Wednesday, July 1, 2015

$2 billion hole blown in brand new 2015-17 budget

Around 11:30 p.m. last night (30 minutes before a government shutdown) Governor Inslee signed the state's 2015-17 budget. Though the new budget is only a few hours old, there is already a $2 billion cloud hanging over it. Although the House kept up its end of the budget deal by suspending the unfunded class size reduction initiative (I-1351), around 6 a.m. this morning the Senate Democrats failed to live up to the deal by refusing to vote for the suspension unless the Senate passed a different bill first . . . READ MORE

Legislature approves budget/transportation package; averts government shutdown but work still to be done for budget to balance

With just hours to spare before a partial state government shutdown, the legislature overwhelming adopted the state’s 2015-17 budget. By a vote of 38-10 in the Senate and 90-8 in the House, lawmakers approved a $38.2 billion biennial budget ($79 billion all funds). This represents a 13% increase in spending from the 2013-15 budget. It is also the largest state spending increase since the 18% increase adopted for the 2005-07 budget. Both of these large spending increases were facilitated by lawmakers suspending/changing the state’s spending limit . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Not Olympia's finest hour for government transparency

It is wonderful news the state won't be facing a government shutdown and that a major transportation investment package with good reforms is moving forward but the last week, the past 72 hrs in particular, have been very embarrassing for the cause of an open and transparent legislative process . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

3 states without budget using continuing resolution to avoid government shutdown

South Carolina, North Carolina and New Hampshire are in the same boat as Washington with a major budget fight threatening a government shutdown on July 1. Those three states, however, are using a continuing resolution to keep government open while budget negotiations continue . . . READ MORE

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Don't forget the full context for proposed capital gains taxes in Washington

I know I’ve already written about the proposed capital gains tax several times but I keep seeing the same phrasing used to discuss it without the context of what it would mean for the state in both legal and competitive purposes . . . READ MORE