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LATEST BLOGS

State Supreme Court hears oral arguments in income tax case
By DAVID BOZE  | 
Jan 27, 2023

On Thursday, January 26, the State Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Chris Quinn v. State of Washington, the case challenging the constitutionality of the state's new income tax on capital gains falsely labeled as an "excise tax." Washington Policy Center's President and CEO, Mike Gallagher was there alongside Jason Mercier, WPC Center for Government Reform Director as well as WPC Treasurer Nathan Rimmer and WPC Chair Kevin Bouchey.

Justices aggressively questioned what actually triggered the state tax -- whether it was the transaction, or the income.  While the state responded with assertions the transaction was the key, gains based on the transaction were also repeatedly brought up, which left some justices sounding....

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SB 5236 isn’t the solution: More nurses are needed, not more regulations
By ELIZABETH HOVDE  | 
Jan 24, 2023

It’s back. Last year, a plan to regulate nurse-to-patient ratios failed — for good reason. There is a nursing shortage in the state and nation. Even though hospitals want to ease the workload on nurses who sometimes carry more weight than anyone wants for them, there simply aren’t enough nurses available to hire. 

But in the second week of this year’s legislative session, the issue was being discussed again. The vehicle for consideration is now Senate Bill 5236. Like last year’s bills, House Bill 1868 and Senate Bill 5751, SB 5236 bill would require hospital staffing committees to develop staffing plans and address mandatory overtime, meal and rest breaks. Hospitals would be fined if found to be in violation of the nurse staffing committee and staffing plan requirements.

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Changes to food packaging rules may increase food costs
By PAM LEWISON  | 
Jan 24, 2023

When I was younger, every day products came in glass jars – apple sauce, canned fruit and vegetables, even some brands of milk – because glass containers are reusable. Their use was discontinued in part because children began finding glass shards in their snacks, and so clean plastic packaging became king.

One item that was marketed in plastic was potatoes. As the daughter of a potato farmer, we didn’t buy potatoes in the store, but they were in perforated plastic bags in 5- and 10-pound sizes or in a bulk bin. The bags were sturdy enough to keep the potatoes from ripping or tearing the bag, but the perforations made it a single-use item.

The proposed rules in SB 5154 could make single-use packaging of fresh produce a thing of the past. While the goal of ridding the environment of excess waste is noble it should not be done in violation of federal rules or practicality.

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