Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Collective bargaining reform receives attention in special session

Today marks day one of the "special" session and public hearings are already scheduled. Among the bills up for consideration today is SB 6098: Defining financial feasibility for collective bargaining agreements. According to the bill report . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Is a capital gains tax an excise or income tax?

With discussions continuing of imposing the first in the nation capital gains tax for a state without an income tax, questions have been raised about whether this would be an excise tax or an income tax. This distinction is very important since an income tax exceeding 1% would be unconstitutional in Washington . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Statement from Brian Sonntag on importance of public trust in State Auditor

Brian Sonntag, former 20 year State Auditor and current Washington Policy Center Board member, issued this statement today on the importance of public trust in State Auditor . . . READ MORE

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Is 2002 state collective bargaining law constitutional?

On the eve of budget negotiations, Governor Inslee's budget office (Office of Financial Management) sent lawmakers a letter expressing concern with several provisions of their budgets. Among the concerns expressed . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Whether to raise taxes to fund state employee contracts sticking point in budget debate

Now that the House and Senate have approved their versions of the 2015-17 budget, legislative budget negotiators will be hard at work trying to come to an agreement before the end of session on April 26. While both budgets are fairly close on overall education and social service spending, the major difference is whether to raise taxes as proposed by the House to fund in-part the state employee contracts secretly negotiated behind closed doors last summer by Governor Inslee. The House would approve the contracts and pay for them with tax increase while the Senate rejects them and instead provides a capped amount of funding within available resources for the Governor and unions to renegotiate within . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Quick review of House and Senate budgets

The budget cards are now on the table. Now we'll see if House and Senate budget negotiators can find a winning hand to get out of Olympia with a budget agreement by April 26. We're still reviewing the details of the proposals but here are a couple of first impressions . . . READ MORE