Monday, April 14, 2014

Public safety sales tax increase on ballot in Benton County

In August voters in Benton County will consider Proposition 14-5 and whether to increase the local sales tax rate by 0.3% raising approximately $9 million per year for public safety spending. The tax increase would sunset on December 31, 2024. The revenue would be split between Benton County and the cities of Kennewick, Richland, West Richland, and Prosser for law enforcement staffing increases and various public safety programs (such as gang prevention and intervention) . . . READ MORE

Monday, April 7, 2014

Should candidates verify their background for voters?

Voting for candidates for elected office is an important decision. Unfortunately at times there is little information available about candidates to help us make an informed decision. While county auditors and the Secretary of State produce voter pamphlets with information self-provided by those running for office, is the information actually truthful? That’s where the new in our state has the potential to bring clarity . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

$43.5 million left to pay for imploded Kingdome

14 years ago today this was the scene in downtown Seattle as the Kingdome was brought to its knees . . . READ MORE

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Setting the stage for the 2015-17 budget debate

With seven minutes to spare, lawmakers adjourned at 11:53 p.m. on the last day of the 60 day 2014 Legislative Session, avoiding for the first time in several years going into a special session. Among the bills passed was a 2014 supplemental operating budget (SB 6002). Unlike previous years, when major re-writes of the budget were needed, SB 6002 was a true supplemental budget making minor changes to state spending. This was possible due to an improvement in the state’s revenue forecast and adherence to the state’s landmark four-year balanced budget requirement . . . READ MORE

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sunshine Week legislative update

This Sunshine Week forecast is brought to you by the 2014 Legislative Session: Your right to know is partly cloudy. When the just concluded session began there was the opportunity for brilliant sunshine but at least we avoided any severe secret storm warnings. Below is a look back on some of the open government actions (or lack thereof) during the 2014 Legislative Session . . . READ MORE