Seattle makes “long shot” appeal on income tax

Seattle makes “long shot” appeal on income tax

The city of Seattle is moving forward with its “long shot” appeal to the King County Superior Court ruling on its income tax ordinance....
Washington high court adds doubt to Seattle income tax appeal

Washington high court adds doubt to Seattle income tax appeal

A Washington State Supreme Court ruling issued Thursday may have just added yet another hurdle for any possible appeal by the city of Seattle...
Seattle, think tank income tax arguments are “frivolous,” says plaintiff

Seattle, think tank income tax arguments are “frivolous,” says plaintiff

The plaintiffs challenging the city of Seattle’s income tax have succeeded so far, with a November 22 ruling in King County Superior Court overturning...
Study findings may discourage legislators’ budget tinkering

Study findings may discourage legislators’ budget tinkering

Washington benefits from one of the more stable revenue streams in the nation, and the best among the West Coast states. That’s according to...
King County court smacks down Seattle income tax

King County court smacks down Seattle income tax

If the city of Seattle’s message to residents was “you can leave if you don't like our income tax,” King County Superior Court perhaps...
Washington high court still unsatisfied with education spending

Washington high court still unsatisfied with education spending

When asked how much money is enough, industrialist John Rockefeller replied: "Just a little bit more." That seemed to be the Washington State Supreme...
Does Washington Need A “Climate Change” For Manufacturers?

Does Washington need a “climate change” for manufacturers?

Washington manufacturers currently make up roughly nine percent of the state’s workforce. This represents a three percent drop since 2000, according to a new...
Washingtonians overwhelmingly oppose new state taxes in advisory votes

Washingtonians overwhelmingly oppose new state taxes in advisory votes

Washington voters soundly rejected in non-binding advisory votes three tax measures approved by the state legislature this session. But it remains to be seen...
The bottom-up strategy to reform collective bargaining

The bottom-up strategy to reform collective bargaining

Progressive income tax advocates have hoped to use local governments to push for statewide implementation of that tax. While that stratagem may soon get...

Survey: Americans say sales tax “fairest of them all”

Washington state’s sales tax is one of the highest in the nation and has come under fire from progressive tax system advocates who say...
The Debate Over Greater Transparency In Budget Talks

The Debate Over Greater Transparency In Budget Talks

Although the state legislature avoided a government shutdown with the passage of the 2017-19 operating budget June 30, concerns have been raised about transparency...

Lawmakers Pass Compromise Budget

After three special sessions, the Washington state legislature Friday approved a 2017-19 operating budget signed by Governor Jay Inslee just one hour before midnight...
Is The Sky Falling For Our Economy? It Depends On Who You Ask...

Is The Sky Falling For Our Economy? It Depends On Who You Ask…

From all appearances, the U.S. economy seems to be doing well. The Dow Jones is at an all-time high, and the S&P 500 last...
Reforming Public Sector Labor Talks

Reforming Public Sector Labor Talks

While the state Senate this session narrowly approved two bills to end secrecy surrounding the negotiation process for collective bargaining agreements (CBA) between the...
War Over Words In Local Income Tax Debate

War Over Words In Local Income Tax Debate

State lawmakers who oppose an income tax and believe taxes should be approved through legislative or voter approval have yet another chance to make...
As Budget Talks Stall, Members Resort to Political Theater

As Budget Talks Stall, Members Resort to Political Theater

With budget negotiations at a standstill, Washington state lawmakers are resorting to creative methods to continue discussions. After forcing a symbolic vote April 21...
Governor’s Veto Creates Challenges in School Siting Decisions

Governor’s Veto Creates Challenges in School Siting Decisions

Governor Jay Inslee this week partially vetoed legislation that would allow school districts to build new facilities for urban students outside of the so-called...
House Budget Funding Bill Faces Uncertain Future

House Budget Funding Bill Faces Uncertain Future

With the state House proposed 2017-19 operating budget approved last week, eyes are now fixed on legislation needed to fund it. HB 2186 received...
Senate Budget Rejects Inslee's Public Labor Agreements

Senate Budget Rejects Inslee’s Public Labor Agreements

Senate Republicans this week unveiled their proposed 2017-19 operating budget, which incorporates their basic education funding plan and mostly rejects Governor Jay Inslee’s $1.7...
Income Tax Ban Fails Senate Vote, But Clarifies Lawmakers’ Stance

Income Tax Ban Fails Senate Vote, But Clarifies Lawmakers’ Stance

A proposed constitutional amendment banning state or local taxes on individual incomes failed to garner the necessary two-thirds majority vote in the State Senate...
Rival Political Strategies In Play Over Progressive Income Tax

Rival Political Strategies In Play Over Progressive Income Tax

After Olympia voters decisively rejected a proposed tax in November, there is a renewed push to permit a progressive income tax in Washington through...
Shining Light on Secret Public Sector Labor Negotiations

Shining Light on Secret Public Sector Labor Negotiations

Two state Republican Senate bills aim to reform contract negotiations currently held in secret between public officials and public sector unions. SB 5545 would...

Ericksen: Senate Duties Remain Key, But Would Consider Regional EPA Slot

In an interview with Lens Sunday evening, January 29, State Sen. Doug Ericksen (R-42) sought to tamp down any concerns that his high-profile temporary...
Washington State Senate Majority In Flux As Trump Administration Plucks Talent

Washington State Senate Majority In Flux As Trump Administration Plucks Talent

The Trump-induced brain drain is making things tricky for the Republican-led majority controlling the Washington State Senate, in a year when fiscal conservative principles...
State House Leaders Seek Middle Ground

State House Leaders Seek Middle Ground

Governor Jay Inslee wasn't the only one sounding off on the state of the state last week. The first day of the legislative session,...
K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It's Early Innings

K-12 Task Force Stuck, But It’s Early Innings

As the 2017 biennial budget session of the Washington legislature opened Monday, January 9, all eyes were on the Joint Education Funding Task Force. Under a law passed in 2016, it...
Fortunato To Fill State Senate Vacancy

Fortunato To Fill State Senate Vacancy

The Pierce and King County councils on Saturday, January 7 approved the appointment of newly-elected State Rep. Phil Fortunato (R-31) to the district's Senate seat...
EPA-Funded "What's Upstream" Campaign Hit With PDC Complaint By Farmers

EPA-Funded “What’s Upstream” Campaign Hit With PDC Complaint By Farmers

The Washington State Public Disclosure Commission (PDC) this week began investigating allegations by farmers that a taxpayer-funded public education campaign called “What’s Upstream” engaged in...
Seattle Getting Granular About Work, Again

Seattle Set To Micromanage Private Sector Work Scheduling; Employers Alarmed

In a move that could inspire similar legislation in other cities nationwide, the Seattle City Council “secure scheduling” ordinance is likely to pass Monday...
A Fresh Start For Washington's Watchdog

A Fresh Start For Washington’s Watchdog

Whoever is elected, the troubled State Auditor’s Office (SAO) will get a fresh start in 2017. The two candidates to take over the embattled...
Podlodowski, Wyman Tangle On Voter Turnout

Podlodowski, Wyman Tangle On Turnout

The campaign of Washington Secretary of State candidate Tina Podlodowski, a Democrat, has been circulating a graphic on social media attacking incumbent Republican Kim...
Fixing The Growth Management Act

Fixing The Growth Management Act

As Lens reported last week, lawmakers will begin public work sessions next month to look at how the Growth Management Act (GMA) could be...
Seattle Employer Fees Still An Option, For More City Labor Law Probes And Outreach

Seattle Employer Fees Still An Option, For More City Labor Law Probes And Outreach

Dead for now is a ballot measure on a controversial employee hours-worked tax in Seattle. It would have been to fund more Seattle investigations...
Two GOP Finalists For Treasurer Differ On Approaches To State's $20.6B Debt

Two GOP Finalists For Treasurer Differ On Approaches To State’s $20.6B Debt

According to a report this year by outgoing State Treasurer James McIntire, Washington had $20.6 billion in debt at the end of December, 2015,...
Washington Election Scorecard - Legislative Races

Washington Election Scorecard – Legislative Races

(Last updated 8/4/16, 6:40 p.m.) Below are our rolling updates, mainly with charts, of key outcomes in primary election races for the Washington State House...
Washington Election Scorecard - Statewide Contests

Washington Election Scorecard – Statewide Contests

(Last updated 8/4/16, 6:40 p.m.) We've been providing updates here on statewide Washington primary races since August 2, as results continue to come in. 6:35 p.m.,...
Huge War Chest Aids I-1464 'Campaign Finance Reform' Push In Washington State

Huge War Chest Aids I-1464 ‘Campaign Finance Reform’ Push In Washington State

Washington state election officials say that Initiative 1464 (I-1464) is likely to qualify for the fall ballot. It aims to institute several so-called campaign...
Are The Scales Of Justice Balanced?

Are The Scales Of Justice Balanced?

Last year, the Washington State Supreme Court tried to torpedo public charter schools approved by voters and lawmakers, and ramped up intervention in the...
Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

Critics: Seattle Hotel Measure I-124 Draconian, And Has Sketchy Waiver Clause

A major U.S. labor union local is advancing a Seattle ballot measure, Initiative 124 (I-124), which purports to help hotel housekeepers. However, industry sources...
Debt Hawks, Income Tax Advocate, Others Vie For Washington State Treasurer

Debt Hawks, Income Tax Advocate, Others Vie For Washington State Treasurer

In Washington, state debt is $20.6 billion. As of January, it had grown just three percent over the last two years but a year before,...
Does Washington Need A Lieutenant Governor? 11 Candidates Seem To Think So

Does Washington Need A Lieutenant Governor? 11 Candidates Seem To Think So

In January of 2017, the State of Washington will experience something that has not happened in two decades – the swearing in of a...
New Oregon Business Tax Measure Could Hurt, Help Southwest Washington

New Oregon Business Tax Measure Could Hurt, Help Southwest Washington

If Oregon’s Initiative Petition 28 (IP 28) is approved by voters this November, the corporate gross receipts tax will drain from the Oregon economy...
Sound Transit 3 Changes Spark New Debate

Sound Transit 3 Changes Spark New Debate

The Sound Transit Board has unanimously approved revisions to its proposed ST3 expansion plan, shortening construction timelines for several light rail projects based on...
Who Do You Trust To Run Elections?

Who Do You Trust To Run Elections?

The race for a seemingly sleepy office in Washington state is threatening to turn into a war of words, and has drawn the interest...
Asia Trade Deal Would Be 'Boon' To U.S., Washington State - But Congress Is Queasy

Asia Trade Deal A ‘Boon’ To U.S., Washington – But Congress Queasy

It may be November before votes in both the U.S. Senate and House are completed on the controversial trade agreement called the Trans-Pacific Partnership...
'Contra Krugman' Panelist Takes On 'Economic Myths Of The 2016 Election'

Economic Myths Of The 2016 Campaign Season Get A Smackdown In Seattle

One claim you’re likely to hear during this year’s presidential election cycle is that the U.S. doesn’t spend enough on helping out the poor,...
Seven Vie For Public Lands Boss, The Hottest Race You've Never Watched

Seven Vie For Public Lands Boss, The Hottest Race You’ve Never Watched

Who would have thought one of the hottest 2016 statewide races in Washington would be for Public Lands Commissioner? The heat may emanate partly...
Shrouded in Secrecy: The Hidden World of Public Sector Labor Talks In Washington

Shrouded In Secrecy: Public Sector Labor Talks In Washington

Since 2002 in Washington state, public unions and the governor have negotiated in secrecy over state employee benefits and salaries as part of the...
Regulatory Fairness Audit, Others, To Proceed As State Budget Is Settled

Regulatory Fairness Audit, Others, To Proceed As State Budget Is Settled

A series of state performance audits that had been on or near the budget chopping block will be saved. This includes one which will...
Right Time For Right To Work Could Be Coming To Washington State

Right Time For Right To Work Could Be Coming To Washington State

If the national trend is any indication Washington could eventually allow public and private sector employees a choice on whether to pay union dues....

Washington School Districts And Charter Schools Can Be Partners, Not Enemies

As the debate continues to rage over public charter schools in Washington, traditional public schools and many of their supporters have squared off in...
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