Thursday, August 27, 2015

State Supreme Court issues landmark public records ruling on text messages

In a 9-0 decision this morning the state Supreme Court ruled that the text messages of government employees that relate to official business, even on their private phone, are public records. From the ruling . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

State rejected WFSE request to pay employees for not crossing strike picket lines

Now that the 2015-17 state budget has been signed into law the public is able to request details from last summer's secret contract negotiations between state employee unions and Governor Inslee's office. I just received the first batch of public records (more to come in October) with some of these details. One of the interesting contract demands the Washington Federation of State Employees (WFSE) made was to add this language to Article 49 concerning strikes (emphasis added) . . . READ MORE

Friday, August 21, 2015

Take 2: Is Initiative 1366 a constitutional amendment?

Last month we posed this question: Is Initiative 1366 a constitutional amendment? The answer to this question will determine whether voters will have the opportunity to pass their own judgement on the policies proposed by the ballot measure. A week ago King County Superior Court Judge Lum ruled that I-1366 is a constitutional amendment that exceeds the power of initiative but refrained from keeping the proposal off the ballot saying . . . READ MORE

Friday, August 14, 2015

Should Washington follow New Jersey's response to Court K-12 sanctions? Fuhgeddaboudit

Yesterday the State Supreme Court in a 9-0 ruling took the unprecedented step of fining the state (i.e. taxpayers) for the Legislature's failure to adopt a detailed plan showing how lawmakers plan to meet certain K-12 funding goals by 2018. WPC agrees with the brief filed by Attorney General Bob Ferguson that the contempt sanctions should have been vacated after the historic investments in K-12 by the Legislature this year. Unfortunately the Court disagreed . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Rob McKenna issues reminder that teacher strikes are illegal

On the eve of a strike vote by teachers in the Pasco School District, former Attorney General Rob McKenna posted this reminder . . . READ MORE

Friday, August 7, 2015

Budget reforms needed to remove threat of government shutdown

During the last two biennia Washington has come dangerously close to a state government shutdown. The current 2015-17 budget was signed just 18 minutes before a shutdown (signed at 11:42 p.m. on June 30) while the 2013-15 budget was approved a few hours before the new budget cycle (signed at 4:20 p.m. on June 30, 2013). In both cases revenue was increasing substantially meaning these threats of government shutdowns were occurring with budgets growing significantly, not due to deficits . . . READ MORE

Monday, August 3, 2015

WPC joins amicus defending people's right to enact fiscal restraints on lawmakers

Washington Policy Center (WPC) is a strong defender of the people's right of initiative as well as their power to enact fiscal restraints on lawmakers to help promote sustainable budgeting. This is why we are happy to sign on to the amicus brief in the case of Kerr v. Hickenlooper currently before the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals for reconsideration at the direction of the U.S Supreme Court . . . READ MORE