Friday, April 26, 2013

House shows title only bills unnecessary

The House is about to demonstrate that resorting to title only bills is unnecessary. Two bills that were introduced within the last 10 days of session were just added to the floor calendar (HB 2056 and HB 2058). According to Article 2, Section 36 of the state constitution this means a 2/3 vote will be required . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Targeted budget special session or another regular session?

With just four days to go in the 2013 Regular Session, lawmakers and the Governor are discussing the framework for the inevitable specials session(s). One difference this year from previous special sessions may be how tightly focused state officials' efforts and attention are . . . READ MORE

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Tax preference review bill on House agenda tomorrow

Not to be lost on tomorrow's House Finance Committee agenda is SB 5843 (tax preference review). The Senate version of the bill was unanimously approved back on March 7. After the Senate approved the bill WPC encouraged the House to consider also . . . READ MORE

Public gets chance to weigh in on House tax increase package tomorrow

Though we have serious concerns about the impact of the House Democrat's $1.3 billion tax increase proposal on the state's economy and jobs (nearly 10,000 private sector jobs could be lost), at least the public will actually have a chance to weigh in on the proposal . . . READ MORE

Senate considers revenue forecast reform

With a special session all but guaranteed for the Legislature to finish its work on the 2013-15 budget, a simple bill being considered by the Senate Ways and Means Committee today could have a fundamental impact on future budget debates. Introduced on Monday and heard for a public hearing on Tuesday, SB 5910 would move up the state's March revenue forecast to February in long sessions. The bill is scheduled for executive action in the Senate today . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Budget negotiations begin in earnest

Last Friday the House approved its 2013-15 state operating budget proposal on a party-line 54-43 vote. The only lawmaker to cross-party lines was Rep. Stonier (D) who voted against the budget saying . . . READ MORE

Olympian calls for more legislative transparency

Looks like editors at The Olympian decided to declare April 16 as "Legislative Transparency Day." The capital city newspaper ran two editorials today highlighting our recommendations to improve the public's access to the legislative process. The first editorial calls on lawmakers to provide the opportunity for Washingtonians from the far corners of the state to utilize remote testimony options . . . READ MORE

Friday, April 12, 2013

Brian Sonntag inducted into "Heroes of the 50 States: The State Open Government Hall of Fame"

Former State Auditor Brian Sonntag has been inducted into the "Heroes of the 50 States: The State Open Government Hall of Fame." According to a press release by the National Freedom of Information Coalition . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

House budget will require supermajority vote for approval

Place this in your irony file, after fighting to have the voter-approved supermajority vote requirement for tax increases ruled unconstitutional, the budget proposed today by House Democrats will require a supermajority vote for approval . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

House budget on deck

Last Friday night the Senate approved its operating budget with a bipartisan 30-18 vote. The House is expected to release its counter proposal on Wednesday. As with most budgets there are good and bad components of the Senate plan . . . READ MORE

Friday, April 5, 2013

OFM highlights concern with use of dedicated performance audit funds

With the Senate about to take action on its 2013-15 budget proposal, the Office of Financial Management (OFM) is weighing in. OFM said this about the proposed use of dedicated I-900 performance audit funds . . . READ MORE

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Senate budget studies

aving finished reading the 237 page budget summary I'm now digging in to the actual 401 page bill language. At the pace I'm going I'll be reading the Senate "approved" versus "proposed" budget. Despite being only a few pages in some very interesting studies proposed for the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Committee (JLARC). Among them . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Senate 2013-15 budget released

The Senate Majority Coalition released its $33.2 billion 2013-15 blueprint for the state today at a noon press conference with Republican and Democrat budget writers speaking. Joining GOP Sen. Hill and Sen. Parlette were Democrat Sen. Hargrove and Sen. Nelson . . . READ MORE