budgeting:

  • Section 1: Changes the ten-year reporting requirement for the impact of tax and fee increases to include only those fiscal years in the biennium the tax or fee would first take effect and the subsequent four fiscal years. The fiscal analysis is restricted only to bills scheduled for public hearings.
  • Section 2: "(c)(ii) For legislation enacted between the effective date of this section and July 1, 2011, any action or combination of actions by the legislature that increases taxes may be taken with the approval of a majority of members elected to each house of the legislature.

    (d)(i) The legislature also finds that voter-approved initiatives may fundamentally change the services which the state provides, increase service levels of current programs, or mandate the state to provide new services. The legislature further finds that many of these voter-approved initiatives lack a dedicated funding source, which impacts the legislature's ability to fund other services. It is therefore the intent of the legislature to provide a means for the legislature to raise new revenue to fund voter-approved initiatives so existing education, public safety, health care, and safety net services for the elderly, disabled, and vulnerable people may be preserved.
    />(ii) Any action or combination of actions by the legislature that raises taxes may be taken with the approval of a majority of members elected to each house of the legislature if the revenue is for the purpose of funding a voter-approved initiative."

  • Section 3: Allows the legislature to permanently "modify" tax preferences with a simple majority vote.
  • The bill also eliminates the requirement for advisory votes on tax increases not ratified by the voters. 

Here are additional details on past suspensions of the state's 2/3 vote requirement for tax increases and the need for constitutional protections.

Should tax increases require a 2/3 vote?

February 2, 2010 in Blog

The worst kept secret of the 2010 Legislative Session is the majority party's plan to "suspend" the state's 2/3 vote requirement for tax increases.

State Abuse of the Medicaid Program

February 2, 2010 in Publications

This paper discusses state-federal Medicaid financing since the 1980s and how state officials have manipulated the federal program to receive extra matching money. Washington state’s proposed provider tax and the proposed “bed tax” on nursing homes are examples of how state officials adopt policies in an effort to leverage more federal funding from the Medicaid program. Since Medicaid is an entitlement with no statutory limit on spending, there is no limit to how much state officials can try to gain from the program.

Roll call

February 2, 2010 in In the News
Issaquah Press
Source: 
Issaquah Press
Date: 
Tuesday, February 2, 2010