Jmercier

Citizens to have unprecedented time to review House budget before public hearing

March 27, 2015 in Blog

Today was going to be like just any other budget rollout day in Olympia. A short press conference highlighting a summary of a budget proposal running hundreds of pages long and spending billions of dollars (not to mention potential new tax increases being proposed). Then just a few hours later Washingtonians were to be expected to have read, digested, and traveled to Olympia to offer public testimony on the proposed spending plan for their tax dollars.

80 plus years is long enough for a "temporary/emergency" tax

March 23, 2015 in Blog

On March 13 the House Finance Committee held a public hearing on HB 2150: Reforming the business and occupation tax to provide fairness and administrative simplicity. This proposal is a variation of the Single Business Tax reform that Washington Policy Center first proposed in a 2010 study.

"Choose Washington" - no capital gains taxes

March 3, 2015 in Blog

To help market the state of Washington to potential businesses the Department of Commerce runs a website called "Choose Washington." Under the tab "Why Washington" you can select "Our Strengths." Under that tab you will find a page called "Pro-Business."

Will the Senate vote to enforce its rules?

March 3, 2015 in Blog

On the first day of session the Senate, using the powers granted to it by Article 2, Section 9 of the state Constitution, adopted rules to govern its proceedings. Among the rules adopted was Rule 64 to require a supermajority vote to move a bill creating a new tax from second to third reading.

Should volatile capital gains taxes be relied on to fund the state's "paramount duty"?

February 26, 2015 in Blog

In our prior blog post we looked at the volatility of capital gains taxes and how California adopted a constitutional amendment to force more savings of its revenue from that source versus spending it to reduce the state's rollercoaster budgeting.

Are capital gains taxes "secure and stable" or highly volatile?

February 25, 2015 in Blog

When releasing his 2015-17 budget plan Governor Inslee said, “We have a very solid, fiscally sound, secure and stable way of financing everything I’ve talked about today." Among the new taxes he proposes to fulfill this statement is a 7% capital gains tax to generate an estimated $798 million.

B&O tax reform bill would exempt nearly 286,000 small businesses from tax

February 18, 2015 in Blog

A major B&O (Business & Occupation) tax reform proposal was introduced today by Rep. MacEwen. The proposal (HB 2150) is a variation of the Single Business Tax WPC first proposed in 2010.

Title only bill would provide every Washingtonian one free drink a week (satire)

February 12, 2015 in Blog

While traveling to Olympia to testify on a bill on a holiday may not be a high priority for most Washingtonians, you may want to make an exception for next Monday. The title only bill, HB 2082 (Relating to commerce in liquor) is scheduled for a public hearing and executive action that day. Based on my best interpretation of that blank piece of legislation, it would provide every Washingtonian one free drink a week paid for by the per diem of lawmakers. Who could object to that?

Senate bill would codify U.S. Supreme Court union ruling

February 9, 2015 in Blog

The Senate Commerce and Labor Committee held a public hearing today on SB 5671: Addressing the payment of union dues by partial public employees. The bill would fully implement the ruling issued by the U.S. Supreme Court last June in its Harris v. Quinn decision.

Should fiscal impact of initiatives be described in ballot title?

February 6, 2015 in Blog

Last November voters narrowly approved I-1351 to reduce class sizes. Although the policies proposed by I-1351 are estimated to cost $4.7 billion over the next few years, the ballot measure included no funding source to implement the policy.

District elections for Supreme Court gets public hearing

January 29, 2015 in Blog

This morning the Senate Law & Justice Committee held a public hearing on SJR 8205: Amending the state Constitution so that justices of the supreme court are elected by qualified electors of a supreme court judicial district.

Senate adopts remote testimony rules - work session from Tri-Cities February 4

January 27, 2015 in Blog

The Senate Facilities and Operations Committee has officially adopted rules for the use of remote testimony during the 2015 Legislative Session. As adopted by the F&O Committee:

SENATE REMOTE TESTIMONY PILOT PROJECT

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.