Thursday, January 28, 2016

Public must receive meaningful notice of rule making

Two little known state boards have come under fire recently for lack of meaningful public notice for their ruling making. The Human Rights Commission has agreed there was a lack of adequate public participation in its recent "bathroom" rule while the State Building Code Council has acknowledge violations of the state's Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA). Both these examples illustrate the need for more education of government entities, both large and small, on the people's right to know and be involved in the decisions that affect their lives . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Graduated income tax amendment proposed

No legislative session would be complete without a proposed constitutional amendment to impose a graduated income tax in Washington. Today SJR 8214 was introduced to amend "the Constitution to allow an income tax." Judging from the response of voters since 1934 to income tax proposals, SJR 8214 may not get that far . . . READ MORE

Friday, January 22, 2016

State's public unions are right on supermajority protections

With the dust still clearing from yesterday's court ruling on I-1366 and Senate hearing on SJR 8211, it is a good time to reflect on examples from across the country when it comes to supermajority protections. In fact, a couple of good examples can be found in the constitutions of several of Washington's public employee unions . . . READ MORE

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Court tosses I-1366; 65% of voters want legislature to still act

"Unconstitutional!" That's the word from King County Superior Court today on voter-approved I-1366. Does this mean the legislature has just been handed a "get out of jail" free card to punt on this issue? Well, that depends on how much respect lawmakers have for their constituents . . . READ MORE

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Do Eastern Washington voters want to impose slavery?

Although I've only lived on the Eastside for a couple years after more than a decade in Olympia, I am happy to report that overturning Brown v Board of Education or reinstituting slavery is not on the agenda for Eastern Washingtonians. Though our cost of living may more reflect the 19th Century compared to the Westside, we do have running water, plenty of Wi-Fi for our electrical doohickeys and more PhDs per capita than anywhere else in the country . . . READ MORE

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

State employee contract transparency bill introduced

Later this year Governor Inslee will once again begin secret contract negotiations with state employee unions to determine their compensation terms for the 2017-19 budget. Once this deal is reached behind closed doors the legislature will only have the option to approve or reject the agreement in its entirety - no amendments are allowed. Under a bill introduced today, however, these binding state employee contract negotiations would no longer be conducted in secret . . . READ MORE

Monday, January 11, 2016

Attorney General defends Initiative 1366

Today is the first day of the 2016 Legislative Session. One of the issues facing lawmakers is how to respond to the people's approval of Initiative 1366 last November. Opponents of the measure have filed a lawsuit asking the courts to declare the proposal unconstitutional. That case will be heard January 19 in King County Superior Court. Last Friday the Attorney General filed arguments defending Initiative 1366 . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

New Poll: Lawmakers should act on supermajority for taxes amendment

According to a new statewide poll, a supermajority of voters want lawmakers to act on a constitutional amendment requiring a supermajority for tax increases. The poll, commissioned by the Washington Policy Center, ran December 28-30 and was conducted by Elway Research, INC . . . READ MORE

Monday, January 4, 2016

69% of state's legislative districts approved I-1366

According to a breakdown by the Secretary of State's Office, voters in 69% of Washington's legislative districts (34 of 49) approved I-1366 (supermajority for taxes). This is significant since it takes support from lawmakers in at least 33 legislative districts to refer to voters a constitutional amendment. Assuming lawmakers reflect the preference of their constituents, there should be enough support to finally end the decades old debate about whether to require a supermajority vote to raise taxes with a constitutional amendment . . . READ MORE