Gov. Jay Inslee has proposed $2.35 billion in new education spending and hiring 7,000 new teachers for the upcoming budget cycle, which would bring Washington state a year ahead of schedule in meeting the state Supreme Court’s McCleary decision but would leave the majority of a voter-approved class-size initiative unfunded.
Holding his finger to the political winds, Gov. Jay Inslee, it seems, has determined Washington state voters have little appetite for an increase in the gas tax to fund transportation, and yet the state has billions of dollars in unfunded projects to ease traffic congestion, fix bridges, and a host of other needs.
This week, so we are told, the Governor will expose his budget to public scrutiny, of which there should be plenty. The far left will, as always, cry that there is not enough money for all sorts of questionable social programs. The moderates will be thankful that the basic safety net funding is almost adequate. […]
Lawmakers anticipate a heated, high-stakes tug-of-war when the session begins next month. They will battle over what to cut, what to spare, and, perhaps on one voter-approved measure backed by national teachers’ unions, what to ignore.
Gov. Jay Inslee will unveil his vision for Washington state over four days this week as he prepares to roll out his budget proposal for the 2015-17 biennium, which officially kicks off Monday night with coordinated town halls in Bellevue, Tacoma, Moses Lake and Spokane devoted to education policy and spending.
The rights of Washington state home-care workers to opt out of union membership has become a contentious issue between an Olympia-based think tank and the Service Employees International Union, which recently negotiated a contract that raises the average hourly pay for care workers to at least $14 by 2017.
A glance back at the 2003 “nickel package” provides the best tutorial on how to successfully get a transportation-revenue package through the Legislature and to the governor’s desk. The themes from over a decade ago run startlingly parallel to today.
AP reports that state taxes will not have to be collected or paid by sovereign tribes if they grow, process and sell cannabis.
Initiative 1351 will cost nearly $5 billion through 2019, a hefty sum considering that the state’s current two-year budget for public education is around $15 billion. But it’s unclear where the money will come from. Or if it’s even worth spending.
Republicans sense Inslee is vulnerable in 2016, and that they can end a Democratic reign of 32 years and five governors. Whether Inslee can pull off his program depends on discipline, backroom negotiating skills, and whether the public buys it.
Is Washington state getting its money’s worth from more than $1 billion in tax breaks given to aerospace industry giant Boeing? Some Democratic lawmakers in Olympia are determined to find out.