Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Senate Ways & Means holds work session on competitive contracting

The Senate Ways and Means Committee held a work session yesterday on the opportunities for competitive contracting. I was invited to participate on a panel along with a representative from the Washington Federation of State Employees. My presentation focused on the need to simplify the state's current competitive contracting process while utilizing performance-based contracts . . . READ MORE

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Emergency clause reform scheduled for public hearing

The Senate Committee on Governmental Operations will hold a public hearing on Monday (Jan 28) to take public comment on SJR 8206: Amending the Constitution to require emergency clauses only be allowed by amendment to a bill and approved by sixty percent of each house of the legislature.
According to the bill report for SJR 8206 the proposal would amend . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Legislative transparency constitutional amendment proposed in California

A constitutional amendment to increase legislative transparency has been proposed in California. According to the Los Angeles Times . . . READ MORE

Monday, January 21, 2013

Supermajority vote proposed for tax breaks; How about tax increases?

Fulfilling the annual rite of session, Sen. Chase today introduced a graduated income tax proposal (SB 5166) and companion constitutional amendment (SJR 8207). Of note from SJR 8207 is section 4 which would require a supermajority vote (3/5) or voter approval for creation of any tax break . . . READ MORE

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Within Hours of Becoming Governor, Inslee Says He May Break His No-Tax-Increase Pledge

In a press conference today, newly inaugurated Governor Jay Inslee began backing away from his tough-on-the-campaign-trail promise that he will not raise taxes. After a year of pledging that new taxes won’t be needed to fix Washington’s budget woes, Governor Inslee now appears prepared to break his campaign promise with his declaration that continuing tax increases that were supposed to be temporary and set to expire is not a tax increase . . . READ MORE

When will Supreme Court rule on 2/3 for taxes?

That's the billion dollar question. Another week has gone by without the State Supreme Court issuing its ruling on the state's 20 year old supermajority for taxes requirement. With each passing week the chances of a decision not coming during the 2013 Legislative Session increase. But will a ruling from the Court really change the options for lawmakers? Not really . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Governor Inslee: "We will provide efficiency, effectiveness and transparency"

Newly inaugurated Governor Jay Inslee delivered his first speech as Governor to a joint session of the Legislature today. His wide ranging speech touched on many issues. Among them was his goal "to bring disruptive change to Olympia." From Governor Inslee's speech . . . READ MORE

Monday, January 14, 2013

Coalition calls on lawmakers to adopt legislative transparency reforms

A coalition of good government, media and business groups have signed a letter encouraging state lawmakers to adopt the Washington Policy Center's proposed legislative transparency reforms. The letter was delivered to lawmakers today on the first day of the 2013 Legislative Session . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

U.S. Government Accountability Office tackles tax exemptions

The debate about tax exemptions and their effectiveness is sure to be raged during the 2013 Session.
Rep. Carlyle, Chair of the new House Finance Committee, wrote this insightful blog about what he hopes to accomplish . . . READ MORE

Friday, January 4, 2013

State Auditor recommends financial management reforms

After 20 years in office it is no surprise to see retiring State Auditor Brian Sonntag continue to fight for good government reforms up to his last day. Yesterday Sonntag released his final annual report highlighting the need for ongoing open government reforms as well as a performance audit recommending improvements to the way Washington State Ferries contracts for ferry construction. The State Auditor's Office is also working on a performance audit for release in 2013 that . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Columbian: Legislators must regain public confidence by emphasizing transparency

The Vancouver Columbian has re-issued its call for state lawmakers to adopt much needed legislative transparency reforms reflecting our recommendations. From the Columbian editorial . . . READ MORE