Governor’s tax proposal, use of force by police are among top issues for committee action in early days of legislative session

Following Monday’s opening of the 2019 legislative session and Governor Inslee’s State of the State speech on Tuesday, state lawmakers are settling into the daily routine of early session days—bill introductions and committee hearings. More than 750 bills have been introduced, with dozens more added every day in each chamber. More than 2,000 measures will likely be introduced by the time of the first legislative cut-off deadline set for February 22nd. This is the last day to pass bills out of policy committees in their originating house.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee began hearings this week on SB 5129, the governor’s proposal to impose a nine percent tax on the sale or exchange of long-term capital assets, and to increase the business and occupation tax rate on service-related activities from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent (a 67 percent increase in the tax).

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Gray Wolf management highlighted by H.B. 1045.
Jan 17, 2019

The debate about the reintroduction of wolves in Eastern Washington is set to heat up again in the 2019 legislature.

Rep. Sherry Appleton is proposing H.B. 1045 calling for prohibition of lethal removal of gray wolves in Washington state. This is a troubling bill for ranchers who are dealing with depredations...

Some may cite the well-debunked study by Washington State University professor Robert Wielgus, which claims lethal removal correlates with more depredations of cattle and sheep in subsequent years. However, as statistical analysis of his data demonstrated, there is no evidence to support that claim in the Wielgus study. In fact, when the data was rerun to try to replicate the initially reported results, the opposite conclusion was reached: lethal removal lessens subsequent depredation rates.

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Physician Burnout - A Tragic Consequence of Government Involvement in Health Care
Jan 17, 2019

Have you been to a physician recently? Did it seem that the doctor spent a lot of time typing information into a computer instead of listening to you? Studies not only confirm that this is today’s reality, but a paper released today concludes that these electronic health records (EHR) are one of two leading causes of physician burnout. 

Three groups from Massachusetts, the state medical and hospital associations as well as Harvard University, reviewed existing information and interviewed doctors in all stages of their practices. The MA study found that physician burnout is real. The two leading causes are the required use of EHRs and the stifling government regulatory burden.

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