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.

Publications

Review of 2014 Supplemental Operating Budget: Proposals set stage for 2015-17 budget debate

April 9, 2014 in Publications

Key Findings

Would the "Taxpayer Protection Act" really protect taxpayers?

April 7, 2014 in Publications

Key Findings

Legislature Considers Defined-contribution Pension Reform for Public Employees and Elected Officials

February 20, 2014 in Publications

Introduction

A long-standing Washington Policy Center recommendation is that the state transition from costly defined-benefit pension plans to more predictable defined-contribution retirement plans for new state employees. A defined-benefit plan promises workers they will receive a certain dollar benefit level every month after they retire, while a defined-contribution plan provides workers a stable contribution towards pension savings during their working lives, along with tax-free employee contributions, which the worker can draw from during retirement.

Seattle’s pension system is unsustainable

February 6, 2014 in Publications

This Opinion-Editorial was featured in The Seattle Times on February 6th, 2014. 

Like so many other municipalities and state governments, the City of Seattle faces potentially gigantic financial problems with its employee pension system. This problem is urgent and it must be confronted.

Let voters decide on supermajority for tax increases

February 5, 2014 in Publications

This Op/Ed was published in The News Tribune on February 4, 2014. 

Last February, the Washington Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling overturned the five-time voter-approved requirement that tax increases receive a supermajority vote of the Legislature or voter approval.

Anatomy of a Budget Gimmick – Circumventing the State Spending Limit

February 3, 2014 in Publications

Introduction

SJR 8213: Amending the Constitution to require a two-thirds majority vote of the legislature to raise taxes

January 27, 2014 in Publications

Introduction

In February 2013, the State Supreme Court in a 6-3 ruling overturned the five-time voter approved requirement for tax increases to receive a supermajority vote of the Legislature or voter approval. In the past, when the Court has invalidated a law passed by the people, the Legislature has sought to implement what the people want (Initiative 695 reducing car tab costs and Initiative 747 limiting property tax increases are recent examples).

The City of Seattle Pension System – A New Approach is Needed

January 21, 2014 in Publications

This is a summary of an in-depth study, “The City of Seattle Pension System – A New
Approach is Needed,” reporting on the existing shortfalls and potential solutions in
Seattle’s public pension system, available online and as a downloadable PDF

Key Findings