Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Budget priorities - compensation increases?

In my post earlier today I broke down Governor Gregoire's proposed tax increases. In her document explaining her Book 1 Budget (no tax increases), she said she proposed these tax increases because not doing so would result in . . . READ MORE

Gregoire's lame duck tax increase proposal

Taxes took center stage today in Olympia. Out-going Governor Gregoire released her last budget proposal along with her suggested tax increases. With Governor-elect Inslee's promise to veto tax increases and the new Senate "Coalition Caucus" saying it plans to help implement Inslee's no-new-taxes agenda, the life span of Gregoire's tax plan may be shorter than previous lame duck proposals. Gregoire's tax increase proposal would . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Potential Democrat sponsors for supermajority for taxes constitutional amendment

With almost all of the legislative Republicans on the record in support of providing the voters an opportunity to consider a supermajority for taxes constitutional amendment, are there any Democrats that believe the voters should have this chance? Based on the results of our legislative survey we know that at least Rep. Hurst (D-31), Sen. Sheldon (D-35) and the new Senate "Coalition Caucus" leader Sen. Tom (D-48) think that after the voters' fifth approval for this policy a constitutional amendment should be sent to the voters. Judging solely from the legislative district breakdown for the vote on I-1185, here are the other potential Democrat sponsors, assuming of course they support the position of their constituents . . . READ MORE

Monday, December 10, 2012

Comparing late ballots in OR and WA

In response to our recommendation that lawmakers act on retiring Secretary of State Sam Reed's proposal to change Washington's postmark ballot deadline to Oregon's 8 p.m. election day deadline (with exceptions for military and overseas voters), some have expressed concern that doing so would reduce voter participation and disenfranchise voters . . . READ MORE

Friday, December 7, 2012

Michigan shows need for Washington legislative transparency reforms

When I saw this headline today out of Michigan I didn't think the article would become the poster child for legislative transparency reforms, but that's exactly what the story demonstrates: Right-to-work bills pass in Lansing. According to the article, the Michigan House and Senate adopted a bill to make the state the nation's 24th Right to Work. While this is an important development and a debate worth having, the terms of that "debate" are what caught my attention . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Voters' mandate on tax increases

What constitutes a clear mandate from the voters? Let's consider the electoral history of the state's supermajority for taxes requirement. Is it going five for five at the ballot box? Check (passed in 1993, 1998, 2007, 2010 and 2012). Is it nearly 20 years of consistent support? Check. Is it receiving the highest % support of any other statewide measure or office? Check (64%). Is it receiving the most total number of votes of any other statewide measure or office? Check (1,892,969). Is it passing in every county in the state? Check. Is it passing in 44 of the state's 49 Legislative Districts (90%)? Check . . . READ MORE