Features

Op-Ed: Washington’s Tax Structure in Perspective (Spoiler Alert, in Context It’s Progressive)

How progressive the combined tax structure should be will always be a matter of political debate. Should progressive taxation be a policy objective, however, the federal government is best positioned to address the issue. When states adopt highly progressive structures, they increase the volatility of their revenue systems and create incentives for mobile affluent households

Oil Train Safety Under Scrutiny in the Legislative Session

Oil train regulation was back in the spotlight during a hearing before the Senate Energy Committee Thursday afternoon on a bill sponsored by Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale. Ericksen’s safety bill is competing with one requested by Gov. Jay Inslee and co-sponsored by Sens. Kevin Ranker, D-Orcas Island, and Christine Rolfes, D-Bainbridge Island. It’s been a

A Possible ‘McCleary’ for Washington’s Higher Education?

Lawmakers have been told repeatedly by the state Supreme Court that they must increase funding for schools from kindergarten through 12th grade. Now, a prominent constitutional law scholar in Washington says the state has a similar duty to adequately fund public colleges and universities, and that another court case could arise if the Legislature doesn’t step

Inslee Proposes Free Toll Lane, Ferry Travel For Electric Vehicles

Gov. Jay Inslee wants to see a lot more electric vehicles in the state in five years, and he’s willing to spend a few million taxpayer dollars to make it happen. His plans for transportation include incentives to make it cheaper and easier to own an electric vehicle, in hopes of boosting the number on the

Elway Poll: A Glimmer of Hope For a Transportation Package?

There was some thought that lower gas prices might ease opposition to a gas tax hike. Opposition may have eased, but it has not diminished. Overall opposition was virtually identical to results in 2013 when 63%were opposed. The proportion who found it “unacceptable” did go down, however, from 44% to 37%.

Two More Prefiled Cannabis Bills, Senator River’s Promised 48 Page MMJ Cleanup Up Is In

Washington Heads Toward An Almost Single Regulatory Platform The long awaited full rewrite of the state’s Medical Marijuana (MMJ) law was prefiled for introduction Thursday by State Senator Rivers, R-18th. SB5052 is cosponsored by Senator Hatfield, D- 19th, who also introduced another cannabis bill dealing with the transport of cannabis within the legal production, processing

Inslee Seeks Tax Rebate for Low-Income Families

Inslee wants to resurrect the “Working Families Tax Rebate” — a tax break approved by the Legislature in 2008 but never funded. The program would give rebates averaging $223 a year to families who qualify for the federal Earned Income Tax Credit.