Wednesday, March 30, 2016

No new taxes supplemental budget adopted

At long last the legislature has approved a 2016 supplemental budget. Didn't have time to read the budget's 352 pages before the vote? Don't feel bad, neither did most lawmakers . . . READ MORE

Fate of performance audits now rests on Governor's veto pen

Now that lawmakers have adopted the 2016 supplemental budget and taken 74% of the voter-approved dedicated performance audit funding away from the State Auditor's Office, all eyes turn to the Governor and his veto pen. When the budget details were first posted yesterday it looked like the calls to not raid the performance audit funds had been heard. All three budgets (Governor, House & Senate) had originally proposed a $10 million transfer of the performance audit funds . . . READ MORE

Monday, March 28, 2016

Historic votes as Senate overrides Governor's mass vetoes

With the same warp speed the Governor used to veto 27 bills on March 10, the Senate today started to override each of those vetoes. As of now 15 override votes have been taken with more planned for tonight. Here are some of the tweets from today's historic veto override votes . . . READ MORE

Monday, March 21, 2016

All Quiet on the Western Front - Budget Edition

With the House and Senate adjourned until the 13th day of the special session (March 22), things are all quiet on the Western Front, too quiet.  As we wait for word of a supplemental budget armistice, let's take a moment to reflect on the battle lines that put us into a special session to adopt a supplemental budget . . . READ MORE

Congress approves Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act

Exciting news to share - last week Congress approved and sent to President Obama the bi-partisan Evidence-Based Policymaking Commission Act of 2016. The bill was co-sponsored by Washington’s Sen. Patty Murray and Speaker of the House Paul Ryan. After receiving a request to comment on the proposal from Sen. Murray’s office in 2014, Washington Policy Center President Dann Mead Smith met with Congressional Senate and House budget committee staff on Capitol Hill to discuss this effort and offer WPC assistance to help move this important reform forward. We are very excited to see Congress finally send it to President Obama . . . READ MORE

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Public budget details - what, you think this is Sunshine Week?

Like most Washingtonians on day six of the special session, I'm still trying to get caught up on what happened last week when the Legislature adjourned without finishing the supplemental budget. One of the more curious complaints I heard about the new Senate budget proposal is that the details were made publicly available instead of first exchanged in secret behind closed doors as usually happens in Olympia . . . READ MORE

Monday, March 7, 2016

No supplemental budget isn't good but won't result in government shutdown

Today Governor Inslee held a press conference where he issued a blanket veto request for every bill currently on his desk and anything lawmakers send him until a supplemental budget is adopted. Under Article 3, Section 12 of the state's constitution, all bills sent to the Governor become law after a set amount of days unless they are vetoed . . . READ MORE

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Do good end results on bills justify bad process?

With the deadline to save charter schools just a week away, several "title only" bills have been introduced to serve as a "vehicle" in case a last minute deal can be reached by lawmakers. Amazingly, one of those "title only" bills, SB 6670 was actually adopted by a committee today without changes and sent to the Rules Committee as a blank bill. This means the blank bill could potentially be pulled directly to the floor if a deal is reached and voted on without any public comment on the actual details . . . READ MORE